KLAL YISROEL LOSES A GADOL: Petirah of the Skulener Rebbe Zatzal

It is with tremendous sadness we report the Petirah of the Skulener Rebbe Zatzal, one of the oldest Gedolim in Klal Yisroel. He was 95.

The Rebbe is the son of the previous Rebbe, Rabbi Eliezer Zusia Portugal, who succeeded his father as Rebbe of Skulen at the age of 17.

Before the outbreak of World War II, the Rebbe moved to Chernowitz. He survived the war and moved to Bucharest, the capital of Romania, where he opened an orphanage for the orphans left after the Holocaust. When the Communists took over Romania, it became dangerous for him to continue to educate the children in the ways of Judaism, yet the Rebbe continued unabashed.

In 1959, the Communists arrested the Rebbe and his son, the present Rebbe, for teaching religion and for supporting and educating orphans. The Rebbes of Sadigura, Kopishnietz and Boyan led an international effort to free the Skulener Rebbe and his son, and eventually, through the intervention of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld, the Rebbe and his son were freed and immediately immigrated to the United States in 1960.

Upon moving to America the Rebbe continued his works helping the underprivileged and began an international charity organization known as Chesed L’Avraham. The Rebbe authored Noam Eliezer and Kedushas Eliezer, and composed many popular Chassidish songs.

The previous Rebbe was Niftar in 1982 and was buried in the Viznitzer Cemetery in Monsey, New York. He was succeeded by his son, the present Skulener Rebbe.

The Skulener Rebbe continued his father’s work by running the Chesed L’Avraham organization to help the needy in Eretz Yisroel and around the world, and continued to write new Chassidish songs on a regular basis. His Bais Medrash is located on 54th street in the Boro Park section of Brooklyn, near 13th Avenue. A Shul was also established in Lakewood, on Park Avenue.

The Rebbe was surrounded by family and close Chassidim Monday, as they sang songs, and said Tehillim. The Rebbe returned his Neshama at approximately 5:45 PM.

Levaya details will be published as they’re released.


UPDATE: The Levaya is expected to take place at 11:00 AM Tuesday at the Shul in Boro Park, 54th Street and 13th Avenue. Kevurah will take place near his father in Monsey.

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  1. The Rebbe Zatza”l was an Ish Kadosh Me’od.
    I’m not even worthy to even comment on his greatness.
    Where we go now when we need a Yeshua ?

  2. BDE. No words can describe such a great loss to all of Klal Yisroel.

    Just to correct the story of the way the Rebbys came out of Romania..

    This is first hand knowledge.

    The VINER KEHILA in Williamsburg got the Rebbys to become the Rav in VEIN in Williamsburg, and that was a major part of the success of the Rebbys release.

    The firs Shabbos that the Rebbys came out, they went to the VINER SHUL, and the Rebby thanked the KEHILA for all the work that they did.

    How do I know this.

    Because my grandfather was very involved and my father was there the first Shabbos.

  3. Bd”e.
    Another thing to note is the Rebbe’s extreme level of anivus and perishus. His whole life he never ate more than one meal a day, and slept a bare minimum. When he was over ninety, he used to finish tisch Friday night and learn ( standing) for hours.
    Zechusoy yagen aleinu.

  4. Many years ago I heard the Rebbe speak in a Litvishe Yeshiva. A bochur took out a camera and took a picture. The Rebbe responded, what is a picture, a nose a mouth. If you want to know what a Gadol is, take out a Mussar sefer and learn it.

  5. Where will we go for a yeshua? Ask Hashem for the yeshua. We must learn from the Rebbe and look to help yidden (not for pay, for mitzvah!)

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