[COMMUNICATED] Next Sunday, in honor of both the 25th anniversary of the founding of Yeshivas Ateres Shlomo and the 110th Yahrzeit of Hagaon Rav Eliezer Gordon zt”l, founder of the famed Telshe Yeshiva, the Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres Shlomo will be leading a historic delegation to Rav Gordon’s kever.
Over the course of many years, Rav Gordon’s gravesite has become renowned as a place that is auspicious for miraculous salvations. In recent years, this was publicized amongst European Jewry, who now flock to visit the cemetery in London where Rav Gordon is interred. Many individuals report that they have visited the kever during a challenging time and prayed there, and then experienced wondrous salvations. Amongst family members, many stories are related of amazing miracles that occurred to people who visited the kever.
In more recent years, the power of visiting this kever became more well-known, and Jews from all across Europe have been traveling to pray there. Over the past year, groups were arranged every Rosh Chodesh to travel to the kever from all the Jewish areas of England – including London, Manchester and Gateshead – as well as from other cities around Europe. Many stories have been printed in the European Jewish newspapers about miracles that occurred after davening at the kever of this man who dedicated his life to Torah.
The Roshei Yeshiva of Ateres Shlomo who will lead the delegation include descendants of Rav Gordon: Rav Binyomin Sorotzkin shlita, Rav Chaim Mordechai Ausband shlita, and Rav Sholom Ber Sorotzkin shlita. Also joining the prominent group will be the Rosh Yeshiva Rav Chaim Feinstein shlita, as well as the Roshei Yeshiva and Roshei Kollel of the Ateres Shlomo networks other divisions. Organizers relate that the Roshei Yeshiva will read off the names of all those who donated to Ateres Shlomo’s “Campaign to Save The Olam Hatorah” last year, and will daven on their behalf.
When the plane lands in London, a special Kabalas Panim reception is arranged in honor of the distinguished personages, with participation of the Rabbanim, philanthropists and communal leaders of the Jewish community of England. The group will then head to the cemetery on the outskirts of the city for the emotional prayer gathering, where the large group will thank Hashem for Ateres Shlomo’s past success and daven for the future.
The story of the death of Rav Gordon is extremely tragic, and is connected to the very history of Yeshivas Telshe. In 1910, when the yeshiva ran into financial difficulties, Rav Gordon traveled abroad with much self-sacrifice to save the yeshiva. While he was attending a gathering that was arranged together with leading Rabbanim to formulate a plan to help the yeshiva, he collapsed and suddenly passed away. He was only 69-years-old and had been in good health.
The Jewish community of Europe was shocked. Rav Gordon’s son-in-law, Rav Zalman Sortotzkin zt”l, Rov of Lutzk, related that Rav Gordon’s funeral was the largest England had ever seen. Approximately 70,000 people participated, including all the Rabbanim of the surrounding area. The eulogy of Harav Shmuel Yitzchok Hilman, who later would serve as a Dayan in London, became famous in the entire Jewish world. He screamed out the words of Yosef Hatzadik, “For I was stolen from the land of the Ivrim…And even here I did not do anything, yet they placed me in a pit.” Rav Hilman cried out, “I was stolen from Russia – where most Jews reside. And I also was not able to accomplish what I set out to do here for the sake of the Torah. Instead, I am being lowered into a pit – into a grave!” The entire crowd broke out into a wail.
The community of London buried him in a place of honor and placed a special Ohel above his grave. During the eulogies recited during the Shiva and Shloshim, the community was encouraged to come out in support of Yeshivas Telshe, and a large sum was raised to pay up the yeshiva’s debts and put it back on its feet.
The historic trip to the kever is part of a series of special events being organized in the Torah world to celebrate 25 years since Ateres Shlomo was founded in the tradition of Telshe.