Boruch Greenfeld

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Rabbi Boruch Greenfeld of Hermanshtat

Rabbi Boruch Greenfield, (1872–1956), was a rabbi and Torah scholar. He was fondly known as Reb Burech Hermanshtater.

Born in Michalovce, Slovakia (then Zemplén County, Kingdom of Hungary), as a young child he was already recognized by all who met him as an extremely devout and diligent student. He learned in Kisvadara by the famed author of the Arugas Habosem, Rabbi Moshe Greenwald and soon became one of the top students there. Reb Yechezkel Shraga Halberstam, the Shinover Rebbe, spoke very highly of Reb Boruch held him in high esteem. Rabbi Boruch Greenfield married Rivkah Weinberger in 1891 in Stropkov where he founded a small yeshiva at that time. Later he became the Dayan of Shebesh, Potneck, and Hermenshtat, where he founded the Orthodox Sephardic community he served as the interim Rabbi of Klausenberg (where he was also instrumental in founding the Orthodox Sephardic community) shortly before coming to the USA.

In 1923 he immigrated to the USA where he served as the Rabbi in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Pittston, Pennsylvania, Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, The Bronx, New York City, and the Lower East Side at the 52 Cannon Street Shul. He was extremely upset with the laxness in which Torah Judaism was being led and he fought this laxness fiercely. In 1935 he moved to Palestine and upon his arrival was offered a number of high rabbinical posts. As in previous times during his life, due to his great humility he declined sch positions, but was, however, one of the leaders of the Edah HaChareidis.

Reb Borech was close with the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum, and they learned together daily for a period of time. He was also close to the Belzer Rebbe Rabbi Aharon Rokeach who highly respected Reb Borech and spoke well of him.

Besides his fame as a great Torah Scholar, Rabbi Greenfield was talented musically and a baal tefillah Chazan. In 1975 a sefer with a small collection of his writings was printed under the name Ohel Boruch.

Reb Burech had five children that reached adulthood. The oldest was Mariam, married to Reb Nusen Baumhaft, the Rosh Yeshiva of Klausenberg. Mariam and her husband, together with fourteen of their children, perished in the Holocaust. The second child was Ruchel who married a fine Torah scholar by the name of Reb Ahron Klausner. They had two children. The third child was Eidel, married to Reb Shimon Fischman; they were childless. The fourth child was Mirel, married to Reb Chaim Pall. She died during childbirth and was left childless. The fifth child, Sarah, married Reb Dovid Yaakov Friedman and they had six daughters.

Sources[edit]

  1. Ohel Boruch
  2. Moshian Shel Yisroel, by Shloima Yankel Gelbman
  3. Yitzchak Yosef HaCohen (1989). Chachmei Tranyslvania. Machon Yerushalayim. 
  4. Weinstein, Avraham Avish Hacohen (1968). Sefer Zichron Stropkov. Brooklyn: Deutsch Publishing and Printing Company. 
  5. Lkoros Hayhadus BTranselvany by Tzvi Yaakov Abraham pub. 1951

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