Skip to comments.Last Chabad Survivor of Hebron Massacre Passes Away 
Posted on 11/29/2011 5:10:30 PM PST by SJackson
Rabbi Sholom Ber Goldshmid, the last remaining member of the of the Chabad community to survive the Hebron Massacre of 1929, passed away November 10. He was 86 years old.
Born March 28, 1925 in the city of Lahojsk, Belarus, a shtetl near the city of Minsk, Sholom Ber was raised in a home imbued with spirit of the Chabad Chasidic tradition. In 1927, his father, Rabbi Moshe Goldshmid, a ritual slaughterer or shochet, was sent by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, to Hebron, Israel. There, in addition to working as a shochet, Rabbi Moshe would serve as his personal representative to Hebron, at the time home to the largest concentration of Chabad Chasidim in Israel. The Goldshmid family joined their father a few months later.
Chabads presence in Hebron dates back to 1819, when Rabbi Dovber of Lubavitch, the second Chabad Rebbe, sent a group of followers to establish a Chabad community in Hebron. In 1845, a second group of Chabad Chasidm immigrated to Hebron, among them Rabbi Yaakov Slonim and his wife Menucha Rachel, daughter of Rabbi Dovber. With the opening of the Yeshiva Torat Emet in 1911, the communitys status as spiritual home of Chabad in Israel was solidified.
Rabbi Moshe quickly became a respected member of the community. Local Jews and Arabs alike would turn to him to arbitrate their disputes, and when the Previous Rebbe visited Hebron in 1929, he would only eat meat prepared by Rabbi Moshe Goldshmid.
On Friday, August 23, Arab rioters, fueled by false rumors that Jews were planning to seize the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount, attacked Jews in the Old City of Jerusalem. Word of the attacks and disinformation spread quickly, and soon full fledged pogroms broke out in Hebron, Safed, and elsewhere across Israel. Sholom Ber, only four years old at the time, recalled the chaos of the attacks and the horror he personally witnessed. After breaking into the Goldshmid home, rioters murdered Sholom Bers father and severely wounded his mother and sister. Some 67 Jews - men, women, and children - lost their lives in Hebron alone, with scores more left wounded and maimed. Following the carnage, Sholom Bers family - along with Hebrons other surviving Jews - were forcibly resettled by the British authorities.
After studying in Chabad yeshivot in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, Sholom Ber was ordained as a rabbi in 1945 and again in 1947. August of that year, Sholom Ber traveled with two of his Israeli classmates to the Central Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Crown Heights.
Rabbi Leibel Posner, then a student in the yeshiva, recalled the three Israeli students coming to the yeshiva.
It was a first, he noted. International travel was not a common thing at all in those days, and to see three students come to Brooklyn all the way from Israel made an impression on us.
In New York, orphaned from his father and thousands of miles from his mother, Sholom Ber developed a unique relationship with the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of blessed memory. Without a father figure to guide him in his search for a soul mate, Sholom Ber turned to the Rebbe for advice. On one occasion, the Rebbe served as translator between the Yiddish- and Hebrew-speaking Sholom Ber, and an American-born, English-speaking girl he was seeing. Letters sent to Sholom Ber in English would be translated by the Rebbe, along with Sholom Bers own Yiddish response into English.
Overwhelmed by the personal care the Rebbe showed him, Sholom Ber would later ask the Rebbe why he merited such attention. The Rebbe responded, A father and a Rebbe do what they have to do, [and in your case] I did what I had to do.
Settling in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Brownsville with his wife Rivka, Sholom Ber, like his father and grandfather, became a shochet. At the time, it was common for the shochet to visit customers and slaughter chickens for them. When asked by his employer to approve meat with questionable kosher status, Sholom Ber refused to work for him any further. Speaking with the Rebbe about his predicament, he advised Sholom Ber to open a kosher butcher shop together with fellow Crown Heights resident Chatzkel Brod.
There Sholom Ber, ever unassuming in nature, became a fixture in the Crown Heights community. His son, Yisroel Goldshmid, recalls the quiet deeds of kindness his father would often perform.
He always wanted to make sure people had meat to eat in honor of Shabbat, Yisroel recalls. If he heard someone was pressed financially, he would make sure to give them extra meat.
Rabbi Sholom Ber Goldshmid is survived by his children, Moshe Goldshmid of Kfar Chabad, Israel, Basya Gottesman of Montreal, Canada, Yisroel Goldshmid of Crown Heights, and Chany Kotlarsky, Chabad Lubavitch Emissary to New City, NY. His wife Rivka (Rita) passed away earlier this year.
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
May peace be upon him and upon all Israel. Amen.
To think that the Military Channel ran an Palestinianist apologia tonight in its “nuanced” review of Haj Amin al-Husayni on Nazi Collaborators. They even got a leftist POS British Jewish professor to equivocate. I’m still livid.
Ping for later.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.