By COLlive reporter
Photos by Mendy Hechtman
The extended family of the much-loved Lubavitcher chossid R’ Leibel Bistritzky OBM gathered in Israel to write the final letters of a new Torah in his memory.
The velvet mantel recorded his service to the Rebbe’s household, being one of the first students of the Tomchei Tmimim Yeshiva in New York and the founder of the Hatzalah medical service in Crown Heights.
“He was dedicated to charity and saving lives,” the embroidered mantel reads, about his life that included escaping Nazi Germany at the age of 12, owning an iconic kosher food store on Manhattan’s Lower East Side, and living in Brooklyn and Jerusalem.
His wife Mrs. Ita Bistritzky, flanked by grandchildren and great-grandchildren, stood nearby as the final letters were inscribed by family members, friends and members of the Chabad community.
Participants included the families of his children Mrs. Miriam Sheindel Nelkin of Toronto, Canada; R’ Yosef Yitzchok Bistritzky – Flatbush, NY; R’ Yingy Bistritzky – Crown Heights; Mrs. Raizy Greenwald – Rechovot, Israel; Mrs. Ruchama Clapman – Five Towns, NY; Mrs. Z.C. Cohen – Aventura, Florida; R’ Menachem Mendel Bistritzky – Five Towns, NY; Rabbi Shlomo Mordechai Bistritzky – Shliach in Agoura Hills, CA; R’ Schneur Zalman Bistritzky – New York, NY; and his late son, Rabbi Levi Bistritzky OBM of Tzfas.
Following the traditional hakafos and dancing, a festive meal was held in the Chabad shul that is a replica of 770 in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem.