A special Asifas Hisoirerus was held in London, UK, to commemorate the end of the Shiva after the tragic deaths of two local children.
On Tuesday night, 22 Teves, two children, Yisroel Bodner, aged 18 months and Nochum Tzvi Potash, aged 8 years, both passed away suddenly at the local Royal Free Hospital.
The Bodner family are well respected second generation members of the local Beis Hamedrash Beis Shmuel, affectionately known as “Reb Chuna’s”, after its Rov, the veteran 92 year old Gaon Rav Elchonon Halpern Shlit”a, who has faithfully led the charedi Kehilla in Golders Green for over 70 years.
Nochum Tzvi’s parents, Yossi and Esther Potash, are members of the young and small, but well-liked Shul of Heichal Menachem, the local Anash Shul in Golders Green. The grandparents, Reb Efraim and Toibe Potash, are part of the veteran Stamford Hill Lubavitch Community.
Following the tragedy, an unbelievable achdus between the charedi community emerged over the next few weeks. As both funerals were held back by the local authorities, askonim in both Shuls worked together organizing Shemira and help from across the community was offered in many different ways.
On Friday, 24 Teves, the Bodner family held a Levaya for their son. When it became know that Nochum Tzvi will not be released for a few more days, calls were received from across London and from the wider charedi community, all offering their time for Shemira. In this spirit of achdus Shemira was held for 6 days, until the body was released. The chevra kadisha could not remember when the last time was that there was such a wait and were amazed at the help the community offered.
Both Shuls, still in shock of this enormous tragedy, gathered together on Monday night, once the Potash Shiva had ended, in the Beis Shmuel Shul. The last time such a joint Asifa happened was in the wake of the massacre in the Mumbai Chabad House.
First to speak was Rav Halpern Shlit”a, who mentioned the dangers of the internet and the spreading of Loshon Hora.
Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Hertz, Rov of Anash, Rabbi Mendel Gordon, Mashpia in Yeshiva Gedola and Rabbi Sholom Osdoba, a leading Maggid Shiur in the Shul, represented Anash at this event, their speeches can be seen below.
As reported on COLlive, the community has launched a building campaign to build a permanent building for an Anash Shul in Golders Green, which will be named “Beis Nochum Tzvi.” On her Facebook page, Mrs. Esther Potash has called on all her friends to help this project and many have already responded by sending donations.
“It will be with the help of Anash across the globe that we will comfort the family and the community in building a true memory for this young child, and finally establish a Lubavitch Center in Golders Green, the hub of the UK Jewish Community,” said one of the members of Heichal Menachem.
To donate to the new Beis Nochum Tzvi Shul, click here.
Rabbi Hertz speaks:
Rabbi Osdoba speaks
Rabbi Gordon speaks