The 4th of Sivan marks the yahrtzeit of Hachasid, Rabbi Sholom DovBer Alperowitz, of blessed memory, who passed away last year Erev Shabbos/Erev Shavuot, exactly as the days repeat themselves this year.
True to his accountability on a daily basis, recognizing the preciousness of time and making every minute count, he returned his soul to his Maker as he neared the completion of the count of Sefirat HaOmer.
A biography of his life – his achievements, his sincerity and warmth, his hiskashrus to the Rebbe and his energetic response to the Rebbe’s mivtzoim – is beyond the scope of this writing. Instead, its focus is on just one aspect of his impressionable characteristics, which led to the launching of a B’al Peh learning project conducted in several schools this past year.
The following was written by his granddaughter, Bracha Hecht, Orange, CT:
Every setting that merited his presence was changed forever. Because of him, the wooden bench in the park, the airplane in flight, and the city bus on the road reached their purpose of creation. Because of his words, they, too, are now prepared to greet Moshiach. Such strength! Such power that words have! Words can change the face of the earth from a coarse, physical jungle to a bright, peaceful, and beautiful garden. And this is the impact of words of Torah which were constantly recited by my Zeidy, R’ Sholom DovBer.
During his lifetime, words of kedusha would flow from his ever-moving lips. Between davening Shacharis, Mincha, and Maariv, between meals and acts of kindness, during his doctor visits and during the late, quiet hours of the night, Zeidy was uttering words of Tehillim, Tefilla, Tanya. I truly believe Zeidy embodied the admirable trait of using every moment to its fullest potential by elevating the physicality around him.
Last year, on Daled Sivan, 5775, Hashem decided that Zeidy fulfilled his fair share in preparing the world for Moshiach.
But how can we continue his legacy? What started as a project at our Beth Chana High School in Connecticut, in honor of my Zeidy, drew the participation of several other schools. The project was named “Kanfei Sholom” – the wings of Harav Sholom DovBer ben Reb Chaim Moshe. These wings are the words of Torah B’al Peh which allowed him to soar during his lifetime and which, continued by his descendants and his students, will cleanse our physical world and enable his neshama to reach elevated spiritual heights.
Zaidy was always “Metaher Ha’Avir, purifying the air with the holy words of Torah, Tanya, and Tehillim whenever he was on the go and wherever he went. During his many years as a Mechanech, he encouraged his students to memorize the lines they learned. In this way, the holy words would always be “fluent in one’s mouth” and occupy one’s head.
As a granddaughter who admired Zeidy through all my years, I realize that “Kanfei Sholom” is more than just a project. It is an unforgettable memory. Every word will become complete chapters that I, and all who join in emulating his ways, will, with Hashem’s help, remember and review while sitting on a park bench, flying in an airplane or traveling in a city bus. This was so dear to his heart. No doubt, with every additional line memorized, I will be making him proud.
This is how I will keep Zeidy with me at all times. And I will be using every moment to its fullest potential. Just like Zeidy did.
The “Kanfei Sholom” project sponsored seforim for schools that conducted Torah B’al Peh programs. The family looks forward to include more schools in the year to come, so that many more students can be motivated to recite Torah verses B’al Peh. As one student so beautifully expressed, “Torah learned ‘by heart’ will always stay in my heart.”
If you would like to help us in this educational endeavor, click now on www.chabadcapecod.com/donate and indicate Kanfei Sholom. Or, if you would like to have a B’al Peh program at your school for the coming year, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org .
The family is also proud to present a new children’s book, Dovi & Tovi Wait for Moshiach, published L’Ilui Nishmas Sholom DovBer ben Chaim Moshe and Doba Gita, by his daughter Rochel Berkowitz. The book illustrates a song that he always sang to his children and grandchildren, instilling a constant yearning for Moshiach. The simple lyrics make it easy for children to sing along, and the colorful illustrations vividly portray the days of Moshiach as a child would imagine.
The book will be available for purchase at local bookstores. Check the website www.doviandtovi.com , for more information and to download the music.
May we be Zoche to והקיצו ורננו שוכני עפר והוא בתוכם