By VIN News
Reb Shulem Fisher, a prominent businessman and Erloi chassid who performed numerous acts of charity and supported many widows and orphans, passed away Thursday, 4 Iyar 5782 in Laniado hospital, Netanya.
He was 65 and battled cancer over the past two years.
Reb Shulem Fisher was born on 13 Iyar 5717 (1957). His father, R’ Shimshon Fisher was one of the owners of the Eretz Yisrael hotel and hosted many poor and lonely people in the hotel.
Shulem was 7 years old when his father passed away. Having been orphaned so young, Reb Shulem was especially sensitive to widows and orphans and would support many of them on a monthly basis.
Fisher’s business enterprises were initially humble – he owned a restaurant in central Tel Aviv, where he continued his father’s custom of feeding the poor and sent food to poor families for Shabbos.
When the property was sold to a wealthy group of lawyers who renovated it, he was forced to close the restaurant. Fisher then decided to invest in a candle factory in Beersheva and succeeded in growing his business enterprises exponentially.
Later he successfully gained a partnership in furniture giant IKEA’s Israel branches, as well as a partial ownership of the Supersol supermarket chain and its subsidiary Yesh supermarkets. He also owned a portion of Blue Square Israel together with Canadian investor Matthew Bronfman.
35 years ago, Fisher used connections with the Rakah communist party in the Knesset to gain access to the tomb of the Chasam Sofer, then in communist Hungary. Fisher accompanied the Admor of Erloi, Rabbi Yochanan Sofer, to the tomb of his illustrious ancestor. Years later Fisher’s son married a granddaughter of the rebbe and maintained contact with the rebbe throughout his life.
Friends and acquaintances describe a uniquely benevolent personality: “One story sums it up. One day Shulem met a poor person, one of those who would show up at the restaurant he owned. Shulem came up to him but he didn’t respond. “Leave me,” the pauper said. “What do you want from me? You have your own affairs.” Fisher didn’t give up, walked with him all the way to his home and tried to talk to him. Despite not succeeding in communicating, Fisher sent him money monthly as well as food and medicines. Later he placed him in a home and paid for his burial, amounting to tens of thousands of shekels.”
Fisher also owned guest houses near Tzfat and would enable large families of widows and orphans to have free vacations on occasion, making them feel that they were doing him a favor and giving him a special mitzvah.
More than two years ago, Fisher fell sick with cancer. In recent months his condition deteriorated and last week he was sedated and respirated. The Erloi rebbe and Rabbi David Abuchatzeira came to visit him. On Thursday morning he passed away.
Reb Shulem Fisher is survived by his nine children, as well as grandchildren and a great-granddaughter born just a month before his passing. He is survived by his brother Reb Dovid Fisher, a property owner and philanthropist in Crown Heights.
The levaya took place from his home in Bnei Brak and at Erloi in Jerusalem to Har Hamenuchos.
Baruch Dayan Haemes.