By COLlive reporter
Harav Benzion Lipsker, a leading Chabad rabbi who was a defender of authentic Judaism, passed away in Israel Wednesday, Tishrei 5, 5770.
He was 65 and suffered from severe illness in the last few months.
As Chief Rabbi of the southern Israeli city of Arad, he was known for his outreach to secular Jews and protecting religious Judaism.
Before being appointed to the government-funded post in 5744, he was involved in education, building an institution for immigrant children.
Georgian-born Lipsker and his wife Sara were sent to Israel on Shlichus by the Lubavitcher Rebbe in 5734.
In Arad he built and operated the local Chabad House and established a Smicha – rabbinical ordination institute.
Many residents remembered him for his annual Bar Mitzvah ceremony, where he took 13 year-old boys and their parents to the picturesque Masada mountaintop overlooking the Dead Sea.
Lipsker was also a member of the Chabad Rabbinical Court (Bais Din) in the Holy Land.
He is survived by his wife Sara, and children: Chana Mendelsohn of Arad, Esther Druk of Omrim, Ruth Hillman of Petach Tikva and Nechama Dina Kozlovsky of Kfar Chabad.
He has two brothers living in the U.S.: Rabbi Zalman Lispker, Director of the Va’adah L’dovrei Ivrit Chabad – Israeli center in Philadelphia, PA, and musician Eli Lispker of Crown Heights.
The funeral will be leaving Thursday, 10 AM from his home in Arad to the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem.