By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Dovid Edelman, who is said to be the oldest Chabad Shliach in the world who led Chabad in Western Massachusetts, passed away on Friday, Tevet 11, 5775.
In an interview with JEM, Rabbi Edelman told of a rare comment he heard from the Rebbe while he was a student at the Central Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim at 770 Eastern Parkway, circa 1942.
The Rebbe told him and other students present that he had asked the Frierdiker Rebbe how he should be interacting with the many Jews that come to his office with requests.
The answer: “If a Jew comes to your office and he is “missing a hand” – he doesn’t put on Tefillin, or “he’s missing a foot” – he doesn’t go to shul, to that Jew you have to have a deeper love, because he is lacking. The more he is lacking, the greater your love has to be to that Jew.”
This fundamental lesson in loving one’s fellow Jew has been a guiding light in Rabbi Edelman’s life, as he led and expanded the Lubavitcher Yeshiva Academy Day School in Springfield, Massachusetts, for over 60 years.
When Rabbi Edelman arrived, the school had an enrollment of several dozen students, Chabad.org reported. For many decades, his duties ranged from bringing the children to school in his station wagon in the morning to making payroll late at night—and everything in between.
VIDEO: Rabbi Edelman speaks about his childhood and life in Massachusetts
Throughout, he has touched the lives of many people through his sincerity and ability to relate to people. He has dedicated his life to promoting Judaism and nurturing the Jewish soul.
“You can always count on Rabbi Edelman to be there for the sake of a mitzvah; whether it is time to shake the Lulav and Etrog on Sukkot or to share hand-baked Shmurah Matza for Passover, he is there,” said philanthropist Diane Troderman.
Just last week, students, friends and admirers joined him to celebrate his 90th birthday and presented him an album of their 90 good acts of kindness and mitzvos that were done in his honor.
“He was beloved by everyone,” his son-in-law, Colonel Jacob Goldstein told COLlive.com. “For all the years I know him, I never heard him say anything negative about someone else. He was devoted to the Rebbe and that was also shown through his Ahavas Yisroel.”
He is survived by his wife Mrs. Leah Edelman, their children Mrs. Seema Goldstein – Crown Heights; Mrs. Tzirl Deitsch – Crown Heights; Sterna Sara Tenenbaum – Crown Heights; Rabbi Yisroel Edelman – Deerfield Beach, FL; R’ Yossi Edelman – Crown Heights; Mrs. Zlata Mochkin – Crown Heights; Mrs. Sheina Ezagui – Crown Heights; Mrs. Esther Kosofsky – Longmeadow, MA; grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
The levaya will take place on Sunday, 13 Teves at 9:00 AM from Springfield and pass by 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn at 2:15pm.
The family: Rebbetzin Leah Edelman, and children, Mrs. Seema Goldstein – Crown Heights; Mrs. Cyrel Deitsch – Crown Heights; Mrs. Sterna Tenenbaum – Crown Heights; Rabbi Yisroel Edelman – Deerfield Beach, FL; R’ Yossi Edelman – Crown Heights; Mrs. Zlata Mochkin – Crown Heights; Mrs. Sheina Ezagui – Crown Heights; Mrs. Esther Kosofsky – Longmeadow, MA; and his brother Menashe Edelman – New Jersey, will be sitting shiva at the home of Rebbetzin Leah Edelman, 29 Silver Birch Drive in Longmeadow. until Friday afternoon.
Shacharis will be at 7:00 a.m.
Minchah will be at 4:00 p.m. followed by maariv.
Phone number, 413-384-2157
The family email address for condolences is: RabbiEdelmanLegacy@gmail.com
The family has setup a blog to share stories and memories of Rabbi Edelman: RabbiEdelmanLegacy.blogspot.com
Baruch dayan haemes.