By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Baumgarten, a Lubavitcher chossid who lived in Crown Heights and patriarch of a large family, passed away on Friday, 3 Adar I 5779.
He was 92.
After the Second World War, he was sent by the Frierdiker Rebbe to the displaced persons (DP) camps in Europe to support the many Jewish refugees, among them hundreds of Chabad families.
The Rebbe himself, then known as the Ramash, arranged their trip including the tickets and travel plan. While they received the instruction in the month of Kislev, they were told to bring with them flour for Shmura Matzah and raisins for Kosher L’Pesach wine.
Once they arrived, they learned the Joint organization was only going to provide regular Matzah for Pesach. The frum Jews insisted on Mehadrin Matzah despite the hardships of the times.
“We then understood why the Frierdiker Rebbe told us to take such a large amount of flour,” R’ Mendel recalled. “We told the refugees that the Lubavitcher Rebbe thought about them. They couldn’t thank the Rebbe enough. Years later, when I met a few of them who immigrated to the US, they remembered the outstanding shipment from the Frierdiker Rebbe.”
His home was nicknamed “Avraham Avinu’s house” for the open and hospitable approach that he, together with his wife, Nechama obm, had to many visitors for many years.
People from all walks of life, including future baalei teshuva, visiting the Rebbe at Lubavitch Headquarters – 770 Eastern Parkway, lodged at the Baumgarten’s warm home, which inspired many to build a Chassidic family of their own.
He was predeceased by his wife Mrs. Nechama Baumgarten on Friday, 1 Av, 5776.
He is survived by his children Rabbi Yossel Baumgarten – Johannesburg, South Africa; Mrs. Shterna Rodal – Los Angeles, California; Mrs. Breina Popack – Tzfas, Israel; Rabbi Leibel Baumgarten – Hamptons, NY; Rabbi Sholom Ber Baumgarten – Crown Heights; Rabbi Zalman Baumgarten – Crown Heights; Mrs. Chanale Posner – Plantation, Florida; Mrs. Tzirl Suede – Mexico; Rabbi Levi Baumgarten – Crown Heights; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He was predeceased by his brother, Rabbi Berel Baumgarten obm of Argentina, and sister Mrs. Yachet Eichorn obm, of Jerusalem, who yartzeit is also today, 3 Adar I.
The levaya will take place on Sunday, leaving Shomrei Hadas in Boro Park at 11:00 am and passing by 770 Eastern Parkway at 12:00 pm, and then Kahal Chassidim (Baumgarten Shul).
The family will be sitting Shiva at 1608 Carroll Street, Brooklyn, NY. Five minyanim are needed. Shacharis: Two at 7:15 am, two at 8:20 am one at 9:00 am. Mincha & Maariv bizmana.
Baruch Dayan Haemes: Menachem Mendel ben Zev