London – Jewish Community Of Stamford Hill Stunned By Tragic Drowning Of Prominent Member

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    Rav Breisch on the far right. Photo credit David Braun-VINNews.comLondon – London’s Jewish community has been plunged into mourning following the shocking drowning this morning of R’ Chaim Breisch, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivas Mesivta of London, who had been spending time at the home of his brother in law R’ Shmili Berger in Ramsgate, approximately eighty miles east of London.

    According to BBC reports, Kent police were called to West Cliff Road in Broadstairs at approximately 11:40 this morning following reports of two men struggling in the water of Louisa Bay. Both R’ Breisch and his chavrusa who had accompanied him to the water were removed from the water and taken to Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother Hospital in Margate. 30 year old R’ Yitzchak Beigel was not seriously injured and is reportedly in stable condition. News sources in the United Kingdom reported extremely large waves and rough water in the area today.

    R’ Breisch, who was 65 years old at the time of his petira, was born in Switzerland and was the son of R’ Shimon Breisch Shlita and the grandson of R’ Yaakov Breisch z’l, author of the well known Chelkas Yaakov. He was the nephew of the current Rov of Zurich, R’ Shaul Breisch and brother in law to the current Brisker Rosh Yeshiva, R’ Avrohom Yehoshua Soleveichik.

    A Satmar chosid, R’ Breisch was the maggid shiur in the Satmar yeshiva for eighteen years, before eventually taking on the position of Yeshivas Mesivta in London, a yeshiva that was so well known it attracted many talmidim from overseas, particularly Brooklyn. While R’ Breisch was well known for the tremendous clarity of his shiurim and his ability to explain even the deepest subjects in Gemara, his ability to connect with the bochurim in his yeshiva was equally legendary.

    Asked to describe one quality that best personified R’ Breisch, one former talmid immediately zeroed on R’ Breisch’s inherent goodness.

    “He had a lev tov, a good heart,” Yida Leib Rappaport told VIN News. “He would bring food from his own home for talmidim and he would talk to the bochurim about anything, even things that were beyond the subject of limud, just to hear whatever they had to say. He had a gevaldige lev tov and it was very obvious in his attitude towards his talmidim.”

    Although R’ Breisch came from a wealthy family and married the daughter of the well known Rabbi Gedalya Ostreicher z’l, also a man of means, he lived simply and a former neighbor recalled that he never had his own driver, instead preferring to walk.

    “He was very tzniusdik, and it was his greatest pleasure to help another Yid,” recalled Nuchem Perlberger. “Usually you can categorize someone as a talmid chochom, smart or funny, but R’ Breish was someone who literally had all of those qualities. He was also full of humor and you could discuss anything with him. Give him a piece of politics and he would learn it and analyze it, almost like a piece of Gemara until he understood it completely.”

    The suddenness of R’ Breisch’s petira has left the community of Stamford Hill struggling to deal with an indescribable loss.

    “To go in such a sudden way, it is almost as if he was kidnapped from us,” said Perlberger. “Hashem chose the best from us and it has left us totally shaken. He was one of those faces you always saw in the Beis Medrash, because he was always there – davening, learning, saying Tehillim – it was as if he was part of the furniture of the Beis Medrash.”

    The chevra kadisha is still waiting for the body to be released by the medical examiner, but they are hopeful that the levaya will take place tomorrow.

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    25 COMMENTS

    1. BDE im a Talmud i learned by him for 2 Years, he was a very chusever yid and a big Talmud Chuchom, terrible and shocking news….

      (R’ Shimon Breisch z’l )this is a mistake…. His father Reb Shimon is still alive till amv”s

    2. This news is very shocking, he will be utterly missed, the talmidim know that he was able to make eveyone feel good. Always ask details as if he was sincerely interested, oy reb chaim…..

    3. BDE. This only reinforces the importance that everyone in the yeshivish and chassidish kehillahs learn how to swim. If this tragedy serves as a reminder and saves just one life in the future, it will be a great memory to this tzadik.

      • Where in the article does it say that he didn’t know how to swim ? The problem was the large waves and rough seas. Even a good swimmer would have difficulty. BDE

        • If he was such a godel why did in go in when there was “the large waves and rough seas”? But he did go in, so I can only conclude that . . . Sh sh sh . . . (censor me)

        • Why would a rav in hid mid-60s who is not a strong swimmer be taking a recreational swim off the coast of England in icy waters in large waves and rough seas??

          • i am just speechless, this was so fast without a warning, and reb chaim is not here anymore, i cant believe it, it sounds like a bad dream……..he was such a teiara yid, such a deep brain, in his hayday he would learn with such depth and passion….and he would say tehilim with such a deveikus like a little boy.
            im really crying

          • He wanted to Toivel. He was staying in his brother in laws house. There is no mikva in the area. It is very normal for holidaying yiden to toivel in the sea. Unfortunatley he was unaware of the serious dangers involved on this occasion. He was a special special yied and was not going for a recreational swim.

      • Extremely stupid comment. Exceptionally stupid.

        1) This had nothing to do with slamming capabilities. He was swamped by a wave that hurled him against a rock and he was severely injured.

        2) Many experienced swimmers drown as well.

        3) in my experience as a lifeguard for many years I have that “yeshivish” and ” chasidish” swim just fine.

        You thought you had a wise remark, however your remark just showed how distant you are from wise.

    4. The gemorah mentions that in the times of Moshiach the ribno shel oilem will pluck tazadikim everyday from us. Tzadikim are being plucked away from us over the last few months. Scary times we live in.

    5. I myself (probabely like others) feel like he was my father, always cared for me, as a bochur and even after I got married, he always was worried and cared for me, I still can’t come to terms, may he be a MEILITZ YOSHER to all of us,

    6. 1) There is no mention in this article abaut a Brisker Rebbe.

      2) The article says, he is the son of R’ Shimon Breish shlite, not z”l

      3) Talmidim of R’ Chaim posting on the internet? I am sure he wouldn’t aprove of it.

    7. Truly shocking! Mesivta yeshiva is an amazing yeshiva. What a tragic loss.

      And there was a headmistress mrs lauria also niftar today.

    8. Ex Stamford Hill: can u pls confirm with me about Mrs Luria? I’m in shock. She was my principle and I worked with her the last few yrs when I moved to Lakewood.

      • She apparently was sick for a few years. Only know that she passed away. I Left yesodey hatorah school 25 years ago. Pewh! Brixton more like!so happy u had the opportunity to work with her. I guess u were one of those teachers that had favourtism. The clever the rich ect.

    9. isn’t it interesting,not a single word is mentioned about the courageous non jew who jumped into the water and rescued the other yungerman,
      and of course also not mentioned that these two idiots where warned by passerby’s not to dare to go into the water as they were very treacheous and stormy,
      as for commenter #5, the MALOCH HAMOVES did not kidnap him,no he was not plucked from us by HASHEM,he did it to himself,he had absolutely no business being in that water

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