Brooklyn, NY – An estimated 2,500 mourners flocked to Borough Park this morning to pay their respects to Rabbi Avraham Yosef Rosenblum, a beloved rosh yeshiva and a brilliant talmid chochom whose insightful words and heartfelt advice made him a father figure to generations of talmidim.
As previously reported on VIN News(http://bit.ly/2oQTJc8), Rabbi Rosenblum had been in poor health over the past year. He passed away on the last day of Pesach at Maimonides Hospital at the age of 90.
The funeral took place at 10 AM Wednesday morning at Yeshiva Shaarei Yosher located on 16th Avenue at 41st Street, where Rabbi Rosenblum had served as the rosh yeshiva for many years.
The school encompassed a yeshiva ketana, a mesivta and a kolel and in recent years Rabbi Rosenblum found himself educating the grandchildren of some of his earliest students. Several streets in the area were completely closed to traffic to accommodate the crowds of people who came to bid a final farewell to their beloved Rebbe, whose warm smile and humility were apparent to all.
The first to address the crowd was the Kossover Rebbe, Reb Shraga Hager, a talmid of Rabbi Rosenblum, who said that as per the wishes of the niftar, the yeshiva’s long time mashgiach, Rabbi Chaim Rosenberg would be succeeding Rabbi Rosenblum at Shaarei Yosher.
Others who eulogized Rabbi Rosenblum were Rabbi Rosenberg, Rabbi Avraham Chaim Steinwurtzel, rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Shaarei Yosher, Rav Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha and two of Rabbi Rosenblum’s sons.
In his hesped, Rabbi Ephraim Wachsman of Monsey shared a story of how a man walking in the street one day asked Rabbi Rosenblum to direct him to the nearest barber, not realizing that he was speaking to a revered rabbi. Instead of giving the man directions, Rabbi Rosenblum took the man to his own home and cut the man’s hair himself, never once revealing his identity.
That quiet sense of humility was very much a part of Rabbi Rosenblum’s character, explained Rabbi Usher Labin, a talmid of Rabbi Rosenblum.
“He never used the words ‘I’ or ‘me’,” Rabbi Labin told VIN News. “He had so much life experience but he never spoke about himself.”
While Rabbi Rosenblum was immersed in his learning through all hours of the day and night and often appeared to be isolated in his own world, students in the yeshiva always knew that Rabbi Rosenblum was always there for them.
“Talmidim felt very close to him,” said Rabbi Labin. “He was the address where they went with problems, whether you had questions about life or an issue in your marriage. He helped many people privately as well as many yeshivos and mosdos. At the levaya you could hear all the people weeping and crying as if they had lost a father.”
In addition to sharing complex divrei Torah, Rabbi Rosenblum lectured often on the importance of aiming high.
“He was very much against mediocrity and always encouraged people to do more and to try harder,” recalled Rabbi Labin. “He would help boys connect with their feelings and would also stress the importance of midos, even about something as simple as not coming in and making a mess when your mother had just finished cleaning up.”
Following the funeral the procession headed north for burial in Monsey where large crowds turned out to honor Rabbi Rosenblum who was laid to rest at the Vizhnitzer Beis Olam on Route 306.