With great sadness we regret to inform you of the passing of Mrs. Henya Lasky, OB”M, one of the oldest Holocaust survivors in Crown Heights, who survived the war in hiding to raise a proud Lubavitch family. She passed away on Wednesday, Erev Rosh Chodesh Nissan. She was 98-years-old.
Mrs. Lasky was born in 1921 in the city of Stryj in Galicia. She grew up in a strong pre-war Polish Frum community. Her earliest memories of how genuine Yiddishkeit was kept, was by going as a shomer with the family maid to the milk farm, in order to keep Cholov Yisroel. The maid carried a locked bucket, which the farmer opened, poured in the milk and then locked again.
She was the only child of Reb Eliyahu and Cipa Gottesman. Her father, a talmid chochom and brilliant accountant, used to be called by the Polish government to help them when a mathematical crisis arose. Known for her brilliant mind and mathematical acumen, Mrs. Lasky was studying in university to be a chemist, when World War II broke out.
She and her parents were zoche to big nisim and survived the war. Her parents gave all their money to a gentile Polish woman who hid them in her home, and unlike others, did not give them up. They lived for eighteen months under a table, hidden by a tablecloth, saying Tehilim, all the while hearing the Gestapo marching outside the window, not knowing if someone had betrayed them.
Upon the conclusion of the war she and her parents left Poland. After a brief stay in France they emigrated to America. While in France, she worked as a secretary for the famous Lieberman and Rubashkin meat factory. She was very gifted linguistically, and spoke six languages fluently. When she arrived to the United States, she worked as a secretary for the American World Jewish Congress.
Upon the passing of her mother, she married Reb Aron Lasky, with an agreement that her father live with them. She displayed exemplary kibud av and took care of him in his old age single-handedly, until his passing.
The Laskys made their home in Williamburg, Brownsville, and later East Flatbush where she and her husband were Mesiras Nefesh Yidden of the Rebbe to keep Chizuk Hashchunah. When the Rebbe instructed people to remain in the declining neighborhood, Mr. Lasky would daven every Shabbos in three different neighborhood shuls with Minyanim at different times, in order to keep each of the shuls open. He often arrived home well after 2:00 p.m. after davening, on a regular Shabbos.
Upon moving to Crown Heights to be near her family, Mrs. Lasky, a highly intelligent woman, was a presence at the shiurim for women in 770. She accompanied her husband every morning to Boro Park so that he could learn in Kollel, up until the week of his passing at the age of 95.
Most recently, she was a daily member of the Shalom Center, and a Mispallel of Rabbi Shain’s Shul. She was known for her refinement, modest personality, warmth, and very deep-rooted Yiras Shomayim. She said the entire Tehilim every day into her ripe old age, for as long as she had the stamina to. She was active until the week of her passing, and lived with her daughter and grandchildren.
Mrs. Lasky is survived by her only child, Mrs. Cipi Junik, and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She left a rich legacy of bringing the pre-war authentic Yiddishkeit, with deep Yiras Shomayim and uncompromising values to contemporary America.
Baruch Dayan Ha’Emes