Rabbi Yitzchock Goldstein, 72, OBM




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    Rabbi Yitzchock Goldstein, 72, OBM

    We are deeply saddened to report on the passing of Rabbi Yitzchock Goldstein OBM, the Rebbe’s Shliach to Madrid, Spain. He passed away on Wednesday, the 29th of Av, 5783 • Full Story

    By Chabadinfo Reporter

    We are deeply saddened to report on the passing of Rabbi Yitzchock Goldstein OBM, the Rebbe’s Shliach to Madrid, Spain. He passed away on Wednesday, the 29th of Av, 5783.

    He was 72.

    Born to his parents, his father was Rabbi Yosef Goldstien OBM, the veteran Mechanech and master storyteller known as Uncle Yossi, who inspired thousands.

    In 5737, Rabbi Goldstein and his wife Shifra (nee Greenberg) were sent by the Rebbe as Spain’s first permanent Shluchim.

    The one who introduced Rabbi Goldstein to the opportunity to be shliach in Spain was Mr. Avrohom Yitzchok Glick, a’h, of England. Before Rabbi Goldstein was married, he was a teacher and youth director in London, where he met Mr. Glick. The two worked together on mivtzaim and other projects.

    One summer, while Mr. Glick was on a business trip to Barcelona, Spain, someone informed him about a Jewish hotel owner in Malaga who, wanting to promote his hotel, decided to try to open a kosher restaurant in his hotel, and asked Mr. Glick if he wanted to meet the man. Mr. Glick, unsure if the Rebbe would want to get involved in a kosher restaurant in Spain because of the complications it would entail, nonetheless, having the possibility of a mikva in mind, decided to ask. He phoned Rabbi Hodakov to ask the Rebbe if he should use this opportunity to assist with this kosher hotel, because subsequently he might be able to build a kosher mikva in that city. A half-hour later, Rabbi Hodakov called Mr. Glick back with the Rebbe’s response: “See if you can possibly take a plane tonight, so you can meet him tomorrow morning if possible. Make an effort to meet him one hour earlier, to make the mikva one hour earlier, so that a Jew can use it one hour earlier.” Mr. Glick took the next flight to Malaga and met the man early in the morning to start the plans rolling for a kosher restaurant in the hotel and to plan the new mikva.

    The hotel owner asked Mr. Glick to find a mashgiach for the restaurant, and Mr. Glick immediately thought of the newly married Goldsteins, who at the time were both teachers in upstate New York. When Rabbi Goldstein asked the Rebbe if he should take the position, the Rebbe answered: “If they [the hotel owners] will obey [halacha], then to be interested, and if there is a doubt, not.” When it was apparent that everything would go according to halacha, Rabbi Goldstein took the position. Rabbi Hodakov told him that he wanted the restaurant to be the standard of kashrus that Rabbi Goldstein would eat. Rabbi Goldstein made sure to have everything in the restaurant with Lubavitch sh’chita, chalav Yisroel, etc., and he did, in fact, eat there.

    Rabbi Goldstien once related to Beis Moshiach magazine:

    “In the beginning, the hotel paid us for 6 months, and then the Rebbe himself supported us for one additional year in Malaga. Then the Toledanos took care of all of our financial needs while we were teaching their children, which continued for 6 ½ years. Eventually, Dovid Toledano decided to leave Spain with his family, so I was only teaching Yehuda’s children. I received only half of my previous salary. Mr. Glick told me to try to obtain local funding, but in the meantime, the Rebbe would send what I would need to make up the missing part. Two years later, Yehuda and his family decided to leave Spain, as well. Again, Mr. Glick told me to try to obtain some local funding, but the Rebbe would send what I needed. We are continuing to search for local support. We hope the day will come when we will have the financial support of the local community.”

    “One year, after we had not seen the Rebbe for 2-3 years, we particularly yearned to spend Tishrei with the Rebbe. But we had some difficulties – one of which was that we didn’t have the money to pay for the tickets, and we also needed permission from Mr. Glick and Rabbi Hodakov before we would ask the Rebbe to come. Turning to the Rebbe as a child turning to his father, I wrote a Pa’N. I wrote about my problems: ‘We feel we need a strengthening, to see the Rebbe, but we don’t have money to buy tickets. Since the Torah recognizes the significance of financial needs, how much more so is the significance of the needs of the soul. We want the Rebbe to bless us to be able to come for Tishrei.’

    “We received a few answers to this letter. Answering the problem about funds, the Rebbe wrote: ‘So there’s your sign.’ In response to the soul feeling a need to come, the Rebbe asked, ‘Since when do you know where it’s better for a soul to be? You’ll succeed in the campaign in Elul when the “king is in the field” and following that, in the month of Tishrei.’

    “I had also written at the end of the letter, ‘We want to be with the Rebbe!’ In response to this statement, the Rebbe wrote, ‘The Baal Shem Tov says that when a Jew thinks of Madrid, he finds himself in Madrid.’ (The words “he finds himself in Madrid” were underlined twice!)

    “In other words, the Rebbe is here with us in Madrid.”

    He leaves behind his family, students and many Baalei Teshuva.

    He is survived by his wife Shifra and children, Shneur Zalman Goldstein – Madrid, Spain, Mendel Goldstein – Crown Heights, Shmuel Goldstein – Crown Heights, Sholom Ber Goldstein – Postville, Iowa, Alter Goldstein – Grenoble, France, Levi Goldstein – Israel, Yisroel Goldstein – Crown Heights, Dini Anton – Bala Cynwyd, PA, Chaya Junik – Crown Heights, Rivka Roth – Monsey, NY, Sara Goldstein – Florida, Devorah Leah Gopin – Crown Heights, Hinda Levin – Bet Shemesh, Israel and many grandchildren.

    He was predeceased by his daughter Menucha Rochel obm.

    Levaya information to be announced.


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