it is with great sadness that we report the passing of Harav Dovid Moshe Lieberman, OBM, Chief Rabbi of Antwerp, Belgium, and founder of the Merkaz Rabbonei Europe rabbinical organization. He was 96 years old • Full Story
Rabbi Lieberman was born in Cologne (Köln), Germany on April 14, 1925 to his Polish immigrant parents from Mielc. His father, Reb Yitzchak Isaac, was a diamond merchant, and his mother, Sarah Hinde, was a descendant of many Chassidishe Rebbes of Poland. His parents moved to Antwerp when he was one year old.
Sarah Hinde escaped with her son to France when WWII broke out, but she was imprisoned in the Rivesaltes camp. Sarah Hinde knew that they are being deported, and she sent her son an emotional letter and her marriage ring. Two weeks later she was deported to Auschwitz. and sent to Auschwitz, where she perished. Reb Isaac survived and later lived in Eretz Yisrael.
Rabbi Lieberman had learned in the yeshiva in Heide, Belgium, before WWII.
Yoseph Yitzchok Schneerson, the previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, sent Rabbi Lieberman to Chicago in 1949, and after staying there for many years, he served as a Menahel in Yeshiva Bais Yehudah in Detroit before assuming the position as Rav of Shomrei Hadas in 1981. He was admired by all, and many in the Machzikei Hadas kehillah in Antwerp would consult with him regularly.
In 1950, he married his Rebbetzin, Chaya, a”h, who was born in Kharkov and spent the War year in Uzbekistan. She was niftarin 2013.
In his later years, he suffered from macular degeneration and lost his eyesight, but maintained his learning schedule by having chavrusos who would read the seforim that they were learning from, and by a technological device which read the words of the seforim for him. He even made a siyum hashas from what he learned after losing his eyesight.
Rabbi Lieberman had been hospitalized for quite a while, but on Wednesday, 24 Shvat/January 26, he asked to be brought home. That afternoon, he asked for his hat to daven minchah, and then made a brachah of Shehakol for a drink, and his lofty neshamah left him that evening on 25 Shvat, exactly 9 years to the day after the petirah of his Rebbetzin.
Rabbi Lieberman had many children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His grandson, Rabbi Mendy Chitrick, is the Rov of Istanbul, Turkey and Chairman of Alliance of Rabbis in Islamic State.
He is survived by his children Rabbi Tzemach Menachem Mendel Lieberman – Ashkelon, Eretz Yisroel; Mrs. Rochel Chitrik – Tzfas, Eretz Yisroel; Mrs. Sara Hinda Kaplan – Tzfas, Eretz Yisroel; Rabbi Tzvi Lieberman – Edgware, UK; Mrs. Esther Wilhelm – Zhitomir, Ukraine; Mrs. Yehudis Krasnjansky – Melbourne, Australia; Mrs. Shulamis Pinson Brussels, Belgium; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He will be buried on Har Hazeisim in Jerusalem
Boruch Dayan Hoemes
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