The following eulogy was given by Rav Avrohom Baruch Zachariash on 27-Apr-2020 at the Har HaMenuchos Cemetery. The entire Hesped is available online. Below is just the first 6 minutes.
I would like to start and say that I feel a great obligation – not only as a son – not only as a Talmud – but I feel that I’m the Oracle of all of my sisters, nephews, nieces, children who really would like to say something and express the deep loss that each and every one had in their very particular way. The Chasam Sofer asks a kasha in this week’s parsha: The Torah says about the day of Yom Kippur that the day itself is mechaper. The Pesikta brings a pasuk as a proof to this, and the Chasam Sofer asks “what do we need a special proof? We said already said a few times in the parsha about all of the karbonos that Yom Kippur is mechaper, and this pasuk that says Yom Kippur is mechaper Chazel tell us is compared to misas tzaddikim which is mechaper on the dor.
Says the Chasam Sofer: beforehand we spoke about korbanos: When a person brings a korbon, the korbon is mechaper. That is understood. However “Ki beyom hazeh mechaper” – the day of Yom Kippur itself is mechaper without a korbon. Misas tsadikim is mechaper on all of those who have a relationship with that person, how great the person is, how far it extended his personality to affect those around him – they receive a kapara automatically without even doing anything!
It seems to me a dovor pashut – a kal v’chomer – a ben beno shel kal v’chomer: If each and every person takes the “yom hazeh” the “yom kasha umareh” of my father’s kevurah – to be makriv from themselves to HaKadosh Baruch Hu – vadai, not only will they have a kapara, but we will be closer to Hashem. Ha Kadosh Baruch Hu should be meser the charon af m’amo, m’hatorah, m’kiyum hamitzvos in this time when klal Yisroel is feeling so much pain from the rehook of the shechina which we have.
My father was an unusual person; I feel that he was synthesized between a Moshe and an Aaron. On one side he was a Moshe Rabbeinu; a mechanech. L’sheim ultifeires I remember the trips that he took his kids on; The contest that he took kids on; to get them to learn baal peh; the prizes that he gave them each and every child; to the level that they would enjoy something to bring them closer to Torah. That was an aspect of Moshe.
There was an aspect of Aaron who was mekarev ish al re’eihu; he was mekarev people of avodas HaKadosh Baruch Hu; and between these two components of my father I think lies the gimel devarim sh’omei ha’olam omeid: Hatorah, ha’avoda v’gemilus chasadim.
I would like to just mention a few incidents in each of these things which I feel can be a source of chizuk for all of us and our own personal avoda. I heard from many people that learnt in Baltimore that my father was known as the “Walking Mishnah Berureh.” Even in Yerushalayim say to me “here is the son of Rabbi Zachariash, the walking Mishneh Berureh.” I asked my father once “How do you know the Mishneh Berureh so well?” So he looked at me and said dryly, “I learnt it.” “So how did you learn it?” Two blot a day every day for two years, from the age of 14 to 16 he mastered the Mishnah Brewer to the point that he was called the “Walking Mishneh Berureh.” It doesn’t mean it was easy for him. In my father’s den there was a very large shtender and I asked him, “Why do you have such an unusual shtender?” and he said, “The reason why I have this shtender is because I was a Rov in communities that I didn’t have anyone else to learn with and I had to learn myself and I found that I would fall asleep in the middle of learning so I built myself a massive shtender and I only learned standing so I shouldn’t fall asleep – chalilah – in the middle of learning.” A mesiras nefesh for Torah.