It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of one of the Yaldei Teheran, Rav Nachman Elbaum zt”l, a legendary baal chessed and baal tzedakah, on Monday in Yerushalayim. He was 94.
Born in Warsaw, Poland, Rav Nachman was a son of R’ Yitzchok Isaac Elbaum.
Rav Nachman learned in Baranovich under Rav Elchonon Wasserman. As the clouds of war spread across Europe, Reb Nachman’s family fled Warsaw, arriving in Tashkent, where Reb Nachman was a member of a Youth Aliyah group of over 700 children who were taken to Israel via Teheran. Led by the secular Hashomer Hatzair, the goal of this group was to secularize the children, who became known as the Yaldei Teheran in one of the most tragic occurrences of the time.
Reb Nachman showed great mesirus nefehs at the camp in Teheran and throughout this difficult ordeal and spoke about the ordeal for the rest of his life to inspire people in their Yahadus and avodas Hashem.
Once in Eretz Yisroel, Reb Nachman learned at Yeshivas Sefas Emes in Yerushalayim and Ponovezh in Bnei Brak, where he was among the founding students.
Reb Nachman married his wife, Chana, a daughter of Rav Berel Ludmir.
Reb Nachman was very close to the admorim of Gur, for whom he conducted many jobs and operations for the betterment of Klal Yisroel, both yechidim and the klal. He lived in both Yerushalayim and New York.
The Elbaum home was devoted to hachnosas orchim, a virtual reshus harabim open to one and all. Reb Nachman’s chesed was the stuff of legend. Stories abound of his never-ending good deeds, many of which he hid from others. The Elbaum home welcomed rebbes and roshei yeshivos, along with paupers and misfits.
Eli Neuberger related: “If you davened at the shtiebel on the West Side during the week, Reb Nachman would say, ‘Come to me for breakfast.’ Then, after finishing his daily daf in Bavli and Yerushalmi and reading Chofetz Chaim for the tzibbur, he would remove his tefillin and rebutton his three piece suit and lead you home. He had all the stories in the world – part of the inner circle in Ger, in Brisk, in Breslov, a talmid of Baranovitch and a resourceful globe-trotting businessman, but he was careful with what he said. He was fascinating without being cheap, colorful without being silly. He was scholarly and savvy and sweet, a twinkle in his eyes as he teased about this or that.”
The levayah was held yesterday in Yerushalayim.
Reb Nachman leaves behind his rebbetzin, Chana, and his children, Reb Nochum, Reb Aryeh, Mrs. Asi Gepner and Mrs. Devorah Benedict.
Yehi zichro boruch.