UNSPEAKABLE TRAGEDY: Chosson and Kallah Yisroel Levin z”l and Elisheva Kaplan a”h Killed in Car Accident


It is with utter shock and sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Yisroel Levin z”l and Elisheva Kaplan a”h, a chosson and kallah recently engaged who were killed in an automobile accident early this morning.

The incident occurred at about 1:40 a.m. when five cars collided in a chain-reaction crash on the Nassau Expressway in Lawrence on the Queens/Long Island border, just outside of Kennedy International Airport in New York. Yisroel and Elisheva were reportedly trapped when their car caught fire during the crash.

Five were injured, and two of those injured are now under arrest as homicide detectives are looking into the possibility that they were driving while intoxicated.

Nassau County Police Department spokesman Detective Lt. Richard LeBrun said that a heavy fog had covered the area at the time of the crash and that the weather conditions could have been a factor in the accident.

Yisroel was a son of Rabbi and Mrs. Shaya Levin of Flatbush. The Levins are noted members of the community, beloved mispallelim of the Mirrer Yeshiva and Agudas Yisroel Snif Zichron Shmuel, and cherished friends of so many.

Yisroel was a brother of Ari (Aryeh) Levin z”l, who tragically passed away at age 26 in January 2016.

Yisroel is survived by his parents, R’ Shaya and Mrs. Leba Levin, and his siblings, R’ Shmuel Dovid Levin, R’ Eli Levin, R’ Yaakov Levin, R’ Dovi Levin, R’ Yoel Levin, R’ Ephraim Mordechai Levin, Mrs. Faigy Jacobson, Mrs. Chaya Raizy Horowitz, and Itty Levin. Itty is engaged to be married in the near future.

Elisheva was a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Joel and Leah Kaplan of Far Rockaway. Residents of Beach 6th Street, the Kaplans are a noted family of baalei chesed and oskim betzorchei tzibbur in the community. Mr. Kaplan has served his children’s yeshiva, Darchei Torah, in various capacities as executive director, president and board member. He is the executive director of the United Jewish Council of the East Side and the chazzan at Congregation Beth Sholom in Lawrence.

Elisheva is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Joel Kaplan, and her siblings, Rabbi Mosey Kaplan, Yaffi Kaplan, Meir Kaplan, Mimi Levison, Rivky Rokowsky, Avraham Yochanan Kaplan, Yona Engelberg, Bryna Kaplan, Chavi Kohanteb, Yitzchok Kaplan, and Faigy Kaplan.

The levayah will be held tomorrow, Thursday, April 5, the fourth day of Chol Hamoed, at 11 a.m., at Yeshiva Darchei Torah, located at 257 Beach 17th Street, off of Seagirt Boulevard, in Far Rockaway.  Elisheva’s kevurah will be held tomorrow at Beth David Cemetery in Elmont, NY, immediately following the levayah. Yisroel’s Aron will be flown on Motzoei Yom Tov to Eretz Yisroel for kevurah there on Sunday, April 8, in Beit Shemesh.

Umacha Hashem dimah me’al kol ponim.



  1. BDE

    so sad in the middle of Yom tov

    May we finally accept Hashem wake up call and do TESHUVA as one loving nation together.

    May his neshama have an Aliya and may both families have a nechama

    • who are you to decide that this is a wake up call to do teshuva, you don’t know why g-d did this and this isn’t your place to tell anyone what to do. You can decide for yourself how to translate it but its people like you who claim this is a “wake up call” that pushes us further from g-d.

  2. If it’s unspeakable, don’t print it. Enough with the hysterical headlines. You don’t have to add agmas nefesh to the article content.

  3. To Rabbi and Mrs. levin and Rabbi and Mrs. Kaplan,
    I don’t know what one can say. All we can say is that we all feel like we lost our own chosson and kallah, like we lost our very own children. We are in this with you. You are not alone. Please stay strong. We are holding on with you.

  4. I am shaken to my core. Both of these families are among the nicest mishpachos you could ever meet. Oy, Hashem, yomar ltzaroseinu dai.

    • I am really sad. I hope klal yisroel as a whole has only simchos from now. I just wanted to point out my disappointment at some people these days. Now, in the year 5778, yisroel and elisheva were unfortunately niftar. That means there are 222 years until mashiach is promised to arrive at, in the year 6000. That’s about 7 generations, assuming each generation is 30 years. Let’s say that if yisroel and elisheva didn’t die, they’d have 8 children, and those children would have 8 children each, and so on. That means the number of people that would’ve lived if not for this tragic occurrence is 8 times 4 times 4 times 4 times 4 times 4 times 4 (I only counted half the children for all the coming generations, seeing as you need 2 people to have kids). Do the math. That equals 20280 people. If each person lives about 75 years, then about 1.5 million years of life were lost in this accident. And here, people writing comments, feel the need to abbreviate the phrase “baruch dayan ha’emes”, and not finish pesukim they are quoting. Now, I, as a 13 year old, everyone tells me I don’t understand the importance of time, and that everyone’s time is very precious. I am saddened even more to see that when commenting on these deaths, people cannot take the extra 10 seconds to write out baruch dayan ha’emes or the extra minute to finish quoting their pasuk.

  5. Words of comfort for yom tov from a psychologist:

    For the niftarim and anyone who knows them:
    They are blessed and fortunate to have completed their mission in this temporary world and are now in a much better and real world then we are all in.

    For the parents and extreme close people to them.
    All of us know from a very young age that if someone could not pass a test (nisayon) then Hashem would not put the person into the situation of the test so we can never question Hashem why did this happen to me or someone I know etc…. and by keeping our butachon and emunah (faith and trust) in Hashem and passing the test a person is raised and brought closer to Hashem and goes to the next level.

    May we all only hear of happy events

  6. L’ilui nishmas Yechezkel ben Yisroel Shulem u’Zvi Yehudah ben Avraham Yitzchok

    A gitten erev yom tov
    I don’t have anything to say that could possibly be comforting today. We heard the news that a young chossen and kallah were tragically killed by a drunk driver very early Wednesday morning in Long Island. There are all of these expressions that we have from Chazal like “Rachmonah litzlan,” and “Hashem Yiracheim” and “Hashem yinkiom domom.” Nothing really helps. Nothing can make this go away or undo it. There is almost no nechomah for people who know them or who didn’t know them. Maybe the only nechomah is that fact that we truly don’t understand and know the Abishter’s cheshbonos. We don’t understand or know anything. Not in our own lives or the lives of others. We waste lifetimes cheshboning the Abishter’s plans, why some are blessed and some are cursed. We literally have no idea. There was a story of someone who went up and came to a friend in a dream. His friend asked him what he saw and he told him that the tachtonim are the elyonim in the oilam ha’emes. Everything is flipped around. Which means that we really don’t understand anything down here as it must be upside down half the time. There is no way to be misayeim here on a happy note, but to end by saying that Peach is the birth of Klal Yisroel and it’s the re-birth of our Emunah and bitachon in Hashem. Look at your life and your family this Yom Tov, and realize that the Abishter is in control of everything. We use the name “Hamokom” because we want the nechamah to go into the right place. The reality is that the Abishter is in control of everyone’s nechomah as well. May He comfort everyone and bring the Geulah in our times, because the suffering has to stop. May we find the strength to get everything we can out of Yom Tov, and may the new levels in our Emunah and Bitachon be a zechus for all of Klal Yisroel. A git Yom Tov.

  7. BD’E
    Yisroel’s presence, attitude and smile lit up his entire surroundings and beyond, he made all those around him happy, he had this contagious positive simcha that resounded with ALL. May his holy nishama have an Aliyah and may it be the rotzon of HS’Y that his dear and special family and all of klal yisroel have a Nechoma and yeshua.
    Elisheva was a special, kind and sweet Nishama
    May her holy nishama have an Aliyah and may it be the rotzon of HS’Y that her dear and special family and all of klal yisroel have a Nechoma and yeshua.
    May it be HS’Y’s rotzon that these special mishpachos and all of klal yisroel shouldn’t experience or know of any tzar and agmas nefesh and all of klal yisroel should be zoche to the coming of moshiach Achshav!!

  8. Baruch dayan haemes. It’s really an unspeakable tragedy, especially taken in the prime of their lives…
    מי שאמר לעולמו די יאמר לצרותינו די
    May we all be blessed to never hear more tzaros, and we should all have only simchas.

    Anyone knows of levaya info for eretz yisrael?

  9. Eli
    Your post is a refreshing departure from so many postings that hysterically demand Teshuva etc. Just a straight forward comforting word based on Emunah and acceptance.

    Simchos and Chag Sameach to all Yidden

  10. To the “psychologist” who preached to the parents how they should react and anyone else who thinks they know how the parents should react:

    I lost a child! How dare you tell parents how to react, how they should have emunah, bitachon. I sincerely hope you never lose a child or suffer an unspeakable tragedy to find out how to react! And even if you did, everyone reacts differently and you have no right to preach! I can speak from my own experience- I look at those who have not suffered immeasurable tragedy as living spoiled comfortable easy lives. If you have all your children, just thank Hashem everyday that you do and never ever tell a parent who has lost a child to have emunah (or anything of the sort)! I can tell you that they cannot relate to your convenient life no matter what other “nisyonos” you may be dealing with and will certainly not take a drasha from someone like you! Sorry if this sounds too harsh but people who have lost children are tzadikim living on a higher plane and it sounds silly for someone who has not experienced this and is living the average hum drum life to preach!

    • To the person with the initials “ya” who addressed the psychologist with indignation. Excuse me, but let’s see if you can relate to MY type of tzoros, after your emotional outburst? I’m a middle-aged spinster with ZERO children and ZERO family who truly care. I’ve some phone pals, but they barely have time to even chat, due to large families. I’m stuck in a house which circumstances & maintenance has been killing me year by year (and worsening), and which generates huge expenses unaffordable for me. I can’t even get insulation or non-drafty windows, due to 50 yrs. accumulation of terrible mold downstairs. The reason i’m a spinster, is because way way back, the EXTREMELY stressful FRUM school system prematurely aged me. That, combined with having inherited genetics which are beyond the pale. At this point, I have multiple excruciating health issues, which none of you can BEGIN to understand, as many of them are machalot meshunos, similar to what some of the victims in Dhuma/Gouta Syria have been enduring. Others are not similar, but also excruciating. The entire unhealthcare system is exactly that – UNhealthcare – full of politics, anguish & deliberate suppression of genuine healing-technologies by the deep-state powers-that-be.

      Frankly, when I view video’s such as the memoir of Ari Levin, in me it evokes internal tears NOT for the usual reasons, but rather because my own life has been ongoingly (to this day) so much more like a Holocaust endurer, than like the normal lives depicted in those video’s. There’s NOT ONE person in the entire frum world who can relate to my experiences. NOT ONE. Certainly not you NOR the aforesaid psychologist (they usually borrow ideas and cliche’s from either the secular or frum world, none of which apply to me, but rather are filled with presuppositions. The only ones who ever came close to knowing what i’ve endured were Chochmat HaYad, and also psychics.

  11. After thinking and thniking I feel this needs to be said. From a woman over 50 who has lived in and near Furm

    No one knows what another is experiencing. A qualified Rabbi, therapist, or elder will tell you this fact. Even your spouse of 30 years doesn’t really know exactly how you feel.

    I do thinking losing a child is among the worst of all sufferings. There is also the “loss” of a living child, when they are lost to drugs and cannot find their way. No one can compare suffering. May their Neshamas have an Aliya.. I had a serious hard loss, like some, I didn’t completely get over it for more than 20 years, but don’t question it any longer. Gd is good, takes a while to get that for some of us, the pain of losing someone is very real.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here