Humble and unassuming, Rabbi Asher Zelig Gottlieb was a beloved community member in the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y. He passed away on March 31 after succumbing to COVID-19.

Gottlieb was a respected elder congregant at the Empire Shtiebel and would also pray at the central Chabad synagogue at 770 Eastern Parkway.

Paying tribute, a community member wrote: “Since I started davening every Shabbos in 770 in 1995, I found a seat on the second table behind the bimah. On the end of that bench, consistently without fail, would be seated a quiet Chassid that would come learn, daven and silently leave after davening. He did not talk at all during davening or Krias HaTorah [Torah reading], and it took me a few years to even know his name. At that point, I did not know how learned he was and how much he knew. We would wish each other ‘Good Shabbos’ every week, and that was the extent of our interaction for quite some time.

“As I got older, and really began to appreciate this humble and gentle Chassid, he would ask some questions in learning and we actually got closer, when I got married and moved to Cincinnati. Our ‘table’ with people spanning many different age groups has really developed into a ‘community,’ and Reb Asher Zelig was part of that community.”

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