From the time he was a young man, Rabbi Mattis Blum spent hours each week compiling his own original thoughts on the weekly Torah portion, distributing them to many synagogues each week. He passed away on April 4 after contracting COVID-19.

Blum, who was rabbi of Congregation Torah Lodaas in Queens, N.Y., was an unusually diligent and organized individual.

Rabbi Dovid Sheinfeld, a close friend, told the Queens Jewish Link, “Rabbi Blum amassed a tremendous amount of knowledge, but always acted in a subdued manner, often concealing his true depth.”

He added, “He was a meticulous individual who was extremely organized and began preparing his parshah sheets as a young man a full year-and-a-half in advance. In Camp Agudah, Rav Blum would literally be immersed from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., writing his interpretations often with the assistance of his brother Rav Moshe Blum.”

Blum would go on to publish several volumes of his innovative teachings. In addition to his congregational duties, he was a teacher in girls’ high schools in Brooklyn and Queens, where he taught Jewish law to thousands of young women over the years.

“He was such an exceptional Baal Midot [‘person of character’] and such a pleasant person,” recalled one former student. “I had the privilege of having him as a halachah [Jewish law] teacher in high school. We loved his upbeat attitude and the way he delivered his lessons with so much humor. I will never forget the strength he displayed when his [first] wife (Etti] of many years passed away. He was a paradigm of Torah and derech eretz.

Blum is survived by his wife, Sharon, and 10 children. He is also survived by his parents, Rabbi Zishe and Rhonda Blum; brothers Rabbi Moshe Blum and Avi Blum; and a sister, Miriam Finestone.

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