In a village filled with synagogues and bustling Jewish life, Rabbi Yaakov Elazer Mendelowitz wasn’t just another rabbi. He was one of the Chassidic enclave’s most respected and scholarly rabbis, beloved by his congregants and others who availed themselves to his open door and phone line—at all hours of day and night. He passed away on April 27 after contracting COVID-19.

Communal leadership was something that Mendelowitz exhibited from a young age. In his teenage years, he held the position of gabbai in his yeshivah, the central yeshivah of the Satmar Chassidic group.

He answered a constant stream of halachic queries, often writing scholarly dissertations on his decisions in various Talmudic journals. He also published several halachic works distilled from his lectures.

He served as rabbi of the Halacha Berurah synagogue.

Mendelowitz leaves behind a shattered community, bereft of their beloved, warm leader.

“ ... With his bright and loving smile that will be missed by so many, and the feeling of importance and warmth that he gave everyone, he guided us in the ways of the Torah,” wrote one heartbroken community member.

He is survived by his wife and children.

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