Holocast survivor Rabbi Yehoshua Jacobowitz passed away on June 3 as a result of complications due to COVID-19. His age was always debated; at the time of his passing, those who knew him agreed that he was between 97 and 102 years old.

As a young man, he merited to see Reb Shaya’le (Rabbi Yeshaya Steiner) of Kerestir—the revered rabbi from Hungary who passed away in 1925 and whose resting place has become a pilgrimage in recent years.

Growing up in the golden age of Chassidic masters and teachers, Jacobowitz would travel to soak in the inspiration of Chassidic courts, famously visiting the court of the Minchas Elazar—Rabbi Chaim Elazar Spira of Munkatch, who passed away in 1937.

After surviving World War II and the Holocaust, Jacobowitz made his way to Vienna, where he married. He then secured passage to Antwerp, Belgium, where he became close with the rebbes of Pshevorsk until he left for the United States.

uilding his home in Brooklyn, N.Y., Jacobowitz became an adherent of the Rachmastrivka dynasty and its Rebbe, Rabbi Chai Yitzchok Twersky. Jacobowitz was at his element at Chassidic gatherings in the rebbe’s home, absorbing the atmosphere with unbridled passion and excitement. He would spend hours in prayer at the Munkatch Shul in Borough Park—meditating, studying and offering a kind word to everyone.

In his will, it was discovered that Jacobowitz wanted the number tattooed on his arm by the Nazis to be etched onto on his gravestone for perpetuity, along with the sincere request that people learn some Torah and do a mitzvah in his memory.

He is survived by extended family.

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