Hershel Huld, the founder of the iconic seltzer brand Mayim Chaim—the seltzer of choice in Chassidic Brooklyn, N.Y., and beyond—passed away on May 16 after contracting COVID-19.

Mayim Chaim has a special place in the hearts of many, gracing the weekly Shabbat table where memories are made. It was the first to attain mehadrin kashrut (strictly kosher) certification in New York and can be found at many a celebration, its bubbly contents tingling the senses.

Huld was born in Israel, where he studied at the Ponevezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He moved with his family to the United States when he was a teenager and once there went to study in Detroit.

He traveled to Israel frequently—as often as six times per year—during the lifetime of his beloved mentor, Rabbi Asher Freund of Jerusalem. There, he used to visit the gravesite of Shimon bar Yochai in Meron, Rachel’s Tomb and the burying places of other righteous people. He gave generously to many charitable causes in both America and Israel.

Huld founded Mayim Chaim at the advice of the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum. The venture proved wildly successful as their seltzer soon attracted a loyal base of fans with many claiming it far surpassed any other seltzer.

He is survived by his three sons and seven daughters, in addition to grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

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