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Baruch Dayan HaEmes - Rav Eichenstein zt"l from Chicago

It is with deep sadness that I am writing this. Rav Eichenstein zt"l was the rav who sent me to Eretz Yisrael back in 2006, shortly after my conversion. To this day, I can say that he was the only rav to truly believe in me. He felt that if I was not put in yeshivah, I would be lost, and so it was he who suggested that I go to Eretz Yisrael to yeshivah. He paid for my plane ticket and all the expenses to get me to yeshivah. He cared for me like a father cares for his son, showed me love, and always wanted to know how I was doing. Everything I have is because of this rabbi. Even this site—ultimately, it is because of him. Whatever little Torah I have, it is because of him. I am sure he davened for me all the time, and I feel with all my heart that now, finally, I may have someone up Above who will speak up on my behalf, daven for me, and put in a good word or two to the Creator of the World. Tomorrow is the kevurah in Yerushalayim, and I will be there to pay my final respects to the rabbi who made my conversion mean something and who invested time and money to help me be the best Akiva that I could be. Klal Yisrael lost a big rabbi—a holy rabbi who did so much for the Chicago community. He was more than just Torah; he was all chesed. That's what he did, day in and day out. I miss him dearly.

Here is an excerpt from about Rav Eichenstein zt"l.

It is with great sadness that reports the petirah of the Ziditchoiver Rebbe of Chicago, Rav Yehoshua Heschel Eichenstein zt”l. He was 81. Known for his immense chochmah, humility, and dedication to Torah and avodas Hashem, Rav Eichenstein left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him.

Born into a distinguished rabbinical family, Rav Eichenstein carried forward the illustrious legacy of his forebears with grace. His father, Rav Avrohom Eichenstein, instilled in him a deep love for Torah learning and a commitment to Klal Yisroel.

In Chicago, Rav Eichenstein expanded the kehillah built by his grandfather and namesake, Rav Yehoshua Heshel Eichenstein, the first Zidichover Rebbe of Chicago, to include more than 50 different programs benefiting the city’s residents with services ranging from convenient to critical.

Under the warm and caring direction of Rav Eichenstein, The Chicago Center has grown into a vital institution offering a variety of Torah, chesed, and refuah programs. This center has become a cornerstone of Jewish life in Chicago, uniting the community and enriching Jewish living through its comprehensive services and programs.

Rav Eichenstein was not only a noted talmid chochom, but also a compassionate rov who cared deeply for his mispallelim. He was always available to offer hadracha, support, and encouragement, regardless of the time of day. His home was a beacon of hachnosas orchim, where guests were welcomed with warmth and generosity.

Rav Eichenstein’s dedication to chesed and tzedakah were extraordinary, and he inspired others to follow in his footsteps.

Rav Eichenstein’s petirah leaves a void that will be deeply felt by his family, admirers, and the greater Chicago community.

He is survived by his devoted rebbetzin, their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

His children include Rav Pinchos Eichenstein of Chodrov-Chicago, Rav Yissocher Dov Eichenstein of Baltimore, Rav Yecheskal Eichenstein of Marine Park Brooklyn, and Rav Zalman Leib Eichenstein of Chicago.

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