Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Satin & Steel

Leah Gebber

When Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman needed to marry off the orphaned girls he’d raised, he turned to his sister, Rebbetzin Rochel Nussbaum. A story of nerves of steel and yards of satin

Monday, May 29, 2017

 Mishpacha image

MOMENTS OF TRUTH Just hours before he passed away, with all his children gathered around him, Rav Yisroel Grossman instructed Rebbetzin Nussbaum to look in the pocket of his jacket. Inside were three $100 bills — an unusually large sum for her father. “Use it to marry off the girls,” he told her

I t was a request that would change her life.

In 2007, Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman called his sister with a dilemma. Graduation was around the corner. The girls — many of whom were orphans or from severely deprived backgrounds — were welcome to stay in Migdal Ohr indefinitely and benefit from the higher education programs he’d established. But they needed to be shepherded into the world.

It would be better for them to “leave home” to study. Of course, when they had some kind of qualification, they would need to be guided through shidduchim. Then they would need to be married off…

While he took care of marrying off the alumni bochurim, Rav Grossman needed a counterpart to take care of the girls. The task Rav Grossman presented to his sister was crucial — and one that required the utmost delicacy.

“He’s just a year older than me. We were always close.” This is how Rebbetzin Rochel Nussbaum explains the request.

By her side, Miss Fabia Preminger, the Rebbetzin’s partner in all her endeavors, laughs. “The Rav chose Rebbetzin Nussbaum because she’s a powerhouse!”

As a decade’s worth of tales attest, his choice was spot-on.

Rabbanit Ima

With her own large family married off, it would have been easy for Rebbetzin Nussbaum to adopt a slower pace after the busy years of raising her children. She could have focused solely on being present for her husband, the revered Rav Naftali Nussbaum, a prominent av beis din and rosh yeshivah of Yeshivas Chayei Moshe.

It would have been far easier than taking on responsibility for hundreds of girls. Easier than ensuring that each of those girls has a place to study for a profession in which she’ll excel. Definitely easier than looking for shidduchim for those girls — from making inquiries to approving first-date outfits.

 

But easy isn’t a word in the Rebbetzin’s lexicon. Last year alone, Rebbetzin Nussbaum — the girls call her Rabbanit Ima — married off over 300 girls. 

This involved far more than linking arms with the bride and holding a candle while walking the kallah to the chuppah.

“Rabbanit Ima” takes each girl into her heart — and like a mother, she takes the kallah shopping for clothing and linens, appliances and furniture. She soothes away fears and arranges for therapy. She listens, laughs, listens some more, and above all, cares.

Larger than Life

I’m a few minutes early for our interview and I look around the hotel lobby, wondering if the occupant of the couch over is my rebbetzin. She wears a hat atop her sheitel, and her straight back gives her an air of dignity.

I’m about to approach her when the lobby door opens, and, purse flying off one arm, hands clutching sundry shopping bags, slightly out of breath from rushing, there’s a woman in her late sixties, pillbox hat over a short blonde sheitel. There’s an energy about her and I half stand up in greeting. She sees me, rushes over, and wraps me in a hug. No mistaking Rebbetzin Rochel Nussbaum. (Excerpted from Family First, Issue 544, Shavuos 2017 Special Edition)

Related Stories

The Ruth Revolution

Rabbi Menachem Nissel

Dovid Hamelech, ancestor of Mashiach, descended from Ruth, princess of the most depraved nation. Rav...

What Makes Parenting Jewish?

Elisheva Appel

Is there a specifically Jewish approach to parenting? How can we establish what’s true to our mesora...

My G-d Is Your G-d, My Kitchen is Your Kitchen

Riki Goldstein

When a non-Jew wants to follow Ruth’s example and join our Nation, there’s a long road ahead of her

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


 
What Are We Supposed to Do?
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A tried-and-true remedy — and it shook the heavens
Badgered into Submission
Yonoson Rosenblum Avatars of political correctness in search of dissenters
Drinking Doubt Away
Eytan Kobre Meaning is indispensable for generating happiness
Checks and Balances III
Mishpacha Readers The conversation continues...
Memorable Melodies of Modzhitz
Rabbi Mordechai Besser The struggling survivors became kings in shul on Shabbos
A Whole Song and Dance
Rabbi Ron Yitzchak Eisenman One of those small acts that are giant leaps of chesed
Diamonds
Jacob L. Freedman MD "Each Jewish woman is a bas Melech, Dr. Freedman!"
Streamlined Service
Riki Goldstein "JewishMusic Stream is still about classic kosher music”
Perfect Harmony
Riki Goldstein "The arrangements literally changed the entire song"
Hang On to the Glow
Riki Goldstein Back to the warm camp Shabbos memories
Marking Miracles
Faigy Peritzman The miracles are there, but our eyes are blind to them
Going Against the Current
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Wise to deny our kids something all their friends have?
Clothed in Splendor
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz When dressing up is spiritual, not superficial
The Spokesman: Part IV
D. Himy, M.S. CCC-SLP and Zivia Reischer Every sentence tells a story; make yours well told