Culture

Famous Hasidic rabbi Taub dies aged 96

Menachem Mendel Taub, rabbi of the Nagykállói (or Kaliv in Yiddish) Hasidic dynasty died aged 96 in Jerusalem on Sunday and was buried the same day according to Jewish tradition.

Taub was born in Margitta/Marghita, Bihor county, Romania in 1923 as a descendant of the Nagykállói dynasty founded by Yitzchak Isaac Taub (1744–1821) of Nagykálló, Hungary. Married shortly before WWII, he was deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp in 1944, where he was experimented upon by Josef Mengele. Because of “chemical burning experiments”, he was unable to grow facial hair or to have children.

He was transferred from Auschwitz to the Warsaw Ghetto and the Breslau concentration camp, and later to Bergen-Belsen. Six months after the war ended, he reunited with his wife in Sweden. In 1947 they immigrated to the United States and settled in Cleveland, Ohio and from there to Israel in 1962.

Mourners in Jerusalem at Menachem Mendel Taub’s funeral (Gil Cohen-Magen, AFP)

 

He re-established the Kaliv Yeshiva (Jewish educational institution dedicated to the study of the Talmud and Torah). He was one of the very few ultra-Orthodox rabbis who gave interviews to the media about his Holocaust experiences. Israel’s chief rabbi, David Lau said Taub was “an ember saved from the flames who, after experiencing the horrors of the Holocaust, ensured the survival of Jewish heritage and brought many people closer to their God in heaven.”