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Jewish Center of Ulyanovsk

Today is a sad day, aged 101 years passed away, the grandfather of Rabbi Yosef Marsow - Rabbi Mendel of Morozov.

 

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Morosow, the eldest living Chabad chossid in the world and patriarch of a respected large chassidic family with descendants around the world, passed away on Wednesday, 1 Shevat 5778.

 

He was 101, just a month away from his 102nd birthday.

 

Born in 1916 in the village of Lubavitch to his esteemed father Reb Chonye Morozov – confidante and secretary to both the Rebbe Rashab and Rebbe Rayatz – Reb Mendel lived in Russia through the murderous Stalin years and the tumultuous years of WWII.

 

Always sharp, even as a young boy, he played an active role in saving his father from the Soviet secret police agency NKVD who had come to arrest him for his efforts on behalf of the Rebbe.

 

Later, as a teen and then as a young man, he saw his father arrested twice, the second time in 1938 – tirtzach – never to return.

 

Reb Mendel and his family lived in the same house as the Rebbe Rayatz in Rostov where as a young child he experienced personal encounters of great kiruv from the Rebbe. Later he lived with his family on the same floor of the Rebbe Rayatz in Leningrad.

 

After the war, he escaped Russia with forged Polish passports on the famous “train transports,” and spent time in both France and Ireland before coming to America in the early 1950’s so he could be with the Rebbe.

 

When Reb Michoel Teitelbaum founded Oholei Torah Educational Institute in Crown Heights, Reb Mendel joined its central Hanhalah, and spent the next six decades helping the Yeshiva, educating and being Mashpia to the bochrim in Yeshiva.

 

Thousands of Chassidim around the world retain fond memories of Reb Mendel leading farbrengens in his inimitable style throughout the wee hours of the morning – his stories, his niggunim, and his witty vertlach.

 

His father had been asked by the Rebbe Rayatz to record the Alter Rebbe's 10 nigunim in musical notes, rescuing these tunes for posterity, and Reb Mendel never tired of teaching and singing the handful in the set that are not commonly sung.

 

Reb Mendel has sung another nigun, a stately march, so often that people already call the Niggun by his name. Singer Avraham Friedrecorded it on his Chabad nigunim album.

 

Absolutely devoted to the Rebbe, Reb Mendel brought up his children likewise. When his daughter was still a very young girl he asked her, "If your father says "yes", and the Rebbe says "no", to whom do you listen?" to which she innocently replied, "my father". "No," replied Reb Mendel emphatically, "you listen to the Rebbe!" a lesson that remained with her throughout her life.

 

Reb Mendel had a repertoire of authentic Chassidic stories, which he faithfully transmitted to hundreds, vividly relating the lives and events of Chassidim and Rebbeim from times past, and encouraging his listeners to live every day according to the standards of Chassidus.

 

He passed away in New York and leaves behind hundreds of descendants and thousands of students.

 

He is survived by his wife, Rosa and children Zalman Morosow - Montreal, Hirshel Morosow - Crown Heights, Minya Goldberg - Crown Heights, Sterna Lesches - Monsey, NY, Esther Friedman - Kansas City, Kansas Henya Milecki - Sydney, Australia and Leah Goldman - Crown Heights.

 


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