Remembering Rabbanit Yemima’s Father, Rabbi Eli Natan Rothschild zt”l

Remembering Rabbanit Yemima’s Father, Rabbi Eli Natan Rothschild zt”l

I got the SMS yesterday at 5:20 that Rabbanit Yemima’s father, Rabbi Eli Natan Rothschild, had passed away after an extended illness at the age of 93 and that the funeral would take place at 6 PM. So I picked up my purse and rushed over.

I first met Rabbanit Yemima 18 years ago when my daughter Hadas was in gan with her son Ben Tsion. At first she was just a friend from the neighborhood, and when she started teaching she became my teacher/mentor as well.

Rabbi Rothschild was born in Zurich, and devoted himself for many years to his work in education. I only merited to meet him once–I remember his quiet dignity, the soft kindness in his eyes. But I heard Rabbanit Yemima speak about him many times in her classes. She often described him as a pure Tsaddik, a man of tremendous humility, who, according to Rabbanit Yemima, never said anything bad about another person his entire life. A man who adored learning Torah, who saw the positive in the world and those around him, who felt gratitude deeply, and, unlike most, took the time and made the effort to express it.

I heard many stories at the funeral about Rabbi Rothschild’s greatness of character. But the story that made the biggest impression on me was one I heard from my friend Yikrat Friedman, Rabbanit Yemima’s faithful editor, before the funeral started.

When I asked Yikrat if she had met Rabbi Rothschild many times, she responded, “No, not at all, but he often sent me letters. He would thank me for editing and transcribing his daughter’s classes. He told me I did such a wonderful job, and he wanted to express his gratitude for that. And he would send me checks all the time…”

“What? Why would he send you checks?” I asked.

“I would send him my weekly transcriptions of Rabbanit Yemima’s classes, and he wanted to pay me for them like any other subscriber.

“And then he would write me again, asking why I hadn’t deposited his checks.

“But I responded that he didn’t need to send money, he had already given me and all of us the greatest gift possible, his daughter.”

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5 comments

  1. baruch dayan haemet

    • here is the shiva info: diskin 13, apt 11 9am to 1 pm, 5-9 pm, tuesday, wednesday, thursday

  2. Baruch Dayan Jaemet
    Somehow I was thinking about R Yemima’s father the whole week-asking my self how he was doing…

    • also the morning he passed away I was thinking about yemima, and for the first time in many years I clicked to re-read the testimonial she wrote for this site (on menu above). and was thinking about her a lot.

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