Monsey Memories: The Kashauer Rebbe
A holy and revered presence in old Monsey of the last
decades was Rebbe Eliezer Chaim Blum, the son of the old Kashauer Rebbe who
came to Monsey from New Square many years ago and illuminated the town with
his kedushah and his Torah.
The Rebbe was born to Rav Refoel Blum, in the
town of Kashau, Hungary, in the year 1939—just as the Nazi boot was descending
on Europe. The family was fortunate to escape on the Kastner Train, the very
same means by which the Satmar Rov and Rav Yonasan Steif escaped the horrors of
As a young child, his father brought him to Rebbe Aaron of
Belz, who showered him with special attention, perhaps foretelling his future.
The Rebbe inherited the unrelenting hasmodoh from his
father, the old Kashauer Rebbe, and was known in his youth—as well as his old
age—for his superhuman dedication to learning at all hours. He married the
daughter of Rav Mordechai Friedman of Iasi (Romania) and Williamsburg.
For many years following his wedding, Rav Eliezer Chaim lived
in New Square, where he was exceptionally close with the Admorim of Skver. At
some point, he moved to Monsey, where he would later establish a yeshiva and
serve as a Rebbe and Rosh Yeshiva.
During the lifetime of his father, he was the menahel of the
yeshiva which had been established by him in Williamsburg, and later in Bedford
Hills, Westchester County. Following the passing of his father in the year
2005, Rav Eliezer Chaim assumed his place as the Rebbe.
He established mosdos for boys and girls in Monsey, as well
as a prominent Kollel. All the while, he would sit secluded for hours on end,
immersed in Torah and avodah. He would carry around cards with him, keeping
track of his strides in avodas Hashem, as though he were a young bachur.
The Rebbe had the mind of a genius—a fact that was
appreciated not only by his Chassidim and fellow Yidden, but also by doctors,
lawyers, and elected officials, all of whom were astounded by his insight into
all matters. He employed his expertise to help his fellow Yidden, and
would stop at nothing to help a Yid in need.
The fruits of his Torah are contained in the seforim Siach
Chaim and Avos Harishonim, all of them brilliant insights in Torah.
The Rebbe, like his father, was known as a tremendous
kano’i, and would always cry out about the challenges to Yiddishkeit.
The Rebbe was niftar on a Friday night in the winter of the year 2019, and was interred near his illustrious father in Bedford Hills—leaving behind an incredible legacy of chessed and avodas Hashem in Monsey of yore.