BDE: R’ Avrohom Yaakov Ziegler, z”l, Founder of Zichron Shloime Refuah Fund
by YS Gold
We are saddened to inform you of the passing of R’ Avrohom Yaakov Zeigler, a Bobov-45 chassid and founder of one of the most well-known chessed organizations in our community. He was 82, and passed away from a sudden heart attack.
He was born on the Lower East Side of New York in 1941, and was named for his own father who passed away before his bris, and from his youngest years he carried enormous responsibilities upon his shoulders. But this did not deter him from becoming a great talmid chochom and masmid who utilized every moment for Torah and tefillah.
His rebbi muvhak was Rav Binyonim Paller, a longtime Rosh Yeshiva in Boro Park, and learned a derech halimud from him. “He absorbed a derech in learning everything in great depth,” recalled a son. “This is how we would always learn with him.”
“He carried himself like a pashute yid, but was a baki in kol haTorah kulah,” remembered another son.
He never stopped saying Tehillim, and he knew the entire Tehillim by heart. Even as he was working many long hours into the night, the pesukim of Tehillim were always on his lips. When he turned eighty, he said to his children, “until now I said Tehillim all day, now I want to master mishnayos.” And from that moment, he carried a mishnayos with him wherever he went.
The Zieglers had a son, Shloime, z”l, who was stricken with leukemia as a teenager. Throughout the terrible ordeal of three years, the Ziegler’s never complained and never questioned. When Shloime lost his courageous battle with the terrible machlah, Reb Avrohom Yaakov and, tbl”ch, his wife, founded an organization with the mission alleviating the suffering of other families who were going through a similar ordeal. They invested untold energies and resources into this endeavor that has brought immeasurable comfort to families in the community.
Reb Avrohom Yaakov utilized his vast expertise and mastery of the Rishonim and Achronim to advocate in Beis Din for those who had no voice. “He was softspoken by nature,” related a son, “but when it came to injustice, he was fierce like a lion.”
But perhaps his most important calling was the decades that he spent in the classroom educating Yiddishe kinderlach, both as a melamed and as an English teacher. It was to this profession that he was dedicated until his last day on this earth, and he was beloved and revered by the students and staff alike who learned from his refined ways.
Reb Avrohom Yaakov leaves behind a beautiful Torah family who continue to follow in his ways.
The Levaya took place motzei Shabbos at Shomrei Hadas.
Yehi zichro baruch.