Living Legacy: Rav Moshe’le Dezher
The 24th of Kislev marks the yohrzeit of Rav Moshe Paneth, the son of Rav Menachem Mendel of Dezh.
He was born in the town of Urişor, Romania, in the year 1843. His father was Rav Menachem Mendel, author of Maaglei Tzedek, the son of Rav Yechezkel Paneth, author of Mareh Yechezkel, the son of Rav Yosef of Karlsburg. His mother was the daughter of Reb Leibish Kraus of Uhel, a wealthy businessman.
Rav Moshe’le was known as an exceptionally holy person. Tzaddikim testified that he had open ruach hakodesh and that the Shechinah rested in his beis medrash.
He was very close to tzaddikim of his generation, especially the Divrei Chaim of Sanz—all of whom expressed great reverence to the great tzaddik.
In 1821, when he was a young bachur of eighteen years old, his father already asked him to assist him with running his large yeshiva in Urişor, in the vicinity of Dezh. There he began to be marbitz Torah for many talmidim with great dedication, and his greatness in Torah was revealed for them to see.
In the following year, his father became the rov of nearby Dezh, and he remained behind to lead the yeshiva. But after about a year, he was asked to become the rov of another town. He remained there as rov for twenty years. He also established a yeshiva there, and was marbitz Torah to thousands.
He married Rebbetzin Malka, the daughter of Rav Yitzchok Yechiel Michel Steinmetz, a descendant of the Tosafos Yom Tov.
When his father, the Maaglei Tzedek, was nifar in 1885, he assumed the leadership of the kehillah in Dezh, and also took over the large yeshiva of his father. He was also the leader of the tzedakah, Kollel Ahavas Tzion Rabi Meir Ba’al Hanes.
He became known far and wide for his tzidkus and his greatness in Torah. People streamed to him from throughout the region for advice, for brochos, and to have open miracles performed.
He once said: “A Rebbe who does not know the needs of his Chossid before he even steps through his threshold is no Rebbe.”
Hundreds of Yidden would come to be with him for Shabbos and Yomim Tovim.
While he did not leave behind any printed Torah, his son, the Knesses Yechezkel, transcribed some of his Torah in his own sefer.
He was niftar on 24 Kislev, 1903, and was laid to rest in the ohel of his father, the Maaglei Tzedek in Dezh. He left behind a number of children who were great tzaddikim who continued his holy legacy.