Memory Lane: Rav Yehuda Leibish Glatt, zt”l, Titishiner Rebbe
Rav Leibish Glat, Titishiner Rebbe—a scion of great Rabbinic dynasties— saw the writing on the wall before the Holocaust, and tried to bring his family to safety. Only part of his family would see the other side of the Churban. Nevertheless, he persevered, and was known as an ehrliche Yid and Talmid Chacham.
Rav Glatt was born in the fall 1875 in Bircza (Bertch) Poland to Rabbi Yisrael Yosef and Chaya Perl Glatt. His father, a renowned Ga’on, was the Av Beis Din of Bertch and the author of Pilpul Halacha. His father was Rav Yehuda Leibish, the Rav of Grodzisk Poland—who was the twelfth generation of Rabbanim in the town, among them friends and students of the Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk.
Rabbi Yehuda Leibish married Sirka Dorlich of Tyczyn (Titchin) Galicia Poland, a small town near Reisha. She was the daughter of Rabbi Yisrael and Hinda (Horschowski) Dorlich. Rabbi Yisrael Dorlich was the Av Beis Din of Tichin. Hinda was the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Horschowski Av Beis Din of Drohobycz. When his father in law passed away, he assumed his position as the Rav of Titshin, a title by which he was known for the rest of his life.
He was one of three sons. His brothers were Rabbi Dovid and Chaim. Rabbi Dovid immigrated to Belgium. In 1929, Rav Leibish traveled to Belgium to visit his brother Rabbi Dovid, and then spent some years in England. Then he went to America in 1930. He traveled back to Poland in 1936 – likely to convince his wife and family to come to America. He went back to New York in 1937 and then lived in Cuba for a while for because—like so many of his fellow immigrants—the United States did not allow them in.
In America, Rav Dovid was a Rav in Lakewood, and he wrote the sefer Zeved Dovid, with laudatory haskamos from Rav Moshe, Rav Aharon, Rav Eliezer Silver, and the Voideslover Rav. One of his sons was a very important part of founding Hebrew Academy of Long Beach (HALB), while another son served as a Rav in various communities.
In Cuba he was a mashgiach for the Cholov Yisrael milk. He arrived back in New York in about 1939 but was unsuccessful in bringing over his family. Sadly his daughter Sirka was killed in the war along with her daughters and their families, Hy”d. In the 1940’s, he lived on Willet Street, near Attorney Street, on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. While he did open his own Shul, he was always known as the Tichiner Rebbe.
The only survivor from the war was his son Yosef Yechiel Michel, born in 1911. He survived the war and married Esther Schuldiner from Reisha, and moved to New York, where he and had 3 children: Avraham Yaakov, Sirka and Breindel. He brought his son and family to America and settled them in Boro Park. After his second wife passed away, he moved to Brooklyn in 1959 to live with his son in Boro Park—savoring the proximity to his surviving kin. He is remembered as a dignified presence by those who knew him and davened with him.
In the sefer Pilpul Halachah from his father that Rav Glatt reprinted on American shores, his address appears at 5418 14th Avenue. In the sefer, we read one of the haskamos lauding the work of his father Rav Yisroel Yosef Glatt. It is signed; Tzvi Elimelech Spira of Bluzev—author of Tzvi Latzadik, with whom Rav Yisroel Yosef was very close. In Boro Park, Rav Leibish davened by none in other than the Bluzever Rebbe—Rav Yisroel Spira, a grandson of the Rebbe. He was a mispalel in the Bluzever Shtiebel. Two men who knew the same world of Torah and yirah back home, their lives shattered by indescribable evil, enduring and reuniting in Boro Park of yesteryear.
Rabbi Glatt was niftar 54 years ago this week, on 30 Adar I, 1965, and is buried on Har Hamenuchos in Chelkas Harabbonim.