NEW YORK (VINnews) — The Torah world was plunged into mourning with the passing of Rebbetzin Temi Kamenetsky, the wife of Philadelphia Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky.
In the last few days, Rebbetzin Kamenetsky’s condition had deteriorated and many tefilos were made for her recovery but on Sunday night she passed away.
Rebbetzin Kamenetsky was born in the Bronx and grew up in Brooklyn, where she attended Rebbetzin Vichna Kaplan’s seminary. She married Rav Shmuel at a young age and joined him in Lakewood, where he was learning, after their wedding.
In a recent interview in Ami magazine, Rebbetzin Kamenetsky described this period of study in the fledgling Kolel of Beis Midrash Govoha: “It was a special time. The community was very close-knit. We all knew each other and lived together in one or two buildings. We all depended on each other, and my children had nice friends to play with,” she recalled.
Rav Aharon Kotler sent his talmidim to different locations to establish yeshivos. Rav Shmuel was sent to Los Angeles and then Philadelphia, where he established the Talmudical Yeshiva of Philadelphia. It became one of the most prestigious yeshivos in America.
Initially however there was only one local day school which was mixed, but the Rebbetzin said that she was not worried about external influences as “our lives revolved around the yeshiva. The rebbeim became like family to us, and their wives were like aunts to my children.”
It was a different world then,” she explained in the interview. “There wasn’t that much to be exposed to. Yet there were certain things that we did not allow our children to participate in, such as attending movies with their classmates or wearing certain things.” However the children didn’t feel deprived because “they felt secure in their home life, they were satisfied with what they had.”
The Kamenetsky’s merited seeing their children continue their illustrious path: Rabbi Sholom is the Rosh Yeshiva in Philadelphia, Rabbi Avraham is a Ram in Yeshivas Beis Yisrael in Jerusalem, Rabbi Dov is in Toronto, Rabbi Zev is a Ram in Belmar Yeshiva in New Jersey, Rabbi Dovid is an editor at Schottenstein and a Ram in the Darkei Noam Yeshiva and Rabbi Aharon and Rav Eliyahu. Her son-in-laws include Rabbi Zvi Berkowitz- Rosh Yeshiva at Ner Yisrael-Baltimore, Rabbi Shalom Kelmer, Rav Shia Shechter and Rabbi Yechiel Moskowitz.