Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Elka Rothman, Haredi Matriarch of 2,000 Offspring, Dies at 97


Amram Blau 
Elka Rothman, daughter of the late anti-Zionist founder of Neturei Karta, Rabbi Amram Blau, passed away in her home at Batei Broida in Jerusalem at age 97, leaving behind 13 children and some 2,000 grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, whose own grandchildren are in the process of getting married.

Rabbi Blau’s first wife, Hinda (nÊe Weber), died in 1963, and due to a shrapnel injury, he was not allowed halachically to marry a woman who was Jewish from birth. He thus married a convert in 1965, Ruth Ben-David, who was 26 years younger than him.

Thousands of her offspring attended Elka Rothman’s funeral procession. She was born in 1925 and eventually married Rabbi Israel Rothman, who passed away in 1984.

Her neighbors and family members recalled her as a righteous woman who was especially concerned with making every Jew feel welcome in her home. Jerusalemites used to say that Elka was the grandmother of half of Jerusalem, and as a result, her name appeared every week on invitations to celebrations in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. It got to the point where printing shop owners would ask every customer, “With or without Elka?”

She was buried on Har Hazeisim


LES AYM said...

You write that "he was not allowed halachically to marry a woman who was Jewish from birth"
Why was he not allowed? I never heard of this issur?

steven said...

See here,9171,834305-1,00.html

Anonymous said...

It appears be a cover up for his controversial decision to marry an outsider for "various" reasons.
Writing with knowledge of having a full copy of her personal auto biography in my possession.

Frum but normal said...

Wow, she must have been a real FRUM lady, she even grew a beard and long PAYOS. LOL
DIN, how about a picture of this amazing woman.
We promise we are NOT going to be turned on by a picture of a 98 year old woman.:)

Anonymous said...

Really? Due to "Shrapnel injury"??
This was not "shrapnel". It was a direct result of the beating he endured at the hands of Israel police. They would beat him with a bat to the groin for his protest against desecrating Shabbos at the Edison movie theater in Geula.
When Rav Blau was in prison, the Brisker Rav said on him "Shabbos itself is sitting in prison" He gave himself over to protect the Shabbos. May his memory be blessed.

basic facts said...

more on reb amram blau ztzl. his mother was from the orenstien family, an old chabad yerushalmi family which included the first chief rabbi of the kosel rav yitzchok avigdor orenstien who was killed al kiddush hashem during the shelling of the old city in 1948. his first wife, mentioned here, was from another chabad yerushalmi family, the weber's; she was a sister to the famous chabad yerushalmi mashpia rav moshe weber ztzl. although rav amram argued that since he was a petzuah dakah and could only marry a giyoress, the edah chareidis still held he was wrong and she should not marry her. he married her anyway and had to leave yerushalayim. the story is that really one of the dayanim on the badatz was an almon and wanted ruth bas david for himself. according to certain documents that were found by researchers, the satmar rebbe ztzl, then head of the edah, tried to offer reb amram 25,000 british pounds to give her up, but he married her anyway.

LES AYM said...

Hey speak for yourself! We all have our kinks! 😁

LES AYM said...

Are you saying it wasn't true, his alleged injury.
And was just a ploy to explain his marriage?

Anonymous said...

He was a

Anonymous said...

He was a Krus Shafcha.He therefore could only marry a convert.