Grandparents die from coronavirus just days apart

Prof. Shalom and Chaya Yocha Levin from Johannesburg pass away less than two weeks apart after being infected at local hospital.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Prof. Shalom Levin and Chaya Yocha Levin
Prof. Shalom Levin and Chaya Yocha Levin
Courtesy of the family

The Jewish community in Johannesburg, South Africa recently mourned the loss of two members of the close-knit community: Prof. Shalom Eliyahu Levin and his wife, Chaya Yocha Levin, both of whom died recently from coronavirus infections.

The couple died less than two weeks apart.

Their grandson, Isaac Geffen, said in an interview with Arutz Sheva: “It began when grandmother didn’t feel well, and was sent to the hospital.”

“At the beginning, she underwent a coronavirus test, and to the family’s relief, the test came back negative. Grandmother was diagnosed with pneumonia and treated in the hospital. A few days later, however, two nurses at the hospital tested positive for the coronavirus, and afterwards the relevant patients were tested again [for the virus]. Dear grandmother tested positive after being infected, most probably because she was in contact with the nurses. A few days later she returned her soul to her maker.”

Chaya Levin’s husband, Prof. Shalom Eliyahu Levin, was with her during her stay in the hospital, raising fears that he too may have been infected.

A test later confirmed that Levin had indeed been infected, and within a week and a half of his wife’s death, Shalom also passed away.

“Grandfather Shalom was a great genius, and he knew that he was destined in this life to help people and to save lives,” said Isaac Geffen.

“At the age of 20, he finished his medical studies, but because of his young age – you had to be 21 to be accepted as a doctor – was brought in to teach medicine in the interim.”

Both Prof. Shalom and Chaya were well-known in the community, with Prof. Shalom helping to manage the local prayer services, and Chaya running a knitting school and being involved in charitable activities.

“In life and in death, they were inseparable,” the family said. “They were married for 67 years, and are survived by dozens of descendants in the US and in Israel. Grandmother and grandfather always took care to visit everyone in the family, despite the distance.”