Choked sobs filled the air in the streets of the southern Israeli town of Yerucham as family members gathered to mark the passing of 35-year-old Rabbi Pinchas Waldstein. Rabbi Waldstein was the father of 7 children, the youngest of whom is only 6 months old. He learned in Yeshivas Beit Meir. Waldstein was hospitalized after contracting the coronavirus, and ultimately passed after the disease reached his heart.
Those close to the family know this is not the first time they have seen tragedy. Just two years ago, they lost a 1 year old child to cancer. The Waldsteins had only just begun to heal from their loss when COVID robbed them of the very foundation of their family: their beloved father.
Mrs. Esther Waldstein, the Rabbi’s widow, is now left to raise her large family alone after these two inconceivably painful losses. She works as a kindergarten teacher, a profession which only provides her with a very modest salary. Funds are being collected to help Mrs. Waldstein and her children pay their most basic bills during this tragic time.
Their emergency fund shows heartbreaking photos & videos of the children saying kaddish, and looking with horror upon the shrouded body of their beloved father. It is a chilling reminder that the pandemic continues its path of destruction, and that unfortunately the young are not untouched.