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Petirah of a Giant in Torah, Rav Meir Goldberg, Zt’l

Barry Weber

While many were away for the summer enjoying some well-deserved leisure time in the country or somewhere remote, they were temporarily shielded from hearing the terrible news that those of us who remained local were pained to hear: the sudden petirah of Rav Hagaon Meir Yochonon Gershon ben Tzvi Hirsh, zt’l, Rav Meir Goldberg, Rav Hamachshir of the Vaad Hakashrus of Flatbush, formerly known as Vaad HaRabbonim of Flatbush.


Rabbi Goldberg came in to the Vaad decades ago at a time when things in the kashrus end of the organization were somewhat in disarray. Rabbi Goldberg saw the urgent need to restructure all of it and completely recreate it with his strict standards so that the klal could rely on his hashgachah without question.

It was an ambitious task, but the Rav not only accomplished it, but was also responsible for turning it into one of the most reliable hashgachos that we have today.


The Rav was recognized for his incredible talent in counseling others and people quickly gravitated towards him for much advice, help, guidance and comfort. He was always ready and willing to leave the comfort of his home whenever someone had a pressing problem that needed his direct attention. Recently, he even drove to New Jersey in the middle of the night to help someone experiencing an urgent problem. Rav Goldberg also taught in Touro College in the evenings. His students saw him as more than just a professor, but also a very special mentor. One student asked the Rav to write a weekly dvar Torah on the parashah including a personal message about life and the Rav agreed to do it. This dvar Torah ended up being distributed, via email, to thousands of recipients who were touched by the thoughtful and deep emotional life lessons that each vort possessed. Rav Goldberg, counseled teenagers back from the brink of suicide who today are productive, frum individuals. The Rav knew how to make children feel comfortable enough to open up so he could help them.


The Rav worked with many teens on their struggles in emunah, learning issues, bullying, and other problems, in his inimitable style, with love, compassion and brilliant intelligence.



Rav Goldberg was mikarev many people to Yiddishkeit and counseled couples through years of infertility. One secular couple began keeping kosher, at the behest of the Rav, and shortly after was blessed with a baby girl. They said they owed it all to the Rav, but the Rav corrected them, saying ‘everything is owed to Hakadosh Baruch Hu.’

Rav Goldberg was known to have a long list of names for which he said tehillim every day. Everywhere he went he had a sefer along with him to occupy himself in case he would have a few minutes of waiting time. He always carried a big stack of one- dollar bills to take to shul every morning to hand out to the poor who came collecting and to put into pushkes.

Above all, the Rav’s main endeavor was in the field of kashrus and during his shiurim he would frequently say: ‘I’m not here (in Olam Hazeh) to win a popularity contest, only to make sure I can stand in front of the kisei hakavod when the time comes and honestly tell Hakadosh Baruch Hu that I tried my best to make sure no one put something in their mouth that wasn’t 100% kosher in every way.’

The Rav’s davening was a sight to behold. He stood for hours on end during prayer even while enduring physical pain. When he would bow during prayer, he always did so reaching almost the floor, or as far as he could. He never talked during tefillah. He was always aware of the sanctity of the beis haknesses, and that he was in the presence of the Shechinah. Rav Goldberg also performed the ultimate chessed, chessed shel emes, as he volunteered to be a shomer of niftarim. No mitzvah was too daunting for him.

How many of us can say that we have accomplished even a tiny percentage of what this great Rav/mentor/friend/human being did in his short lifetime? How many of us will leave so many distraught mourners behind because of all the help we gave and the sacrifice we made to others during our lifetimes? The only thing we can hope to do is try to emulate this tzaddik’s dedication to his fellow Yid with acts of chessed towards one another. Rav Goldberg realized that people need to hear someone say “I love you. I’m here for you any time, night or day. Call me and let me know how you’re doing and don’t hesitate if you need anything.” That’s what Rav Goldberg said to so many, and he meant it. He lived it. Let’s try and continue his legacy. In that zechus may Rav Goldberg enjoy the beautiful reward in the Olam HaEmes that he so rightfully earned, and may we all be reunited with him with the speedy arrival of Moshiach bikarov.

Thank you, Rav Goldberg for all your tremendous kindness on behalf of all Klal Yisrael. You will be greatly missed.

Yehi zichro baruch.

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