Rabbi Raichik Passed Away after Battling Health Issues at 68
We are sad to announce that rov of the Lubavitcher community in Los Angeles, and a talmid chochom who was renowned for personifying a ‘chassidishe rov‘ passed away on Wednesday, November 24, 2021.
“Complications of pneumonia” has been reported as Rabbi Raichik’s cause of death at the age of 68.
Rabbi Shimon Raichik was born, in 1953, to the legendary Rabbi Shmuel Dovid and Rebbetzin Lea Raichik. His parents, who were Holocaust survivors, had headed to Los Angeles a few years prior at the direct instructions of the Rebbe Rayatz, and his son-in-law and future Rebbe, the “Ramash,” to build Jewish life on the West Coast.
In 1970, he studied in the Lubavitch yeshivah in Montreal before being moved to Melbourne, Australia, with a group of talmidim hashluchim.
Rabbi Shimon and his wife, Rebbetzin Chana Lieba (née Gansburg), relocated from New York to Los Angeles in 1981 to help his father. Rabbi Raichik had enough chance to watch his father’s amazing devotion and to gain from his knowledge over their almost two decades of collaboration.
Rabbi Raichik became the rabbi of the Levi Yitzchok shul in the La Brea district after teaching at the yeshivah Ohr Elchonon Chabad. As the Chabad community in Los Angeles developed, he became the rabbi of the Levi Yitzchok synagogue. Together with the legendary businessman Mr. Berel Weiss, he created a thriving society centered on compassion and Torah study.
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Rabbi Raichik’s Life, Honors, and a Brief Overview
Rabbi Raichik was a talmid chochom who was widely known and respected, and he got sha’alos from Lubavitcher Chassidim all over the world. He was in the vanguard of the greater Jewish community in California, leading the way on kashrus and other concerns that occurred.
Rabbi Raichik was very fond of the regulations of Shabbos, and he had written a book about them that he was about to publish.
Rabbi Raichik did not adopt the route of admonishing those he believed were straying from the path but rather strove to inspire them with tales, anecdotes, and love, despite the hardships of the day. He spent several years working on a book about his father in this vein, which he hoped would inspire a new generation of young Jews.
Even if he had personal misgivings about the individual, he would put his ego aside and do everything he could to help them over time. Even if he didn’t like anything, he attempted to resolve the situation politely and without stepping on anyone’s toes.
Rabbi Raichik was known for being the epitome of a ‘chassidisher rov,’ with his wisdom, profound knowledge, and erudition rivaled only by his wit, friendliness, and concern for each member of the Chabad community in Los Angeles and beyond.
The Raichik children grew up observing their parents’ self-sacrifice for another Jew, as well as their own personal mitzvah adherence.
Someone would have to travel to the farm to supervise Cholov Yisroel milk. The Raichik children just grew up without Cholov Yisroel cheese because it was unavailable. Even when the butcher volunteered to do it for her, Rabbi Raichik’s mother would Kasher the birds herself. “Why is the chicken so dirty?” he wondered when he first saw meat. He’d never seen anything like that before.
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Reactions to Rabbi Raichik’s Death
Several friends and supporters reacted and stated their condolences on social media websites following this tragic news.
Yaacov Behrman wrote on Twitter: “Deeply saddened to hear that Rabbi Shimon Raichik, rov of the Chabad community in Los Angeles, passed away this morning. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and the Lubavitch community in Los Angeles. Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.”
An online user wrote: “Los Angeles and the world have lost an extraordinary, beloved, devoted Rov and leader. Unbelievably devastating news. My heart goes out to the Raichik family and the LA community.”
Another tweeted: “Rabbi Raichik, who passed away this morning, was beloved and respected. May his memory be for a blessing.”
One wrote: “Reb shimon like father and mother and twin Yossi were exemplary chassidim. Totally impervious and above the rampant shtus that was and still is prevalent in LA. At the same time so given over to all Yidden regardless of their observance or non observance. it made no difference. He grew up in a cute little house on Edinburgh Ave in Fairfax straight out of east European shtetel. Just by observing this family and their emunah pashuta and true mesiras nefesh was unprecedented in Los Angeles at the time and still is. We are losing too many giants now and during the past year. Will the younger generations be able to continue to carry the torch as some of the early shluchim. Hopefully yes, but so different. I am in bet shemesh but feeling this deep pain and loss. My heart goes out to his family.”
Another commented: “He was a great mashpia and rov. But mores so…one many knew they can find correct advice in times of crisis that he shared. He will be greatly missed.”
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He leaves behind his wife Mrs. Chana Liba Raichik, their children, and his twin brother Rabbi Yossi Raichik a”h, Shliach of the Rebbe who lived in Kfar Chabad and the director of Chabad’s Children of Chernobyl.
We are eagerly waiting to get your words if you have more information. More information will be updated as we receive it.