With sadness we inform you of the passing of Reb Baruch Mordechai Lifshitz, affectionately known as ‘Reb Mottel Der Shochet.’ He was 97 years old.
Born August 29, 1916 (Av 30, 5676) in Kiev, Reb Mottel studied with the older Lubavitcher Chassidim in the ‘underground Cheder network’ founded by the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yoseph Yitzchok Schneerson, across Soviet Russia.
At the age of 23, only three days after his engagement to a young Jewish girl, he was imprisoned by the KGB and sentenced to slave labor for several “crimes,” including “holding a strong letter contact with an agent of the Polish secret police named [Rabbi] Schneerson” and for “gathering youth to study the banned talks and discourses of [Rabbi] Schneerson.”
He was sent to the frozen Siberian and Kolyma Mountains, where he labored for 7 years until the end of the WWII. Upon returning to Kiev he learned that his entire family had perished in Babi-Yar at the hands of the Nazis, and only he survived due to his imprisonment.
Reb Mottel later married, built a family and continued to study Torah while serving in multiple Jewish communities as their teacher, Mohel, Shochet (ritual slaughterer) and Rabbi, only to skip to the next town upon being detected by the local authorities.
Eventually, Reb Mottel became the sole Shochet and Mohel of Moscow for over 25 years, until being replaced in the early ’90s by others when the “Iron Curtain” came down. Reb Mottel is known by his beloved nickname “Mottel der Shochet.”
He is survived by his children Sara Haskelevich (Crown Heights), Zalman Lifshitz (Monsey, NY) and Shaindel Weiner (Far Rockaway, NY).
The Levaya will take place today Thursday and will be leaving from Shomrei Hadas at 1:00pm and passing by 770 at around 2:00pm.
Boruch Dayan Hoemes