He has been sick for quite a while but when I heard the sad news today, I was shocked. The Rebbe of Chassidut Shomrei Emunim, Rabbi Avraham Chaim Roth, passed away last night. He had been hospitalized at the Shiba Hospital near Tel Aviv. First, the Rebbe's body was put in front of the Aron HaKoidesh at his Beit Midrash in Bnei Brak until the dead body was transferred to Jerusalem and laid to rest on the Mount of Olives.
Rebbe Avraham Chaim Roth was a son of the original Toldot Aharon founder, Rabbi Aharon Roth (Ratha) who died in the 1940ies. Coming from Hungary, Rabbi Aharon Roth, had built the Toldot Aharon Chatzer from scratch. After his passing, his son Rabbi Avraham Chaim expected to be announced as the new leader but he was wrong. Instead, the majority of the Chassidim chose Rebbe Arele's son - in ' law, Rabbi Avraham Yitzchak Kahn, as the new Rebbe. The result was that Rabbi Avraham Chaim left the Toldot Aharon and founded his own group called "Shomrei Emunim - Guardians of Faith" with the "headquarter" in Bnei Brak.
I have been quite a few times to the Shomrei Emunim Tish in Mea Shearim. An extremely popular Tish and when the Rebbe started, it was always late. He hardly ever started the Tish before midnight and I heard that he also finished late. A few times, I visited his main Synagogue in Bnei Brak too. The building there is bigger that his tiny Beit Midrash in Mea Shearim where the Ezrat Nashim (women's side) was always packed and most women climbed up the Mechitzah in order to see the Rebbe.
As far as I heard, Rebbe Avraham Chaim Roth was open - minded and had been in touch with the Baba Sali. He accepted Ba'alei Teshuva as new group members and didn't get involved with all the Mea Shearim disputes.
It says that he left a will which will be opened during the Shiva. There is a speculation going around that his three sons will lead the group in the future but we have to wait until the official announcement.
See more pictures HERE !
Rabbi Avraham Chaim Roth z"l at the Yahrzeit of his father in the month of Nissan this year. The video was taken at the Shomrei Beit Midrash in Mea Shearim.