Dec 29, 2010
Rabbi Volf Greenglass, 94, OBM

The legendary Rabbi Volf Greenglass, a revered Mashpia who educated thousands and helped establish Lubavitch in Montreal passed away.

By Yehuda Ceitlin, Editor of COLlive

Rabbi Volf Greenglass, a symbol of the hardships of the Jewish people in the previous generation and Judaism's current prosperity, passed away Wednesday, 22 Teves 5771.

He was 94.

Menachem Zev Greenglass (halevi) was born to a non Chabad family in the Polish town of Krasnik, near Lublin, and was sent to learn in the Chabad Yeshivos Tomchei Tmimim in Lodge and Otwock where he acquired his vast knowledge in Torah, Kabbalah and Chassidus.

Legend has it that when he was drafted to the Red Army, he asked a friend to break his toes so he could not run or walk properly and thus be disqualified from the many dangers and challenges for an observant Jew in the battlefield.

With the Second World War taking its toll on Europe, and the Nazi troops heading into Poland, Rabbi Greenglass and his classmates fled to Shanghai, China, where they learned in the newly opened exiled branch of the Chabad Yeshiva.

From there Rabbi Greenglass traveled to Montreal, Canada, as one of the 9 shluchim sent by the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, to cultivate the Jewish community there.

Their first achievement was establishing the Rabbinical College of Canada, also known as Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim. Thousands of students from non observant families got the taste and love for Judaism in the school.

When the Yeshiva Gedola was established, Rabbi Greenglass was soon appointed as the Head Mashpia spend many years teaching and inspiring thousands of Lubavitch bochurim who went on to become leaders in their own right.

He was known to say, "I never put down (criticized) a bochur, I only elevated him."

Together with his longtime friend Rabbi Leibel Groner, who served as the Rebbe's secretary, he made the first attempt to document Chabad customs in the monumental book "Sefer Haminhagim."

In Montreal he was referred to by members of the Jewish community as a Tzaddik and Malach (righteous man and angel). The Rebbe once called him "my Kabbalist."

In 2006 he fell during davening at the Yeshiva shul and went through a few operations. He miraculously survived and returned to teaching and guiding young and old.

His wife passed away many years ago and he is survived by his sons Avremi Greenglass, Yossi Greenglass and daughter Surie Cohen; grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Baruch Dayan Haemes.


The funeral will take place Wednesday, 22 Teves at Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch of Montreal 6405 Westbury at 2 PM.

The family will be sitting Shiva at the Cohen residence 4987 Plamondon.

Most Read Most Comments

Opinions and Comments
picture of Rabbi Greenglass and Rabbi Gerlitzky
is priceless!!!
there are none more like them!!!
oy meh haya lanu!
(12/29/2010 9:11:17 AM)
What a Tzadik. Boruch Dayan Ho'Emes
(12/29/2010 9:26:16 AM)
A niece
Thank you so much for all the pictures of my special uncle.

He was my favorith uncle who had a special place in his heart for me. The rebbe called him "mine mekubal". He also had the frierdike rebbe's typewriter which was given to him.

I remember spending my summers at his home and seeing him learning each night until five in the morning, and then was back in yeshivah in time for the seder of the bochurim.

If a bochur ever addressed him as rabbi greenglass he would respond "ich hais wolf".

Whenever he would come to new york he always greeted me with the warmest smile and the warmest sholom aleichem, as though he were truly thrilled to see me. and he was sincere.

He also was my shadchen. Chabad has lost a true chosid! May he be instrumental in bringing about the revelation of moshiach now when we will all be reunited once more, but this time forever.
(12/29/2010 9:27:01 AM)
Shloma Leib Abramowitz
Boruch Daya Ha'emes! May he be a meilitz yoisher for his family, talmidim and klal Yisrael. V'hokitzu V'raninu Shoichnei Offor, v'hu b'soichom, Teikif Um'yad Mammosh!
(12/29/2010 9:32:02 AM)
from these polishers you can realy learn
what the other person has is lav davka good for me they were hatznei leches people who just wanted to serve hashem with out being big shots they did not get nispoel about cars houses cloth phones vechulu......constantly focused in the derech of Torah and mitzvos so vehachai yiten el libo learn a bit more Tanya or Mishnayos go to the Mikvah say a Kapitul Tehilim Rabbi Greenglass would ask buchrim hasto gezagt brochos heint in der fri he was very carful in washing negel vaser the right way he encouraged people to answer to Kaddish and not to talk in middel of davening to daven bmesinus with a littel more kavana he would ask hasto gebentsht noch esen lunch. oib nisht a tikun far dem is tzu lernen gants birchas hane'enin. He would say something like this ich zeh do hast nisht fargesen unton di hoizen. They realy lived yidishkeit they talk the talk and walked the walk even when life was hard they never gave excuses they wanted to be at the minyan even in three feet of snow and so on with all the stories there are you can fill up a gantze shafe
(12/29/2010 9:41:48 AM)
for shivah call 5147356008
(12/29/2010 10:07:14 AM)
uh oh
i forgot to daven maariv last night...
(12/29/2010 10:37:37 AM)
Talmid - Tuf Shin Nun Hey
Boruch Dayan Hoemes.

Thank you COL for the beautiful photos.

Thank you # 5 for your comment - Vihchai Yiten El Libo
(12/29/2010 10:44:26 AM)
to #7
a tikun for that was to learn gantz hilchos tfilah
(12/29/2010 11:07:34 AM)
Please post stories and anecdotes from R' Volf
A few stories to start the trend - please share yours.

When I first met Reb Volf, I introduced myself by saying "Sholom Aleichem Rabbi Greenglas" he answered "Ich Bin Nisht Kein Rabbi" What should I call you I asked "Ruf Mir Volf" was his humble reply.

I once asked him if he remembers the Geulah of Yud Beis Tamuz " Nein, Ich bin ersht geboron in Tzadik Vov" he replied (in Hayom Yom it says that Chasidim considered their birthday to be the day they first saw the Rebbe).

Reb Volf was also very sharp/witty

During his weekly Tanya Shiur, he told a Bochur to close the window because there was too much noise coming in from the street. "R' Volf, it's hot in here" The Bochur protested. "Nu, un vos geist du tohn in Gehinom" Reb Volf replied with a smile on his face.
(12/29/2010 11:10:10 AM)
Ovad Chossid min Ho-retz in the full sence of the word. A holly Jew. A Heiliker Yid
(12/29/2010 11:12:32 AM)
an amazing person
Reb Volf was a rare individual and anyone that learned by him is truly lucky. We have really lost a tzadik.
(12/29/2010 11:17:17 AM)
how intresting
Rabbi Gerlitzky and Rabbi Greenglass past away at the age of 94
(12/29/2010 11:33:19 AM)
the Rebbe said
vet mein mekubal Reb Menache Ze'ev Volf Halevi (Greenglass) zagen Lechaim nisht nor benistar nor eich beniglah
(12/29/2010 11:38:20 AM)
baruch dayin emes!
may we merit to see the coming of MOSHIACH NOW!!
(12/29/2010 11:39:26 AM)
there was a bochur warring a GAP sweatshirt
Reb Volf looked at him made with his face and said i dont remember the exact words goishe letters on your hart does is vos men leigt oifen hartzen vehau hadvarim haeleh asher anochi metzavecho hayom al levovvecho
(12/29/2010 12:01:10 PM)
To 7
that was a low blow he really cared that every bocher davend marriv EVERY NIGHT !! i will miss him:(
(12/29/2010 12:15:22 PM)
his was a holy man
if u ever laind krias shma after zman he would sence it and ask u "host haint gelains krias shma bizmano" ? when there was no levono for kidush levono he knew how to wave that hankerchif and out it came, a true chosid grait lamdon extremly smart and sharp like a razor, his farbraingens in the 50's 60's and 70's were really hart warming til today by evreone who atended, er hot zich gechoct in moshiach yeder tog since i remember him 50 years at least zol er zain a guter beter far zain mishpocho talmidim and klal yisroel and poel zain take
(12/29/2010 12:30:06 PM)
A alumni
He made me feel special. BDH. We are so much worse off now.
(12/29/2010 12:34:43 PM)
אבד חסיד מן הארץ
חבל על דאבדין
הי' מספר שהגיע לליובאוויטש מתפלת מעריב של הרב גערליצקי
און אין א וואכענדיקן טאג
שנזכה לוהקיצו ורננו
ע"י משיח נאו
(12/29/2010 12:35:23 PM)
chaval al d'avdin v'lo mishtakchin
Rashi in this week's parshas: chaval al d'avdin v'lo mishtakchin
(12/29/2010 12:42:37 PM)
sensational pictures!!!!
Captures Reb Volf in every sense!!!!!
(12/29/2010 12:43:50 PM)
picture of hand
anyone notice the two baby faces in his hand?
(12/29/2010 12:44:02 PM)
i was a talmid of RG in 1985-87 and remained close to him ever since. RG was very witty but he was also extremely sensitive. I had an opportunity to talk to him privately in 2001 when i was going through some personal life hardships. i took down notes of all his advice and suggestions and i look at it regularly and i am always impressed at how he 'got it' completely understanding my issues even those that one would think of as being understanding to the "younger" generation. he will be sorely missed!
(12/29/2010 12:53:59 PM)
Rebbe's Correspondence
The Rebbe's letters to Reb Volf, a''h, both those printed in the Igros Kodesh, as well as those not yet printed...would make a huge Sefer unto itself
(12/29/2010 12:54:44 PM)
# 22 what do you mean
baby faces in his hand
(12/29/2010 1:01:45 PM)
he realy kept the entire zal cleen he would walk around
during chasidus and kick around the tishues on the floor
(12/29/2010 1:04:03 PM)
R' wolf = nickname
Menachem Zev OBM
(12/29/2010 1:15:29 PM)
To #4
A grus fun Izzy Gold.
(12/29/2010 1:30:23 PM)
will there be a live feed from the Levaya?
(12/29/2010 1:39:58 PM)
One of the great Tzadikim of our time
I'm a Montreal and a Talmid of Reb Volf (that's how he liked to be called: "Volf uder Reb Volf") in the Nuns. This is a big loss for the entire world. A true Tzadik was nistalek.

How many people do YOU think about every day? Or say at least a few times a week?

Reb Volf is a person who I think about very often. Why? Because of the gentle and loving way he would encourage every talmid. "Hastu heint gezugt tehilim?" He would ask me. "Uber mit a hitel un rekkel?"

Since then, every time I'm sitting during davening and my Talis is not on my head, Reb Volf come to mind and I put that Talis back over my head.

That's just one dugma of the deep imprint this great, great Yid has on his talmidim.
(12/29/2010 1:57:00 PM)
Rabbi Greenglass used to teachTania to the Tosh Rebbe
when they used to live downtown
(12/29/2010 2:41:34 PM)
Some memories
When he saw me coming to shul holding my teffilin bag by the corner he came over to me and told me I have to hold it under my arm and close to my heart. It shouldn't be treated like a peckel.
If he saw someone talking in middle of kaddish, his finger would go into his mouth and he would say "ehh"..."ehh".
When bochurim left their hats and jackets on the bima he would clear them off saying a bima is not a place to hang your clothing.
His davening lasted long after the minyan was finished Friday night and he would come to the bochurim's shabbos meal after and tell bochurim to put on hats and jackets.
His tanya shiur was very very entertaining...
His Quebecer niggun and merry go round niggun are montreal zal classics.
Reb Volf used to walk around making sure we were learning during seder and not talking.
He did not appreciate being called a mekubal.
He was a baal yisurim b'gashmius yet always had a witty remark.
(12/29/2010 3:30:01 PM)
Reb Volf tested me on some tanya baal peh.

He onced asked my chavrusha if he said krias shema before its time was up? YES. Did you say todays tehillim? YES. Did you bentch after dinner? YES. Did you put on Rabeinu tam? YES. Did you daaven Mincha & maariv? YES.

Rabbi Greenglass: something is missing! "es felt zich epes"
(12/29/2010 3:53:17 PM)
Sholom B. Feigelstock
BDE. Montreal, the Lubavitch community, Klal Yisroel has lost a great giant. I don’t know where to start, growing up in Montreal there were a couple of pillars from the many that made our community lead Montreal; Rabbi Isaac Schwei, Reb Nossen Fellig, Rabbi Hendel, and Harav Volf. When talking with my freinds on Shabbos, Harav Volf would inform us that "Mir Ret Nit Goyish Oif Shabbos", I will never forget the story about Havdala that Harav Volf said at the Shloishim of his wife. I had the Zechus of Harav Volf being my Sandik. I will definitely make a point to do some from the many things that Harav Vlof campaigned about in particular Kriah Shma Bizman (he did make a point that it should be with Tefilin). Moshiach Now!!
(12/29/2010 3:55:45 PM)
He had a beautiful kind face
(12/29/2010 4:03:29 PM)
he looks like a tzaddik i should of went to him for a miricle
(12/29/2010 4:08:25 PM)
Thinking of you Down under
What a zchus that you had him, and what a bracha that he had you as his family! The devotion of your family is an inspiration!
Baruch Dayen Emes
(12/29/2010 4:23:11 PM)
what a mashpea.
he was a special mashpia, lurnt with us tanya, and instealed in us yeras shamayim, and tught us the yesodos of kabalah. (the map).
(12/29/2010 5:06:32 PM)
a miracle worker
Rav Greenglass was able to perform miracle above nature

Being a great chasid of the REBBIIM of lubavitch he most probably abstained to do so.... becaue the rebbiim said that things must happen naturally, so the nature itself will change naturally
(12/29/2010 5:42:04 PM)
Baruch Dayan Haemes
What an incredible man... Moshiach now
(12/29/2010 6:11:16 PM)
I merited to be close with him in my many years ago, and received personal, detailed, handwritten letters from him when I studied out of town, complete with a seder halimud, seder hayom and seder hachayim. He even went to the lengths of mailing the letters express, from Montreal to Israel, so I would receive it on time for my birthday.
(12/29/2010 6:41:15 PM)
i was by the lvay' today
(12/29/2010 7:15:06 PM)
The pics with rabbi greenglass and rabbi gerlitzky are unreal!!!! gems!!!! priceless!! put a huge smile on my face and a tear in my eye.... lubavitch look what we had...!! anyone who met them were inspired by their genuineness. v'hachai yiten el liboi, lets learn from them.
(12/29/2010 7:38:38 PM)
To #35
Could you please post the havdala story?
(12/29/2010 7:46:36 PM)
a talmid
Reb volf (although having learnt many years in litvisheh yeshivos before coming to the yeshiva of montreal could NEVEr bring myself to call him that, and I think he understood it and allowed me to call him "rabbi Greenglass") was an INCREDIBLE person...he had a way of looking at you that seemed to pierce you to your very core...especially when he used to ask his famous questions about saying brochos, or putting on Rabbeinu Tam etc...the only other person who had that look was the Rebbe himself...I remember a friend of mine who was asked one of those questions by Reb volf z"l, and for whatever reason, (maybe he was embarrassed) he lied and said he did it...(I knew he hadn't but didn't say anything) I remember reb volf looking at him for another moment sadly, yet with hope in his eyes, giving him a chance to say the truth, and then he walked away...REB VOLF NEVER ASKED THAT BOCHUR ONE OF "HIS" QUESTIONS (that I saw) FOR THE REST OF THE YEAR......
(and i get goose bumps when I think about that...)
He is surely being a shtalan for all of his beloved talmidim, and all chassidim and all of Am Yisroel right now, probably asking hashem in "his" way: "hostu geshikt di geulah?"
"B'zman?" etc.....and I'm sure Hashem will answer in the AFFIRMATIVE....may it be NOW.....
(12/29/2010 7:48:25 PM)
shloime freundlich
(12/29/2010 8:41:50 PM)
to # 29 from # 4
I think I know who's sending the regards (from NV?). VOSS HOSTU MOIREH GEBBEN DEIN NOMMEN, ICH HOB GEGEBEN MEIN NOMMEN??
Besuros Toivos!! (to K.S.??)
(12/29/2010 9:28:55 PM)
Shimon Eisenstein
As talmid of the Yeshiva in Montreal I had the "sechus" to learn Chassidus with Reb Wolf on a one-to one basis; but,in later years when I left Mtl and came to visit my home town, I had the Additional "sechus" to farbreng with him, on a one to one basis in his house till all hours of the night. Now that he is "b'ginzei m'romim"; for sure he is more with us all now more than earlier b'chaye alma deyn; and will bring blessings to all of us, See Ageres Hakodesh , Chp. 27.
(12/29/2010 9:58:24 PM)
baroch dayan hemes
Very special person
moshiach now
(12/29/2010 10:25:25 PM)
tahor @kadosh
he knew who went to mikva.
ask to put wool tsitsis.

(12/29/2010 11:51:03 PM)
To #42 (Zvi):
Maybe you could be mezakeh the crowd & post online the letters you got from R' Volf with the seder halimud/hayom/hachayim? It would be greatly appreciated.
(12/30/2010 12:33:58 AM)
Boruch Dayan Hoemes
his hand looks like the Rebbe's hand....
(12/30/2010 6:39:03 AM)
to #16
I remember:
He called the bochur over nd told him ess shatyt vehau hadvarim haeleh asher anochi metzavecho hayom al levovvecho, UBBer nish G-A-P al Livovcha!!! I remember this liked yesterday. Just his sharpness and wit could inspire someone to his bone. BD"E. Yossi
(12/30/2010 10:43:42 AM)
thank you
thank you collive for the pictures and bakovedike article
yehei zicro boruch
(12/30/2010 1:01:39 PM)
to number 37: yes, he looks like a tzadik, BECAUSE HE WAS A TZADIK!!!!. PSHITO!
(12/30/2010 1:09:51 PM)
As a young bochur travelling to learn in Eretz Yisroel in the 80's, he gave me a sefer and a letter to bring to Reb Lazer, son of the renowned mekubal, Harav Asher Zelig Margulis and instructions to visit with him. At the time, I wasn't aware that Reb Volf had hoiros from the Rebbe to keep a strong kesher with the Margulis'es and oft encouraged him to do so. Reb Lazer said some amazing things about Reb Volf as well as the connection between his father and Reb Volf.
(12/30/2010 1:18:44 PM)
(12/30/2010 2:06:15 PM)
To 57, please share what was said
(12/30/2010 4:04:01 PM)
he has the face of a baby in his hand just like the rebbe!
(12/31/2010 2:32:28 PM)
to number 32: can you please tell the full story?
(1/1/2011 11:37:32 PM)
sholom b feigelstock , ¿could you post the havdolos story?
(1/1/2011 11:48:14 PM)
Be-ayni roeesi
I remember at the Chasuna of his daughter and Dovid Cohen that someone (I forget who) got up to speak, and started describing Reb Volf as "der kroin fun Montreal" (the crown of Montreal). Reb Volf burst out laughing and rolled his head sideways on his arm, it sounded so ridiculous to him.

Contrast that with the conventional reaction of oneself hearing praised (looking down, holding back a smile...)
(2/14/2011 12:28:58 AM)
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