Monsey Memories: Rav Moshe Silber

Monsey Memories: Rav Moshe Silber

An esteemed figure in the Monsey community, was Rav Moshe Silber, a scion of great Rabbonim and a great Talmid Chochom and dayan who spent his life immersed in Torah and avodah. 

Moving to Monsey 

Born in Hungary, Rav Moshe came to Williamsburg, where he learned in Yeshiva Torah Vodaas. But, he soon transferred to the elite chaburah in Beis Medrash Elyon in Monsey. There, he joined with the lions of that legendary place in spending their days and nights immersed in the pursuit of Torah. 

The younger bochurim who grew up in Monsey remembered Rav Moshe well from those days in Beis Medrash Elyon, and one of them—today a famous Rosh Yeshiva— later wrote about that era: “I merited during my youth to gain from the influence of Rav Moshe, who drew me close, and enabled me to taste the sweetness of Torah, to feel the joy in parsing svoros to their depth…” 

Among his chaverim in Beis Medrash Elyon—who remained a lifelong friend in Monsey—was the legendary ga’on, Rav Shmelke Taubenfeld. 

After a few years, he moved his young family to Monsey and entered the nascent Skverer Kollel in the fledgling village of New Square. Although he continued to travel in for work, he would remain learning all day in the Kollel on many days. After a while, he abandoned work altogether and dedicated himself solely to learning. He cared about little else than the dalet amos shel halochoh, and the yungeleit—young and old—would all glean from his Torah and erudite way of thinking. 

Dedication to Torah 

He soon became the rosh hakollel of the Kollel Shas of Machon l’Horaah, and later became a part of the Beis Din on matters of even ha’ezer and Choshen Mishpat, a position in which his incredible mastery and grasp of the inyanim was on full display—in concert with his sensitivity and middas ha’emes. On one occasion, a ba’al din put a lot of pressure on Rav Moshe to change his mind in a din Torah. It was then that Rav Moshe concisely summed up his character and philosophy, saying: “All the winds in the world will not budge me from the truth!” 

Fellow dayonim would relate about his brilliance during dinei Torah, during which he would sit quietly, not even writing anything, but in the few words that he would say, it was evident, with crystal clarity, that he had absorbed every word that was said in the deliberations. 

His dedication to learning was incredible. He was brilliant and erudite, and he applied and invested all these talents to learning with tremendous hasmodoh—and his svoros and thought process in learning were known to be exceptionally thought out and arrived at through tremendous toil. 

For all his brilliance, Rav Moshe know was known as the most patient of people, answering each questioner according to his understanding—whether an adult or a child. He had all the time in the world for each person who came to him, and he possessed an incredible ability to explain a concept in its simplest form. 

His proficiency in the teshuvah seforim was extraordinary, and he had mastered the derech of each of the Rishonim and Acharonim. He held strongly that only a person who has internalized a great deal of Torah and halochoh has honed his instincts enough to espouse hashkofoh to others. Rav Moshe’s life was dictated by the Shulchan Aruch, without which he would not make a move. 

Rav Moshe continued in his life of Torah and avodah until his passing in the winter of 2001 at the young age of 62, following a lifetime dedicated to learning and teaching Torah. 

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