Coronavirus claims Bnei Brak rabbi, 48, with no background illness; leaves behind 14 children

“He was all about concern for others,” said the rabbi’s brother.

By Josh Plank, World Israel News

Rabbi Chaim Aharon Turchin, a 48-year-old father of 14, died of coronavirus overnight Monday at Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv.

Rabbi Turchin was a resident of Bnei Brak and the head of the Ohr Yitzhak yeshiva in Jerusalem. He is survived by a wife and 14 children, five of whom are married.

He was diagnosed with coronavirus three weeks ago and hospitalized at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak, but he was transferred to Ichilov Hospital as his condition worsened.

According to the hospital, Rabbi Turchin had no preexisting medical conditions. “He was on a ventilator for one week and was even attached to an ECMO machine, but to our sorrow despite the doctors’ efforts we had to pronounce his death Monday night,” the hospital said.

Shaya Turchin, the rabbi’s brother, told Ynet, “He was all about concern for others, anyone who would accept it. He would speak to people in a beautiful way. He would smile at them and receive them with a smile.”

Shaya said his brother always saw the good in others. “Even if he got a reprimand from someone, he would never respond. He accepted everything with love,” he said.

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Concerning the rabbi’s students at Ohr Yitzhak, he said, “He was like their dad. He went to Jerusalem every morning and took care of them,” adding, “He did everything to keep them off the streets.”

Rabbi Turchin’s funeral was held at Ponevezh Cemetery in Bnei Brak early Tuesday afternoon.

Earlier this month, Bnei Brak was placed under total lockdown and de facto IDF control due to the city’s high coronavirus infection rate after the head of one of Israel’s largest health services estimated that 38% of residents may have contracted the virus. The majority of the city’s restrictions were lifted last week.