לזכר נשמת הרה"ח השליח ר' לוי יצחק בן הרה"ח ר' זלמן יודא דייטש ע"ה

Please donate to the Levi fund. (Please specify that it is for the Levi fund )

Monday, December 5, 2011

I miss having that

By: Chuck Stern

Looking at where I am now, in Torah u'mitzvos, compared to where I want to be, I find myself disappointed that I haven't done more to honor Levi's memory. All of that brings to mind the great love that Levi had for everyone, to the point he knew where and when to use the whip that he kept in his back pocket. The last time I saw him was on Sukkos, at the shul, where he was attending the Sukkos party for the Hebrew School. He'd obviously started another round of chemo, and was fighting hard. But he took the time to look me in the eye, and say, "I'm really disappointed that you're not coming to shul more than you do. I'm disappointed that you're not learning. I met your first chavrusa from JNet, and said that you were doing a good job. So, where have you been?" Another time, earlier, before we found out that he was ill, a friend and fellow member of the congregation was in shul with his son. The son has, as we all pray for, achieved more than his father in learning, and so spoke to refute something that his father said. Levi waited until almost all had gone home, and then he turned to the boy, and quietly but forcefully said, "It doesn't matter how much you've learned, it doesn't matter what your achievements are, I don't EVER want to hear you contradicting your father in public. You know Torah, but you have to work on your derech eretz to make you into a good Jew."

I'm honored that he was able to yell at me. I miss having that.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Beis Medrash Promo from zeldy eber on Vimeo.


By: Zevi Weinberg

One first and foremost remembers Levi’s genuineness.

As “an outsider” to Crown Heights, the one family which to me stands, or stood out, as the most decent, down to earth, mentshlich, Chassidish, i.e. all the qualities one aught to have, is the Deitcsh family.

I was a class older then Levi, so did not have much to do with him personally, but as mentioned, his genuineness, endearing smile and simple mentshlichkeit tears my heart out, that so precious a person was tragically taken far to early.

My only comfort is, that I am sure with such genuineness and goodness, he achieved miracles – of which you know far more than I – in his all to short life span by our standards.

May his wife and children be comforted amongst all mourners and may we merit Vehikitzu Vraninu Shoichnie Afar Vhu Bsoicham!

Bar Mitzvah

By: Glenn Goldenhorn

Dear Rabbi:

I recall how how you loved all the children in and at the Shul. A little tap on the shoulder, but of course you already know. Young " G ", now 13, is set to click off this Rosh Chodesh. The words of the Torah transcend. He reads them in honor of his memory of you. Do me a favor if you will. Give his mother, when you see her, a Mozel Tov for me. May you both flourish brighter and larger than ever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Watch Live! Gathering to mark Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Deitsch OBM

On Thursday night Ohr Le'6 Kislev a gathering to mark the 1st - and hopefully last - Yahrtzeit of Rabbi Levi Deitsch, Shliach to Tysons Corner, VA will be held at The Bais Medrash - 580 Crown St. at 8:30pm.

For more inspirational Jewish video, check out: TorahCafe.com!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

In your honor

By: Anonymous

Last year I wrote and article about Rabbi Levi, OBM, He and his wife unknowingly left a big impression on me and my search for truth. Their Shlichus helped me tremendously in staying connected to Torah and mitzvoth. You see, I moved to Crown Heights to become observant and shortly thereafter I became unable to move. I had plans to go to Machon Chana and learn Torah but instead I spent the whole year in bed unable to move. I questioned why would Hashem do this to me? Since Levi’s passing, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't reflect on his life. Judaism and Shlichus serving Hashem being a soldier for the Rebbe, being a mentch with good midos first---has become much clearer to me. Every day I take a deeper look at his Shluchis, his life with Miriam and their children and grow great strength, B”H. Levi’s shlichus has become my spiritual barometer. Memories of his family life and role as a Shaliach reinforce my desire to grow spiritually. I only was with them in their home all but a few times but I was quick to observe and take a permanent snapshot of Miriam's role as a wonderful Tznusdik thoughtful and Aidel wife and mother and Levi was the mirror of that image as father, husband, son and Shliach (the only roles I saw him in).

As his passing is creeping up on a year I am making a Hachlata to remember him and in his merit continue to explore finding ways to honor him.

This Saturday night Levi, I hope you are not offended, Chas V'shalom, or any of your family members, we are undertaking introducing the Rebbe's chassidim to the possibility of a cure to disease. It is true people have been cured and if it means that it might offend some, I think you would have said, " go for it," that's just the type of person you are. So, in your honor and I have so much kovod for the warrior you were and are, were going to hopefully enlighten some people and maybe help save some lives. I'll hopefully have the courage to address you there and relay to those that didn't know you how truly remarkable your shlichus was and still is to me and my world (which now, B"H, includes our miracle baby Yisroel Zvi Hirsch. I wrote on the blog but this is really a letter to you, Levi, as I know you are very much alive in spirit bc you have been guiding me. It was a tough year for us all. I pray that Hashem continue to give your wife and children unlimited strength, see you soon with the coming of Moshiach, Now!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Levi's Rainbow

By: Geoff Michaelson

It has been 9 months since my Rabbi Levi Deitsch of blessed memory passed away. Driving in the rain through Tysons Corner, Virginia I am thinking of him. There have been some days when I avoided going to Shul, I am sure to avoid painful feelings. Lately I miss him more with the passage of time, probably because my awareness grows of how great his impact on my life has been. Suddenly, a portion of sky opens and the rain becomes a sun shower. A rainbow appears and as I drive on toward Mclean I can see that it is a complete bow. Above is a second very faint bow that lasts only moments. I imagine his voice. "Don't avoid wonderful feelings". 'Sure, sure, sure', I think, remembering his
signature phrasing. I realize he has turned me around again even now, especially now from the inside out. I look up, smiling. B"H"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hashem, Levi and Hot Dogs

By: BB

Five years ago:

Ok Rabbi Levi, you sucked me in.
That first year at the Chabad I recall him asking.
" You coming to Lag Baomer?"
"OY ", not another Minyan, "I'm slammed." Can't tell him no, now can I? Had no idea, up to that point, what, how or who Lag Baomer was or is. I thought he was the President of Israel. Levi pulls me aside, with a serious look , of importance, on his face , Levi softly whispers, in my ear that, all I need do to be righteous is to "fill Geoffry's( my son ) belly with hot dogs, chips and soda." Levi loved the big BBQ. The Rabbi would oversee the hot coals while Rebbitzen Miriam was getting ready to rock the house, for one and all, with entertainment. Levi and Miriam along with Chessy , Laya and Mendy were and are result oriented.

Success to them was seeing smiles on everyone's faces that would grow bigger and brighter when "Yom ha Hot Dog” is continued to be observed, again and again, in coming years. Levi pushed for the “smile " result so very darn hard.

If my memory serves me correct last year Rabbi Levi attended the celebration, at the expense of his health and his concealed broken heart over the loss of Nosson , by the way speaking of the King of Smiles , his brother.

While at the picnic Levi never breathed a word of the families’ loss and of our loss yet to be exposed. He and his family did not let on to anyone about the tragedy of Nosson's loss which happened within hours of the Lag Baomer BBQ Event. Levi's aim for the day was for everyone to simply enjoy. His aim in life was always “Hashem & Others First."
Well, this Lag Baomer, again I'll make a hotdog L'Chaiam at the designated time. I like it with a warm bun and mustard. One new taste on it may be the salt of a tear out of remembrance of Nosson and Levi.

For without Rabbi Levi, his beautiful family and friends, most likely, there never would have been a Lag Baomer and all the other beloved observances shared by me, my son and so many others Jews in Northern Virginia.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Small Things Count Large

By: BB

Sometime it isn't about the grand lessons of life or the power of inspiration or anything Jewish at all.A lot of the time it's about the mid day phone call ,between friends,just to swap stupid jokes and things meaningless. Levi was one of the boy's.A man who talked and walked with kings, and clowns alike and who never lost the common touch. My friend,thank for your " touch"if felt so right. Hey Levi , if you can hear me , did you hear about the Rabbi , the politician and the priest who ..........

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My whole family loved Levi and still do

By: Robin Silverman

When I came to Chabad, I seemed "barely Jewish" to me. Non-observant and unfamiliar with Jewish principles, and negative about religion and Jewishness. Levi drew me in with his warmth, humor, generosity and great acceptance. I felt I could be who I was and supported but never pushed.
Over time, through watching Levi and Miriam, I came to like, respect, and love Judiasm. I loved how Levi was willing to be "flexible" with interpreting the "Observance of laws". Had he judged or pushed, I probably would have written this whole beautiful way of life off. I am so grateful I haven't.
My 14 year old son, Zack came to me last night and said non-challantly, I think I am going to stop eating pork (and in memory of Levi.) I had stopped eating pork and shellfish last month in memory of Levi. And it has brought surprising gifts with it. My 11 year old son Jake remembers Levi's story about the two chickens and cows and other barn animals brought into the house. He asks about golden calves and Joseph and Moses...through listening to Levi and learning at the Hebrew school Levi and Miriam created. So much to say. My whole family loved Levi and still do. We will keep talking about him, remembering him, and being influenced by him. May G-d Bless.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tracht gut vet zein gut was his motto until the very end.

By: Chaim Greisman  
Stockholm, Sweden

Dear Deitsch Family,

Please forgive me for posting this long time overdue. It was my intention, since that very sad Motzaei Shabbos, to write to you. I did start writing several times, but found it painfully difficult. There were no words to pen down the many thoughts, emotions and feelings. So I tried to ignore my emotions and focus on some memories.  

Much of what I’m writing is surely known to you, as you knew Levi much better than anyone else. Nevertheless, I would like to share some of my personal experiences with Levi and tell you again how much he meant to me.


I first met Levi in the middle of 5752 after moving to Crown Heights from Israel, in order to start learning in Oholei Torah. I was a shy Israeli boy, who had just lost his mother, and was trying to get used to my new life, new friends and a new environment. I had great relatives and grandparents in Crown Heights who were an amazing support but it was Levi who was that extra support amongst the friends, who made the entire process easier. Levi was an open and loud boy who knew everybody and was the anything but shy.

Levi was life. He was full of Chayus. He was always in a good mood. He enjoyed life, his family and friends. I will forever owe Levi so much for helping me adjust and melt in.  

As we were entering Shiur Alef Zal we decided to become Chavrusos for Chasidus, and we kept it up until the end of yeshivah, four years later. We spent hours and hours learning, shmozzing, farbrenging and just hanging out both in Yeshivah and at home or in 770.

Often we would continue after night Seder to Levi’s home as Levi loved having friends over at all times of the day and night. You never felt that you were bothering anyone. There was always something to eat and drink, and if you were tired, even a bed.       

So much has been written about the amazing Hachnasas Orchim and special Shabbos meals at your home. There was always room for another guest, and everyone felt like they were part of the family. No matter what part of the meal you showed up you felt like the most welcomed guest.   

Summer camps

I had the privilege of being Levi’s partner for several summers, mostly in CGI Montreal. Levi was an amazing counselor who cared for his campers’ every need. If a camper wanted to leave after one month Levi found the way of making sure he would stay for both. If a camper was feeling bad, Levi found the way of making him feel special. When Levi was around everything was fun, even a simple hike. There was always something exciting. He would sing, crack jokes, motivate and encourage. He knew how to give everyone around him the attention they needed and always had a good word for everyone.

Levis energy and lebedikeit was contagious, bringing an unbelievable summer experience to his campers and surrounding. After each meal he would start to sing, even if the head-counselor would ask for quiet. Nobody could get angry at him, you just smiled and sang along. With Levi around it is no wonder we always won bunk competition.

Levi loved the Rebbe and would make sure to infuse his campers with feelings of Hiskashrus and Chassidishkeit. Story time at bedtime, midnight activities and just hanging around were all ways of motivating and inspiring the young boys.    

We spent two consecutive summers with the same bunk and formed a special and close relationship with our campers. Levi would organize Farbrengens and activities for our campers throughout the year. We went on Mivtzoim together, had Melave Malkas and much more. Levi lived camp year round. At the camp reunions he was the natural central figure.

When our third summer together came around Levi had a revolutionary idea.

Being a waiter in camp was not the most prestige-filled summer job and it wasn't something an average Chasidishe Bochur was looking to do. Levi, with his unbelievable compelling talent, got a wonderful group of great Chassidishe Bochurim to come and serve as waiters (or Mashbak”s as we called them). Although formally I was the learning teacher and Levi the counselor we ended up doing everything together and we had a wonderful summer, spending lots of time learning and Farbrenging, but also going on many trips that Levi managed to arrange for the group.

In my humble opinion it was an amazing accomplishment that contributed to a much stronger chassidishe environment in the entire camp from then onwards.

Our forth summer we spent in the European summer Yeshivah in Italy and France. We traveled a lot and had a great time. Levi spent much time during the pre-summer months on getting good boys to come along, thus ensuring it will be a truly Chassidishe experience for all.

Our fifth summer together was back in Montreal. Levi was head-counselor and I was learning-director. What I miss most of that summer is those Shabbes afternoon Farbrengens in our little condo. These were truly special moments, talking about anything and everything over a Lchaim or two, getting ready for our lives as Shluchim of the Rebbe.

During the Shivah I took out the many albums I have with thousands of great summer pictures. Loads of wonderful memories of unforgettable moments that will be cherished for life came rushing in front of my eyes. I was just sitting and crying while staring at Levi being Levi. Here he is laughing, smiling, dancing, sporting, learning, farbrenging and just enjoying camp like only Levi knew. I will IYH scan some of them and post them on the blog.

I will forever be thankful to Levi that he allowed me to be part of those wonderful days.


During the Shiva I wrote the following words to my weekly e-mail list: 

This week I learned an important lesson about friendship.

One of my closest friends and classmates, Rabbi Levi Deitsch of Chabad of Tysons in Virginia, passed away last Shabbat after a three-year battle with cancer. Levi was a true friend who’ve I spent lots of time with in Yeshivah, summer camps and travelling. I will always be thankful for getting to know him and being able to learn from his many qualities. I will truly miss him.

But what inspired me most about Levi, during his life but especially the last week reading so many emails and blog posts, was the fact that there were literally hundredths of people that considered Levi one of their best friends. He had an amazing ability of giving all he came in contact with the feeling that he was their best friend, that he really cared for them and that you can always count on him. Everyone was just happier when Levi was around. And it wasn’t a show, it was just who he was: a true friend, who cared for so many, with his entire being.

Levi was a living example who demonstrated that love and friendship are not limited. We can befriend many more people then we think. Let us not hesitate to reach out and acquire another friend. No one has ever suffered from having too many friends.

There is so much that can be written about Levis amazing friendship quality. But for me the most amazing thing was that Levi was able to connect with anybody, young and old, far and near, he was simply everyone’s best friend. For real.

I remember a period in yeshivah where Levis was trying to surprise his friends on their birthdays. Not only was the present itself a surprise but also the way he handed it over. At one occasion he found an old kindergarten picture with one friend. He enlarged the picture to a 20x30 poster and framed it. He then sneaked in to the friend’s bedroom at home and hung it up at the wall over his bed. As far as I remember he didn't even ask for permission. When Levi wanted to do something, he just did it. With his laugh and a good word, you just accepted it with a smile. What else could you do?  

At another occasion he purchased a leather Siddur, personalized it with a friends name and hid it in his Tefilin bag so he will find it the morning of his birthday.

These were small things and thoughts that made Levi so loved by all his friends.   

Shlichus years

Naturally, after leaving to Shlichus we were less in touch as there were time differences etc. but we kept in touch and would speak every so often. What amazed me most was Levis ability of remembering details of names and people. He would ask how this and this is doing and how did a certain program develop. It could have been months later, but he remembered it all.

In general Levi felt very close to Stockholm, as he was a great-grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Israel Zuber who served as a Rabbi and Moehl in Stockholm during the 1930’s and 40’s. Rabbi Zuber was a Rabbi in Adat Israel Shul, where I Daven today. Levi was very interested to know how is “Zeides Shul” is doing and would ask about as much details as possible.

After Levi’s father, Reb Zalman, passed away we decided to start a phone Shiur on Thursday night / Friday morning where we learned together a sicha bechavrusa. The first year or so we learned together but after a while some classmates joined and this kept for several years. The Shiur was very dear to Levi and he would make an effort to join, even when he was already sick and it was getting more difficult.

Unfortunately due to Levi’s condition the Shiur weakened the last period. But Levi promised me several times that as soon as he gets better he will join again. Now his friends have decided to renew the Shiur, and it resumed during Shivah. Every Leil Shishi friends from around the world join in learning in his memory and I’m sure Levi is joining us too from Gan Eden. (If any of Levis classmates are reading this and would like to join please email me at rabbi@chabadstockholm.com for the details).

I saw Levi last during the Kinus Hashluchim, in NIH hospital, just over a week before he returned his purified soul to Hashem. It was very obvious that his condition was not good. Nevertheless he made an effort to joke around and talk about whatever as if all is well. Tracht gut vet zein gut was his motto until the very end.

Levi, I will forever remember you for all the love, friendship and happiness you spread around you. Your amazing ability to think positive will be a motivation and inspiration for me. Often, when things are difficult and I have a hard day, I think of you and get encouraged to keep it up. You will forever remain with us.

Soon, Moshicah will come and we will be able to continue our Farbrengens together. Until then, may Hashem give your wife, children, mother and siblings the Koach they need to go on with life. Often, when such events happen we say Life must go on. Levi, YOUR LIFE must go on, the amazing of a person you were must live within all of us and continue be an inspiration for all who knew you during your short, but so accomplished, life. 

May we share only Simchos and Besuros Tovos with the Deitsch family from now on, Simchos that we will all share in.

Levi at my wedding.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Your efforts will not be forgotten

By: Dr Stanko Petrov

I can not stop thinking about him.
Great man and a real Rabbi (The only one that I trusted).
He will always be remembered by me for his love, patience, kindness, sacrifice and generosity.
He was always there for me helping to get my life straight.
By all means ( buying my undergrad books (now 3rd year medical student), bringing food when I was sick to going out playing pool to cheer me up and talking about life.
Will always remember
His laugh, jokes, hugs and kisses.
As I write this tears are running down my face there is so much to say.
I will miss you
Your efforts will not be forgotten.
And I will keep my promise !

Monday, January 17, 2011

My Rabbi

By: Alfred Ohebshalom

Rabbi Levi Deitsch. Where could a person begin?

…Just about 20 years ago, one Friday afternoon before Shabbat, I heard the bell of my office door ring and on the other side were two Frum young men, holding a Talit bag and asking my father, brother and me if we would like to partake in the mitzvah of putting on Teffilin. Obviously, I welcomed them in and that was where the start of our beautiful 20 year relationship began. I witnessed him grown from a special young man to a community leader who was beyond his years in wisdom. His teachings were always filled with knowledge and the pearls of Torah which he bestowed upon his listeners, were always rich in depth and meaning.

On one particular occasion, I remember Rav Levi visiting me at work and announcing that he was engaged to the woman he hopes to spend the rest of his life with, (the fabulous Rebbenzin Miriam whom we all know so well). That day we had a memorable lechaim and his face was nothing short of glowing. He was clearly radiating a heavenly joy and he was beyond happy to finally start his life with this very special woman. Months later, Rav Levi approached me with Rebbenzin Mirriam, and mentioned he wanted to start a Shul in Virginia. At the time I had no idea that a young man of his age was capable of achieving precisely that and truly, so much more. Because of his charisma and inborn love of Hashem, it seemed as if he could do truly anything. He called me and confidently proclaimed “We did it.” Albeit he was proud (and deservingly so,) his strength in being an anav overcame his desire to boast this wonderful achievement.

Baruch Hashem, throughout the years I knew Rav Levi, we shared happiness in numerous other smachot as well; my son’s Bar Mitzvah, the earning of his Rabbanut, and the birth of his adorable children, in addition to many other milestones of his life.

Sadly, we also shared a common displeasure in many unfortunate moments. Throughout the ups and downs, Rav Levi still carried his famous smile on his face and approached all issues of life with a positive attitude. Even in his later days, where I was privileged to visit him at his mother’s home in Crown Heights, he welcomed me with that distinct smile that made him nothing short of legendary. Throughout our time together, his Emunah in Hashem, his love of humanity and his outstanding character, never faltered. It was precisely these virtues that carried him so long and helped him overcome all of the obstacles throughout his 34 year journey in this world.

Not too many people could achieve what Rav Levi did in such a short amount of time. Rav Levi will forever live in our memories and hearts as a unique person with unmatchable courage and love. Personally, I am forever grateful for the way Rav Levi touched my soul, and for having taught me to better embrace the Torah and thus become a greater citizen of Hashem’s world.

Rabbi, we will never forget you.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Rabbi Levi giving the speech at the Hebrew School graduation, where 50 children graduated between 5-13.

Levi giving a L'chaim to a newly engaged couple, who had their engagement party at the Chabad house.

Monday, January 3, 2011

He was a larger than life

By: LF

“Rabbi Levi” as he was fondly called, was sent to Tyson's Corner, VA to save lives, spiritually primarily, but in his final moments and then beyond, an actual life.

In his last weeks, Rabbi Levi was in massive pain, his illness rapidly becoming too difficult for his doctors to treat. An energy healer was flown in from Israel, one who they hoped would provide Rabbi Levi with some relief.

Taking a walk that fateful Shabbat afternoon, the Healer began to experience chest pains. Mentioning this to Dr. I, he was told to stay in town until Monday when he could have it checked out by Dr. B right there at Reston Hospital.

Monday morning came, and as he was staying at our home, I drove him to his appointment. Figuring I’d go and say a quick hello to Dr. B. I accompanied him instead of driving to the office. It was a good thing I did, as the receptionist said he had no appointment. Reluctant to stay until the afternoon only to get a consultation, as the receptionist suggested, he says to me “Let’s go, I have friends in Baltimore, and then some things to do in NY, I’ll take care of it some other time”.

Leaving the office, I glanced at the wall where the names of the doctors whose practice it was are prominently emblazed; I recognized one of them as a student at our current JLI course on Medical Ethics. Calling Dr. Y. on his cell phone he graciously agreed to have him squeezed in immediately.
Not a moment too soon.

The next morning he was being wheeled into Inova Fairfax for an emergency angioplasty. His results? The opening of his coronary artery that had become 95% blocked. He was, in the doctors’ words, “a heart attack in waiting”.

You see, he came to save Rabbi Levi’s life; it was Rabbi Levi who saved his.

Rabbi Levi will be sorely missed. He was a larger than life figure; his presence filled any room he was in. His absence now leaves a gaping hole in our collective heart.

Yet in Beit Shemesh in the land of Israel, a grateful father, husband, and grandfather feels his presence still. So does his family.

So do we.