More than a thousand people attended the funeral services here today for Rabbi Chaim Moshele, popularly known as the Cremenetzer Rebbe, scion of one of the oldest rabbinical families on record, claiming seventh generation descent from the founder of Chassidim, the Baal Shem Tov.
Rabbi Chaim Moshele died yesterday in Atlantic City at the age of 56 following a prolonged illness. His father was Rabbi Alexander Samuel, well known in European Rabbinical circles.
Interment took place at the Mount Har Hasharon cemetery.
With him at his bedside when he succumbed were Rabbi B. L. Levinthal, chief rabbi of Philadelphia, as well as a number of other leading rabbis.
Rabbi Chaim Moshele was known throughout the world not only for his rabbinic and chassidic learning, but also for his deep interest in Jewish affairs.
During the world war, he was actively identified with Jewish relief abroad. On one occasion when the army of General Petlura, pogromist leader, entered the city of Cremenetz, the rumor spread that a priest had been ill treated by the Jewish population.
Determined to avenge this act, Petlura, known throughout the world for the river of Jewish blood left behind him, ordered Rabbi Chaim Moshele and another to be shot.
Their lives were saved in dramatic fashion. The eyes of the two Jewish victims were bandaged and the firing squad was ready to shoot when a former officer in the Czar’s army recognized the rabbi as one who had once rendered him a service.
In appreciation of this service and out of deep respect for the rabbi, the officer was able to prevail upon Petlura to spare the lives of both.
Rabbi Chaim Moshele came to the United States eleven years ago and settled in Philadelphia.
He is survived by a widow, two daughters and a son, the latter a student at the Yeshiva Isaac Elchanan.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.