(Originally published June 19, 2016)
The World lost one of its truly “Greatest” on the the 10th of Sivan -Dr. Irving Moskowitz Z’L.
I had the honor and privilege of knowing Dr. Irving Moskowitz Z’L for the past 31 years. He and his beloved family transformed the Old City of Jerusalem, the Mount of Olives, Judea/Samaria, and all of Modern Day Israel. He and his family showed the Way. He was a Hero for Eternity. Every Jew should aspire to be Dr. Irving Moskowitz.
He persevered, he endured, and brought Glory to Yerushalayim like no other. He was a devoutly Religious Man. He was involved in innumerable Projects throughout the Land of Israel. I went to the Golan Heights with him twice. He made sure to protect and defend every inch of the land of Israel with all his heart and soul. In 1990 he financed and directed a Jumbo Jet with 400 Yeshiva University students to Israel on the brink of the First Gulf War. The trip was called Operation Torah Shield. It made headlines in every corner of the world.I had the privilege of being part of that Historic Mission but it was all Dr. Moskowitz.
There was a great fear at the time that Saddam Hussein would use SCUDS loaded with chemical weapons against Israel (Gas Masks were handed out to everyone in exchange for their passport). It did not stop the trip. It gave tremendous Chizuk (strengthening) to both Israel and America. American troops especially appreciated the trip since they were soon going to Battle. When we arrived in Israel we were greeted by every major network, every major Newspaper and every media outlet at the Airport. Dr. Moskowitz was a genius. He knew what he had to do and let nothing get in his way.
In the summer of 1991 I went to Israel with Dr. Moskowitz Z’L along with Jack FriedlerZ’L, and Herb Zweibon Z’L and 100 American Leaders to fight for the 10 Billion Dollar Loan Guarantees to save Soviet Jewry that then President Bush was holding up. He eventually relented. The trip helped. Dr. Moskowitz Z’L was at the forefront of that fight along with so many others. I am only able to give a very small slice in the Life of Dr. Moskowitz. Books can and will be written about him. Dr. Moskowitz revolutionized the way one thought about Israel and the world. Along with Mati Dan HaKohen, the Founder of Ateret Cohanim, he was able to do what no one thought possible. He made it happen.
I still remember reading his inspiring weekly column in the Jewish Press entitled, “One Minute to Midnight”. This is indeed how he lived his Life. “If not now when?” Thanks to Dr. Moskowitz and his beloved wife, Cherna (Until 120), Jerusalem will remain UNDIVIDED forever. I remember on Operation Torah Shield that Dr. Moskowitz brought his Stethoscope. He had been a top flight Physician and loved Medicine and caring for People. He became a very successful Businessman after a brilliant Medical Career.
He told me he always carried his stethoscope even though he was now involved in so many incredible projects. He was also a great Baseball Player in his younger days but chose a Career in Medicine instead. He would have made it to the Major Leagues. That is how good a ballplayer he was. In the late 1990’s I accompanied Dr. Moskowitz to an area on the Mount of Olives called Ras-al-Amud. Dr. Moskowitz had purchased the land and was going to build a 120 Unit apartment complex there. He was running into all kinds of static. He got help from an unlikely source-then Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The day I was there protesters came too.
It did not stop Dr. Moskowitz. he took it all in stride. Today the Ras-al-Amud Project is complete and is a bustling and vibrant area of Jewish Life. It is one of the many Projcts he was involved in. The renovation of the Ohel Yitzchak Synagogue in the Old Jewish Quarter, the Western Wall Tunnel Project, the Shepherd Hotel Project and so many others all due to the vision and courage of Dr. Irving Moskowitz, Z’L. The list goes on. He was a kind, gentle and brilliant Giant of a man. The World truly lost one of its Greatest. Dr. Moskowitz, Z’L should be a Special Advocate for all of us. The Family should be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim.
below are photographs of instances in which Executive Vice President of IHF Dr. Joseph Frager met with Dr. Irving Moskowitz A”H