With sadness we inform you of the passing of Mr. Bentzion Rader OBM, a prominent member of the Lubavitch community in London, England. He was 92 years old.
Mr. Bentzion Rader, an accountant and a prominent member of the Chabad community in London England, passed away on Shabbos Parshas Behar-Bechukosai.
R' Bentzion Rader was a prolific writer and speaker who chronicled many aspects of Chassidic life
R' Bentzion was born and raised in London. After serving in the British Royal Navy during World War II, he married his wife, Hinda, launched a successful career as an accountant and joined the Jewish community in Ilford, a district of east London.
In the Chof years, Rader met Rabbi Faivish Vogel, who introduced him to the teachings of Chabad chassidus and helped arrange for Rader’s first Yechidus with The Rebbe in 5726.
During that meeting, the Rebbe advised Rader on business affairs, supplying both practical guidance and spiritual direction. In addition to showing a keen understanding of British economic matters, the Rebbe advised his visitor to have his tefillin checked. Sure enough, they were found to have been improperly assembled. “I was totally overwhelmed by this,” Rader would later relate in an interview with JEM “How did the Rebbe know?!”
Rader would go on to become an active participant in the Rebbe’s numerous campaigns to spread Judaism throughout Europe and the world.
In 5735, during a business meeting in Detroit, Rader rose early in the morning to meet a baker at 6:30 a.m. and help the man strap on tefillin amid the sacks of flour. At the Rebbe’s urging, that very next day he sent the man a pair of tefillin to use regularly.
In the ensuing decades, Rader had more than 26 hours of yechidus with the Rebbe. His personal accounts of his meetings with the Rebbe have inspired many people and have appeared in articles, books and videos.
Despite his regular day job, Rader contributed to many publications and edited the “Week in Review,” a circular with timely Torah-related essays.
Together with his wife, he wrote, edited and compiled numerous books, including “Challenge: An Encounter With Chabad,” “Challenge: An Encounter with Chabad in Israel,” “Woman of Valour,” “Return to Roots” and “To Touch the Divine.”
The Rebbe took personal interest in their writing, providing detailed edits to essays, comments on illustrations, advice regarding what projects they should next take up and even offered to finance their editorial work when necessary.
In an interview to JEM’s Here’s My Story, he described his first encounter with the Rebbe and the profound impressions it made on him. Before the audience, he described how he had asked Rabbi Faivish Vogel, who accompanied him on his trip: “How do I explain my business affairs to the Rebbe? They are highly complicated!”
When the Rebbe finished reading, he turned to me and asked me a question that went directly to the heart of my field of expertise: “In England, when a company is being floated on the stock exchange, how is it valued?”
I explained what was involved, and in response, the Rebbe said, “That’s not the way we do it in America…” And he proceeded to explain to me the way a company was floated on the New York Stock Exchange.
The Rebbe went on to explain the difference between emunah and bitachon and proceeded to give me down-to-earth practical advice on how to deal with what was concerning me. His advice was invaluable to me. It was much better advice than I got from many of the professionals to whom I’d paid lots of money.
He is survived by -yibodlu l'chaim tovim- his wife Hinda, and their children, Rabbi Hershel Rader (London, UK), Mrs. Sandy Weinbaum (London, UK) and Mrs. Baumgarten (Johannesburg, South Africa) as well as many grand children and great-grand children.