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R’ Daniel Moskowitz, shliach in Chicago, died suddenly of a heart attack following surgery at the age of 59. A brief biography of a Chassid who tirelessly devoted himself to the Rebbe’s shlichus for 37 years.


The Chabad community in Chicago and shluchim and Anash worldwide are mourning the sudden loss of R’ Daniel Moskowitz, shliach in Chicago. He ran the Chabad mosdos there and played a leadership role in the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and because of this, and more, R’ Moskowitz was the driving force of a community with the fourth largest Jewish population in the United States.

R’ Moskowitz was born on the north side of Chicago to Efraim and Tzivia Moskowitz. His father, who was a teacher for many years in a Jewish school in Chicago, learned in Lubavitcher Yeshiva in Brooklyn when he was a boy and maintained his connection with Chabad as a great help to the Rebbe’s shliach in Chicago, R’ Shlomo Zalman Hecht.

In his youth, R’ Daniel attended the Bais Yaakov school in Chicago and then learned in Telz in Chicago. The spirit of Lubavitch which his father had absorbed affected him and he began to take an interest. He then switched to the Chabad yeshiva in Montreal.

After several years in Montreal, he went to learn in 770. He spent his year on shlichus in the yeshiva in Brunoy and merited to receive much from the mashpia, R’ Nissan Nemanov. In 5737, after he married the daughter of R’ Menachem Mendel Aharonov of Toronto, he returned to Illinois where he joined the work of R’ Hecht who was the rav of the Anshei Lubavitch shul.

R’ Hecht, who was an older man at this point, focused on personal outreach and shiurim while much more was needed in a big city like Chicago. At that time, many young Jews had dropped all ties to Judaism and the only Jewish organization that tried to reach out to them was Chabad.

In 5736, a man by the name of Sherwin Pomerantz, today a businessman in Eretz Yisroel, wrote to the Rebbe and asked him to send a Chassid to reach out to the Jewish youth. He received a response a year later. At a meeting in a restaurant, Pomerantz was told that the Rebbe was sending a new shliach to Chicago, R’ Daniel Moskowitz.

About a year after arriving, R’ Daniel established a Chabad house at Northwestern University. One year later, on 24 Av 5739, R’ Hecht passed away and R’ Chadakov told R’ Moskowitz to take over. From a small office in Rogers Park, he turned Chabad of Illinois into an empire with dozens of branches throughout the state.

He started Chabad schools for children of all ages as well as a high school for girls. Chicago became one of the only cities in the US with Chabad schools for all ages.

The dean of Cheider Lubavitch, R’ Yitzchok Wolf, told about the tremendous help he received from R’ Daniel. “He was a role model not just for me but for many shluchim around the world.”

In the 80’s he started Chabad Downtown which serves many Jews who work in the area.

When Jews first immigrated en masse to America, many Chassidim lived in Chicago and there were many Nusach Ari shuls. For various reasons, many of these shuls were closed but in 5755, R’ Moskowitz reopened the Beis Menachem – Nusach Ari shul, thus reviving the old Chassidic shul that had been in Albany Park. For years he also served as the rav of the shul.

In 5760, R’ Moskowitz and his family moved to Northbrook where they started a new Chabad house. It was the last Chabad house that he himself founded. In recent years, he focused primarily on helping found new Chabad houses with the last one opened a few months ago in Carbondale.

R’ Moskowitz was a dynamic shliach and was the force behind the Jewish revolution in the state of Illinois. He helped and supported the founding of about forty new Chabad houses in twenty-one cities around the state and he did it all with joy.

“His leadership style was one of encouragement and enthusiasm,” said R’ Boruch Epstein who replaced him as the rav of the Beis Menachem shul after he moved to the suburbs. “He greatly enjoyed seeing other people doing well, and he was extraordinarily supportive. He oversaw close to 40 institutions. That’s a lot of people, and at any given time, not everybody is always doing well, but he was always encouraging.”

R’ Moskowitz also served as the chairman of the executive committee of the Chicago Rabbinical Council. “R’ Daniel Moskowitz was an individual who had unconditional love for the Jewish people,” said R’ Abramson, administrator of the Beth Din of the CRC. “It came through in all his work, all of his conversations and all of his representations.”

In the course of his wide ranging activities R’ Moskowitz developed connections with important government figures and with many Jewish philanthropists. They all openly displayed great admiration for him. He was friendly with many government figures in Chicago and the state of Illinois and even with senior figures in the federal government. Sherwin Pomerantz, past president of one of the big shuls in Chicago, said that he was deeply influenced by the charisma and authenticity of R’ Moskowitz. To him, R’ Moskowitz was someone completely devoted to his mission, the G-dly mission with which he had been entrusted. Others noted his sense of humor; he always came up with the right joke at the right time.

R’ Moskowitz was known as a dynamic speaker and his shiurim were enjoyed by many, including those who you would not expect to see at a Torah shiur. He was also a gifted writer and his articles on Jewish topics were published in numerous places.

On all these diverse fronts he worked energetically and with endless devotion, becoming one of the central figures in Jewish life in Chicago. Whether he was lighting a Chanuka Menorah at the White House or in the center of Chicago, serving as rav of a shul or as Tankist on a Mitzva Tank, raising money for a new mosad or involved in a din Torah, addressing children in camp or visiting the sick in the hospital and giving them what they needed for Shabbos, R’ Moskowitz was fully devoted.

R’ Moskowitz went to the Rebbe for 11 Nissan 5752, the Rebbe’s 90th birthday. In a short interview that was broadcast on major media outlets, R’ Moskowitz told the tens of thousands of viewers about the Chassidim’s belief that the Rebbe is Moshiach.


R’ Moskowitz had gall bladder surgery after which he sent a text to his fellow shluchim with a reminder of a shiur that would be taking place. A few hours later came the shocking news that the shliach had lost consciousness and had passed away of a heart attack.

His sudden death shocked his family, community, fellow shluchim and thousands of Chassidim around the world. He is survived by his parents, three brothers, his wife and nine children. He lived to see four of his children serve as shluchim in Illinois. A future Chabad house that will be built in Chicago will be named for him, said the shluchim, ready to carry on until (Yeshaya 25:8) “And death will be swallowed up forever. And Hashem Elokim will wipe the tears from all faces.”


Reader Comments (1)

Dear Rabbi,

I am going to tell you certain things in short. Maybe you will think I am crazy and that I have really lost it. I will tell you in brief about the constant dreams and visions I have about me and the Almighty Father who is waiting for me. These dreams and visions which I have thus far caused that my friends and my family rejected me and most of them I am not permitted not to see them or even go to their houses. So, if I don’t hear from you I will understand.

I grew up as a Christian and my father was a Pentecostal preacher. From that I was a small child I will have dreams and visions that I will ascend into heaven to the Almighty Father. In my dreams I will see HIM speaking to me and He will say unto me: "Be prepared, for I AM coming on the fourth day"! Then I will ascend from heaven with the clouds of heaven and with great power. I do not have to say anything because of this majesty I have.

One morning I had the strangest dream, Moses and Elijah appeared unto me in a cloud while the sun was setting and they told that “the Almighty Father has chosen me and that they (Moses and Elijah) cannot return for I am to be the fourth day of the creation. I, Helgard will give Moses and Elijah the order to return. While I had this conversation with Moses and Elijah I was standing at the house of Obed-Edom.

I still did not get it, as I said that I was a Christian on that particular time. I will always dream about the fourth day that the Almighty Father will come on the fourth day in flesh, and I will see me as the Almighty Father. I will understand that you as the reader Rabbi will probably take an offence of me for saying these things, but I have to speak to someone.

Then one day I had a dream but so real. These dreams of mine are so real. I saw the Almighty Father was passing me by and I wanted to see his face, although HE did not want me to see his face. I went after the Almighty Father, and then He turned unto me, and I fell backwards and I yelled with a great fear. When I looked up into the Almighty's Father's face, I saw my own face and that I am the Almighty Father in flesh!!!

I will dream that I will ascend into heaven either by a chariot and a horse into heaven or by just my body and I will spend time with the Almighty Father in heaven for forty days. After a while I will descend from heaven and before my face and body will a burning consuming fire be that no man can stand before me.

These dreams and vision got much intensified the older I got, and still I did not have a clue what was going on. Then one morning on the 1st of January 2005 I was woken up by a voice. The voice said unto me if you want to know what is the fourth day all about and what I have in store for my people Israel make study of the Torah. At that stage I did not know the difference between Christians and Israelites. I thought everyone was the same. I have read the five books whenever we went to church, but I have never made a study of the Torah.

Then six months followed after that I got another dream/vision in my sleep I ascended into heaven and the Almighty Father appeared unto me and He has said that He has chosen me to lead his people Israel. I did not understand this at all. I did not know on that stage anything about Judaism. I saw again I was waiting at the house of Obed-Edom looking to the west where the sun is setting. I was waiting there to ascend into heaven for the Almighty Father had an appointment with me.

I got another dream I was waiting in the clearest water and I was waiting to ascend into heaven to see the Almighty Father for HE has an appointment with me. He is going to change my name and He is going to write on me words in Hebrew with fire. It looks like a tablet of stone or something my body. After I ascended into heaven I descended and as I walked on earth I gathered Israel. I saw heaven torn apart and horses came from heaven. I had a key where I opened and close heaven. I had a star, an only star which people wanted, but could not get, for it belonged to me. This star fell from heaven and belonged unto me and was covered with a huge big rock and I saw people in envy of me.

I had numerous dreams about the house of Obed-Edom and me waiting in the house of Obed-Edom for the right particular moment. I was waiting at the house of Obed Edom and the Almighty Father was teaching me from the five books of Moses and the prophets. He showed me how to eat bread and drink the wine cup. I told Him that I was taught different according to my religion. He has said that I have been taught wrong my entire life, and that He ONLY is going to teach me. So He did.

I flew for the first time to Israel for these dreams got really intense and I did not had any understanding of the fourth day when the Almighty Father will come. I will always dream that I am chosen to gather Israel. As I said I really did not understand this, and this was quite controversial from my Christian being up brought.

I arrived in Tel Aviv and I took the train to Jerusalem where I spent the night. The following day I took a bus to the Mount Sinai in Egypt. When I got there I had no luggage, except my Bible. I started to fast in prayer where I dreamt more and more intense dreams where I will ascend into heaven and come back to earth with clouds surrounding me. During that time I still was reading my Bible vigorously, but I still had no answer what the fourth day and all these dreams meant. I did not have any food coming over my lips for 63 days. Then on my 40th day of fasting I remember the voice which spoke to me which said that I have to study the writings of Moses. So I did. And when I started, I started at Exodus 1 and when I got to Exodus 19 to Exodus 34 I saw all my dreams what the meaning meant. It was thou I see a code encrypted within scriptures and dialogues. It was so extreme that I was stunned, I was speechless for days. I phoned my parents, friends and family back in South Africa, they thought I was crazy. My friends, the people from my church rejected me. One church thrown me out literally, I was even on the front page of the newspaper that I was crazy.

It has been nearly 9 years that the more I read, the more I see when, how the King Moschiach will appear from heaven. As I said I have never been taught any teaching from a Jew, a Rabbi, but the things I know is so extreme – none of friends or family understands me when I speak about the books of Moses and the hidden message. It is thou I see myself in the scriptures of the prophets and the Torah. These people wrote about me. I say to friends and family that every time when I start to study and reading the Torah I see more things which are hidden. My wife and parents began to listen to me more over the years. They say I have to go to a Jew or a Rabbi for they have never heard such things. I said unto them that I totally agree. These secrets which I get within the writings of Moses are so huge and for surely the Christians do not even preach it. No man has ever made these things known unto me.

I have started to write the book of the coming of King Moschiac on the fourth day and with hundreds of scriptures which is encoded in the Torah as the proof to it.

I honestly do not know where to turn to for help. I am currently in the United States.

Hope to hear from you. If I don’t hear from you, I fully understand.

Take care,

Helgard Muller
May 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHelgard Muller

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