Rabbi Naftali Kreisler, zt”l, a talmid chacham and chaplain for the US Navy, passed away suddenly just three weeks after he was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. Rav Kreisler leaves behind a mourning wife and three young children in desperate straits.
Chaplain, Commander Naftali Kreisler served in the Navy for 19 years. He was appreciated by his sailors and the men he served as a humble scholar and leader. In his role, he worked to help many yidden in pressing situations, counseling and guiding with care and love. He also volunteered for a while with Lakewood’s Oorah.
Naftali’s Torah learning was inspiring,” said his wife, Ora Kreisler. “He applied, with such care, his Torah learning to others. He loved telling jokes, both to make people laugh and to be more approachable to those in need of counsel. He found such joy making meaningful connections with people. May our children find as much joy in learning Torah. May they have the opportunity to grow in both wisdom and kindness.”
“CDR Rabbi Neal Kreisler was a brilliant and funny man that I was proud to call a friend,” wrote James Eckert (CDR CHC USN Ret). “I will miss our conversations. I wish I could have paid my respects to him and his family.”
“I served with him from 2013-2015 at Camp Lejeune and will never forget him,” said Joshua Hickman (LCDR, USN). “I always appreciated his moral courage that led to his tenacity to help sailors and stand up for his principles.”
Rav Naftali Yerachmiel Ben Moshe visited the doctor on January 19th to get a lump on his chest checked. A few tests revealed an aggressive cancer attacking his esophagus, stomach, and liver. He was admitted to the hospital, but his health deteriorated quickly over the following few weeks. He passed away just 25 days after receiving the diagnosis.
Ora Kreisler is a stay-at-home mom; Rav Kreisler was the sole breadwinner for the family. For the past seven years, he was on reserve duty, and the family scraped by on approximately $30,000 per year. Now, they are facing mounting bills and challenges.
“I have always home-schooled our children to make sure their needs were met,” Ora said. “This is the first year they are in yeshiva. They are thriving! My husband and I set our focus on getting our children into a safe house within the year and making a healthy, fresh start for them; but suddenly our focus became his health and then… planning his levaya. We now have bills flowing in along with our regular monthly bills. I do not know how our basic bills are to be paid. The home we purchased to get the children into a strong frum neighborhood had hidden water damage issues, rotting joists, flooding, pipe damage, extreme mold issues, and many electrical problems that have slowly been showing themselves to us. Even my van has electrical issues where sometimes I cannot even open the doors to get in or out.”
The family does not have access to most military benefits. Naftali passed away a year before he qualified for retirement, and a paperwork glitch took away their G.I. bill benefits.
A fundraising campaign has been set up to help the family at https://thechesedfund.com/thecommunityshulkreislerfamily/kreisler-family-fund
Please donate generously; as tezdaka or matanos l’evyonim.