His love for his fellow man was genuine – you felt it and reciprocated in kind. Every word of Torah was precious. He would sit and think at length about any given passage. If a difficult question was posed to him, it could set off a thought process that could last hours until he responded with an answer that was breathtaking in its precision and clarity. He enjoyed people – especially young people with fresh ideas. When he reflected on his life history, you were transported back in time. You were taken to Vilna, Pinsk, Siberia, Lodz, and of course to Boston and Bnei Brak. His love for Eretz Yisrael was not based on politics or government, but was the essence of a dream to come and walk the same land tread upon by our forefathers. In fact, he was a minister without portfolio – constantly encouraging others to make Aliya. He gave respect to others, regardless of their age. In Bnei Brak, he would not move without the direction given by the illustrious Rav, Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein, Shlita.Looking back, Rebbetzin Chava Margolis a”h, was half his life. The mutual admiration was something unique to our struggling generation. It was because of this mutual respect that they were able to build and maintain and accomplish all they did.
We here in Boston were privileged to have him with us for a large part of his life. Our vibrant shul is the result of his life's work. The Mesivta of Greater Boston is named for him and his Rebbetzin, because the donor, Mr. Yitzchak Selib a”h, was befriended and educated by him. Mr. Selib also was a major donor to the Kollel, enabling them to stand on firm financial ground. For years, Rav Margolis nurtured donors for New England Hebrew Academy. He was a strong advocate for the Bais Yaakov for many years. He and his children were instrumental in the founding of Torah Academy. He founded the N'shei Agudas Yisrael which functioned successfully for many years. Agudas Yisrael of Boston, under his leadership, was the address for many great leaders of Klal Yisrael. A fruitful and productive time in Boston was followed by his move to Eretz Yisrael. It was an act of Divine Providence that he found himself in the presence of one of the great personalities of the Jewish world – Rav Yitzchak Zilberstein Shlita, son-in-law of Rav Elyashiv Ztz”l, and one of the foremost Poskim in the world. Although much younger than Rav Margolis, their mutual respect was something to behold. He referred to Rav Margolis as “Pe’er HaShchuna” the crown of the neighborhood. Rav Margolis began to give lectures in Mussar. The Sefer of the Alter of Navordok – Madreigas HaOdom – became well known in Ramat Elchonon. He acquired many friends and students – most of them many years younger than him.
Towards the end of his life he suffered a few strokes, but always displayed signs of mussar and yiras shamayim.
On the 14 of Shevat, the light of this magnificent neshama was darkened, and we are left with the memories. He was a bridge to the past, and left us with a path to the future.
To you all, I wish a happy and healthy year.
It is most difficult to assess the loss of a person of such status as my beloved father-in-law, HaRav Shlomo Margolis Ztz”l. His very being embodied the tenets and beliefs of Mussar and mentchlichkeit. He was a model of what past generations produced, and yet he was a role model for our generation as well. He was soft spoken and had a very enjoyable sense of humor that made everyone feel at ease. His gaze indicated approval or disapproval of one's actions or statements. He rarely wasted time with idle talk and always was thinking in a very positive way. His insights in Torah and mundane affairs shed great light on difficult situations. He taught us how to talk, but most of all, when not to talk. He had the skill of listening; his answers were all thought out and never hurried.