Elka Rothman, daughter of the late anti-Zionist founder of Neturei Karta, Rabbi Amram Blau, passed away in her home at Batei Broida in Jerusalem at age 97, leaving behind 13 children and some 2,000 grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, whose own grandchildren are in the process of getting married.
Rabbi Blau’s first wife, Hinda (née Weber), died in 1963, and due to a shrapnel injury, he was not allowed halachically to marry a woman who was Jewish from birth. He thus married a convert in 1965, Ruth Ben-David, who was 26 years younger than him.
Thousands of her offspring attended Elka Rothman’s funeral procession. She was born in 1925 and eventually married Rabbi Israel Rothman, who passed away in 1984.
Her neighbors and family members recalled her as a righteous woman who was especially concerned with making every Jew feel welcome in her home. Jerusalemites used to say that Elka was the grandmother of half of Jerusalem, and as a result, her name appeared every week on invitations to celebrations in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh. It got to the point where printing shop owners would ask every customer, “With or without Elka?”
She was buried on Mount Olives.