On Tuesday 16 Elul, a massive throng from all circles of
chareidi Jewry accompanied the Admor of Strikov, HaRav Avrohom
Landa, zt"l, on his last earthy journey. The procession
was headed by maranan verabonon the gedolei
Yisroel. He was niftar after a brief illness,
during his 84th year.
The levaya set out on Tuesday afternoon from the
Strikover beis medrash on Alshich Street in Bnei Brak.
Gedolei Yisroel vehaChassidus, students and chassidim,
filled nearby streets, expressing their deep sorrow over the
petiroh of such a great tzaddik. Before the
levaya set out, many of the Admor's chassidim and
students did kriya in accordance with the
halocho that a talmid must mourn his rebbe.
During the levaya, Chazon Ish street was closed to
traffic as was Rabbi Akiva Street until the Kol Yaakov yeshiva
on Chagai Street. From there the levaya proceeded to
Jerusalem where the Admor was buried on Har Hamenuchos in
accordance with the request he made in his will.
The Admor of Strikov, HaRav Avrohom Landa, was born on 11
Shvat, 5677 (1917) in the city of Kinov, in the Ostrovtze
region of Poland. His father, HaRav Yaakov Yitzchok Dan
Hy"d, served as rav of the city following the
petiroh of his uncle, who had been the rav of Kinov.
The Admor of Strikov was raised by his grandfather, HaRav
Elimelech Menachem Mendel, one of the greatest admorim
of Poland before the Holocaust.
When HaRav Elimelech began to lead his flock, a huge circle of
chassidim gathered around him. During HaRav Elimelech's time,
150 botei medrash of Strikover chassidim were scattered
throughout Poland, and many chassidim from other chassidic
courts also followed and revered him. With his petiroh
on the 19th of Shvat, 5696 (1936), he was replaced by his son
the rav of Kinov, who led the group until he perished al
kiddush Hashem in 5704 (1944).
In 5690, thirteen-year-old Avrohom began to study in the
Chachmei Lublin yeshiva. His entrance exam to the yeshiva
included a test on hundreds of pages of gemara. The
test was administered by the yeshiva's famed founder and rosh
yeshiva HaRav Meir Shapiro, originator of the Daf Hayomi
program. He was accepted into this yeshiva as a regular
student despite his young age, and attended shiurim and
discourses by the rosh yeshiva as well as those of the great
geonim of the generation, HaRav Aryeh Leib Frommer of
Kozhikov, and HaRav Shimon of Mezhlicov, who regarded him as
one of the yeshiva's finest students.
In the yeshiva, young Avrohom spoke in Torah with its most
eminent students who respected him for his broad knowledge and
brilliance. He pored over his Torah studies diligently during
his many years in the yeshiva, and was a great source of pride
for the yeshiva.
When the Second World War broke out he was at his parents'
home and he fled with his father to Lodz, where the family
stayed for a number of weeks. From Lodz the family fled to
Warsaw, and from there, at the directive of his father, young
Avrohom fled to Baranowitz. A week after his arrival in
Baranowitz he fled to Vilna, which hadn't been captured by the
Nazis. He arrived in Vilna during Chanukah 5700 (1939), and
became acquainted with HaRav Chaim Ozer and other gedolei
hador who were in Vilna at the time. Like all of the other
outstanding talmidei chachomim then in Vilna, he began
to study under the Griz (HaRav Velvel Soloveitchik) of
The Griz's son relates: "Many wanted to be accepted by my
father but it was impossible to accommodate them all. However,
the son of the Admor was accepted immediately. All of us
wondered about that, but my father explained: `Once I was a
guest at the health spa of Krennitz at the same time that the
Admor of Strikov and one of his grandsons were there. I was
very impressed by this unique young man, his intelligence and
talents. That young man has come here now. How can I not
accept him with the affection I felt for him a number of years
From then on young Avrohom remained very close to the Griz of
Brisk, becoming his outstanding student.
At the beginning of Nisan 5701, a way was found for Rav
Avrohom to leave Vilna and to go to Eretz Yisroel, and the
Griz made special efforts to secure visas. Joining a group of
students who were very close to the Griz, Rav Avrohom arrived
in Eretz Yisroel a few days before Pesach, after an arduous
trek via Russia and Turkey.
The Griz later related: "During that period, I didn't sleep at
night nor during the day in my efforts to bring my beloved
student Avrum'che to Eretz Yisroel."
In Eretz Yisroel, Avrohom began to study with the Griz's son,
HaRav Yehoshua Ber. Together they completed all Seder
Noshim, learning with utmost diligence.
In 5706 (1946) he married the daughter of HaRav Meir
Vidslavsky, one of the finest teachers in the Beis Yaakov
school system, and a great-granddaughter of the Chiddushei
Harim of Gur. After their marriage he learned that his father
and eight of his siblings had perished in the Holocaust, and
that only he and his sister remained alive from the entire
At that point, the elders of the Strikover Chassidim asked him
to lead the Strikover-Chechenov dynasty, and named him Admor.
Soon, many elderly chassidim who had come to Eretz Yisroel
after the Holocaust and had been followers of his father in
Europe, began to flock to his beis medrash in
In Jerusalem, the Admor of Strikov had a special relationship
with the Gaon of Tchebin, who was his neighbor in Sha'arei
Chessed for a long period. In 5711 (1951), the Admor answered
the request of many Strikover chassidim from Tel Aviv, and
established his beis medrash in that city. For thirty
years, the Tel Aviv beis medrash and his home were
centers of Torah and chassidus attracting many lomdei
Torah who came to hear his inspiring talks. In his home in
Tel Aviv he raised many orphans, caring for all their needs
until they married.
The finest Torah students in Tel Aviv gathered in this beis
medrash, where he would deliver shiurim on various
masechtos. He was well known for his brilliance, and
highly acclaimed for his vast knowledge of all aspects of
Torah. He studied with fervor, and it was evident that he
derived his vitality from his Torah study. His alacrity in
mitzvah observance and his meticulousness were exemplary. His
most outstanding trait, however, was his humility, which
reached untold heights.
Alongside his greatness in Torah, he was a giant in
middos and had a common language with everyone. He
received everyone genially, and his simplicity and
pleasantness had a tremendous influence on all who encountered
him. They were the basis of the esteem in which Klal
Yisroel from all sects and circles held him. He was a
source of guidance for all, and many benefited from his sage
The trait of truth burned within him, and he despised every
form of untruth, publicity or flattery, teaching his students
to be truthful and to flee pride.
The Admor of Strikov was a pillar of prayer. He would stand
before his Maker in prayer and his voice, burning with love of
Hashem, could be heard afar. Turning his eyes upward and
directing his heart to Hashem like a servant before his
Master, he would recite every word of prayer like one counting
precious coins. His prayers were well known for their potency,
and many were helped in the merit of his supplications.
HaRav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach, zt"l, said that he didn't
know from whence the Admor derived the kochos to pray
with such fervor. Each and every prayer or brocho he
recited seemed like a "first," due to the special fervor with
which he imbued them.
In 5744 (1984) he moved to Bnei Brak, where he established his
beis medrash on Alshich Street. Many Bnei Brak
residents came to hear the sichos he gave at his
tisch. He would also deliver long sichos on
Chanukah. These sichos have been recorded and will soon
In 5749 (1989) he founded the Kol Yaakov yeshiva on Chagai
Street, where scores of bochurim study. In his capacity
as rosh yeshiva, he was like a father to each and every one of
The Admor of Strikov was very close with Maran HaRav Eliezer
Menachem Shach shlita, and every chol hamoed,
Maran would visit the Admor. The remarkable friendship between
them began in the days of the Griz. On the day of the
petiroh of the Griz, only his sons and his two closest
students were allowed to see him: Maran HaRav Shach,
shlita, and the Admor of Strikov.
All the gedolim of his times held him in high esteem
and as a member of the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, his words were
carefully heeded. He was one of the helmsmen of chareidi
Jewry, and made remarkable efforts on behalf of Klal
A few years ago he founded the Zichron Menachem Beis Medrash
in the Nvei Tzvi neighborhood in Jerusalem and it soon became
a center of Torah. Every year he would spend a month in
Jerusalem studying and davening there.
A few months ago he fell ill and his health began to
deteriorate. On Monday 15 Elul he was hospitalized in the Tel
Hashomer Hospital, where he returned his pure soul to its
Maker. In accordance with his last will and testament, he was
buried on Har Hamenuchos near the grave of the Griz of
He is survived by his wife and by three daughters who are
married, respectively, to HaRav Moshe Stern, HaRav Yeshaya
Frank and HaRav Dovid Brander. His grandchildren and great-
grandchildren are continuing along the path he charted for
them. His many chassidim deeply mourn the loss of their