Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Kislev 5763 - November 13, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Rav Moshe Akiva Druck z"l

Rav Moshe Akiva Druck z'l, long-time editor of Hamodia and a veteran of many struggles to uphold chareidi Judaism, passed away on leil Shabbos parshas Toldos at the age of 80.

He was born in Jerusalem to Rav Meir and the daughter of R' Naftoli Tzvi Porush, one of the heads of Jerusalem's Perushim community. His grandfather, Rav Kalman Druck, a Chortkov chossid, left the town of Kossov to settle in Jerusalem.

The spirituality R' Moshe Akiva imbibed welled from an atmosphere of Yerushalayim Shel Maaloh. His grew up around two botei medrash: Beis Medrash DeChassidei Boyan in Botei Rand and Beis Medrash Perushim in Botei Broide, where his grandfather regularly davened.

The Drucks lived next door to HaRav Issar Zalman Meltzer zt"l whose Torah-filled home influenced the young Moshe Akiva considerably. In his boyhood he developed a close relationship with HaRav Shneur Kotler, the grandson of HaRav Issar Zalman, who came from the US to study Torah in Jerusalem and later was rosh yeshivas Lakewood.

He studied at Yeshivas Eitz Chaim and later at Yeshivas Torah Veyiroh. He married the daughter of R' Yosef Deutsch, one of Jerusalem's founders and a descendent of Rav Shimon Deutsch, who was a talmid of the Chasam Sofer. While coping with the hardship and austerity Jerusalem residents faced in those years, he built a Torah home on foundations of yiras Shomayim and good middos.

At a young age he joined the company of young writers who began to write in Agudah's local weekly, Kol Yisroel. The paper's editor, Rav Moshe Blau, grew close to R' Moshe Akiva and imparted much of his wisdom and knowledge to the budding reporter.

Later, after the first chareidi dailies in Eretz Yisroel were founded--Hayoman and Hamevaser--R' Moshe Akiva worked as one of the leading editors and writers at the respective newspapers. When Hamodia was founded he joined the initial staff of writers and editors, gaining a reputation as one of the newspaper's most dedicated workers. During this period R' Druck was particularly close to Rabbi Yitzchok Meir Levine of Agudas Yisroel.

His reporting assignments brought him into the homes of gedolei Yisroel, including the Beis Yisroel of Gur, HaRav Zalman Sorotzkin of Lutzk, the Brisker Rov and others. The Beis Yisroel often entrusted him with important tasks.

At one time R' Druck filled a high-level position at the Ministry of Religious Affairs. He worked in the area of cemeteries and burial, playing an important role in preventing autopsies.

Immediately after the Six-Day War he initiated the first steps toward upholding kedushoh and tznius standards in the area near the Kosel. Just days after the war ended he installed a fixed mechitzoh, to the dismay of anti-religious opponents who tried to thwart the initiative. He considered this the central accomplishment of his lifetime and said it would serve as his certificate of entry in Heaven. Afterwards he was assigned the task of administering the Department of Holy Sites.

For the last twenty years of his life he served among Hamodia's leading editors, devoting much of his energy to encouraging young reporters to bring creative thoughts and ideas to the newspaper. He attributed considerable importance to the task of guiding and directing them.

In his writing he invested much time and energy to the task of casting a spotlight on the Torah world in order to foster its development and to promote chareidi educational institutions.

His beloved brother, Rav Shlomo Zalman Druck, a prominent public figure in chareidi Jerusalem and a member of the City Council, passed away fifteen years ago. R' Moshe Akiva's great sorrow over his loss took its toll on his state of health and ever since he suffered from numerous illnesses and yisurim. Three years ago his youngest daughter, Mrs. Nechomoh Gerlitz, passed away and the tragedy led to further decline in his physical well-being. He moved in with his son and the entire household--his wife, his son, and all of the extended family--stood by him, attending to his needs and honoring him.

A few months ago his health began to deteriorate further. On leil Shabbos, after maariv the family sang Sholom Aleichem and Eishes Chayil at his bedside and then he returned his soul to his Maker, surrounded by his son, his grandson and other Jews who recited Shema Yisroel with a minyan.

On motzei Shabbos the levaya set out from the Shamgar Funeral Home to the Mount of Olives, where he was interred alongside his forefather's graves in the Kossov section.

In the will he wrote ten years ago he asked not to be excessively praised and not to be accorded various titles.

R' Moshe Akiva Druck, z'l, is survived by his wife; his son Yosef, one of the top chareidi writers and editors; his daughter, the wife of Rav Reuven Krishvesky and Director of Education at the Beis Yaakov Seminary in Jerusalem; as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are talmidim chachomim.


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