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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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Eliezer Lopian, zt'l
by S. Bruchi

Thousands of bnei Torah led by gedolei Yisroel participated in the levaya last Sunday night of HaRav Eliezer Lopian zt'l, one of the great builders of the Torah world in Europe and one of the leading marbitzei Torah of our generation.

HaRav Eliezer Lopian was born on Rosh Chodesh Tammuz 5670 (1910). His father was HaRav Eliyohu Lopian of Kelm, later a maggid shiur in Eitz Chaim Yeshiva in London and the mashgiach of Yeshivas Kfar Chassidim in Eretz Yisroel. In this home he developed into a man of Torah and yir'oh, guided by the light of truth.

Already in his childhood years he displayed the special character traits that remained throughout his lifetime and earned him the admiration and esteem of gedolei hador. He showed tremendous hasmodoh, promising talents, a noble spirit and exemplary middos, always careful to respect others and to receive them well--great and small alike.

With his formidable legacy of Torah, untainted yiras Shomayim, halochoh and hashkofoh that he absorbed in his father's home, he immersed himself wholly in Torah, which became the essence of his life.

As a bochur at Yeshivas Telz he cleaved to the roshei yeshivos, who nurtured his growth. They saw him as a kli chemdoh who retained every drop of the Torah he received and promised to light up the skies of Yiddishkeit. He was one of the yeshiva's leading bochurim and a jewel in its crown.

In 5692 (1931), after his mother's petiroh, he joined his father in England where he married the daughter of HaRav Moshe Leib Schneider, rosh yeshivas Toras Emes ("Schneider's") in London. He served as a ram at the yeshiva and many of his talmidim went on to build the world of Torah and yir'oh in Europe, the U.S. and Eretz Hakodesh.

The yeshiva sent him to Morocco for several years where, with great mesirus nefesh, he drew young Jews closer to Torah and the yeshiva world.

Upon returning to England he continued to deliver shiurim at Schneider's. In 5717 (1957) he came to Israel and in Tiveria he set up Yeshivas HaGalil where his father regularly gave talks. A few years later Rav Leizer returned to London, to resume delivering shiurim in his father-in-law's yeshiva.

HaRav Lopian's profound shiurim left a lasting impression on listeners and guided bnei Torah towards a proper approach to ma'amorei Chazal and analyzing sugyos.

His fascinating Shev Shemaitesa shiurim, extolled by roshei yeshivos for their fabulous foundations from all over Shas, drew many bnei yeshivos. These shiurim demonstrated prodigious genius and mastery of all of the Torah's treasures.

He transmitted an eternal kinyon of Torah, halochoh and yiras Shomayim to thousands of talmidim, who saw in him the image of a great oveid Hashem, a man whose entire life, whose very heart and soul were wholly devoted to serving Hashem with every ounce of his strength. They viewed him as a compassionate figure seeking their best interests and navigating them along the course leading to Beis Hashem, based on the legacy he received from his father and his rabbonim.

Throughout his lifetime HaRav Lopian remained completely humble. This trait, along with his other attributes, was deeply ingrained in the weekly talks and regular vaadim he gave both in the yeshivos where he served and in his own home.

His admiring talmidim fondly recall a fatherly figure who was involved in every detail of their lives, particularly their spiritual path on the way to Beis Hashem. He shared the burden of all of their problems and provided the comforting support of a compassionate father.

He moved to Israel 27 years ago, to live near Yeshivas Beis Eliyohu, named after his father and headed by his son-in-law, HaRav Mordechai Broide. There he served as a marbitz Torah and set an example through his sublime tefillos. For several decades he gave shiurim and talks to talmidim from the yeshiva and from other heichalei Torah who came to hear him speak.

HaRav Lopian left behind dozens of notebooks containing his chiddushim, including many on tefilloh. On one occasion he revealed that not a single day goes by without him generating a chiddush on tefilloh. His talmidim and family members plan to publish his chiddushim on every sugya in Shas. Many of these writings have already appeared in various Torah publications under the pen name Eliezer Zeira.

HaRav Lopian devoted much of his efforts to matters of chinuch hador, often consulting with Maran HaRav Shach, zt'l, who was very fond of him.

Upon his arrival in Eretz Yisroel Rav Lopian was asked by leading roshei yeshivos to head various yeshivos, but for a number of reasons he declined these offers. Nonetheless, his home was a citadel for those in search of Torah and mussar.

He fell ill recently and Sunday afternoon returned his soul to his Maker at the age of 92. Before the levaya set out from Bnei Brak's Yeshivas Beis Hillel, divrei his'orerus were delivered by his talmid HaRav Machlof Fachima, his son-in-law HaRav Avraham Yitzchok Barzel and his talmid HaRav Yosef Azran.

The procession continued toward Yeshivas Grodno-Yismach Moshe, and from there to the Shamgar Funeral Home in Yerushalayim en route to Har Hazeisim, where he was buried alongside his great father.

HaRav Eliezer Lopian is survived by his son R' Yitzchok Dovid Lopian; his sons-in-law HaRav Mordechai Broide, rosh yeshivas Beis Eliyohu, HaRav Avraham Yitzchok Barzel, one of the heads of Yeshivas Mir in Achuzas Brachfeld, and HaRav Eliyohu Krauser; also by grandchildren and great-grandchildren who are gedolei Torah and yir'oh; and the thousands of talmidim to whom he transmitted his legacy of Torah and yir'oh.


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