Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

5 Shevat 5764 - January 28, 2004 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Daniel Levy, zt"l of Zurich
by Betzalel Kahn

The Torah world in Europe suffered a great blow with the loss of HaRav Daniel Levy zt"l, 69, the rov of Zurich's Adas Yeshurun kehilloh for 33 years and one of Europe's leading rabbonim.

HaRav Levy was born in the town of Portsmouth, England. His grandfather, HaRav Gershon Levy, studied at Yeshivas Volozhin and gained renown as a man of chesed who helped Eastern European Jewish immigrants after he moved to England. His father arrived in England when he was seven. The family was from Kartinga in Lithuania and they were descendants of the Gra's brother, the author of Maalas HaTorah.

The young Daniel Levy studied at Gateshead Yeshiva under his brother-in-law HaRav Leib Lopian (he was considerably younger than his sister), and HaRav Leib Gurwicz. At a young age he displayed a remarkable memory and became conversant in Shas and poskim, continuing to study industriously for the rest of his life. His friends from his Gateshead years recall that people used to ask him where to find gemoras that they were searching for.

After marrying Miriam Copenheim of Manchester he continued to study at the Kollel in Gateshead. Later he moved to New York where he did shimush under Maran HaRav Moshe Feinstein zt"l who granted him semichoh. He also studied under HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky. Based on HaRav Moshe's recommendation he was selected as rov of Adas Yeshurun in Zurich.

In his leadership he combined the tradition of German Jewry with the approach of the Lithuanian yeshivas.

HaRav Levy was a great man of chesed, integrity and maasim tovim. Humble and pleasant in his ways, he was well-liked by all of the baalei batim in the kehilloh. He focused his efforts primarily on the younger families, guiding them on contemporary issues.

Maran HaRav Yosef Sholom Eliashiv held him in high regard and for years they corresponded on halachic matters.

HaRav Levy maintained close ties with all the rabbonim of Zurich HaRav Moshe Soloveitchik zt"l, and ylct"a HaRav Moshe Chaim Schmerler and HaRav Shaul Breish.

HaRav Levy would always say one should flee from machlokes just as one would run from fire, while knowing when to engage in debate to defend kvod Shomayim. Despite the worldwide reputation for his kashrus supervision he never took advantage of it for financial gain. He was always involved in Torah study and never engaged in favoritism.

On Pesach he used to make a special reception for the yeshiva bochurim who were home for the holidays. In those years it took some courage to learn for an extended period in yeshiva, and many say that those gatherings were an important source of chizuk for them to continue.

In recent years he was struck by a grave illness and suffered much pain, which he accepted with love. He was buried at the cemetery in Zurich last Friday.

At the levaya in Zurich on Friday, erev Shabbos Vo'ero, the maspidim included HaRav Koppelman, rosh yeshivas Lucerne, HaRav Shaul Breish, HaRav Moshe Chaim Schmerler, his son-in-law HaRav Yisroel Reisman, his son HaRav Avrohom Aharon, and the rosh hakohol HaRav Yosef Rein.

HaRav Daniel Levy zt"l, is survived by a generation of upright Jews including his brother, HaRav Ben-Tzion Levy of Jerusalem, as well as sons and sons-in-law following his path of Torah and yir'oh.


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