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
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.