R' Meir Salomon, one of the founders of the Torah community
in Buenos Aires, passed away last week at the age of 74.
R' Meir Salomon was born in 5691 (1931) in Damascus to R'
Yitzchok. When he was still a young boy the family moved to
Argentina and at the age of 15 he joined the group of young
men set up by Kehillas Shuvoh Yisroel, which was headed by
HaRav Ze'ev Gruenberg. Together they fought against the
spirit of compromise prevailing at the time and despite
suffering and humiliation they waged a campaign to drive back
the spiritual desert, eventually transforming the
kehilloh into a Torah center for all of South
At the age of 21 he married and set up a home of Torah and
yir'oh that was open to all shluchei derabbonon
arriving from Eretz Yisroel to raise funds for Torah
institutions. Their home became famous as one of the city's
leading places of hachnosas orchim. Often Jews
arriving in the city would call their home and ask whether
there were any vacant rooms at Hotel Salomon.
R' Salomon was renowned for his punctilious adherence to
halochoh. For years he refrained from eating meat,
until the local shechitoh system was brought to high
standards and he would drive out to the dairies to buy
cholov Yisroel. When HaRav Eliezer Ben David became
the rov of Kehillas Shuvoh Yisroel the deceased sought his
advice on every matter, public or private.
Throughout his lifetime R' Salomon dedicated himself to the
kehilloh and its various institutions. Twenty years
ago he left his business affairs on instructions from HaRav
Shach zt"l and took on the task of traveling around
the world to raise money for the kehilloh and the
Torah world there. As a man of truth he did not spare the rod
of mussar from contributors he felt were in need of
reproach. He took extreme care in handling the community's
funds, not sleeping in hotels and even riding buses instead
of taking cabs.
A few years ago he took on the task of maintaining the
kollel in Buenos Aires and attending to the needs of
the avreichim. He was delighted to witness the success
of kollel members who went on to serve as rabbonim and
roshei kollelim in Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, Brazil
R' Salomon maintained close ties with gedolei Yisroel
including Maran HaRav Eliashiv, who he would consult
regarding halochoh and hanhogoh matters, and
HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman and HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkovitz
who provided guidance in communal matters. He would also seek
advice from prominent talmidei chachomim such as HaRav
Mattisyohu Salomon, HaRav Shimon Ba'adani and HaRav Dovid
Over the past decade he arranged to bring roshei
yeshivos, rabbonim and dayonim to Buenos Aires to
give shiurim to the kehilloh members, the
avreichim and the women.
During the past few years rabbonim who spent time in
Argentina included HaRav Yosef Chaim Kopshitz, HaRav Tzvi
Friedman, HaRav Emanuel Toledano, HaRav Zelig Zaleznik and
HaRav Sariel Rosenberg.
He always lent an ear to kehilloh members in need and
made every effort to help. Despite his high status in the
kehilloh he fled from honor, taking no credit for the
success of Torah institutions in Argentina in general or in
Buenos Aires and Kehillas Shuvoh Yisroel in particular.
On 8 Tammuz he suffered a stroke and lost consciousness. For
one day prayers for his recovery were organized but his
condition deteriorated rapidly and the next day he returned
his soul to his Maker with his sons and daughters standing at
Hundreds of Jews from various Buenos Aires kehillos
took part in the levaya. Hespeidim were delivered by
HaRav Tzvi Friedman, HaRav Shmuel Aryeh Levin, Chief Rabbi
Shlomo Ben Chamo, the deceased's sons, HaRav Yitzchok and
HaRav Eliyahu, and his sons-in-law, HaRav Avraham Tzruyia and
HaRav Shlomo Entebbi.
When the aron arrived in Eretz Hakodesh on 11 Tammuz,
hundreds of his acquaintances along with roshei
yeshivos, rabbonim and innumerable bnei Torah took
part in the levaya at Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem. He
was eulogized by HaRav Yosef Chaim Kopshitz, his son-in-law
HaRav Avraham Cohen Talgam, HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, HaRav
Tzvi Ordentlich, HaRav Eliyahu Raful, HaRav Yosef Winter,
HaRav Zelig Zaleznik and HaRav Sariel Rosenberg.
R' Meir Salomon z"l is survived by his wife, three
sons and eight daughters, all of whom follow the path of
Torah and yir'oh. All of his sons and sons-in-law are
engaged in the rabbinate and harbotzas Torah. Upon his
petiroh his sons HaRav Yitzchok and HaRav Aharon took
upon themselves to continue his blessed work by carrying the
financial burden of maintaining the kollel and his son
HaRav Eliyahu was named rosh kollel. During his
lifetime the deceased expressed his wishes the kollel
continue based on these appointments.