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19 Adar II 5765 - March 30, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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The Admor of Alexander, zt"l

By S. Bruchi

Gedolei Yisroel, roshei yeshivos, admorim, dayonim and rabbonim were on hand in Bnei Brak to lay to rest the Admor of Alexander, HaRav Avrohom Menachem Dantziger zt"l, who returned his soul to his Maker Monday morning 17 Adar II at the age of 84.

Avrohom Menachem Dantziger was born in Lodz on 3 Tammuz 5681 (1921) to the Admor HaRav Yehuda Moshe, the author of Emunas Moshe. His uncle the Tiferes Shmuel served as sandak at the bris.

At a young age he spent much time in the company of the Admor, his holy grandfather, HaRav Betzalel Yo'ir.

In 5693 (1933) as the darkening gloom began to settle on Europe, the Akeidas Yitzchok of Alexander instructed the Emunas Moshe to move to Eretz Yisroel and at the end of 5694 (1934) he arrived in Eretz Hakodesh, settling in Jerusalem.

Avrohom Menachem, who was a young bochur at the time, began to study at Yeshivas Eitz Chaim, later continuing his studies at Yeshivas Novardok, where he was held in high esteem by HaRav Yosef Dinklis. He would repeat his shiurim to the bochurim and they even studied the difficult sugyos in maseches Mikvo'os together. He also formed a close relationship with Maran HaRav Shach zt"l, who was serving at Yeshivas Novardok at the time. Later they served together on Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah.

His father once came to take him home from the yeshiva, but unable to find him he sat down and opened a gemora. When Avrohom Menachem came and saw his father engrossed in his learning he decided not to disturb him, so he too sat down to learn and neither of them budged for the next five hours.

In 5702 (1942) he married the daughter of HaRav Chananya Yoel Halperin. She stood by his side throughout the years with extraordinary devotion. During the period of their engagement he received a warm letter filled with praises and signed by HaRav Shach, HaRav Dinklis and HaRav Ben Tzion Bruk.

After the wedding he grew close to the Tchebiner Rov, studying at his kollel and listening to in his profound shiurim. For many years he also toiled over the Zohar and the writings of the Arizal and learned bechavrusa with ylct"a HaRav Shroyoh Devlitzky and HaRav Eliyohu Weintraub.

When reports of the annihilation of Chassidus Alexander, including the Admor the Akeidas Yitzchok, reached Eretz Yisroel in 5707 (1947), the elders and communal leaders of Alexander placed the mantle of leadership on the shoulders of the Emunas Moshe, who set about building and rehabilitating the ruins of Alexander Chassidus, setting up the world center for Alexander Chassidim in Bnei Brak.

When the Emunas Moshe passed away on 23 Adar I 5733 his son, HaRav Avrohom Menachem, was chosen to succeed him. Since then Alexander Chassidus has flourished, bringing more talmidim into the beis medrash and starting Yeshivas Beis Yisroel Tiferes Menachem as a direct continuation of the Alexander yeshivas in Europe where thousands of talmidim once studied.

During tefillos he would stand with extraordinary submission, like a servant before his master. For the past 25 years every evening he would sit down to tearfully recite Iggeres HaRamban for two hours. He participated in the minyan vosikin until joining the main minyan once he became admor, but even then he would take part in the minyan vosikin every two weeks: on Rosh Chodesh and on the 15th of each month.

Despite his weak health in recent years he continued his avodas hakodesh. Three years ago his eyesight began to fail. Unable to read well, especially small print, he would sigh and confide in those close to him, "Lomoh li chaim? Well, perhaps for the sake of the Chassidim it is good that I am still alive . . . " During the past two weeks his health declined rapidly and at 9:30 am Monday, while sitting in his chair at home, suddenly he returned his soul to his Maker.

Alexander Chassidim soon began streaming into the beis medrash and in keeping with the deceased's wishes the levaya got underway without delay. The large crowd recited selichos and tachnunim, the Thirteen Attributes of Mercy and kabolas ol malchus Shomayim. His son, HaRav Yisroel, then announced a request that everyone present commit to giving tzedokoh and learning one maseches from the Shas to be completed by the Shloshim le'ilui nishmoso. At 2:00 p.m. the procession set out from the beis medrash where the Admor had taught Torah for decades.

Thousands waited on Rechov R' Akiva for the mittoh to arrive. Among the mourners on hand were HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman, the Admor of Vishnitz, the Admor of Gur, the Admor of Sadigora, the Admor of Tzanz, the Admor of Nadvorna, the Admor of Lelov, the Admor of Chernobyl, the Admor of Machnovka, the gavad of Makawa, the Admor of Zotshka, the Admor of Lublin and the deceased's son-in-law, the Admor of Botoshan.

The levaya continued on Rechov Chazon Ish until reaching the Ponovezh Cemetery, where he was buried with his forefathers in the Alexander ohel.

The Admor of Alexander, HaRav Avrohom Menachem Dantziger zt"l, is survived by his sons, HaRav Yisroel, HaRav Shneur Zalman and HaRav Yechiel, his sons-in-law, HaRav Meir Halpert, HaRav Dov Refoel Zonabend, HaRav Chaim Shaul Taub and the Admor of Botoshan HaRav Yaakov Frankel, grandchildren and great-grandchildren all carrying on the glorious Alexander tradition.


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