Headed by maranan verabonon shlita, roshei yeshivos
and their talmidim, thousands of Jerusalem residents
participated in the levaya on 6 Adar for HaRav
Mordechai Apolion zt"l, who returned his soul to his
Maker at the age of 46 after a difficult illness.
Mordechai Apolion was born on 20 Cheshvan 5720 (1959) to
HaRav Dovid Apolion, a leading educator in Jerusalem. His
love for Torah become apparent as a cheder boy and he
entered Yeshivas Ponovezh at a young age. After advancing to
the yeshiva gedoloh he became one of the top students
and was the first to present a chaburoh to the members
of his chaburoh group in the yeshiva.
He was held in fond regard by his rabbonim, particularly
HaRav Shach zt"l. When he was ready to look for a wife
HaRav Shach recommended him to former talmid, HaRav
Chaim Zeitchik, who was looking for a shidduch for his
daughter. "I love and respect him as a person of straight
thinking and understanding," HaRav Shach told him.
Soon after their marriage HaRav Apolion was asked to teach at
Yeshivas Beis Mattisyohu and Yeshivas Vilkomir in Bnei Brak.
As a young avreich he started the main Daf Yomi
shiur in Bnei Brak's Mishkenos Yaakov neighborhood. He
also started a kollel on Fridays and Shabbos, allowing
the avreichim to take full advantage of their time and
bearing the financial burden of maintaining the
Before moving to Jerusalem years ago the Apolions went to
part with HaRav Shach and seek his guidance on how to settle
in Jerusalem. Before they left HaRav Shach clasped onto his
hands warmly, saying, "I promise you in Jerusalem they will
chase after you and seek you for harbotzas Torah."
Indeed, upon their arrival in Jerusalem he was asked to serve
as a marbitz Torah at Yeshivas Bircas Moshe and later
his friend, HaRav Gavriel Yosef Levy, asked him to take the
post of rosh yeshiva of the Be'er HaTorah yeshiva
HaRav Apolion lived in Jerusalem's Mattersdorf neighborhood
near his friend, HaRav Yosef Farbstein, who passed away just
one day earlier. Every year, the two talmidei
chachomim were crowned Chosson Torah and Chosson
Bereishis of the minyan they attended.
Despite the pain and medical treatments he had to undergo in
recent months the deceased continued his work as a marbitz
Torah along with his toil in Torah study. Eventually he
had to be hospitalized at Tel Hashomer and there he returned
his soul to his Maker.
Before the mittoh was taken from Tel Hashomer to
Jerusalem HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz arrived at the
hospital to deliver a brief hesped.
When the levaya set out from his home in Jerusalem the
first eulogy was given by HaRav Yisroel Ganz, who quoted the
verse, Dodi yorad legano la'arugos habosem lir'os baganim
velilkot shoshanim (Shir Hashirim 6:2), saying that HaRav
Apolion's countenance was like a rose that stands alone among
the flowers. He recalled the deceased's ahavas Torah,
which was especially apparent on Simchas Torah.
HaRav Gavriel Yosef Levy, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Be'er
HaTorah, spoke of their close friendship, saying he fell
while at his peak in Torah like a soldier fallen in battle
— "Eich noflu giborim" (Shmuel II 1:19).
HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas
Mir, described his toil in Torah and his love for his
HaRav Aviezer Piltz, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Tifrach,
compared the deceased to the pure olive oil of the Menorah in
HaRav Dovid Feinstein, a friend of his from their years in
yeshiva, said HaRav Apolion had been a regular visitor at the
home of his father, HaRav Michel Feinstein zt"l.
Hespeidim were also delivered by his son, HaRav
Elimelech, a prominent avreich at Kollel Ponovezh,
and HaRav Naftoli Kopshitz, the rov of Beis Medrash Chanichei
Hayeshivos in Romema, where the deceased regularly learned
In Givat Shaul HaRav Shmuel Auerbach joined the procession
and near Yeshivas Bircas Moshe eulogies were given by the
rosh yeshiva, HaRav Avrohom Mendelson, and the
mashgiach, HaRav Yaakov Mordechai Carmel.
From there the procession continued to Har Hamenuchos
Cemetery, where a crowd of mourners headed by HaRav Boruch
Dov Povarsky, one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh,
stood waiting. After the funeral he went to the deceased's
home where he spoke at length with his children, telling them
about their father's special attributes.
HaRav Mordechai Apolion zt"l is survived by his wife,
who works as a seminary principal in Beit Shemesh, and his 16
children, of whom only three married during his lifetime.