Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

8 Adar 5766 - March 8, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Zalman Halevi Ury zt"l

By Betzalel Kahn

A large crowd attended the levaya in Jerusalem on Monday 29 Shvat of HaRav Zalman Halevi Ury zt"l, an elder talmid of HaRav Aharon Kotler zt"l and the chairman of the California Bureau of Jewish Education, who passed away in Los Angeles at the age of 81.

Rav Zalman Ury was the great-grandson of HaRav Dovid Teveli, author of Nachalas Dovid. His parents sent him to a yeshiva ketanoh and later to the yeshiva gedoloh in Kletsk, where he studied under HaRav Aharon Kotler and formed close ties with the mashgiach, HaRav Yosef Leib Nandik zt"l.

When World War II broke out Zalman followed the yeshiva to Vilna and from there was exiled to Siberia. Later, in Samarkand, he met and married his wife, Rebbetzin Chavoh tlc"a, the daughter of HaRav Meir Pearl. In 5707 (1947) they arrived in the US, where R' Zalman Ury resumed his studies under HaRav Kotler in Lakewood.

He dedicated his whole life to providing American Jews a Torah education — first in St. Louis and then in California, particularly Los Angeles.

From early childhood he cleaved to his rabbonim and their mussar teachings. He delved into the teachings of HaRav Yisroel Salanter and even wrote a sefer on his approach to mussar. His conduct and pursuits, both in the rabbinate and in Jewish education, were guided by the foundations of the mussar movement. His noble manner, pleasant ways and command of the Torah were widely respected by all who came in contact with him, including Jewish leaders unassociated with the Torah world, and he played an important role in the development of Torah education in Los Angeles.

Last year he was noted for having completed 45 years of service to the Board of Jewish Education in Los Angeles, having guided the growth of yeshiva education in Los Angeles from less than 1,000 talmidim to more than 5,500 today, kein yirbu. The number of such schools increased from five when he took his position in 1960 to some 21 today.

Ten years ago he considered retirement and he even moved to Eretz Yisroel and had already bought an apartment, but Maran HaRav Shach — who knew him from Europe — told him that he was needed in Los Angeles. Although he would have preferred to stay, he followed his rebbe's instructions.

In 5761 (2001) he published Kedushas Avrohom, a two- volume work containing chiddushei Torah, mussar teachings and correspondences with gedolei Yisroel, including HaRav Moshe Feinstein, HaRav Henkin and HaRav Simcha Wassermann zt"l, as well as a mussar essay on his rebbe, HaRav Nandik.

HaRav Ury maintained close ties with HaRav Simcha Wassermann and Yeshivas Ohr Elchonon in Jerusalem and even had the merit to write a sefer Torah and donate it to the yeshiva.

He was buried at Har Hamenuchos Cemetery in Jerusalem on Monday. HaRav Zalman Halevi Ury zt"l is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren, who follow in his footsteps of Torah and mitzvas.


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