Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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11 Tishrei 5767 - October 3, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Rav Aryeh Carmell zt"l

By Betzalel Kahn

HaRav Aryeh Carmell zt"l, a talmid muvhok of HaRav Eliyohu Eliezer Dessler zt"l and the author of Michtav MeEliyohu, passed away in Jerusalem at the age of 89.

Aryeh Carmell was born in England to R' Avrohom Chaim, a prominent member of the London kehilloh, in 5777 (1917). His father, who had a genuine appreciation for Torah study, hired one of the leading members of the kehilloh to tutor his only son. At the age of 16 Aryeh was sent to study gemora under HaRav Dessler, who was serving as the rov of a London shul at the time. Later he and other talmidim began to learn Jewish thought and mussar.

HaRav Carmell began to compile HaRav Dessler's teachings under his guidance. He spent a short period of time at the yeshiva of HaRav Schneider in London. After the war he married, making his home in London. His home was a source of Torah and chessed and he carried out Chazal's exhortation to make pursuing one's livelihood secondary to Torah study — ya'aseh Toroscho ikkar umelachto arai. He would spend the morning hours learning bechavrusa with some of London's leading rabbonim, including Dayan Aryeh Leib Grossnas and HaRav Yitzchok Wassermann, with whom he set up the Rabinov Kollel in London. During the afternoon he would go to his office to work for a few hours, setting aside time every day to organize chessed and outreach activities.

He was among the first to become involved in Jewish outreach over 50 years ago, transforming whole families into observant Jews. He helped build many Torah families. Following HaRav Dessler's petiroh he started Yad Eliyahu in London, where children who studied at public schools were taught ahavas Torah and yiras Shomayim. A number of the students went on to yeshiva and eventually built Torah homes. On one occasion, to convince someone to serve as director of the institute he promised to make him a partner in his business.

HaRav Carmell was also active in kehilloh matters. He founded an organization to promote Shabbos observance and persuaded the British government to permit Jews who kept Shabbos to open their shops on Sunday rather than Shabbos.

He published Michtav MeEliyohu, a compilation of HaRav Dessler's teachings. The first three volumes were edited with HaRav Alter Halperin and HaRav Chaim Friedlander zt"l, while HaRav Carmell edited the fourth and fifth volumes by himself. He also adapted parts of the work into a book in English called Strive for Truth, which was subsequently translated from English to French, Spanish and Russian. He also co-edited Challenge: Torah Views on Science and its Problems and wrote an important booklet called Aid to Talmud Study.

When the wave of Russian aliya began he wrote a book called Masterplan. Based on HaRav Shamshon Rafael Hirsch's classic work Chorev, it also presented reasons behind the mitzvos. The book, which was translated into Russian and Hebrew, had a powerful impact on many Jews who were far from Yiddishkeit.

Moving to Eretz Yisroel in 5732 (1972) HaRav Carmell settled in Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan neighborhood and helped HaRav Boruch Horowitz found Yeshivas Dvar Yerushalayim, Jerusalem's first yeshiva for baalei teshuvoh. He gave shiurim on gemora, hashkofoh and Mussar.

That year, which preceded a Shmittah year, he began to study the Talmud Yerushalmi Maseches Shevi'is, and wrote a commentary together with Rav Yehuda Levy called Kav Venoki. He then went on to write further commentaries on other tractates in Seder Zero'im.

In Eretz Yisroel he continued his tzedokoh and chessed work as chairman of Yad Leshisha in Bayit Vegan, which is dedicated to the memories of the six kedoshim killed at the entrance to the neighborhood in 5739 (1979).

HaRav Aryeh Carmell is survived by his wife, who in a very dedicated way stood behind her husband in all his endeavors and cared for him in a very devoted manner, particularly in his ailing years, as well as sons and sons-in-law who are marbitzei Torah, grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in his path of Torah and yir'oh.


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