HaRav Aryeh Carmell zt"l is known throughout the Torah
world for his skilled and careful editing of R. Dessler's
zt"l Michtav MeEliyohu, probably the most widely
consulted mussar work of our generation.
The book had its origin in discussions which Rav Dessler
conducted with an elite group of talmidim during his
period in London and Gateshead, and R. Aryeh took charge of
the notes which Rav Dessler prepared, and worked through them
carefully for many years to come. In the beautifully
presented English version, Strive for Truth, he often
provided further details of the origin of various
But there are many other aspects of R. Aryeh's life and work
which allow him to be described as a Torah personality of
unique character. He was born and educated in England, and
his fluency in the English language and familiarity with all
aspects of Western thinking were used to great effect in his
pioneering activities with baalei teshuvoh.
He came from a background of Torah im Derech Eretz,
and was steeped from his youth in Hirsch's writings and
ideas. But he was able to synthesize this outlook
harmoniously with the Yeshiva tradition which ultimately
dominated his thinking.
R. Aryeh came from an affluent background and received
professional training in Estate Management. For many years he
was an active partner in the real estate company of Ord,
Carmell and Kritzler. Then gradually, as his Torah activities
widened, he took the role of a sleeping partner. He was an
outstanding baal chesed, and dedicated both time and
money to activities like the East End Scholarship Centre
which engaged in kiruv activities.
Although he had no formal scientific training, R. Aryeh was
well versed in all aspects of modern scientific progress. He
considered it of prime importance to provide a Torah point of
view relating to these developments to counter the prevailing
secular outlook. When the Association of Orthodox Jewish
Scientists was formed in the USA, he was one of the leading
activists in initiating a British branch. He provided office
facilities for the Association, without which it could not
have functioned. It exercised a vital influence on the Anglo
Jewish community in relation to communal problems during the
crucial 1960-1980 period.
Finally, when he moved to Eretz Yisroel in the 1970s,
he quietly initiated a number of educational and chesed
projects which flourish to the present day.
He published and lectured widely, and recorded many of his
shiurim on tape. All of his work was characterized by
scrupulous attention to detail — nothing was dismissed
as of minor importance. He has left a written and oral legacy
which Torah Judaism can put to good use for many years to
Professor Domb is a long-time friend of HaRav Carmell and
collaborated with him on the book Challenge.