Rav Meir Luria z"l
By S. Bruchi
A stunned crowd numbering in the thousands, including hundreds of Chinuch Atzmai principals and thousands of teachers and other top educators, were on hand for the levaya of Rav Meir Luria, a prominent Slonimer chossid and one of the heads of Chinuch Atzmai, who died unexpectedly at the age of 69 on Tuesday morning, 14 Sivan. The Rosh Yeshiva HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner, the Admor of Slonim, roshei yeshivos, rabbonim, dayanim and marbitzei Torah all took part in the funeral.
Meir Luria was born in Tiberius in 5696 (1936) to Rav Pinchos Meshulom Zisha Luria, an Agudas Yisroel activist in his city. He studied at Or Torah in Tiberius before starting yeshiva studies at Yeshivas Beis Avrohom, a Slonim yeshiva in Jerusalem. He later developed a close bond with the Admor of Slonim, the Nesivos Sholom.
As a young man he would make his way through the immigrant neighborhoods of his hometown to register children for Torah-true schools (then known as "Hazerem Harevi'i" — the Fourth Stream), which meant waging battle against Mapai activists who pressured immigrant parents to place their children in government or government-religious schools. On several occasions he was even physically assaulted for his efforts to provide children with pure Torah education. His work, in tandem with his father, was largely successful, leading R' Meir to a lifetime of public activism for the sake of yaldei Yisroel.
After joining Chinuch Atzmai in 5727 (1967) he garnered further successes, working his way up through the ranks of the organization. With his broad knowledge of the education system and his sharp mind, he invariably assumed a central role in every meeting with ranking Education Ministry officials, earning their respect and sanctifying the Name of Heaven.
He had strong ties with Maran HaRav Shach zt"l as well as late Chinuch Atzmai heads HaRav Shraga Grossbard and HaRav Shmuel Weinberg.
Rav Luria's health began to decline around Pesach and he suffered a heart attack last week before returning his soul to his Maker early Tuesday morning.
The levaya set out from his home on Rechov Meltzer in Bnei Brak and proceeded toward the Slonim beis medrash on Rechov Donolo. Hespeidim were given by his brother-in-law, HaRav Dovid Tzvi Schlesinger, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Minchas Yitzchok, his mechuton HaRav Meir Luria and MK Rabbi Menachem Porush. He was buried at the Vishnitz Cemetery in Bnei Brak.
Rav Meir Luria z"l is survived by his wife Brurioh, his sons R' Avrohom, R' Moshe and R' Shmuel, his sons-in-law R' Pesach Zeide, R' Dov Shtemer, R' Yosef Friedman, R' Mattisyohu Luria, R' Moshe Zilberberg and the fabulous educational system he had to merit to help found and head for the past four decades.