Gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos, rabbonim and
dayonim were among thousands who took part in the
levaya for Degel HaTorah Chairman MK Rabbi Avrohom
Ravitz z"l, who spent decades faithfully fighting
battles under the direction of gedolei Yisroel zt"l
Before entering politics he served as a marbitz Torah
at Mosdos Marom Tzion in Jerusalem and a ram at Pardes
Channah, and later founded the Israeli section of Yeshivas
Ohr Somayach for baalei teshuvoh. He passed away early
Monday morning, rosh chodesh Shvat, 5769, at the age of 75,
several weeks after suffering a heart attack.
The levaya set out from his home in Jerusalem's Bayit
Vegan neighborhood, but because it was held on Rosh Chodesh,
no hespeidim were delivered. The first speakers were
HaRav Leib Heiman, rov of Beis Knesses HaGra in Bayit Began,
HaRav Moshe Shapira, who was a close friend of the
niftar, and HaRav Moshe Mordechai Farbstein, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Chevron.
HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
Ateres Yisroel, lamented the loss of a public activist and a
personal friend. He then drew the participants' attention to
"the values that unite us, for we know we have to take action
only in accordance with the holy Torah, Torah leadership and
gedolei haTorah, since they are the ones who guide us
and show us the way of the Torah in every matter, and all
these things were carried out in practice by HaRav Ravitz
zt"l, who knew how to be faithful to gedolei
Torah and fulfilled the instructions of gedolei
Yisroel with loyalty and dedication."
The niftar's five sons then spoke — Rav Moshe,
Rav Yehoshua, Rav Shimshon, Rav Yitzchok and Rav Yisroel Meir
— followed by HaRav Yitzchok Ezrachi, one of the
roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Mir, and the
niftar's son-in-law Rav Eliyohu Diskin.
HaRav Avrohom Ravitz z"l was born on 26 Teves 5694
(1934) to HaRav Aryeh Leib Ravitz, the av beis din of
Tel Aviv and the rov of that city's Montefiore neighborhood,
and to his mother Hadassah.
He studied at Yeshivas Heichal HaTalmud and Yeshivas Tiferes
Tzvi during his years in yeshivoh ketanoh. A few
months before his bar mitzvah he started learning at Yeshivas
Chevron, where he came to be held in high regard by the
roshei yeshiva, HaRav Yechezkel Sarna, HaRav Moshe
Chevroni and HaRav Aharon Cohen, the mashgiach HaRav
Meir Chodosh, and his ramim, HaRav Simchah Zissel
Broide and HaRav Avrohom Farbstein.
In 5712 (1952) he spent a year-and-a-half at Yeshivas
Slabodka under HaRav Isaac Sherr.
The next year he helped found an organization that worked to
save child immigrants taken to the immigration camps from
spiritual ruin by enrolling them in Torah institutions. In
5714, at the age of just 20, he was sent to carry out an
initiative by HaRav Sarna and HaRav Aharon Kotler to set up a
group of bnei Torah to represent the yeshiva world at
the fourth Kneissiyoh Gedoloh.
At the beginning of 5720 (late 1959), while studying at
Yeshivas Beis HaTalmud in the US, he married Avigayil Feller.
During this period he had a chavrusa with HaRav Aryeh
The couple later moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he spent a
year in kollel, followed by teaching positions at
Pardes Channah and Marom Tzion. In 5734 (1974) he set up the
Israeli section of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach for baalei
teshuvoh, where he gave shiurim and delivered
talks on emunoh and hashkofoh.
In 5749 (late 1988) HaRav Shach zt"l asked him to head
Degel HaTorah, seeing Rabbi Ravitz as a loyal, refined emblem
of bnei Torah who knew how to reply to revilers in a
Over the course of the past 20 years in the Knesset he served
in a variety of posts, including Deputy Housing Minister,
Finance Committee Chairman and Deputy Welfare Minister. On
Monday Knesset Chair Dalia Itzik cancelled a special plenum
session to allow MKs and Knesset workers to take part in the
levaya, and cancelled committee meetings as a sign of
While serving as Finance Committee Chairman he suffered
kidney failure and had to conduct meetings while connected to
a dialysis machine. Two years later he underwent a kidney
transplant. His eldest son Moshe was given the privilege of
donating the kidney following a din Torah to decide
which of his children, all of whom sought the honor, would
donate a kidney. The case, which drew coverage in the
national media and even in the Diaspora, resulted in a great
Four weeks ago he was hospitalized at Hadassah Ein Kerem
following a heart attack, and had to have a pacemaker
implanted. His condition improved a bit, but his heart was
very weak and on Sunday night at 2:30 am he returned his soul
to his Maker.
While hospitalized his recent visitors included HaRav
Shteinman, who spent half-an-hour recalling his work for the
Chazon Ish and other gedolei Yisroel, as well as
Hamashgiach HaRav Dan Segal. He also received a letter from
Maran HaRav Eliashiv shlita and relatives recalled
that when he was hospitalized 16 years ago HaRav Shach
zt"l paid a visit.
Rabbi Avrohom Ravitz z"l is survived by his wife
Avigayil; his sons Rav Moshe, a ram at Nehora, Rav
Yehoshua, a mashgiach at Yeshivas Beis Mattisyohu, Rav
Shimshon, rosh kollel at Yeshivas Beis Yitzchok, Rav
Yitzchok, head of the Mamleches HaTorah kollel network
in Beitar Illit, and Rav Meir, one of the heads of the
Wolfson Foundation of Eretz Yisroel; his sons-in-law Rav
Eliyohu Diskin, a talmid muvhok of HaRav Eliashiv
shlita, Rav Yeshayohu Greineman, rosh yeshiva of
Yeshivas Kfar Ganim, Rav Mordechai Harris, Rav Yechezkel
Farbstein, Rav Avidan Buxenbaum, Rav Shlomo Stefansky, Rav
Ephraim Shachor; several dozen grandchildren and a first
great-grandchild born two weeks ago, all following in his
path of Torah and mitzvas.