Prominent figures from the Torah world were on hand at the large levaya held for HaRav Dovid Ben Tzion Klein zt"l, who served as the rov of Yesodot for the past 60 years. A remnant of the illustrious rabbonim of the prewar generation, he passed away at the age of 90. Yesodot is one of the small agricultural settlements originally affiliated with the Agudas Yisroel movement.
Dovid Ben Tzion Klein was born on 5 Kislev 5680 (1919) in the town of Helmetz in the border country of what is now Hungary and Slovakia. His father Yosef passed away when he was nine. He studied under the rov of Helmetz, HaRav Yoel Zeev Galtstein, author of Nachalas Yoel Zeev. At the age of 16 his mother sent him to Yeshivas Nitra, where he learned under HaRav Shmuel Dovid Ungar Hy'd. When the borders were redrawn he transferred to the yeshiva of the Admor HaRav Yisroel Tzvi Halevi Rotenberg of Kosson.
During the Holocaust he spent three years in the Munkatabor forced labor camp, where he made extraordinary efforts to lay tefillin every day, avoid non-kosher food and avoid shaving with a blade.
After the war he returned to the Helmetz kehilloh and married the daughter of HaRav Shmuel Aharon Deutsch, the shochet ubodek of the Mishkoltz kehilloh, whose meat was sought by gedolei hador. He accepted a post as secretary of the kehilloh, but the community members insisted he head the rabbinate, knowing he had been groomed by prewar gedolim.
In 5709 (1949) he moved to Eretz Yisroel, where he was asked to serve as the rov of Yesodot. While the community was still living in tents he ensured the first permanent structure to be built — based on the advice of the Chazon Ish — was a mikveh. He personally taught Torah to the children of the moshav and shechted chickens.
He formed bonds with the Admor of Belz, the previous Admor of Vishnitz (the Imrei Emes) and the current Admor of Vishnitz ylct"a.
To foster unity he insisted that the moshav have only one beis knesses. On the amud are two siddurim — one Nusach Ashkenaz and the other Nusach Sfard — to accommodate whoever serves as chazzan.
He delivered his last droshoh during Sholosh Seudas of Shabbos VaYeitze, noting Chazal's remarks on how the departure of a tzaddik has a profound effect on a given place. A few days later he had to be taken to the hospital and Wednesday night, 9 Adar, he returned his soul to his Maker.
He was eulogized by HaRav Shlomo Pollak, the rov of Beit Chilkiya, HaRav Menachem Mendel Mendelson, the Gavad of Kommemiyus, HaRav Yosef Efrati, who worked with the niftar on mitzvas exclusive to Eretz Yisroel, the niftar's son Rav Yaakov Chaim, his son-in-law Rav Shlomo Leibel, HaRav Avrohom Yitzchok HaKohen Rubin of Rechovot and HaRav Boruch Tzvi Lev.
HaRav Dovid Ben Tzion Klein zt"l is survived by his wife; his sons Rav Yaakov Chaim, who was appointed rov of Yesodot at the niftar's request, and Rav Yisroel of Bnei Brak; his sons-in-law Rav Shmuel Dovid Taub of the US, Rav Chaim Horovitz of Bnei Brak, Rav Yehuda Kahn of Bnei Brak, Rav Yitzchok Weisel of Jerusalem, Rav Shlomo Leibel of Jerusalem, Rav Mordechai Deutsch of Kiryat Tzanz in Netanya; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.