Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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8 Cheshvan 5769 - November 7, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Binyomin Zeev Deutsch zt"l

By S. Bruchi

Roshei yeshivas, dayanim and rabbonim headed a crowd of thousands laying to rest HaRav Binyomin Zeev Deutsch zt"l, director of Yeshivas Ponovezh's orphanages since their founding, who passed away at the age of 92.

Binyamin Zeev Deutsch was born in 5676 (1916) in Budapest to R' Shmuel, one of the heads of the kehilloh in the city. As a young man he studied at the yeshiva of HaRav Yaakov Greenwald, the gavad of Papa and the author of VaYaged Yaakov. Later he transferred to Yeshivas Shufroein, where he studied under HaRav Shimon Posen and became known for his consistency, in-depth study and exceptional conduct.

In 5700 (1940) he was spared from the Holocaust by coming to Eretz Hakodesh, where he lived in Tel Aviv at the home of HaRav Yechiel Benedict.

He served as secretary at the Agudas Yisroel rabbinate and beis din in Tel Aviv, which was headed by HaRav Meir Karelitz, and he helped HaRav Karelitz promote Yiddishkeit in the city.

In 5702 (1942) he married Leah Adler, who supported him faithfully in all of his communal endeavors for 60 years, until she passed away six years ago. Soon afterwards the Ponevezher Rav asked him to help manage the yeshiva, particularly the setup of orphanages. HaRav Deutsch started working on this endeavor in Tishrei 5704 (1943), acting as a father to the thousands of children there.

When he moved to Bnei Brak, HaRav Deutsch formed a strong bond with the Chazon Ish, cleaving to him and serving as baal korei at his shul for two years. He was one of the first figures to work for the setup of Beis Medrash Chassam Sofer on Rechov Maimon, where he became a regular member and even served as shaliach tzibbur for a number of years.

For decades he was on close terms with the heads of Yeshivas Ponovezh, including HaRav Shach, HaRav Yechezkel Levinstein, HaRav Shmuel Rozovsky and HaRav Dovid Povarsky zt"l. For many years the management of the yeshiva ketanoh was handled by the orphanage management.

He was on close terms with HaRav Abba Grossbard, the menahel ruchani, and with HaRav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman and HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz shlita, who held him in high regard.

Although his health declined two years ago HaRav Deutsch maintained his schedule of shiurim and tefillos. On Tisha B'Av he refused to sit on a stool, insisting on his custom of sitting on the floor.

He passed away on Sunday morning. The levaya set out Sunday afternoon from his home on Rechov Wasserman in Bnei Brak. In his eulogy HaRav Shmuel Halevy Wosner shlita, the gavad of Zichron Meir, noted his longstanding acquaintance with the deceased, whom he described as a man of "temimus and yashrus." Hespeidim were also given by his eldest son HaRav Boruch Shmuel Deutsch, HaRav Shmuel Markovitz, his son HaRav Osher Deutsch, HaRav Meir Altman, the ravad of Chug Chassam Sofer and HaRav Mordechai Drori.

He was buried before sunset at the Netzivei Yeshivas Ponovezh Cemetery.

HaRav Binyomin Zeev Deutsch zt"l is survived by his sons, HaRav Boruch Shmuel, HaRav Yaakov, HaRav Osher, HaRav Yosef Meir and HaRav Mordechai, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren continuing the remarkable spiritual legacy he passed onto them during his lifetime.


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