Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

6 Marcheshvan 5772 - November 3, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by











HaRav Don Ungarischer zt"l

By S. Bruchi and Y. Sever

Eminent figures from the Torah world, including HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Chaim Kanievsky and HaRav Gershon Edelstein, led thousands of Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon students and alumni, as well as other bnei Torah, at the levaya in Bnei Brak and Jerusalem Tuesday of HaRav Don Ungarischer zt"l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon in Monsey and Bnei Brak and the son-in-law of HaRav Reuven Grozovsky, who was the son-in-law of HaRav Boruch Ber Leibowitz, who passed away Monday and was buried at Jerusalem's Har Hamenuchos Cemetery.

Don Ungarischer was born on 22 Teves 5683 (1923) to R' Yerachmiel Hy"d and his mother Hy"d in Vienna. As a boy he studied at a local cheder, Talmud Torah Yesodei HaTorah, under HaRav Noach Padwa, later of London. HaRav Shmuel Halevi Wosner shlita attended the same cheder, and would regularly make note of the deceased's depth of comprehension.

When the war began, R' Yerachmiel sent his son to the U.S., thereby saving his life. Upon arriving in the U.S. he stayed at the home of the Rav of Chelm, who had known his father and watched over the young man closely, enrolling him at Yeshivas Torah Vodaas. Just one day before his passing, HaRav Ungarischer remarked that he owes his Torah life to the Chelmer Rav for placing him at the yeshiva.

The rosh yeshiva, HaRav Shlomo Heiman, formed a close bond with three young men — HaRav Ungarischer, HaRav Eliyohu Moshe Shisgall and ylct"a HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner — who he felt were destined to illuminate the Torah world.

Ever since his arrival at the yeshiva, his whole life was devoted to Torah. After several years HaRav Ungarischer once asked HaRav Heiman if he could propose chiddushim. "All of your thoughts follow the proper path of Torah," said HaRav Heiman, later entrusting his writings to HaRav Ungarischer, who eventually passed them on to HaRav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz shlita, himself a former talmid of HaRav Heiman in Vilna.

Before he passed away, HaRav Heiman proposed a match between his talmid muvhok, HaRav Ungarischer, and the daughter of HaRav Reuven Grozovsky, Esther, and the two were actually married after his passing, in 5706 (1946).

When HaRav Heiman passed away, HaRav Shraga Feivel Mendelovitz proposed that HaRav Reuven Grozovsky serve as rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Torah Vodaas, establishing a branch in Monsey comprised of select avreichim and known as Beis Medrash Elyon.

When Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon opened in Monsey, which at the time was a rural area isolated from any sort of Jewish population center, HaRav Reuven served as head of both yeshivas. From Monday through Thursday he taught at Torah Vodaas, while the rest of the week he devoted to Beis Medrash Elyon.

HaRav Grozovsky, immediately following the wedding, proposed that his new son-in-law join HaRav Mendelovitz in Monsey.

After HaRav Grozovsky suffered a heart attack in 5711 (1951), HaRav Ungarischer started giving shiurim to the kollel members. In 5717 (1957) he was officially appointed rosh yeshiva.

From 5717 (1957) until his histalkus he gave shiurim kloli'im every day. Even after decades he would study the sugyos as if learning them for the first time, creating new approaches each time.

He spent years poring over his father-in-law's writings, which he eventually published in three volumes.

In 5758 (1998) he started Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon in Bnei Brak, appointing his son HaRav Yerachmiel as rosh yeshiva. He helped arrange the yeshiva's funding and would deliver shiurim there whenever he came to visit in Eretz Yisroel.

On Monday morning 3 Cheshvan he was rushed to the hospital, but soon returned his soul to his Maker.

The levaya began at the yeshiva in Monsey with a hesped by HaRav Reuven Feinstein, followed by the deceased's son-in-law, HaRav Yisroel Falk, his nephew, HaRav Yerachmiel Ungarischer, HaRav Moshe Green, one of the roshei yeshiva of Monsey Yeshiva and a former student of HaRav Ungarischer, HaRav Malkiel Kotler, rosh yeshiva of Lakewood Yeshiva, HaRav Dovid Shustel, also a rosh yeshiva at Lakewood Yeshiva and a former student of HaRav Ungarischer, Rav Yerachmiel Censor, and his sons Rav Boruch Ber and Rav Shimshon.

In Eretz Yisroel the levaya resumed Monday afternoon at the yeshiva in Bnei Brak, which he established almost 15 years ago.

Hespeidim were given by HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, one of the deceased grandsons, HaRav Tuvia Shapira, HaRav Gershon Edelstein, HaRav Aviezer Piltz, HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman, HaRav Yisroel Falk and HaRav Yerachmiel Ungarischer.

In Jerusalem, the procession continued at Yeshivas Knesses Yehuda in Sanhedria Murchevet, which is headed by HaRav Isser Yehuda Malin, a son-in-law of HaRav Ungarischer. Eulogies were delivered by HaRav Yerachmiel Censor, HaRav Zevulun Shub, HaRav Yaakov Greenwald, HaRav Malin and HaRav Don Segal shlita.

Following the eulogies, the procession continued on to Har Tamir Cemetery, where he was buried beside the grave of his wife, the daughter of HaRav Reuven Grozovsky zt"l and beside their son, HaRav Refoel Reuven.

HaRav Don Ungarischer is survived by his sons HaRav Yerachmiel, rosh yeshiva of Beis Medrash Elyon in Eretz Hakodesh, Rav Boruch Ber and Rav Shimshon, a mashgiach at Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon in the U.S.; his sons-in-law HaRav Yisroel Falk Swiatitsky, one of the roshei yeshiva at Beis Medrash Elyon in the U.S., HaRav Isser Yehuda Malin, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Knesses Yehuda in Jerusalem, and HaRav Chaim Elozor Hendler, a ram at Yeshivas Boyan in the U.S.


All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.