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.