Thousands attended the levaya of HaRav Sholom Meir Jungerman who was niftar on Thursday night 22 Teves at the age of 72. HaRav Jungerman founded the mosdos Mercaz LeChinuch Torani in Zichron Yaakov and had communities of talmidim all over the country. He was the author of a series of seforim, Shalmei Meir, Avodas HaKodesh, Mimegged Shomayim and Kovetz Shittos Kamai.
HaRav Jungerman was born on 8 Adar 5700 in Vienna. His father, HaRav Yechiel Michel zt"l, was a lover of Torah and chesed, a supporter of Torah and constantly pursued Torah and chesed.
In 5711 his family moved to Eretz Yisroel, settling in Tel Aviv. As a youth he studied in Torah institutions in Tel Aviv, but he always had his heart set on going to a yeshiva in Bnei Brak. With a special siyata deShmaya he was accepted to the Slabodke Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, where he cleaved to his rabbeim, HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky zt"l and ylct"a HaRav Dov Lando. All the years he never left the tent of Torah and never left the hand of has rabbonim.
In the yeshiva he was known for his hasmodoh and he succeeded in acquiring a broad bekius in all areas of Torah. His entire life revolved around the axis of Torah and avodas Hashem.
During the bein hazmanim he joined the ranks of the Pe'eylim and his charming speech succeeded in bringing many Jews closer to their roots. He also worked as saving Jews from the clutches of missionaries who were very active in those days.
He married Tzipporah o"h, the daughter of HaRav Gavriel Riklis zt"l, and together they established a home of Torah and chesed. For a number of years he learned at the kollel of the Slabodke yeshiva.
At the urging of his rebbe HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky zt"l, in 5728 he established a kollel in the small town of Zichron Yaakov, near Haifa. This was part of a wide campaign he ran to counter the influence of the German missionary Emma Berger who was active in Zichron Yaakov.
The arrival of the kollel drew a strong reaction from the residents of the town, and they fought against it, expressing fears of chareidim taking over. He weathered the battles, aided by the special siyata deShmaya that accompanied him throughout his life.
Little by little the kollel expanded and more families moved in until today, almost 45 years after it all began, some 450 chareidi and baalei teshuva families live in a flourishing community in Zichron Yaakov. HaRav Jungerman grew the educational institutions to supply the needs of the community. Today there are twelve kindergartens, two elementary boys' schools, two Bais Yaakov schools for girls, a Metivta, a yeshiva ketana (high school) and yeshiva gedola, a seminar and dormitory for older girls, and eight kollelim. All were under his personal supervision.
He also opened kollelim in surrounding towns: Binyamina, Pardes Chanah, Or Akiva, Yokneam and Attlit. Many hundreds returned to their roots as a result of his efforts.
More than a decade ago he opened, with the help of an American donor, a network of institutions in Tel Aviv. The Yachad institutions now include several schools and kindergartens whose student body comes from families that were initially not religious. He also opened a number of kollelim in Tel Aviv that draw avreichim from Bnei Brak to learn and work with the local communities.
He also opened several traditional kollelim dedicated only to learning, in Bnei Brak, Kiryat Sefer and Elad.
In addition to his activity and success in founding Torah institutions, he used to spend many hours daily learning. For half a century he learned bechavrusa with HaRav Dov Lando shlita, and even when he was away he used to learn with him over the phone and also he used to send him notes and questions in writing.
He had unusual siyata deShmaya and success with his work on editing rishonim, including the Avodas Hakodesh of the Rashbo, the Sefer Habatim, and dozens of volumes of the Kovetz Shittos Kamai, which are an encyclopedic compilation of the commentaries of rishonim on masechtos of Shas, many of which were previously hard to find. Maran HaRav Eliashiv sent him a special thanks for his gathering of so many previously obscure rishonim into the easy to use format.
He gave regular shiurim and mussar shmuessim in his Torah institutions and aimed at a broader audience. His sichos were collected into four volumes of Mimegged Shomayim that have appeared so far.
He had recently been very weak and three weeks ago he suffered a heart attack. Since then he was not conscious.
The levaya was opened with Tehillim said by HaRav Michel Fisher. The maspidim were HaRav Yosef Chaim Ben Dov, HaRav Moshe Mittleman, HaRav Mordechai Abramovsky, rov of Zichron Yaakov, HaRav Shmuel Geller, HaRav Binyomin Nachshon, his son HaRav Aharon Jungerman, HaRav Meir Greineman, Mr. Eli Abutbol, head of the local council. Later in the day there were more hespedim at his house in Bnei Brak. The maspidim were HaRav Dov Lando, HaRav Nissim Karelitz, HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, his son-in-law HaRav Shmuel Honigsberg, HaRav Chizkiyuahu Torzchin, his son HaRav Dovid Yedidya, his son HaRav Dov Yitzchok, his son HaRav Avrohom Yeshaya, and Maran Rosh Hayeshiva HaRav Aharon Shteinman.