HaRav Avrohom Tzvi Beck zt"l
The sorrowful tidings of the demise of one of the elders of Torah dissemination, HaRav Avrohom Tzvi HaLevi Beck, Gavad of the Adas Yisroel community in Melbourne and luminary of all of Australian Jewry and author of Vayatzev Avrohom, was received with pain and shock by the Torah world.
The difficult news came a mere ten days after the Gavad's immigration to Eretz Yisroel and his settling in Beit Shemesh. It was only a fortnight before that he took leave of his flock, the members of his kehilla in Melbourne, men, women and children, in a very moving ceremony in which he conferred his blessings upon them. Upon his arrival in Israel, however, his health declined from day to day, until he returned his holy soul to his Creator, to the dismay of all.
With his death, the Torah world lost a wondrous figure, a Torah leader of the like of past generations. He was a remnant of a generation of sages, expert in all the chambers of Torah, a Torah disseminator and halachic prominent figure for over sixty years. Pure, pious and perfect, yet humble and unassuming.
HaRav Beck was born in Elul, 5692 (1932) in Nir-Bagad, Hungary, to his righteous father, Rav Yeshaya Yosef, and his mother, Rebbetzin Sara. He was raised in a home firmly established on avodas Hashem in the Chassidic tradition, scions of generations of Torah giants.
When the skies of Europe began darkening at the onset of WW II, he and his brother, HaRav Moshe Dov, fled to Budapest, capital of Hungary. This flight saved him from the terrors of the Holocaust, as was true for the many who followed suit afterwards. Two other brothers along with their mother, Rebbetzin Sara, fell victim to the Nazi death machine.
After the Holocaust, he, his brother and other orphan young men found their way to Yeshivas Meor Hagola which was established in a suburb of Rome by his uncle, HaRav Dovid Leib Schwartz, famous gabbai tzedaka from Kiryat Vishnitz in Bnei Brak, together with HaRav Yitzchok Dovid Razmovitz.
After a period of Torah growth in that yeshiva, most of the talmidim went to Israel on 13 Av, 5708 (1948) right after the founding of the State of Israel.
After arriving in Eretz Yisroel, the young Avrohom Tzvi became close to the Admor the Imrei Chaim of Vishnitz, ztvk"l. From him he drew inspiration and life lessons that he applied with enthusiasm and dedication throughout his years. During this period, the Admor the Yeshuos Yaakov zt"l invested in his education and development, learning Shas poskim with him personally.
HaRav Beck zt"l
When he came of age he married the rebbitzen, may she be well, who has the daughter of Rav Moshe Tzvi Hoffman zt"l, a klei kodesh in Kiryat Atta. Describing those days, the Rebbitzen said that he used to come home every day with his eyes swollen from his great efforts in learning during the day, but after a light meal he would enthusiastically go to his shtender to learn, where he would eventually fall asleep standing over his gemora.
HaRav Beck was one of the earliest successful talmidim of the Vishnitz Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel, and even before his marriage he was called upon to teach and to serve in various positions of responsibility. Among these were the menahel ruchani of the yeshiva and saying a shiur in the yeshiva ketana.
He received and enthusiastic semicha from HaRav Zelig Reuven Bengis of the Eida Chareidis in Jerusalem and from HaRav Dovid Sperber, the gavad of Breshov. After this he served as a posek in the Vishnitz community in Bnei Brak.
The Imrei Chaim sent him on a special mission to consult with HaRav Binyomin Mendelsson, the rov of Komemiyus, about the approach that should be followed in chinuch in the talmud Torah and in the yeshiva ketanah. As a result of this research, he published a special pamphlet in which he gave detailed guidelines to be followed at the various levels of education. Around this time he also published his sefer Vayatzeiv Avrohom.
He was also active in gemilus chassodim, having founded a special fund to support yeshiva talmidim who were getting married. He also served as on the Vishnitz community board, as one of the Sheva Tuvei Hakahal.
In 5724 (1964) he was called to serve as the rov of the community in Montivideo, Uruguay. He headed the Adas Yereim community there very successfully for more than two decades.
In Tammuz of 5748 (1988), exactly 30 years ago, he became the rov of the Adas Yisroel community in Melbourne, Australia. He was soon recognized for the great light that he was, and his authority in religious matters was accepted. HaRav Beck zt"l led the community in Melbourne in all aspects for three decades. He spread Torah and ran all the community services in a way which raised the honor of Torah and gained the respect and support of the entire religious community in Australia.
Recently he had expressed his desire to return to Eretz Yisroel after so many years. His doctors advised him that if he wanted to do so, he should act swiftly, and as a result he made a decision to leave relatively suddenly.
The community was surprised and upset by the decision of the beloved rov to leave them. As he was leaving the community, the bochurim of the yeshiva where he davened daily surprised him by auctioning off the aliya of levi for him for committments to learn hundreds of pages of gemora. He left direcly after that minyan, with his personal sefer Torah, for the airport to travel to Eretz Yisroel.
He left his community with a personal letter that he wrote from the depths of his heart. It read, in part, "I ask of all me beloved friends that they continue remember me in their prayers for my health and the health of the rebbitzen, among the sick of Klal Yisroel. I also request that they learn Torah and fulfill the other mitzvos of chassidus that I expressed on various occasions. I pray to Hashem that I will fulfill the posuk, Ogurah ba'ohel le'olamim, and that people will remember and repeat my teachings."
Very soon after his arrival in Eretz Yisroel his health deteriorated seriously. Nonetheless on his first Shabbos in Beit Shemesh he came to daven in the beis medrash Vayatzei Avrohom that had been built adjacent to his home there. Unfortunately, his health continued to deteriorate, and on Monday 5 Tammuz he returned his pure sould to his Maker.
He is survived by an impressive family, including three sons and four sons-in-law who are all prominent rabbonim and admorim.