Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Adar II 5768 - March 27, 2008 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










Produced and housed by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Rav Ben Zion Dunner z"l

By A. Cohen

The Torah community in England and around the world was stunned by news of the sudden passing of Rav Ben Zion Dunner z"l, a leading Torah supporters known for his many acts of tzedokoh and chessed, who died in a tragic car accident on Motzei Shabbos parshas Zav, 16 Adar II, at the age of 45.

The niftar, who lived in Golders Green, had been driving after midnight with three of his children from London to Bournemouth. Just 10 miles short of his destination the car swerved and crashed into a tree. Rescue workers rushed to the scene, where a doctor declared him dead.

Ben Zion Dunner's father is Rav Aba Dunner ylct"a, who served for years as general secretary of Agudas Yisroel of Britain and now is the executive director of the Conference of European Rabbis. His mother, Miriam, passed away one year ago. His grandfather was HaRav Yosef Tzvi Dunner, who also passed away nearly a year ago after serving as the ravad of London and president of Agudas Yisroel of Britain.

As a young man Rav Ben Zion studied at Gateshead Yeshiva, and he was also in close contact with the Manchester rosh yeshiva, HaRav Yehuda Segal zt"l. Later he transferred to Ponovezh Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, where he was highly regarded by HaRav Shach, HaRav Dovid Povarsky and HaRav Shmuel Rosovsky zt"l. After getting married he maintained contact with the yeshiva, arriving for at least a day of learning every year.

He married the daughter of R' Zeev (Willy) Stern. His mother- in-law, is the granddaughter of the Admor of Bobov Hy"d, the author of Kedushas Tzion.

The niftar gained an international reputation for the enormous amounts of money he donated to hundreds of Torah institutions around the world. On Taanis Esther and Purim this year he handed out checks to thousands of needy people who flocked to his home. Every Shabbos Night he would go to the homes of lonely people to wish them a good Shabbos.

He made his home a "beis vaad lechachomim," often hosting leading roshei yeshivos and admorim. Every day he would learn with chavrusas, including his uncle, HaRav Aharon Dovid Dunner, a dayan at Kedassia (the Union of Chareidi Kehillos of London). He was also noted for his uncompromising efforts to raise his children for Torah and mitzvas.

Rav Ben Zion's sudden passing left a pall on London's Torah community, where various Purim season events were cancelled. The levaya set out Sunday afternoon from the niftar's home in Golders Green, headed for the Adas Yisroel Cemetery in Enfield, where he was buried near his grandfather, HaRav Yosef Tzvi Halevi Dunner, who passed away on Erev Pesach last year. Thousands arrived from London and other parts of England led by roshei yeshivos, admorim and rabbonim from the US and Eretz Yisroel.

The first eulogy was delivered by the niftar's uncle, HaRav Shlomo Freshwater, the rov of Beis Knesses Sassov in London, who spoke of his mesirus nefesh for Torah and recalled the great joy radiating from his face this past Purim Night.

Moving words of parting were heard from the niftar's father, HaRav Avrohom Moshe (Abba) Dunner. In a broken voice he said HaKodosh Boruch Hu gave him a gift 45 years ago and asked for mechiloh in the name of the entire gathering.

Rav Ben Zion Dunner z"l is survived by his wife, nine children including a one-year-old daughter, his father, his in-laws, and thousands of friends and acquaintances mourning the sudden passing of a tzaddik with a pure and clean soul.


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