Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

19 Tammuz 5771 - July 21, 2011 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Rabbi Aba Dunner zt"l

By S. Bruchi

Rabbi Aba Halevi Dunner zt"l, one of the leading activists for chareidi Jewry in Europe and director of the Conference of European Rabbis, passed away at the age of 73 following a difficult illness.

Avrohom Moshe (Aba) Dunner was born in 5698 (1937) in the city of Konigsberg, Germany, the eldest son of HaRav Yosef Tzvi Halevi Dunner, who served as the rov of the local kehilloh. When the Nazis rose to power, he and his parents fled to England. He studied at Gateshead under HaRav Leib Gurewitz and HaRav Aryeh Leib Lopian, and later under HaRav Dov Koppelman in Switzerland.

When his father was appointed as head of the Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations, the umbrella organization of chareidi Jewry in London, and as rabbi of Adath Yisroel in 1960, Aba lent his assistance, particularly in matters of kashrus. After marrying Miriam, the daughter of HaRav Uri Cohen, one of the heads of Agudas Yisroel in Holland, Rabbi Aba Dunner continued his work in rabbinical affairs.

Over the years he played an important role in upholding Jewish sanctity, and as chairman of the CER he led a spiritual transformation in many congregations throughout Europe. He worked to have mikvo'os built throughout Europe and Russia and was heavily involved in cemetery renovation. He also made efforts to ensure shechita was available in outlying parts of Europe.

All his life Rabbi Dunner was driven to uphold all matters of kedushoh and was consulted by people around the world. He had vast experience in all matters related to Yiddishkeit and was glad to help people who contacted him from all parts of the globe.

In recent years he made great efforts to help the yeshiva boys incarcerated in Japan. He visited them several times and even met with government leaders in Japan in an effort to bring about their release.

Four years ago he contracted a disease that required an operation and difficult treatments. Through chasdei Shomayim he recovered from the illness and returned to his work.

Whenever he spoke to audiences he made a strong impression with his impassioned remarks.

He lost his wife, and his son Bentzion, a renowned philanthropist, was killed in a tragic car accident three years ago.

After Pesach he suffered a relapse. His health deteriorated to the point where last Thursday he recited Vidui with HaRav Chanoch Ehrentreu, the av beis din of London. Three days later he lost consciousness and within hours returned his soul to his Maker.

The levaya was held on Sunday in London, where he was buried alongside his father, HaRav Yosef Tzvi Halevi Dunner.


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