Rav Amram Zaks zt”l


rav-amram-zaksIt is with great sadness that we report the petirah of Rav Amram Zaks zt”l rosh yeshiva of the Salbodka Yeshiva in Bnei Brak. He was 86.

Rav Zaks had been hospitalized since Motzoei Shabbos Chol Hamoed Sukkos at Mayanei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak. With his condition taking a turn for the worse, a number of atzeres tefillah gatherings were held this week at various locations in Bnei Brak and beyond. Rav Zaks passed away over night.

Rav Zaks served as rosh yeshiva of the Slabodka Yeshiva together with Rav Dov Landau and Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsch.

A visitor to Bnei Brak once asked a young talmid of Slabodka what his life goals are. “I see my goal in front of me every day,” he responded. “When I see my roshei yeshiva, I see the living example of shleimus that I hope one day to reach myself.”

Just seeing the tremendous mesirus nefesh that the rosh yeshiva, Rav Zaks, had for Torah and tefillah betzibbur, despite being ill and weak, was like having a mussar sefer before one’s eyes, constantly. The rosh yeshiva would literally shake from the effort of giving a shiur, but that did not deter him. Even in the hospital, the minute he felt a little better, he asked for his shtender. Nothing stood in the way of his iron will to learn and teach. Every ounce of energy was used to learn with his chavrusah, to give a shiur, or to daven with a minyan. He fought a fierce battle for every minute of Torah and tefillah betzibbur. His simchas hachaim, his indomitable will to continue to strive and grow, despite his disabilities, was a constant message of the hidden strengths of man.

Rav Amram was known as an illui since his childhood in Yerushalayim. He was a talmid of Rav Isser Zalman Meltzer, was mekurav to both the Chazon Ish and the Brisker Rov, and has hundreds of talmidim who trace their achievements in learning and harbotzas haTorah to his guidance. And yet, despite his greatness, though unfortunately he was much less accessible to the bochurim than he used to be, his sensitivity, ability to listen and clarity of thought drew the bochurim to him.

Rav Amram was speaking to a group of alumni a few years ago. He told them how Rav Yechiel Mordechai Gordon, rosh yeshiva of  Lomza, used to say that an institution really needs several roshei yeshiva – one for learning, one to counsel the talmidim, one to raise money, one to go to chasunos, etc. “In our yeshiva,” he said, “we have one man, Rav Moshe Hillel Hirsh, doing all those jobs.” Rav Zaks turned to the alumni, his respect and admiration for his younger brother-in-law evident in his words. “It is too much for one person. Please help him,” he said.

Such was his humility and gadlus.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Matzav.com Israel News Bureau}


  1. L’kaayem Banu Chachmei Yisroel!

    The Tzibbur is asked to Daven for Rav Shlomo Brevda, Shlita, who is in the ICU suffering from a serious illness and needs our Tefillos. Saying Tehillim daily in his Zechus for the Refuah Shelaima of “Rav Shlomo Leib Ben Miriam” would be greatly appreciated.

    Rav Brevda requested that we increase the intensity of our Tefillos during Dovening and say Tehillim (day and/or night) whenever the opportunity arises. He feels in very dire straights. Please request that a Misheberech to be said for the Rav during Kryias HaTorah. Thank you.

  2. another tzaddik & leader has left the world & there are many more to leave R”L in the future R”L, more then 105 have left us in the past 19 months, ITS SHOCKING & TRAGIC (1 a week average) no need for me to say more.

    the choice is ours how many more will leave us R”L, theres no one to blame but ourselves & its our loss not the tzaddiks

    may we all finally accept Hashem’s wake-up call for teshuva & do something about it, so the tzaros in klal yisroel can end ASAP.