It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Yehudah Aryeh Trager zt”l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Etz Chaim of Antwerp.
Rav Trager passed away in the United States, where he had gone for treatment for a serious illness. He was 81 years old.
Rav Trager was renowned for his harbotzas haTorah, his love for every talmid, and his care for one and all.
Born in Poland on November 23, 1933/5 Kislev tof reish tzadi dalet, Rav Trager was a son of Reb Avrohom and Nechamah Trager. Reb Avrohom was a chossid of Amshinov and one of the heads of Poalei Agudas Yisroel.
Rav Trager, in his youth, studied at the yeshivos of Slabodka and Ponovezh. He became very close to the Chazon Ish, with whom he would regularly speak in learning. Rav Trager married his wife, Rebbetzin Miriam, a daughter of Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach zt”l.
On Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan in 1962, Rav Trager arrived in Antwerp and assumed the position of rosh yeshiva at Yeshivas Etz Chaim upon being appointed by Rav Chaim Kreiswirth zt”l, rov of Antwerp.
Rav Trager possessed an outstanding breadth of Torah knowledge, instilling Torah and yiras Shomayim in hundreds of talmidim, many of whom have gone on to become leading disseminators of Torah.
Rav Trager fused the worlds of Torah and Chassidus, and imparted the beauty of Yiddishkeit, along with lessons of mussar, to generations of students and followers.
The levayah will take place today, at 1 p.m., at Beth Medrash Govoah, on Seventh Street in Lakewood, NJ. The levaya will continue tomorrow, at 4 p.m., at Bais Medrash Bais Yisroel in the Ezras Torah neighborhood of Yerushalayim, and then pass Bais Medrash Ohel Yehoshua on Rechov Minchas Yitzchok en route to Har Hamenuchos for kevurah there.
Rav Trager is survived by a family of bnei and bnos Torah, as well as grandchildren following his ways. His children include Rav Yitzchok Trager, whose wife, Sarah Chana, is a daughter of the Novominsker Rebbe; Mrs. Tziviah Lorencz, wife of Rav Yitzchok Lorencz, a son of Rav Shlomo Lorencz; Mrs. Nomi Rajchenbach of Chicago, wife of rosh kollel of Kollel Zichron Eliyahu, Rav Yosef Rajchenbach, a son of Reb Yankel Rajchenbach; and Mrs. Tami Reiss of Lakewood, wife of Rav Yitzchok Reiss, a son of Rav Mahir Reiss.
Yehi zichro boruch.