The news of HaGaon HaRav Mendel Schneur Zalman Atik’s petirah, one of the greatest Gaonim of his generation and a close talmid of the Brisker Rav and the Chazon Ish, z’tl, has shocked the Olam HaTorah.
The niftar, z’tl, who spent decades working tirelessly on the Torah, passed away on his 94th birthday, on Shabbos Chanukah, at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
Born in the Old City of Jerusalem, HaRav Atik studied under HaGaon HaRav Isser Zalman Meltzer, z’tl in the Eitz Chaim Talmud Torah and yeshivah, and then under HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Yehudah Finkel, z’t’l at Yeshivas Mir, where he continued to study after getting married.
He also had a close relationship with the Chazon Ish, ztl, with whom he frequently conversed to learn, and the Brisker Rav, ztl, with whom he attended his shiurim every week.
In the Bucharim area of Jerusalem, HaRav Atik, z’tl, later founded Yeshivas Eretz Tzvi, a yeshiva for bochurim from chutz l’Eretz who were eager to learn b’iyun, a derech limud that merged those of the Mir with the Chazon Ish.
There were numerous talmidim at the niftar, including HaGaon HaRav Dovid Miller, one of the Roshei Yeshivos of Yeshivas Ponevezh, HaGaon HaRav Chaim Min-Hahar, a Rosh Yeshivah in Beitar Illit, HaGaon HaRav Yehoshua Ehrenberg, Rosh Yeshivas Knesses Yitzchak in Hadera, HaGaon HaRav Chizkiyahu Yosef Schreiber, Rosh Yeshivas Maharil, and HaGaon HaRav Dovid Eisenberg, a Rosh Kollel in Arzei HaBirah.
The levaya began at HaRav Atik’s residence on Rechov Pri Chadash and extended to Har HaMenuchos on Motzei Shabbos.