A giant in the Torah community has left this world and moved on to the next. Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz, zt"l, passed away Thursday afternoon.
His funeral will be held Friday morning in
Torah giant Rabbi Avrohom Blumenkrantz zt"l passed away Thursday afternoon from diabetic complications. He was the descendant of a family of Torah luminaries and the author of one of the most widely-used guides to Pesach kashrut – the annual Passover Digest. Hundreds of thousands of Jews around the world purchased the comprehensive guide each year as they made their preparations for observance of Passover.
Rabbi Blumenkrantz worked tirelessly year round to produce the manual, a work which became the gold standard for determining if items in the American market were acceptable for Passover use.
The revered expert was called upon daily to deliver many other Jewish legal decisions in myriad areas of life as well, but he was best known for his acumen in the world of kashrut – which foods are permissible in Jewish law and which are not.
The rabbi's loss is already being felt keenly by the Torah community. The website which posted the news of his passing, The Yeshiva World was flooded with responses from grieving readers, many of whom had personal stories to share.
"I must encourage everyone….to go past the Pesach lists of medicines, foods and other items to [another] area of the book that most people rarely, if ever, get to or know about," wrote one person who responded to the news on a Jewish website.
"In the past, after the first two-thirds of the book, there resided a rich and invaluable source of information to be used year round as well as Pesach. It included a very small sampling of the Rav's vast knowledge. In this case, his knowledge of medicine and nutrition and the use of alternative healing methods, special diets and the care and treatment of foods to insure proper kosher foods for us all…… plus a selection of important, but often forgotten halakhas (Jewish laws)….Who will fill the void he leaves? Who can…?"
Although he was Ashkenazi, the rabbi's influence was felt in all sectors, wrote the TYW editor. "Rabbi Blumenkrantz was deeply respected by all yidden of all sects, from Ashkenazim to Sefardim, Chasidic or Litvish, and Yeshivish to Modern," said the TYW editor. He added that the Rabbi had been a student of the most-often quoted Torah legal expert in the 20th century, Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zt"l, "whom he quoted extensively."
"Although I never met him personally, Rabbi Blumenkrantz zt"l was my Pesach Rav," wrote on TYW reader.
"I am unaware of any Gadol [Torah luminary] who allowed himself to be accessible at all times of the day or night, whether he knew the people or not," wrote another. "Furthermore he treated everyone with dignity and didn't make money or donations a matter of importance. Who can we turn to now?"