Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman
Rabbi Avraham ZuckermanAriel Zuckerman

Israel’s ministers and deputy ministers were among those who expressed sorrow Sunday morning at the passing of Rabbi Avraham Zuckerman, 98. Rabbi Zuckerman was the dean of the Bnei Akiva yeshiva network.

“Rabbi Zuckerman’s contribution to the religious Zionist movement, and to the entire nation, was tremendous,” said Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

Bennett recalled Rabbi Zuckerman’s decades-long commitment to Bnei Akiva, and his work to ensure that religious-Zionist high schools would offer high-level secular studies. He extended his sympathies to the rabbi’s family and many students.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi) said, “Rabbi Zuckerman was a great educator who raised generations of students, for more than 60 years.”

“The rabbi believed that ‘still waters run deep.’ He didn’t seek out influential positions for himself; he gained influence due to his great humility,” Ariel added.

Deputy Minister of Religious Affairs Eli Ben-Dahan praised Rabbi Zuckerman as “a great Torah scholar who raised generations of Torah scholars.”

Last year Rabbi Zuckerman was present as Jews celebrated the completion of one cycle of Talmud learning, he recalled.

“He and three generations after him completed the shas [six books of the Babylonian Talmud]: his son, his grandson and his great-grandson. Not every Jew merits that,” Ben-Dahan said.