Rabbi Meir Tzvi Gruzman, a renowned Torah scholar and teacher who educated thousands of Chabad-Lubavitch students in Israel during the course of six decades, passed away on Jan. 15 in Israel. He was 82 years old.

Among the foremost teachers of Torah of his generation, Rabbi Gruzman was the author of Imrei Tzvi, a collection of his teachings on the Talmud, as well as articles appearing in various scholarly Torah journals.

Meir Tzvi Gruzman was born in 1934 in the Soviet Union to Mordechai and Fella Gruzman. Dedicated Chabad Chassidim, the Gruzmans opened their home to all, knowing that many of their guests were on the government’s “wanted” list for counterrevolutionary crimes, such as teaching children Torah and enabling Shabbat observance.


At the end of World War II, the Gruzmans snuck under the Iron Curtain and left for Israel, where the elder Gruzman founded a Chabad congregation in Ramat Gan.

Meir Tzvi, who had begun his Jewish education in the network of underground Chabad yeshivahs in the Soviet Union, was was sent to Yeshivas Achei Tmimim in Tel Aviv (and then Lod). There, he first met his mentor, Rabbi Shlomo Chaim Kesselman, and became one of his closest students.

During his yeshivah years, he was among the editors of Pardes Hatmimim, the journal of collected scholarly articles by the students of the yeshivah. Among his close peers were Rabbi Moshe Y. Landa (today, the chief rabbi of Bnei Brak in Israel) and Rabbi Yisroel Friedman (today, rosh yeshivah at Oholei Torah in Brooklyn, N.Y.)

In 1955, he married Chaya Shneerson from Jerusalem. He was invited to continue his work mentoring and teaching yeshivah students in Lod, something he had already begun as a senior student.

In 1960, he joined the first chartered flight of Chassidim from Israel to visit the Rebbe—Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory—in New York.

When the central Chabad yeshivah in Israel moved from Lod to Kfar Chabad in the 1960s, he moved along with it. It was there that he influenced thousands of young men, many of whom became rabbis, yeshivah heads and prominent Chassidic mentors (at one point, he concurrently served as head of Yeshivat Beit Haram Kiryat Malachi).

Over the years, the Rebbe took a deep interest in his educational work, sharing practical tips on motivating students and other guidance.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by his children: Rabbi Yisroel Yosef Gruzman (Nitzan, Israel); Rabbi Yitzchok Gruzman (Rishon Letzion, Israel); Rabbi Shmuel Gruzman (Migdal, Israel); Rabbi Sholom Ber Gruzman (Vienna, Austria); Rabbi Schneur Zalman Gruzman (Tzfat, Israel); Rabbi Moshe Gruzman (Rishon Letzion, Israel); Shoshi Zajac (São Paulo, Brazil); and Yafa Reichman (Modi’in, Israel); in addition to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

He was buried in the ancient cemetery in Tzfat.