About Rabbi Amram Blau, הרב עמרם בלוי
Rabbi Amram Blau (1894–1974) הרב עמרם בלוי was a Haredi rabbi from the Hungarian community of Jerusalem misunderstood by most. He was one of the founders of the Neturei Karta. Many religious fanatics falsely claim to be Blau's disciples, especially when they hurl rocks in Jerusalem or Jaffa during demonstrations over construction on ancient graves or other matters.
"Amram Blau was a God-fearing Jew," says Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim, an Ultra-Orthodox Jewish journalist who grew up in Mea She'arim among the Neturei Karta, remembers Amram Blau.
"He would never shout out any pejorative word at the Jewish people. He would never say anything in order to hurt someone else's feelings. He was a person who loved life and he was also a great Torah scholar. You can't find people like that around here anymore."
There were many sides of Amram Blau that most people didn't know. His Shabbat table usually had twenty or thrity seats reserved for poor people, blind people and the homeless.
Once it is said, he delivered milk for a week so his regular milkman just married could enjoy a week of sheva berachot without having to make morning rounds.
Amram Blau was passionate in his commitment to chesed and Torah. He had 10 children with Hinda, his first wife, who died in 1963. His second wife was the French convert, Ruth Ben-David.
1. HaRav Amram Blau Wikipedia
- Letter by Rabbi Amram Blau and Rabbi Aharon Katzenellenbogen, July 1949
Reb Amram possessed an incredible love for his fellow Jews. A man who was often a guest at the Blau home said: “You could find every drifter in town there. Reb Amram's door was open to every broken-hearted soul. At one of the campaigns that Reb Amram organized as an outcry against chillul Shmayim, he went to demonstrate in the streets of Yerushlayim. The police responded brutally, using clubs and batons to beat the protesters. That night Reb Amram attended a family simcha where he noticed a teenager who had earlier that day helped the police carry out their brutal treatment of the protesters. The teenager looked trouble and in need of help. Reb Amram, with his silken heart, felt he had to go out of his way to help this youth, so that he would not harbor personal resentment against him for siding with the policemen.”
This anecdote illustrates Rav Blau's incredible fusion of forces – lion-like tenacity when fulfilling his duty to defend Hashem's honor and his silken softness when Ahavas Yisroel was the call of duty.
Reb Amram's father was HaRav Yitzchok Shlomo, a close talmid of HaRav Yeshoshua Leib Diskin, ZY'A, who established and led the Yeshiva Ohel Moshe. Reb Yitzchok Slomo's father was Rav Amram Blau, a talmid of the Ksav Sofer, who served as a Rav in several towns in Slovakia. Rav Yitzhok Shlomo's father-in-law was the well-known gaon from Yerushlayim, HaRav Yehoshuyah Orenstein, who was a talmid of the Maharil Diskin.