Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, famed Bnei Brak leader, dies at 84

Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau eulogized Landau calling him a “righteous person who devoted his whole life to the public.”

April 1, 2019 06:48
1 minute read.
A memorial candle

A memorial candle. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)


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Bnei Brak’s chief rabbi, Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Leib Landau, died on Saturday at Laniado Hospital in Netanya after being hospitalized on Tuesday following a stroke. He was 84. He was buried on Sunday in Bnei Brak.

Born in Rostov, USSR, Landau and his family settled in Bnei Brak in Mandate Palestine in 1936.

He was unofficially appointed as the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) city’s rabbi 33 years ago after the death of his father Rabbi Yaakov Landau.

The appointment sparked major controversy at the time because the haredi Lithuanian factions were opposed to his leadership. He was a Chabad hassid, a stream that is in constant rivalry with the Lithuanian mitnagdim (oppositionists) of the ultra-Orthodox sector.

Landau also provided kosher services to Coca Cola, which has a bottling plant in Bnei Brak, and he was one of the few people in the world who knew the secret recipe of the popular beverage.

He was a well-known senior authority on kashrut issues, as well as a leader in the haredi sector who tried hard to make Bnei Brak religiously Shabbat compliant.

 In 2008, Landau also gave his blessing for the first-ever haredi mall to be built in Bnei Brak, taking part in the cornerstone-laying ceremony.

In a statement, Israel’s Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi David Lau eulogized Landau, calling him a righteous person who devoted his whole life to the public.

“The generation lost today a righteous person who devoted his entire life to the public with dedication and endless humility,” he said. “I would like to send condolences to his distinguished family and to his students and to the world of Israel’s rabbis.”

Landau is survived by his wife and nine children.

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