HaRav Zalman Yosef Aloni Dubow, zt'l
by A. Cohen
HaRav Zalman Yosef Aloni Dubow, zt'l, rav and av beis din of Dublin, Ireland, was brought to rest in Jerusalem two weeks ago at the age of 88 following an extended illness.
R' Zalman Yosef Aloni was born in 5665 (1915) in Riga, capital of Latvia, to Rav Yitzchok Dubow, an outstanding Torah scholar with yiras Shomayim and exceptional knowledge of Shas who later taught at Yeshivas Manchester for many years.
At a young age he and his brother (who was killed by the Nazis in 5702 along with the other members of Yeshivas Telz) went to Yeshivas Grodno to study under HaRav Shimon Shkop. His friends included HaRav S. Rozovsky, HaRav B. Y. Levine and HaRav Zaidel Epstein ylct'a the latter of whom spent much time as his chavrusa. He had a special attachment to his rebbe HaRav Shkop, and even went with him to a dacha on several occasions. As a sign of his esteem, he gave HaRav Zalman Yosef Aloni notebooks containing his chidushim and shiurim before leaving the yeshiva for Eretz Yisroel.
During his journey he spent a short period at Yeshivas Mir and in 5695 (1935) arrived in Eretz Yisroel, where he went to study at Yeshivas Chevron. He was soon given smicha by HaRav I. Z. Meltzer, HaRav R. Katz and HaRav Y. Sarna. In 5699 (1939) he traveled to Dublin to marry the daughter of Rav Michel Osher Matlin, one of the city's rabbonim who had passed away a short time earlier.
After marrying Rebbetzin Soroh Leah, a'h, he replaced her late father as rav of the city, a post he held for over forty years. Later he was appointed av beis din of Dublin and the surrounding area. For decades he gave shiurim to baalei batim and carefully oversaw all halachic matters.
Throughout this period he was intently engaged in his Torah studies. In his haskomo to Rav Dubow's sefer, Degel Yosef, one of the most distinguished of these guests, HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky, wrote, "It is a great virtue to be a rav with a heavy schedule of communal duties to attend to, living in a place without a single house of study -- and engaged in Torah with vigorous intensity."
Over the years he wrote ten works covering various areas of halocho and machshovo, including Kosnos Or, which deals with tanning leather to be used as klaf, a booklet on Kiddushin and a booklet on the Pesach Haggodoh.
Over the years most of the members of the chareidi community moved to England or Eretz Hakodesh, but he remained at his post as long as he felt his activities helped the community members spiritually. Eventually he moved to London, where he served as rav and av beis din. He continued to give shiurim to his talmidim from Dublin.
Rav Dubow had a pleasant manner and received everyone, including non-Jews, with a friendly countenance and respect belying his stature as a great Torah scholar. Everywhere he went he sanctified Sheim Shomayim with his words and dignified appearance.
The levaya set out from Golders Green in London where his son-in-law, HaRav Rafael Kahn, and HaRav Y. Lichtenstein, Av Beis Din of London, delivered hespeidim.
In accordance with HaRav Dubow's will the coffin was transported to Eretz Yisroel for burial. On Erev Shabbos Vayeiro he was laid to rest at Har Hamenuchos in Jerusalem. His grandson HaRav B. Shakovitzky, rosh kollel Yad Mordechai in Bnei Brak, spoke.
Rav Dubow is survived by his son, Rav Michel Osher; three daughters married to: HaRav Mordechai Shakovitzky z'l, one of the pioneers of the Teshuvoh Movement, HaRav Rafael Kahn, a well-known figure in the area of chinuch in England and HaRav Chaim Weiner, who lives in Golders Green; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren who cared for him with mesirus nefesh during his final years, which were filled with physical and mental suffering.