By COLlive reporter
Rabbi Amram Blau, a Chabad chossid who hails from a prominent Jerusalem family and was known as the “father of orphans,” was tragically killed in an accident on Thursday, 7 Adar II 5779.
He was 80 years old.
Rabbi Blau was hit by a city bus after he apparently stepped off the curb on Olei Hagardom Street in the Armon Hanatziv neighborhood of Jerusalem. First reports by witnesses indicated that he apparently slipped from the sidewalk to the street and was hit by a bus.
Ynet reported that his grandson, who is in his 20s, planned to travel with his grandfather on the bus. According to eyewitnesses, at the time of the accident, the grandson was inside the bus. The grandfather, who planned to board the bus, stumbled for an unknown reason, and the driver closed the doors and continued driving.
A Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedic mounted on an MDA motorcycle reported from the scene that the elderly man was hit by an articulated (multi-section) bus and that he was declared dead at the scene, Jerusalem Post reported.
Police forces arrived at the scene and opened an investigation into the incident. The driver of the bus was detained for questioning.
Rabbi Blau was a member of a respected family that has deep roots in Jerusalem. His grandfather headed the Agudas Yisroel party in the city and his father was active with the Pagi movement.
Rabbi Blau served as the director of the Chesed Menachem Mendel Foundation of Collel Chabad, the oldest running charitable organization in Israel. The foundation is dedicated to assisting Jewish orphans and widows.
Rabbi Blau organized three-day Chanukah retreats for 50 widows and 240 children who lost fathers to either terrorist attacks, accidents or illnesses.
He coordinated the annual mass Bar Mitzvah celebration for over 1,000 Jewish boys who immigrated from the former Soviet Union with a special ceremony at the Kotel and a celebration at the International Convention Center in Jerusalem.
Another project was bringing together girls from across Israel in Jerusalem for a joint bas mitzvah celebration, complete with a celebratory dinner, speakers, singing and dancing.
“Family milestones can be much more stressful and difficult, both financially and emotionally, without a parent,” Rabbi Blau explained. “It’s heartwarming to see the joy on the faces of these young women and their families in reaching this momentous occasion.”
He was to attend his grandson’s wedding on Monday.
He is survived by his wife Yehudis and children, R’ Yaakov Blau – Bnei Brak, Israel, R’ Itzik Blau – Kfar Chabad, Israel, Rabbi Moshe Blau, Mrs. Sarah Kubitchek – Kiryat Gat, Israel, Mrs. Shoshana Kot – Jerusalem, Israel; grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
He is also survived by his brother, Rabbi Tuvia Blau of Jerusalem.
The levaya will take place tonight at 23:00 from the Shamgar Funeral Center to Har Hazeisim in Jerusalem.
Baruch Dayan Ha’emes.