Memory Lane: Rabbi Zvi Tabory, z”l
Continuing our chronicle of the Rabbanim who served Congregation Anshei Sfard of Boro Park, we tell the story of Rabbi Tabory who assumed the pulpit by Rabbi Isaac Swift when he left for Englewood, New Jersey.
He was born Zvi Tabriski, on 25 Elul, 1904, in the town of Wilkomir, Lithuania. His father, Reb Yehuda Leib was the gabbai of the Lubavitcher chassidim in the town.
He learned in cheder in the town, and later in the yeshivos of Ponovezh (We find a photograph of him with the Ponovezher Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahanemen, zt”l, during a visit of the latter to America—where he would famously fundraise. We do not know if their relationship was formed back home, or whether, as a prominent American Rav, Rav Tabory would have been a natural acquaintance); Wilkomir, Vilkovisk, and Slabodka. Finally, he attended the Beis Medrash L’morim in Kovna.
As a young man, he immigrated to America.
A brilliant mind, he attended Emory University in Atlanta, and then went on to Law School in New York—a young immigrant, alone in the world.
Rav Tabory possessed a lifelong love for Eretz Yisroel, and in 1925, he made his way to the Holy Land, serving as a teacher of Tiferes Yisroel in Haifa. However, after a year, he returned to America. He would return to Eretz Yisroel on numerous other occasions—but his heart never really left the land.
During the time in America, he was always a great leader for the cause of organizations for chinuch in Eretz Yisroel. For a number of years he also served as a Rav in Baltimore, and this is likely why he is seen here with Rav Ruderman at a Ner Israel event. He is also seen speaking at a groundbreaking at Ner Israel.
For the yamim Nora’im of 1960, Rabbi Tabory served as a rabbinical guest of Anshei Sfard—following which we find the following article in Hatzofe later that fall: “after spending a month with this prominent congregation, in which he had enflamed their hearts for Torah and for Zion through his sermons over the Yamim Nora’im and the yamim tovim, he accepted the invitation of the kehillah to serve as their permanent Rav.”
During his time in Boro Park he spoke extensively, and interacted with its Rabbanim. He was also extremely active on behalf of causes in Israel.
In 1967, he finally was reunited permanently with his beloved Eretz Yisroel. Upon that time, Hatozfe wrote about the attention that this move had garnered within the community there—Rabbi Tabory having had a reputation for his influence, and great work with regard to education while in America, and was especially well-known for the seminars over which he presided.
The children of Rabbi Tabory today live in Eretz Yisroel, teaching the future generations—as their father had before them… in Boro Park of yesteryear.