Menachem was born in Warsaw Poland, in Hannukah 1917 to Esther and Yehuda Engel whose very large family perished in the Holocaust leaving no surviving members. His parents, Warsaw industrialists, were Gur Hassids but Zionists nonetheless.
He studied in Warsaw elementary and secondary schools, during ten years.
In his youth he joined ‘Brit- Hachashmona’im’, instructing youth, camping in the forest, and weapons training. A group within this movement planned to emigrate illegally to Israel, out of fear of the impending war and the surging anti-Semitism. The group made it to Israel on the ship “Parita”, which collided with a sandbank on the Tel-Aviv coast one night in 1939, following a long and tumultuous journey. Upon arrival in Israel, they heard of the War which had broken out in Europe. In 1941 Menachem joined Lehi. Being a religious man of the Gur Hassidic movement at the time, he wanted permission from the Gur Rabbi, to join Lehi. He met the Rabbi in Bnei-Brak, and the latter asked that there be no propaganda at the Yeshiva, but said he would not stand in the way of those wishing to join the underground.
With other members of the “Religious Group”, Menachem collected “Orthodox Clothing” – Tallis, Tsitsios, and Tfillin – to be handed over to defectors from the Polish Army, under General Anders’ command, and to the Latrun escapees. With those items he helped disguise these men in Yeshivas and Synagogues at Bnei-Brak. He lived in Mizrahi St. 3 Tel-Aviv with his wife, Esther nee Bashiri, whom he’d married in January 1947. She owned a bookstore where he hid weapons and the religious items.
Menachem and Esther had two children, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Menachem helped many people and hid prison escapees at his home, until they could find a safer refuge. He was a man who loved books. He maintained a close hearty contact with various Rabbis and Yeshiva Heads in Bnei-Brak, whom he used to turn to, regarding their opinions about the underground. Menachem passed away on May 6,1984.