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Monday, April 20, 2015

Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l

My Rosh Yeshiva (head of the academy), Rav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l, passed away a short time ago.
Born in Paris on May 1933, shortly after the Nazi conquest of France in 1940 his family fled to the US, where he would eventually study under two of the Jewish world's leading rabbis: Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner and Rabbi Yoseph Soloveitchik.
He soon became a close student of Rabbi Soloveitchik in particular - considered the founder of the Modern Orthodox movement - studying for many years under his guidance at Yeshiva University in New York.
In 1959 Rabbi Lichtenstein was ordained by his mentor, and shortly after married Rabbi Soloveitchik's daughter.
In 1970 he was invited by Rabbi Yehuda Amital to co-head one of the first hesder yeshivot, which combine Torah study and military service - Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut.
Rabbi Lichtenstein took up the position a year later upon making aliyah with his family, and served as one of its Rosh Yeshiva until his passing, although in recent years he had scaled back his activities due to poor health.
May his memory be a blessing. He gave amazing Torah discourses. I still have (and have let my children use) the notes I have from my time in the Yeshiva 35 years ago. 

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