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Monday, April 20, 2015

Petira Of HaGaon HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein ZT"L - Leading Dati Leumi Posek, Son In Law Of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik

HaGaon HaRav Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein ZT”L was niftar at the age of 81. The levaya will be held on Tuesday, 2 Iyar to permit family members to arrive in Eretz Yisrael. 

The rav was a leading authority in the dati leumi community around the world. While he was born in France, he was raised in the United States. He was a talmid of both HaRav Yitzchak Hutner Z”TL and Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik ZT”L, eventually becoming his son-in-law.

In 1970, Rabbi Yehuda Amital invited him to serve with him as head of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut, Rabbi Liechtenstein acceded to the request, and immigrated to Israel with his family in 1971, and has served as the Rosh yeshiva, Rabbi Amital along with until the death of the latter. He would not serve unless Rav Amital was co-rosh yeshiva alongside, another symbol of his absolute modesty.

Rabbi Dr. Liechtenstein received the Israel Prize for Torah literature and in English literature. He earned a BA and semicha at Yeshiva University and a PhD in English Literature at Harvard University, where he studied under Douglas Bush.

In 2006 he moved from Gush Etzion to Yerushalayim. At the end of the winter zman in 5771 he announced his retirement as rosh yeshiva, dedicating his time to his Torah study and writings.
In his words upon hearing of the petira, Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef stated,
הרב ליכטנשטיין שייך לשרידי דור דעה, של רבנים שידעו שאין להתפשר על קוצו של יו”ד בהלכה היהודית ובד בבד בתוך עמם הם ישבו.
He belonged to a generation of rabbonim who would not compromise one iota in halacha.

Rav Yosef added the petira of the rav represents a great loss for the Torah world, continuing that Rav Lichtenstein publicly came out to support the psak halacha of his father regarding the aliyah of the so-called Falashmurah, the immigrants from Ethiopia. Rav Yosef explains that while it did not directly impact the rav, he nevertheless felt the need to support the psak and assist.

The levaya will begin at Yeshivat Har Etzion in Gush Etzion on Tuesday morning 2 Iyar at 10:00 and continue to Har Menuchos.
Shock and Emptiness – Students Eulogize Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein

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