Mourning ‘One of the Greatest Rabbis in Our Generation’

April 20, 2015  

Numerous politicians responded to the death of leading religious-Zionist figure Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, who passed away on Monday morning at the age of 81.

MK Ze’ev Elkin, chairman of the Likud faction and a graduate of the rabbi’s Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut, located in Judea’s Gush Etzion, eulogized the rabbi.

“In this difficult hour, together with many others, I bow my head and cry for the death of one of the greatest rabbis in our generation, Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein zt”l,” said Elkin.

“The rabbi throughout his life taught his students to search for the truth of the Torah through an unending negotiation and through striving to truly connect the content of the Torah with the deep complexity of building the state of the Jewish people in our generation,” he added. “I, like many thousands of others, am proud to be among the students and graduates of his yeshiva.”

“Rabbi Lichtenstein is a symbol of integrating worlds,” said Jewish Home Chairperson Naftali Bennett. “He established a world of Torah in the land of Israel. Fifty years ago, at a time when the Torah was neglected in a corner, Rabbi Lichtenstein came and integrated between education and precision, and stringency on Halakha (Jewish law).”

Bennett added that the rabbi’s work was “all in a clear language, and while connecting to the public that he taught and led. My condolences are with the tens of thousands of students he left behind, his family and all those close to him.”

Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion regional council, said the rabbi’s “coming to Israel and joining the leadership of the Har Etzion Yeshiva was a path for the entire generation, a path of humility and mutual respect, a path of truth and loving one’s fellow man.”

“The rabbi dealt with the entire breadth of life from within the Torah and within the deep Torah viewpoint,” added Perl. “His thousands of students in Israel and the world, and tens of thousands of residents of Gush Etzion, bow their heads and feel pain at his passing. His passing is a great loss to the Gush Etzion community and to the entire Jewish people.”

Also commenting on the rabbi’s death was Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), head of the Tekuma faction.

“A righteous person has been lost from the earth,” said Ariel. “Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein symbolized the fine connection between…the holy and the mundane, while stringently guarding the love of all the people of Israel and bringing Jews closer (to Judaism).”

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