Harav Aharon Lichtenstein

            Rabbi Dr. Aharon Lichtenstein was born on 28 Iyar 5693 (May24, 1933) in France. In 1940, several months after the Nazi conquest of France, his family managed to escape to the United States. In his youth, he was recognized as an outstanding student at Yeshivat Rabbi Chaim Berlin, where he studied under Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner zt”l.  He continued his studies at Yeshiva University under Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik zt”l, who granted him rabbinic ordination. In 1960, he married Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter, Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein.

            In 1957, he completed a doctorate in English Literature at Harvard University, after which he returned to Yeshiva University to serve as an instructor in Talmud and as rosh kollel at Yeshiva University’s affiliated Yeshivat Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan.

            In 1970, Rabbi Yehuda Amital zt”l invited Rabbi Lichtenstein to serve as co-rosh yeshiva of the recently-established Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut, Israel. Rabbi Lichtenstein accepted the offer and made aliya with his family in 1971. They served together as rashei yeshiva for four decades and taught thousands of students, among them many rabbis and educators. Rabbi Lichtenstein also served as rector of Herzog College and as rosh kollel of Yeshiva University’s Gruss Institute in Jerusalem. He resided in Jerusalem from the time of his aliya until 2006, when he and his wife moved to Alon Shevut in Gush Etzion, near Yeshivat Har Etzion. In 2011 he announced his retirement from daily teaching, and devoted himself mainly to writing.

            Throughout his career, Rabbi Lichtenstein combined sovereign mastery of the vast expanses of Torah knowledge with breathtaking analytic depth and sharpness. His diligence in Torah study, day and night, was legendary. Hundreds of his students became rashei yeshiva and rabbis in Israel and throughout the world. Yet alongside his genuine Torah greatness, he was renowned for his deep humility, nobility and love of humanity.

            Over the years, Rabbi Lichtenstein published many articles on Talmud, Halakha and philosophy. Many of these were collected in his books Minchat Aviv and the eight-volume series Shiurei HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein on the Talmud, as well as in his books on Jewish thought and ethics Leaves of Faith (2 volumes), Varieties of Jewish Experience, By His Light: Character and Values in the Service of God, and in the recent series of interviews by Rabbi Chaim Sabato, Mevakshei Panekha. On Yom HaAtzmaut 2014 he was awarded Israel’s highest honor, the Israel Prize, for his extensive and varied Torah literature. He also was awarded the Rav Kook Prize for Torah Literature in 2013 for his volumes on the Talmud. The award committee’s decision declared that “In these books, Rabbi Lichtenstein brings the Brisker conceptual method of Torah study to its highest luster, to deep and impressive fulfillment, opening up methods of traditional Talmudic analysis for the current generation.”

            Rabbi Lichtenstein passed away on Rosh Chodesh Iyar 5775 at the age of 81 and was buried on Har HaMenuchot in Jerusalem.

            Rabbi Lichtenstein leaves behind his wife, Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein, six children all of whom are involved in Jewish education, including head of Yeshivat Har Etzion Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein and head of the Women’s Beit Midrash in Migdal Oz Mrs. Esti Rosenberg, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.  Read more.

 

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Teacher Title Abstract Course
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein The Prohibition of Leaving Eretz Yisrael Several sources imply that one is forbidden to leave Eretz Israel for Chutz La-aretz. The Gemara in Ketubot 111a relates... Halakhic Essays of Harav Aharon Lichtenstein (5776)
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Mitzvot Bein Adam La-chaveiro Interpersonal Laws Interpersonal Part 1 Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur #01: The Difference Between Shemitta and Yovel Eretz Yisrael Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Human Dignity in Halakha Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 01: The Prohibition of Ribbit by Rabbinic Decree Monetary Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Adding "Ha-melekh Ha-kadosh" and "Ha-melekh Ha-mishpat" Prayer Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein During the Ten Days of Teshuva RH-YK Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Letting One's Hair Grow Long Gentile Culture Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Mitzvot Bein Adam La-chaveiro Part 2 - The Mitzva To "Love Your Neighbor As Yourself" Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur #02: Inheritance and Taking the Place of the Deceased Monetary Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 02: The Prohibition of Ribbit by Rabbinic Decree (Part 2) Monetary Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein The Halakhic Attitude Toward Violence Part 1 Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein The Appointment of a Sheli'ach Tzibbur Prayer Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein The Halakhic Attitude Toward Violence Part 2 Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Involvement in Torah as an Exemption from Mitzvot Part 1 Mitzvot Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 04: The Responsibilities of the Recipient of Charity (Part 1) Interpersonal. To what degree and by what means should we press for the increased participation of the recipient of aid, and to what extent is it possible to condition the extension of assistance on his readiness to share the burden? Regarding this point, opinions differ, and Judaism’s position on the matter must be clarified. Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Mitzvot Bein Adam Lechaveiro Part 4: The Prohibitions Against Taking Revenge and Bearing a Grudge Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Lighting Chanuka Candles by Soldiers and Travelers Chanuka Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein The Mitzva of Burial Death and Mourning. The origin of the mitzva of kevura, to bury the dead, is found in Parashat Ki-Tetzte: "Do not let his corpse remain on the stake overnight, but you must rather bury him the same day" (Devarim 21:23). Rashi, commenting on this verse, notes several reasons for this obligation Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Involvement in Torah as an Exemption from Mitzvot Part 2 Mitzvot Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 05: The Responsibilities of the Recipient of Charity (Part 2) Interpersonal. Continuation of article by Harav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 06: Compelling in the Instance of Midat Sedom (Part 1) Interpersonal Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Involvement in Torah as an Exemption from Mitzvot Part 3 Mitzvot Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Can a Child Light Chanuka Candles for a Household? Chanuka. "Now that we have determined that the lighting fulfills the mitzva, if a deaf-mute, mentally disabled person, or minor lit it, he has accomplished nothing." Regarding the lighting of Chanuka candles, the Gemara does not clarify whether any distinction exists between a child who has reached the age of chinukh (training in mitzvot) and a child below the age of chinukh. Seemingly, the absence of any explicit distinction in the Gemara indicates that this rule applies to all minors... Topics in Halakha
Harav Aharon Lichtenstein Shiur 07:Lighting from Candle to Candle Chanuka Topics in Halakha

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