Aharon Lichtenstein

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HaRav Aharon Lichtenstein
5765 Portrait of Moreinu HaRav Lichtenstein.jpg
Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein
Born May 24, 1933
Paris, France
Religion Judaism
Partner(s) Dr. Tovah (née Soloveitchik) (1960-present)
Children Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein

Aharon Lichtenstein (born May 24, 1933) is a noted Orthodox rabbi and rosh yeshiva.[1] He is an authority in Jewish law ("Halacha").[2]

Biography[edit]

Rabbi Lichtenstein was born in Paris, France, but grew up in the United States, studied in Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin under Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner. He earned a BA and semicha ("rabbinic ordination") at Yeshiva University and a PhD in English Literature at Harvard University, where he studied under Douglas Bush.

After serving as Rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva University for several years, Rabbi Lichtenstein answered Rabbi Yehuda Amital's request in 1971 to join him at the helm of Yeshivat Har Etzion, located in Gush Etzion, and moved to Jerusalem. He still maintains a close connection to Yeshiva University as a Rosh Kollel for the Gruss Institute in Jerusalem, an affiliate of Yeshiva University and its rabbinical school, Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.

In 2005, he and his wife Dr. Tovah (née Soloveitchik) moved to Alon Shvut, where Yeshivat Har Etzion is located. They were married in 1960 and have six children.

On January 4, 2006, Rabbi Yaaqov Medan and Rabbi Baruch Gigi were officially invested as co-roshei yeshiva alongside Rav Amital and Rav Lichtenstein, with an eye toward Rabbi Amital's intention to retire.[3] On October 28, 2008, Rav Lichtenstein's eldest son, Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, was officially invested as co-Rosh Yeshiva, simultaneous with Rav Amital's official retirement, this time with an eye toward Rav Aharon Lichtenstein's eventual plan to retire.

He is committed to intensive and original Torah study and articulates a bold Jewish worldview that embraces elements of modernity within the framework of a Torah life, reflecting the tradition of his teacher and father-in-law, Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik in line with Centrist Orthodoxy.[4]

On Sunday, February 23, 2014 it was announced that he will be awarded the Israel Prize to be presented to him on Israeli Independence Day: May 6 2014. [5]

He is a source of inspiration for a wide circle of Jewry, for both his educational attainments and his intellectual and spiritual leadership.[6] He is especially admired by many centrist Modern Orthodox leaders.[7]

Works[edit]

  • Henry More: The Rational Theology of a Cambridge Platonist, (PhD Dissertation) Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1962.
  • By His Light: Character and Values in the Service of God, based on Lichtenstein's addresses and adapted by Reuven Ziegler ISBN 0-88125-796-6
  • Leaves of Faith (vol. 1): The World of Jewish Learning
  • Leaves of Faith (vol. 2): The World of Jewish Living
  • Varieties of Jewish Experience

Based on Rabbi Lichtenstein's Talmud classes at Yeshivat Har Etzion, his students' notes have been edited and published as Shiurei Harav Aharon Lichtenstein on Tohorot, Zevahim, the eighth chapter of Bava Metzia, the third chapter of Bava Batra, the Ramban's pamphlet on Dinah DiGarmi, the first chapter of Pesahim, Masechet Horayot, and several critical chapters of Gittin.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fischer, Elli. "Who Is Aharon Lichtenstein? Introducing the extraordinary rabbi who next week will receive Israel’s highest honor." Mosaic Magazine. April 30, 2014. Accessed June 2, 2014.
  2. ^ Goldberg, Jeffrey. "A Bit of Good News on the Don't-Sell-to-the Arabs Controversy." The Atlantic. December 14, 2010. Accessed June 2, 2014.
  3. ^ Yeshivat Har Etzion Roshei Yeshiva
  4. ^ An Interview with Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein
  5. ^ Israel National News.
  6. ^ See, for example, "An Ideal Rosh Yeshiva". Edah Journal 5:1 (Tammuz, 2005)] (PDF), by Dr. Alan Brill (stating, "Orthodox Jews of all leanings, myself included, have the deepest respect for, even awe of, R. Lichtenstein’s piety, learning, and humanity. He is the ideal rosh yeshivah—erudite, humble, and moral.").
  7. ^ FIRST THINGS, the Journal of Religion, Culture, and Public Life, "For Torah and Culture" by Dr. David Singer (April 20, 2005)

External links[edit]