Thursday, December 1, 2016

Rav Aharon Kotler ztz"l

I would LOVE to write an appreciation of Rav Aharon Kotler on his yahrtzeit today - but I am not going to for various reasons. One reason is that I feel inadequate and unqualified. 

But I will say this. A little man, maybe 5 feet tall, comes to America with no money, no English and modest dreams. He thought that his yeshiva would have a few dozen students at most and people laughed at him that he was crazy - who would learn in a Yeshiva without college?? Besides his gadlus in Torah which is almost unparalleled in the last century - he went ahead and built what developed into the greatest Torah empire in world history. Today there are over 6000 men learning in his yeshiva. He started with a small number of boys who were at the most basic level of learning and from modern homes where the dreams were not of gadlus bi-torah but of financial wealth and success. From that - the empire was built.

He didn't rest but rather built and built and built. His wife said that in decades of marriage she NEVER HEARD HIM TALK ABOUT HIMSELF!!! Everything was the Yeshiva and Klal Yisrael [including being a Torah leader of Eretz Yisrael even though he didn't live there].

As a person who has failed so miserably so many times in his life - I have a special appreciation for people who succeed. 

Sweet friends - all I can do is tell you to learn his sefarim and ponder his great works for Klal Yisrael and to try to follow in his path. Each person in his or her unique way.