HaRav Shmuel Auerbach and HaRav Nosson Tzvi Finkel shlita headed a mournful levaya, including a large number of Bayit Vegan residents, held for HaRav Aryeh Leib Heiman zt"l, a talmid muvhok of Maran HaRav Aharon Kotler zt"l and the rov of Beis Knesses HaGra in Bayit Vegan. Considered an exceptional speaker, he also wrote a series of commentaries on the Torah called Chikrei Lev and, together with other neighborhood rabbonim, worked to keep chinuch and hashkofoh matters untainted.
Leib Heiman was born in Baltimore in Tishrei 5690 (1929) to Rav Nachum Isser and his mother Rosa. At the age of five he was enrolled in the talmud Torah Chofetz Chaim, also known as Talmudical Academy (TA) then headed by HaRav Chaim Eliezer Samson, where he continued to study until the age of 17, when he began attending Lakewood Yeshiva.
For 11 years he grew in Torah under the tutelage of the illustrious yeshiva's rabbonim, particularly the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Aharon Kotler, who had a close relationship with the young man. When the Rosh Yeshiva attended an event he would take the highly regarded student along, speaking with him on matters of Torah and hashkofoh. On one occasion the Rosh Yeshiva even sent him to put a stop to a mixed event held in the city.
During his years at Lakewood he married into the Adams family, which had familial ties with the Povarsky and Mallin families of renown.
As an avreich at Lakewood Yeshiva, the mashgiach, HaRav Nosson Wachtfogel, sent him to serve as rosh yeshiva of Boston Yeshiva, where for a decade he taught and drove back the spiritual desolation in the entire area, with the help of the Rebbetzin tlct"a, who was like a mother to the yeshiva students and even went out to gather food and donations for them.
In 5729 (1969) they moved to Eretz Yisroel, settling in Jerusalem's Bayit Vegan neighborhood. Upon their arrival, many people cleaved to the extraordinary talmid chochom infused with the teachings of HaRav Aharon. He often gave shiurim and droshos at Beis Knesses HaGra, then headed by HaRav Yechezkel Abramsky zt"l, and when the latter passed away HaRav Heiman was named by gedolei Yisroel to head the shul and the kehilloh.
During the last days of his life he had the merit to see the third volume of his commentary on Chumash, Chikrei Lev, see the light of print.
He grew ill over a year ago, but through prodigious efforts continued to serve as rov of the kehilloh. On the Shabbos before his petiroh he even came to the beis knesses, but last Thursday night he suffered a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital and on Erev Shabbos returned his pure soul to his Maker.
Ninety minutes later, at 1:00 p.m. Friday, the levaya began at Beis Knesses HaGra, where he had served as rov for almost four decades. Hespeidim were given by HaRav Ezriel Auerbach, the rov of Kehillas Ha'avreichim in Bayit Vegan, HaRav Boruch Mordechai Ezrachi, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Ateres Yisroel, and HaRav Eliezer Schwartzman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Beis Medrash Govoha in Eretz Yisroel.
Following the eulogies HaRav Leib Heiman zt"l was buried at Har Hamenuchos Cemetery, leaving behind numerous talmidim who were like sons to him and were left lamenting the histalkus of their rov who inspired them to follow the path of Torah.