Fifty Years Since the Passing of HaRav Aharon Kotler
by Yated Ne'eman Staff
Lakewood, New Jersey, is in a flurry of preparations for the upcoming fiftieth yahrtzeit of the great leader who established Torah in America, HaRav Aharon Kotler, which falls on the 2nd of Kislev. There is heightened excitement and activity in this biggest Torah center in the world, Yeshivas Beis Medrash Govoha, to commemorate the events that will take place, with the participation of his outstanding disciples, the gedolei Torah of today, disseminators of Torah and mussar, coming from all over America and Eretz Yisroel. Among the honored guests from Eretz Yisroel will be HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Rosh Yeshivas Slobodka; HaRav Hillel Zacks, Rosh Yeshivas Knesses Hagedola of Modi'in Illit, and HaRav Shalom Shechter, Rosh Yeshivas Ner Moshe of Yerushalayim.
The Beis Medrash Govoha of Lakewood, founded by HaRav Kotler exactly seventy years ago with only a few dozen students, has become, over the years, the biggest Torah center in the world, encompassing thousands of students and avreichim, carrying on their studies in botei medrash scattered throughout the city. The commemoration events will take place there and will highlight the figure of the late rosh yeshiva-founder.
The idea of a major memorial this year was put forward months ago and representatives of the Lakewood community presented themselves before the gedolei Yisroel of Eretz Yisroel, including HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman and HaRav Chaim Kanievsky. The committee received their blessings to hold these important assemblies, and were further supplied with vignettes of those gedolim's memories of personal contact with HaRav Aharon Kotler. The yeshiva's representative in Eretz Yisroel, HaRav Eliyahu Choder, was among the initiators and active workers in planning the memorial events and of the participation of the late Rosh Yeshiva's outstanding disciples in Eretz Yisroel.