Remembering Rav Aharon Lichtenstein, zt”l
Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein was born in Paris in 1933 but fled Nazi-occupied France for the United States with his family in 1940. He was recognized as an outstanding student while studying at Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin under Rabbi Yitzchok Hutner. Subsequently, he attended Yeshiva University, where he studied under Rabbi Yosef Dov Soloveitchik. He earned semichah from the Rav, and went on to complete a doctorate in English literature at Harvard University. In 1960, he married the Rav’s daughter, Dr. Tovah Lichtenstein.
After serving as rosh kollel at YU’s Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary for a few years, Rabbi Lichtenstein was approached by Rabbi Yehuda Amital to serve as co-rosh yeshivah of Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shevut, Israel. Rabbi Lichtenstein accepted the offer, and he and his family made aliyah in 1971. He served as rosh yeshivah at Yeshivat Har Etzion for four decades and taught thousands of students, among them many rabbis and educators. A leading figure in the Religious Zionist world, Rabbi Lichtenstein also served as rosh kollel of Yeshiva University’s Gruss Institute in Jerusalem. Rabbi Lichtenstein was awarded the Israel Prize for Torah Literature in 2014. He passed away on April 20, 2015, at the age of eighty-one. Rabbi Lichtenstein left behind his wife and six children, including head of Yeshivat Har Etzion Rabbi Mosheh Lichtenstein, and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.