web analytics
April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Spa 1.2 Combining Modern Living in Traditional Jerusalem

A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.



Home » InDepth

Remembering Rabbi Pesach Oratz

Share Button


   Klal Yisrael lost a premier mechanech this past erev Rosh Hashanahwith the sudden passing of Rabbi Pesach Oratz, z”l. Rabbi Oratz’s career in Jewish education spanned close to six decades, over which time he taught tens of thousands of students. One of the things that made Rabbi Oratz unique was the range of topics and of students that he taught.

 

   He taught Gemara, Rambam, Tanach, and Chasidus (and much more), in a perfect Yiddish, in a classic Hebrew, or flawless English. He taught talmidim and talmidos, young and old, from all segments of Klal Yisrael. It mattered not if the student was a young talmid chacham or one not yet observant. If anyone wanted to hear words of authentic sweet Torah, Rabbi Oratz was happy to share from his encyclopedic knowledge. He was simply a melamed Torah in its purest form.

 

   Aside from all they learned from him, many of Rabbi Oratz’s students cherished him as a link in the mesorah and a connection to the great Torah sages of the previous generation. Growing up on the famed Lower East Side of Manhattan, he had the merit to see and interact with such Torah giants as Rav Moshe Feinstein, Rav Henkin, The Lomzher Rav, and the Kapitshnitzer Rebbe, among others. He also had fascinating interactions with many gedolei Yisrael, including the Ponevehzer Rav, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, various rebbes of Amshinov and Mattersdorf, Rav Dovid Lifshitz, Rav Zeidel Epstein, Rav Yosef D. Soloveitchik, and Rav Mendel Zaks – some of whom were his rebbeim.

 

   Decades after they occurred, he would relish telling over the fascinating interactions he had with them – remembering the precise details and exact words, gestures, and expressions they used.

 

   Rabbi Oratz’s love of Torah and of the Jewish people was almost limitless. When being informed of any tragedy, pain was visible on his face, and there were few people able, as he was, to truly be happy about his fellow Jew’s joy. He was the quintessential mitstapek b’muat and sameach b’chelko, needing little for himself and happy with whatever he had. He himself took up so little “space” that there was abundant room in his open heart for others. Always a person with a good word and gentle smile, he helped so many with his sympathetic listening ear and sage advice.

 

   Sharing a good vort (Torah insight) with him was like treating someone to the greatest delicacy. His laughing aloud in sheer joy upon hearing a novel Torah thought was not uncommon. Even more than his brilliant mind, it was his ahavas Torah that allowed him to remember vast amounts and be able to transmit his abundant Torah knowledge on a moment’s notice. This rare combination of love of Toras Yisrael and love of Am Yisrael made him a magnet for people of all types who were drawn to him. Ashkenazi or Sefardi, Chassidish or not, talmid chacham or simple Jew, all were drawn to share with him and hear from him words of Torah.

 

   Rabbi Yehuda Balsam, a much younger colleague at Camp Morasha, accurately summed up Rabbi Oratz’s special qualities on the Morasha website, specifically set up in his memory (http://campmorasha.com/rpo.html).

 

   Aside from his role as a mechanech, Rabbi Oratz was a loving and dedicated husband, father, father-in-law, and grandfather, who was truly cherished and is now terribly missed. While the family accepts the decree of Hashem with love, they feel an additional loss from the fact that there was no real shiva to share and hear stories from Rabbi Oratz’s thousands of students, distinguished colleagues, and friends.

 

   The family would greatly appreciate if anyone having divrei Torah, stories, memories, or thoughts on how Rabbi Pesach Oratz inspired them, would e-mail them to RPOmemories@gmail.com.

 

   Yehi zichro baruch.

Share Button

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

No Responses to “Remembering Rabbi Pesach Oratz”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Israeli soldiers closed off the area near where a terror attack occurred  near Hevron on Passover eve, in search of the terrorists.
Netanyahu: PA Incitement Caused Pre-Passover Terror Attack
Latest Indepth Stories
Lebovic-041814

How much is the human mind able to grasp of the Divine?

Benveniste-041814

Jews have brought the baggage of the galut (exile) mentality to the modern state of Israel.

Dann-041814

The Haggadah is an instruction manual on how to survive as strangers in strange lands.

It’s finally happened. New York Times public editor Margaret Sullivan reported on her blog that “many readers…wrote to object to an [April 2] article…on the breakdown in peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians,” claiming “[they] found the headline misleading and the article itself lacking in context.” Ms. Sullivan provided one such letter, quoted the […]

Nor did it seem relevant that according to widely circulated media reports, Rev. Sharpton was caught on an FBI surveillance video discussing possible drug sales with an FBI agent.

Jewish soldiers in the Polish forces often encountered anti-Semitic prejudice.

When the state was established, gedolim went to Ben-Gurion and asked him not to draft women and, later, yeshiva bachrim.

Perhaps worse than all the above is the acute lack of unity among Jews

At our seder we emulate the way it was celebrated in Temple times, as if the Temple still stood.

Not one world leader holds Abbas accountable for his part in the breakdown of negotiations.

The 1948 re-establishment of Jewish sovereignty was a modern day Exodus and Parting of the Sea.

Spies who caused American deaths and worked for enemy states received lighter sentences than Pollard.

Christie’s “good friend” is an Imam who supports murderers of Jews and defames Israel and Christians.

One grey night it happened, Bibi caved no more
& Poof that Foggy Bottomer, he vanished from our sight

More Articles from Aharon Landis

Klal Yisrael lost a premier mechanech this past erev Rosh Hashanahwith the sudden passing of Rabbi Pesach Oratz, z”l. Rabbi Oratz’s career in Jewish education spanned close to six decades, over which time he taught tens of thousands of students. One of the things that made Rabbi Oratz unique was the range of topics and of students that he taught.

    Latest Poll

    Now that Kerry's "Peace Talks" are apparently over, are you...?







    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/remembering-rabbi-pesach-oratz-2/2009/11/04/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: