Approximately 10,000 men and women mourned Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein at eulogies and the funeral for the Torah sage who left Yeshiva University and moved to Israel, where he was a leading national religious rabbi and head of the Hat Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion.
He was 81.
Hundreds of the mourners, many of them former students, flew last night to Israel to attend the funeral.
Rabbi Lichtenstein was buried in Jerusalem after eulogies at the yeshiva he headed in the community of Alon Shvut.
His son Rabbi Moshe Lichtenstein told mourners Tuesday of his father:
You were a soldier of Torah who stood at guard duty. You were general of Torah.
You were a scholar and a devoted father. You have established an entire world.
One morning I saw you sitting in a room in conversation on the telephone, and I did not understand why you did not go for morning prayers. When you finished, you told me you were talking with a mother whose son was murdered in a terrorist attack. She did not even know you, and you give her support and guidance.
Another son, Rabbi Yitzchak Lichtenstein, related that his father “did not know what anger was and never engaged in slander.”
Rabbi Lichtenstein was born in France shortly after the Nazi occupation. His family escaped to the U.S. when he was seven years old. He earned a doctorate in literature at Harvard University after learning at Yeshiva University, where he eventually returned to teach and learn under Rabbi Joseph Soloveitchik, whose daughter he married.
Rabbi Lichtenstein moved to Israel one year after answering the late Rabbi Yehuda Amital’s request to help lead the new Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut, where he lived until his death Monday.