Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein, a leading national religious figure and chief rabbi of the Har Etzion Yeshiva in Gush Etzion, died Monday morning at the age of 81. He will be buried on Tuesday in Gush Etzion.
His health has been declining in recent years.
He was born in Paris shortly after the Nazi occupation, but his family managed to escape to the United States. He studied at Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin, Yeshiva University and at Harvard, where he earned a doctorate in English Literature.
Rabbi Lichtenstein was married to a daughter of Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik, under whom he studied. He was head rabbi of Yeshiva University before moving to Israel
He joined Rabbi Yehuda Amital to head the Har Etzion Yeshiva in 1971, and he maintained a close connection with Yeshiva University through its Gruss Institute affiliate in Jerusalem and its Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary.
Rabbi Lichtenstein was awarded the Israel Prize for Jewish Literature last year on Yom Ha’Atzmaut.
He and his wife, Dr. Tova Lichtenstein, moved in 2005 from Jerusalem to Alon Shvut, where Yeshiva Har Etzion is located.
They had six children.