It is with great sadness that we note the passing of Rav Aharon Schechter, zt”l, 95, one of America’s preeminent roshei yeshiva for almost half a century. He was a talmid muvhak of the great Gaon Rav Yitzchak Hutner, whom he succeeded as rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbi Chaim Berlin.

Rav Aharon was a prodigious and widely recognized Torah scholar; he had a gift for trenchant analysis, and he relentlessly pursued ever more clarity in everything he encountered. He was also blessed with uncommon charisma, able to draw countless students into his orbit and share with them the Torah he had to offer. He made a particular effort with Russian Jewish immigrants to ensure that their potential would be identified and nurtured, allowing them to blossom into serious Bnei Torah. The extent of their presence at the highest levels in chinuch today is a testament to Rav Aharon’s vision and commitment.


It was often said that for Rav Aharon, everything was about his talmidim, and for them everything was about him. In fact, he made a practice – health-permitting – of attending and joyfully participating in all of their simchas, where he lit up the room and greatly enhanced their happiness. His signature blend of royal reserve and youthful exuberance was a winning combination on Purim, Chanuka, Simchas Torah, and other yomim tovim and public celebrations in the yeshiva. It is not surprising that, over the years, this connection fostered a sense of camaraderie amongst thousands of alumni and current students.

Rav Aharon was a highly valued and sought-after confidante. Before he became ill, it was said that no one could spend appreciable time in his home without bearing witness to dozens of requests for guidance on all sorts of issues – from both public and private individuals, and on subjects ranging from broad communal issues to purely personal ones. He fielded them all with great equanimity, and he offered solutions. In recent years he played a pivotal role in how Orthodox Jewry went about its business.

Yehi zichro boruch.

We wish Rav Shlomo Halioua, shlita, our best wishes as he leads the yeshiva forward in the aftermath of this great loss.

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