Thursday, February 16, 2012

Portrait of Rav Ahron Soloveichik

Yissurim Shel Ahava. This is how Rav Aharon Soloveichik referred to the pain he suffered daily after his debilitating stroke. Yissurim Shel Ahava is pain suffered outside the parameters of Divine punishment. It is suffering that God brings upon a human being out of love, in order to increase his share in Olam Haba. The classic examples are the Asara Harugei Malchus - ten of our most precious sages that were tortured to death by their Roman captors.

This is the manner of man Rav Ahron was. He saw everything through the prism of Torah. Including excruciating pain. He considered his suffering a gift from God.

I was made aware of a link to this video by one of my readers. Watching it brought a tear to my eye. Everything they said about my Rebbe in this video is true. Watching it reminded me what we have lost.

I had the privilege of not only being his student, but also having him as my Mesader Kidushun, and - for the last few years of his life –as my next door neighbor.

Rav Ahron's life was exemplary of how a Gadol lives. And Rebbetzin Ella's life was exemplary of how a true woman of valor lives. And what kind of Midos a Gadol and an Eshes Chayil should have. I am proud to have been his student and grateful for the generousity and kindness he showed me as a Rebbe. Rav Ahron and Rebbetzin Ella are sorely missed. But they have left behind a wonderful legacy. A legacy that can be seen through their works; their chidren, grandchildren, and the hundreds of students whose lives were improved by their influence and warm embrace.