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Leading Religious-Zionist Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein Passes Away at 81

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Rabbi Aharon Lichtenstein has died April 20 at the age of 81.

Rabbi Lichtenstein was one of the religious-Zionist world’s most recognizable faces, and considered one of the world’s leading halakhic authorities. He also received the illustrious Israel Prize in Torah Literature.

His funeral will start on Tuesday at 10 a.m., and is to leave from Har Etzion Yeshiva in Alon Shvut in Judea’s Gush Etzion on its way to Har Hamenuchot in Jerusalem where the rabbi will be buried.

Born in Paris on May 1933, shortly after the Nazi conquest of France in 1940 his family fled to the US, where he would eventually study under two of the Jewish world’s leading rabbis: Rabbi Yitzhak Hutner and Rabbi Yoseph Soloveitchik.

He soon became a close student of Rabbi Soloveitchik in particular – considered the founder of the Modern Orthodox movement – studying for many years under his guidance at Yeshiva University in New York.

In 1959 Rabbi Lichtenstein was ordained by his mentor, and shortly after married Rabbi Soloveitchik’s daughter.

In 1970 he was invited by Rabbi Yehuda Amital to co-head one of the first hesder yeshivot, which combine Torah study and military service – Yeshivat Har Etzion in Alon Shvut.

Rabbi Lichtenstein took up the position a year later upon making aliyah with his family, and served as one of its Rosh Yeshiva until his passing, although in recent years he had scaled back his activities due to poor health.

(INN)

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