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Lakewood, NJ - Thousands Throng To Lakewood For Azkara For R' Aharon Kotler Zt'l (photos-video)

Published on: November 18, 2012 10:43 PM
Last updated on: November 19, 2012 12:54 AM
By: VIN News Staff
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Photo Credit: Shimon Gifer/VINNewsPhoto Credit: Shimon Gifer/VINNews

Lakewood, NJ - Tens of thousands turned out to honor the fiftieth yahrtzeit of Reb Aharon Kotler at a special event that took place this afternoon in Lakewood and was the culmination of three days worth of commemorative programming.

The program, which took place on Seventh Street and Private Way at the former location of Bais Eliyahu, began with Mincha followed by divrei Torah offered by various rabbonim including Harav Menachem Juni, Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Kesser Torah in Mexico, who delivered opening remarks.  Rav Malkiel Kotler spoke about his grandfather’s passion for learning and Rav Uren Reich compared R’ Aharon’s drive and determination to the biblical burning bush, which burned brightly but was never consumed.

Rav Elya Ber Wachtfogel of the Yeshiva Gedola of South Fallsburg discussed R’ Aharon’s approach of incorporating sweetness as part of Torah study and Rav Matisyahu Salomon praised R’ Aharon’s dedication to re-establishing Torah study as a goal in and of itself.  Simultaneous English translation was available on a call in number for those divrei Torah that were given in Yiddish.


“My Rebbe, R’ Chaim Stein zt’l, was once on an airplane with Abraham Joshua Heschel of the Conservative movement,” said one talmid at the Telzer Yeshiva.  “Heschel told my Rosh Yeshiva, ‘You know, we would have won here in America, if it weren’t for that one person, Kotler.’  I heard it myself.”

Streets were closed off in honor of the event and outdoor bathrooms and refreshment tents, boosting fifteen thousand pounds of cake and rugelach were available for attendees.

“It seems like the whole police force was out in charge of security,” remarked to VIN News one bochur , who learns at Beis Medrash Govoha.

Tehillim were recited in light of the current situation in Eretz Yisroel and this afternoon’s festivities included a special four screen video presentation about R’ Aharon’s life and legacy.

Ralph Herzka, who spoke at the groundbreaking of the new Binayn Herzka, recalled his mother’s dedication sixty years ago, allowing her husband the opportunity to learn with R’ Aharon in the early 1950’s. 

The culmination of today’s events was a hachnasas Sefer Torah dedicated by the Rennert family, amid singing and dancing, with Reb Shimon Glick detailing the continued efforts of the Rennert family to help R’ Aharon realize his dream of building Torah in America, adding, “we must continue to build.”

Photos Credit Shimon Gifter/VINNews

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Read Comments (7)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 19, 2012 at 05:01 AM a g Says:

It was a FANTASTIC Kiddush Hashem. Kudos to the organizers.


 Nov 19, 2012 at 01:16 AM Wise-Guy Says:

In my humble opinion, many Rebbes and Torah leaders contributed greatly to the reestablishment and revival of "old school" Yiddishkeit in America, but none more so than Reb Aaron Z'L for the Yeshivish velt and the Satmar Rebbe Z'L for the Chasiddish velt.
And it was Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky Z'L that introduced them to each other.
They remained friends, holding each other in high esteem, in spite of their differences of backgrounds and views.
A good lesson in Achdus, eh?



 Nov 19, 2012 at 05:05 AM Velvel Says:

They did say tehillim and made a special announcement regarding the current matzav in eretz Yisroel


 Nov 19, 2012 at 10:11 AM Anonymous Says:

Conservative leader said if not for Rav Kotler Z'tzl conversative movement would have won. Never since it isn't EMES and without EMES it can't stand


 Nov 19, 2012 at 01:40 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #4  
Velvel Says:

They did say tehillim and made a special announcement regarding the current matzav in eretz Yisroel

Are you joking??? The BMG crowd are virulent haters of the Tzionim and the current war effort. While they are not at the level of the NK who openly daven for a Palestinian victory and subordination of EY to Iran and the terrorists, you won't hear a word of chizuk for the IDF at this asifaah in honor of Rav Kotler's yahrtzeit.


 Nov 19, 2012 at 02:33 PM jackr Says:

For those of us that are less informed, can VIN put captions and identify the Rabbis in the photos


 Nov 19, 2012 at 03:18 PM Anonymous Says:

I wouldn't call it "virulent haters" but calling for chizuk of the IDF is not the right approach either. Hashem knows how to protect His children far better than the IDF or anyone else does. While, at this time, the IDF *may be* Hashem's shluchim, the point is not the particular shaliach, but that Hashem should keep His children safe, not how He goes about doing so.

By way of illustration, when one hears R"L L"A of a person at a hospital, does one daven that the hospital or doctor should be successful or does one daven that the person should have a refuah sheleimah? I've only heard of the latter.

Obviously, if a doctor will be treating this patient, we want everything to go well at that hospital and for the doctor. But, again, the point is not that the doctor should succeed but that the patient should be well.

Zionists should educate themselves (but then they wouldn't be Zionists, I suppose) before spewing hatred at their brothers who care far more about all Jews than they do.


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