HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman set out last week for a two-week
visit in the US, after HaRav Shmuel Kamenetsky, rosh yeshiva
of Yeshivas Philadelphia, and HaRav Aharon Feldman, rosh
yeshiva of Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, paid a visit to
HaRav Shteinman two months ago, bearing a letter signed by
roshei yeshivos in the US asking him to come to strengthen
the Torah and yeshiva world there.
Arriving at Newark International Airport last Wednesday
afternoon, HaRav Shteinman's first stop was Lakewood, where
he spent two nights. Upon his arrival thousands of local
residents lined the streets to receive one of the must
illustrious guests the city has ever hosted. Police set up
special barriers to prevent onlookers from stepping into the
streets, allowing all the men, women and children to see
HaRav Shteinman as he made his way to the yeshiva. Estimates
were that more than ten thousand greeted the illustrious rosh
Thousands of talmidim and avreichim took part
in a reception held at the yeshiva's main beis
medrash. The rosh yeshiva, HaRav Malkiel Kotler,
delivered a brief welcome, citing Rabbenu Yonah's remarks in
Shaarei Teshuvoh on the benefits of honoring
HaRav Shteinman then expressed his thanks to HaKodosh
Boruch Hu for the zchus to come and strengthen the
Torah world, particularly in a place like Lakewood, New
Jersey, which has built the world's largest Torah fortress.
"Who would have thought that after the Holocaust a center of
Torah would be built here?" he added.
Following the reception, HaRav Shteinman held a closed-door
meeting with the yeshiva's rabbonim and roshei yeshiva in the
home of Rebbetzin Kotler, the widow of HaRav Shneur Kotler.
After the meeting HaRav Shteinman went to the home of HaRav
Malkiel Kotler, where he stayed while in Lakewood.
The next morning over one thousand participants arrived for
tefillas Shacharis berov am, after which HaRav
Shteinman served as sandak at two brisos.
Following a visit with the mashgiach HaRav Mattisyohu
Salomon, HaRav Shteinman returned to the beis medrash
where he gave a shiur on rubo de'isso kaman verubo
deleiso kaman, as well as a mussar talk on kvod
Shomayim. Both the shiur and the talk were relayed
live to large screens in other halls.
After Minchah he went to a gathering of all of the
talmidim of the yeshivos ketanos. HaRav Dovid
Shustal, one of the roshei yeshivos of Yeshivas Lakewood,
addressed the gathering, followed by HaRav Shteinman, who
spoke about emunoh. At an assembly for educators and
the heads of the city's Torah institutions, participants had
an opportunity to ask questions regarding chinuch.
Friday morning he set out for Monsey, stopping to visit the
Admor of Square in the town of New Square in the morning and
the Admor of Vizhnitz-Monsey in the afternoon.
He spent Shabbos at the home of HaRav Shimon Glick, one of
our generation's leading backers of Torah and pillars of
tzedokoh. Hundreds of town residents attended the
Shabbos tefillos at the home of the Glick Family. On
Shabbos afternoon HaRav Shteinman gave a shiur on
Parshas Lech Lecho.
On motzei Shabbos thousands of Monsey residents participated
in a chizuk gathering at the town's main hall. HaRav
Don Ungarisher, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Beis Medrash Elyon,
said that when Avrohom Ovinu left his home "to exalt and
sanctify the Name of HaKodosh Boruch Hu, says the
Medrash, it was an instance of `shemen turak
shemecho.' When oil is scattered the whole world smells
the scent. Through this Avrohom merited `ve'agadeil
shemecho veheyeih brochoh.' We have had the merit of
welcoming HaGaon Hagodol HaRav Aharon Leib Shteinman
shlita, who had the merit to be in the presence of
maranan the Brisker Rav and the Chazon Ish,
zechuson yogen oleinu, and works devotedly to increase
the honor of Heaven and therefore merits having his words
heard and he has daas zekeinim and daas
Next HaRav Eliyahu Ber Wachtfogel, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas
South Fallsberg, spoke about how past gedolei hadoros
saw that HaRav Shteinman was worthy to be one of the leaders
of Klal Yisroel. He was followed by HaRav Shteinman
himself, who spoke about the obligation to strengthen Torah
study by adding hours of toil in Torah.
On Sunday morning HaRav Shteinman stopped in Madison to
address Yeshivas R' Yaakov Yosef on his way to
This week HaRav Shteinman is scheduled to travel to
Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. The Moetzes
Gedolei HaTorah of the US plans to hold a special meeting
with HaRav Shteinman during which they will address various
pressing questions on the current agenda.