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18 Shevat 5769 - February 12, 2009 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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HaRav Noach Weinberg zt"l

By Yechiel Sever

A crowd of thousands, including many baalei teshuvoh, gedolei Torah, roshei yeshivos and rabbonim took part in the levaya for HaRav Noach Weinberg zt"l, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem's Old City and a pioneering figure in the Teshuvoh Movement, who passed away on Thursday, 11 Shevat, at the age of 79.

Noach Weinberg was born in New York to HaRav Yitzchok Mattisyohu Weinberg of the illustrious Weinberg family of Slonim admorim and the great-grandson of the Yesod Ho'avodoh.

His father passed away when Noach was only 14. The young man then joined Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, then under HaRav Yitzchok Hutner zt"l. Later he transferred to Yeshivas Ner Yisroel in Baltimore, under the leadership of his uncle, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg, the son-in-law of HaRav Yaakov Ruderman, one of the great marbitzei Torah in the US and a leading member of Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah of America.

In 5713 (1953) R' Noach went to Jerusalem to join a group of students at Yeshivas Mir led by the rosh yeshiva, HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel zt"l. Mir alumni recall his tremendous hasmodoh. At the yeshiva he formed bonds with leading Torah figures in Jerusalem who joined the illustrious yeshiva soon after the destruction of the prewar centers of Torah in Europe.

During this period, the rising Torah scholar grew closer to HaRav Eliezer Yehuda Finkel and began to feel a burning desire to ameliorate the spiritual state of Klal Yisroel. His bold projects took many people by surprise, but failed to get off the ground. He tried again and again until he started Yeshivas Aish HaTorah 37 years ago with two students.

He was the first person to advance the idea of establishing a special outreach yeshiva and was among the initial founders of Yeshivas Ohr Somayach, then housed in the Yeshivas Beis Yosef-Novardok building. He also founded and ran a small outreach institution in Givat Harokeach in Bnei Brak. Later a yeshiva was founded in Mevasseret Yerushalayim, but was disbanded following the Six-Day War due to budget constraints.

Through persistence, tzidkus, yiras Shomayim, inner strengths forged in his father's home and the teachings inculcated in him by the heads of leading yeshivas he managed, b'ezras Hashem, to bring Yiddishkeit to every part of the world. Today Aish HaTorah has 40 branches as well as projects in various cities on five continents.

The levaya set out from Beis Medrash Ahavas Torah in Jerusalem, where he prayed regularly for many years. Hespeidim were delivered by HaRav Meir Tzvi Bergman, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rashbi, HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Slobodka, HaRav Avigdor Neventzal, the rov of the Old City, HaRav Chaim Uri Freund, one of the roshei yeshiva of yeshivas Aish HaTorah who traces his friendship with the niftar back to their days at Yeshivas Mir, HaRav Yehoshua Eichenstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Yad Aharon, HaRav Yitzchok Berkowits, formerly the menahel ruchani at Aish HaTorah and currently a rosh kollel in Jerusalem, HaRav Chaim Feinstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Beis Yehuda, the deceased's two sons, HaRav Yosef Hillel and HaRav Simchoh Shay, and his son-in- law, HaRav Asher Deutsch.

They spoke of his deep concern and compassion for Klal Yisroel, his infectious enthusiasm for Yiddishkeit, the tremendous impact he had for generations to come, sleeping just 3-4 hours a day, his creative endeavors, his strong leadership and his genius in Torah learning and understanding of human nature.

When the procession set out from Beis Medrash Ahavas Torah, many of his talmidim did kriyoh and wept bitterly. Following hakofos in accordance with minhag Yerushalayim he was buried after sunset at Har Hamenuchos Cemetery.

HaRav Noach Weinberg zt"l is survived by his wife, children, grandchildren and many thousands of students all over the world who owe him their spiritual lives. His family and his students who follow his path of derech Hashem are his greatest memorial.

Related articles:

About his brother, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg Part I: tm

About his brother, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg Part II: tm

About his sister, Rebbitzen Channah Pincus: tm


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