Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

20 Av 5765 - August 25, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Aharon Shakovitzky zt"l

By S. Bruchi

HaRav Aharon Shakovitzky, zt"l, one of Yeshivas Slabodka-Chevron leading alumni, passed away at the age of 93 on 5 Av in Bnei Brak.

Aharon Shakovitzky was born in 5671 (1911) to HaRav Binyomin Shakovitzky, the Maggid of Minsk. At the age of 12 he traveled alone to Eretz Yisroel to study under HaRav Leib Chasman at Yeshivas Chevron, then located in the holy city of Chevron.

He survived the Chevron Massacre of 5689 (1929) through chasdei Shomayim. The young Aharon was among those guarding the door of the house where the rabbonim and many of the talmidim were hiding. When the doors were forced open everyone ran into the dining room and piled on top of one another, scrambling to get to the bottom of the pile, but Aharon lay on top to avoid being saved at someone else's expense and even spread his arms over others to protect them. Indeed the rioters knives stabbed his body and he suffered potentially fatal injuries.

Later he lived in the home of HaRav Yechezkel Sarna zt"l, who raised Aharon like his own son. After marrying he and his wife (nee Feldman) lived in Tel Aviv and later in Bnei Brak. He studied with hasmodoh and yegi'oh his entire life, never wanting to take on the burden of the rabbinate. He always showed great respect for anyone who had the appearance of a yeshiva bochur or avreich, sometimes brushing dirt off the clothes of bnei Torah he had never met previously.

He became ill recently but his mind remained lucid until he returned his soul to his Maker last Wednesday, 5 Av, at Mayanei Hayeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak. Before the levaya set out from Beis Knesses Divrei Shir, HaRav Boruch Dov Povarsky, one of the roshei yeshiva of Yeshivas Ponovezh, who spoke about the deceased's great reputation at Yeshivas Slobodka in Chevron. "R' Aharon, you opened the door to the world of Torah for me at Yeshivas Chevron and this door opening has remained with me throughout my life," he said, charged with emotion. "And whoever opens a door for another, that person owes him his life."

HaRav Aryeh Dunner said despite R' Aharon's discreet ways he sanctified the Name of Heaven in all of his actions and all who laid eyes on him were filled with awe at his dignified carriage, sensing the Spirit of Hashem was driving his every movement.

A large crowd was waiting at Shamgar in Jerusalem, including many from Yeshivas Chevron who recalled the honor the rabbonim and roshei yeshiva showed HaRav Shakovitzky when he would arrive for the tefillos of the Yomim Noraim. HaRav Avrohom Broide delivered a hesped describing how the deceased served as an emblem of the majesty of Yeshivas Chevron, saying that with his petiroh a generation of spiritual giants at Yeshivas Slobodka in Chevron is nearly gone.

HaRav Aharon Shakovitzky zt"l is survived by his wife and doros yeshorim following in the path he set during his lifetime.


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