Thursday, February 5, 2009

Passing of Rabbi Noach Weinberg


Today [Thursday], the Jewish people lost one of our most devoted teachers, a man who truly loved all, and sought to help all: Rabbi Noach Weinberg, zt"l.

My parents were involved with Rabbi Weinberg's "Aish haTorah" yeshiva back in the late '70s-early '80s. I have a photograph somewhere of me sitting on my parents' couch, next to Rabbi Weinberg, a Steinsaltz gemara open in front of us. I was maybe 9 or 10 years old, and wearing a "Yerushalayim" t-shirt and shorts, sitting next to a great rosh yeshiva who took the time to talk to me.

Seven or eight years later, I attended a day-long "Discovery" seminar for yeshiva students at Aish haTorah, and then a Shabbat at the yeshiva two years after that.

In later years I became a skeptic of some of the Aish haTorah program, and once had the chance to question Rabbi Weinberg about aspects of the Torah Codes. Although I couldn't accept his answers, it was clear that he genuinely believed in the program, and in applying it to wake Jews to their magnificent heritage.

Over the years I had the chance to hear Rabbi Weinberg speak several times, both live and otherwise. He was always electric, his hearty smile, his wonderful accent, his love of people... he was one of those people who make an impact on you because of their sincere warmth, even before you get to their message.

We were blessed to have Rabbi Weinberg among us as long as we did. He was a present to us from the דיין אמת (the Judge of Truth) who has now removed him from among us. May He send us more Rabbi Weinbergs, soon.

Yhi zichro baruch, May his memory be for a blessing,

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