"But I Do Know You"
Menachem Danishefsky


המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך אבלי ציון וירושלים

I cannot call myself a close talmid of Rav Amital zt"l, and yet I found myself crying publically on the bus this morning listening to a hesped. I was therefore moved to share just a few simple thoughts as a sad yet proud member of the congregation in mourning.

As an American student coming to the Yeshiva for the first time in September 1999, like most of my peers, my exposure to Rav Amital came by way of a kind of concept object association. We would hear about Rav Amital's originality, charisma and wit through our younger rabbeim, and we would then transpose those ideas and anecdotes on Rav Amital's sichot and shiurei klali, of which we understood only a fraction. But for me that made the legends a reality, and when we finally did hear the most famous Rav Amitalisms—the crying baby, the "para para" story, etc.—directly from the rosh hayeshiva's mouth we were filled with an electric excitement. I could feel the short one-line insights, anecdotes and homilies immediately penetrating my heart, knowing that they would change my whole perspective of Am Yisrael and Torat Yisrael, without understanding how.

My failure to cultivate a personal and close relationship with Rav Amital zt"l remains the source of one of my warmest memories of him. I had never introduced myself to Rav Amital during my first two years in the Yeshiva. In my third year, I was given the task of giving a shiur chazara of Rav Amital's shiurei klali on Kiddushin in English for the new talmidim. I kept meaning to introduce myself to the rosh hayeshiva and discuss some of the shiurim with him, but procrastination led to discomfort and I never did. Finally, before leaving Yeshiva to attend YU, I forced myself to introduce myself and I sheepishly went over to Rav Amital, and said that I was very embarrassed to have been in the Yeshiva for so long "ולא הכרתי את עצמי". Rav Amital zt"l smiled at me very warmly and said "אבל אני מכיר אותך!" And as silly as it may sound I genuinely felt that he did.

My brother recently spent some time studying with a now very popular Rosh Yeshiva in Mea Shearim. Though he could only stay for a short time, my brother was impressed by this Rosh Yeshiva's approach and went for only a few months. When he went to thank the Rosh Yeshiva before he left, my brother said "I feel I have gained a lot," to which the Rosh Yeshiva of an institution of 20 students replied "I find it hard to believe you gained anything whatsoever." Rav Amital, the Rosh haYeshiva of one of the most influential Yeshivot of the last century, told a Talmid indeed guilty of a severe lack of כבוד הרב that he knew me.

Everything in Rav Amital's sichot told me that indeed הוא הכיר אותי. Every time Rav Amital told over the story of ר' אלעזר בן דודיא and said אין הדבר תלוי אלא בי, I felt that Rav Amital knew me. When Rav Amital explained that ולנו בושת הפנים refers to our inability to appreciate the enriched and exalted life the שמירת המצוות gives us, I felt him saying אבל אני מכיר אותך. When Rav Amital barely choked out the words באין מליץ יושר on Yom Kippur, I knew that a great man knew and cared for me. When Rav Amital brought us together at tisches for his great recitative concerto וטהר לבנו לעבדיך באמת, I felt how deeply he knew me and how much I needed הקב"ה to be מטהר my heart. 

יהי זכרו ברוך

News

WE ARE HAPPY TO ANNOUNCE an updated version of The Writings of Harav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l is now available on the VBM.  Please note that many hundreds of hyperlinks to articles have been added, such that now nearly 90% of the articles in the bibliography are just a click away. 

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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN YESHIVA COMPLETE ARCHIVE

                   

We have created a youtube playlist of Nigunei
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YEMEI IYUN BE-TANAKH 2018

Note this coming summer's dates:
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We hope you were able to join us last summer. But if you missed that gala event, click here for a selection of shiurim!!

CLICK HERE FOR AUDIO RECORDINGS OF THE ENGLISH SHIURIM GIVEN
IN 2016!


Click here for a selection of videos
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A visible expression
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that has emerged in “the Gush” - Read more

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
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for their 20 years of Yemei Iyun
and speaks of his special connection to Tanakh
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A sample of English shiurim - audio files



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Yeshivat Har Etzion Library Celebrates 35 Years! Read more...


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BAR MITZVA DAY
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BAT MITZVA DAY
May 31, 2018
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 We thought you would enjoy this:

 


In Memory of Harav Yehuda Amital zt"l
(movie prepared by Har Etzion talmidim
Yehonatan Weinberger and Ehud Roth)

     


Listen to an Interview with Rav Reuven Ziegler

on 5 recent Har Etzion volumes
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Please share your personal stories, condolences, eulogy, audio or video file of Moreinu veRabbeinu Rosh HaYeshiva Harav Aharon Lichtenstein zt"l via this form. We will be posting a selection of these items.