Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Rav Aharon Kotler, Leader of Men
What broad leadership!
Who hasn't heard of Mr. Irving Bunim and his recently departed son, R' Amos Bunim? With the passing of R' Amos, a seventy five year epoch of devotion to Torah leadership came to a close.
There are two constants in most pictures of Rav Aaron; a Mishna Brura and Irving Bunim.
Irving Bunim, was from the most active of all activists in the Vaad Hatzolah. Every account of the period attests to this fact.
Irving Bunim was from the founders and patrons of Rav Aarons Bais Medrash Govoah, The Lakewood Yeshivah.
He was involved heart and soul in Chinuch Atzmai and Torah Umesorah as well.
Irving Bunim was in every respect Rav Aarons right hand man. Inseparable as one.
Yet, there is one more very notable movement that, not only was Irving Bunim amongst its leadership, but he was its founder too, Young Israel.
Yes, there is no shame in saying that Irving Bunim was the founder and leader of the Young Israel movement. I will even posit that his remaining at the helm was in fact due to Rav Aarons guidance and encouragement. In my mind, Rav Aaron can be counted amongst the fathers of the Young Israel movement.
For we know that after making Rav Aarons acquaintance, Irving Bunim never made another big decision with out receiving Rav Aarons consent and blessing.
Now THAT is true leadership. Rav Aaron used to beg college students to come join the yeshiva for a year, because the Torah belongs to us all. He was the leader of Agudas Yisroel of America, yet he was cognisant of whatever can and is being done for the sake of the Torah, shall be nurtured and treasured. Young Israel certainly was a beneficiary of his wisdom.
Rav Aarons prescient understanding the american jewish scene stands forever as a testament to his wise loving leadership.
(Pictured, is Rav Aaron Kotler at a Young Israel Dinner in 1951. Taken from A Fire in His Soul)