Once again, as I sit here writing to you I am overcome by emotion. I awoke early this morning to hear that Rabbi Noah Weinberg, the founder of Aish HaTorah International, the architect of the outreach movement and I man whom I not only greatly admired, but equally looked to for guidance, inspiration and perspective on virtually everything, had passed away.
Also, as last week, the news is so recent that my heart or mind has not sufficiently processed it. Certainly, I am saddened by our loss of a great visionary, who accomplished so much in his life. On a personal level, I am heart broken when I think of how he took me under his wing, accepted me, inspired me and added so much to my life.
I had the privilege to spend an intensive two weeks with Rabbi Weinberg just before I became the Rabbi of the TCS. Those two weeks were (actually, are) a true inspiration to me. He learned with me, he spoke with me, he explained his philosophy to me and must of all- he challenged me. He challenged me to act on my care for the Jewish people. To feel the pain of so many Jews being lost to Judaism and to accept responsibility that I can and must make a difference.
He did not accept hearing about what any of us had done; he wanted to know what we were planning to do. When we went to him with a problem, he compelled us to find the answer and to act on it.
The world is truly a much better place because of Rabbi Noah Weinberg. Not just those of us who lives he touched, but the entire world.
The truth is, even with his loss to us today, we must continue to be inspired by his memory, we must continue to be compelled by his actions and we must never allow ourselves to become complacent. If we continue to carry on and make his dream into our dream and his passion- ours, we will have him with us always. He always told us, the work is far from over, our efforts are needed more now than ever. We must have the compulsion to continue, to reach out and with the help of HaShem, to make his dream a reality- to bring every Jew home.
I did spend some time rewriting the “Shmoozin’” this week, in memory of the Rosh HaYeshiva, I felt that it was necessary to express through Torah some of my feelings about this courageous giant of a man. I hope you will find it meaningful.