Rabbi Aharon Kotler

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Rabbi Aharon Kotler

HaGaon Reb Aharon Kotler was born in Sislovitz, White Russia in 5652 (1891) and passed away in New York City, on 2 Koslev, 5723 (1962). During his years in Europe -- as Rosh Yeshivah in Kletzk, and his later years in America -- As Rosh Yeskivah of Bais Medrash Govoha, in Lakewood, New Jersey, he was a dominant Torah personality.

Rabbis Wasserman, Blau, and Kotler

Rabbis Wasserman, Blau, and Kotler

In the summer of 1937 at the third convention of the rabbinical leaders of Agudath Israel held in Mariband, which included hundreds of rabbis, heads of yeshiva religious academies and grand rabbis of Chassidic communities from a number of countries. Rabbi Aharon Kotler attended this convention.

In Hapardes (Year 11, Issue 7) Rabbi Pardes describes what he saw at the Convention: “Rabbi Wasserman, Rabbi Kotler, Rabbi Rottenberg from Antwerp, rabbis from Czechoslovakia and Hungary were unanimous in rejecting any proposal for a “Jewish State” on either side of the Jordan River, even if it were established as a religious statebecause such a regime would be a form of heresy in our faith in the belief in the coming of the Messiah, and especially since this little “Jewish” state would be built on heresy and desecration of the Name of G-d.

The late Rabbi Shlomo Rottenberg (a historian and author of Toldos Am Olam and other works), who also attended the Convention in 1937 used to say that he could still remember what was discussed there, and the harsh opposition of these rabbinical leaders to a “Jewish State” that is a violation of the Three Oaths mentioned in the Talmud. (Rabbi A.L. Spitzer)

[From Lo Sasur (Thou shalt not depart) Page 42 Declaration and Letters,Document 17]

American Israeli Torah Center 5 Beekman Street, Suit 531-2 New York, NY 38

Thursday, of the Torah Portion Emor, May 6, 1954

To: The Esteemed Rabbis and Community Leaders in Toronto

Whereas the situation of children learning Torah in the Holy Land is in a horrific and frightful condition, with every day worse than the previous one, it requires extensive efforts, and we must stand up at this fateful hour under conditions that never existed in the history of the Jewish People.

We would like to present our esteemed friend, the philanthropist ………. who took it upon himself to visit you on behalf of the American Israeli Torah Center.

The American-Israeli Torah Center, which was established here at the request of the great rabbis and heads of yeshivas in the Holy Land has the goal of establishing new Torah schools in the maabarot camps and new settlements , and to assist small religious schools in the Holy Land from joining the government-run school system. These schools also are unaffiliated with the government-supported religious school system Chinuch Atsma’i. These unaffiliated schools are organized under the American Israeli Torah Center, and include some 5,000 Jewish children who study Torah with reverence as has been the practice throughout history. The government does not interfere in the curriculum, and does not provide even a single cent. This is the foundation of the existence of Judaism for maintaining the Jewish yeshiva schools and the Torah in the Holy Land.

Therefore, we ask urgently ask you to assist us to try to create great success for this great and lofty goal, and may G-d fulfill in you the verse Blessed is he who sustains the Torah. May you be blessed with all the best.

Yours truly, Aharon Kotler