Rav Yisroel Noach Weinberg zt”l

[Update, bio below/Videos below.] 3:20 AM EST. It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Yisroel Noach Weinberg zt”l, the revered and beloved founder and dean of Aish HaTorah International. The hespeidim and levaya will take place at 1:30 p.m. IL (6:30 a.m. EST) in front of the Ahavas Torah Shul in Kiryat Zanz. The levaya will not take place at Aish HaTorah, as the aron is not allowed to be brought into the Old City as per the p’sak of Rav Nebenzal. The procession will proceed to Har Hamenuchos where kevurah will take place. Efforts are being made to arrange a live phone/video hookup.

Update: 11:30 a.m. EST

Rav Noach Weinberg zt”l: Biographical Backround


Rav Yisroel Noach ben Yitzchok Mattisyahu Weinberg zt”l was the founder of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah in Yerushalayim and spearheaded its worldwide network of programs and activities. In his lifetime, Rav Weinberg touched the lives of tens of thousands of Jews, bringing them closer to the Ribono Shel Olam. He was 78.

Rav Weinberg was slowly recuperating late last year from chemotherapy and radiation treatments, when he fell and broke his thigh bone and shoulder. Throughout these difficult periods, however, he continued arriving at Aish HaTorah in the Old City whenever possible. Talmidim of his were joined by the rest of Klal Yisroel in davening for his recovery.

Born in New York, Rav Weinberg learned at Yeshiva Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin in Brooklyn and later in Yeshiva Ner Yisroel in Baltimore. (Rav Weinberg’s brother, Rav Yaakov Weinberg, later became rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Ner Yisroel.)

In 1966, Rav Weinberg founded a yeshiva in Yerushalayim for baalei teshuvah. At the time, the Six Day War greatly increased the curiosity of young Jews estranged from, but fascinated with, their heritage. Aish HaTorah was then founded in 1974 and the organization has since grown exponentially, due to Rav Weinberg’s ability to inspire and empower people.

Rav Weinberg’s outlook and vision can best be summed up in a statement he himself made:

Our vision is to instill in every Jew pride in our heritage, confidence in our future, and an appreciation of how precious one’s involvement with the Jewish people can be for himself and all humanity. By working together, we can achieve the miracle of a Jewish renaissance.

And indeed he did.

Rav Weinberg was a leader and visionary par excellence. Every fiber of his being was animated by the reality of the Ribono Shel Olam and the truth of Torah. He lived with the awareness of Hakadosh Boruch Hu, His infinite love and awesomeness, and the power of Torah to instruct us on how to live a most meaningful life.

Rav Weinberg passionately believed in the greatness of every human being, and he exuded genuine love and concern for every Jew, and was a beloved father to thousands.

Rav Weinberg dedicated his life to bringing a renaissance within Jewish people, to reach out to every Jew and reconnect him to the depth and meaning of our heritage. Rav Weinberg undertook the task to galvanize the Jewish people and inspire us to live up to our mission and be mekadeish sheim Shomayim.

Rav Weinberg lived with the attitude that if masses of Jews are assimilating, it’s our responsibility to bring each and every one back. We must meet the challenges facing us head on and do whatever we can to remedy the situation.

Rav Weinberg was fighting the battles of the Jewish people until his last day.  

Rav Weinberg’s popular book “What the Angel Taught You” and his tape series “48 Ways to Wisdom” are just two avenues he utilized to reach out to members of Am Yisroel.

Hundreds of his students and others today are saying, “Rav Weinberg changed my life like no one else did or could.”

Indeed, he bettered the lives of thousand by enriching it with Torah and enlightening people as to their purpose in this world.

Rav Weinberg’s Aish HaTorah now operates 27 full-time branches on five continents, with 100,000 people attending Aish programs annually – including Discovery, Hasbara Fellowships, Jerusalem Fellowships, Jewel, and more – in 77 cities in 17 countries.

Rav Weinberg’s efforts spawned new methods of reaching out. The Aish.com website, arguably the world’s largest Jewish learning website, is dedicated to providing opportunities for Jews of all backgrounds to discover their heritage. Aish.com receives over two million visits each month, and some 50,000 hours of Torah tapes and MP3s are listened to each year, and the site features articles and audio segments on other topics relating to Yiddishkeit. There are now similar sites in Hebrew, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Russian.

May Rav Weinberg be a meilitz yosher for all his talmidim and for all of Klal Yisroel.

Yehi zichro boruch.

To watch a video of one of Rav Weinberg’s classic talks to students, click here.
To watch a video of Rav Yitzchak Berkowitz’s hesped at the levaya today, click here.

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Dovid Bernstein-Matzav.com Newscenter}