Wednesday, July 07, 2004

The Jewish Home

[The following is an excerpt of an essay about Rav Aharon and Rebbitzin Kotler by Marvin Schick that was printed in "Birth of a New World" published in conjunction with the 50th anniversary dinner of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood]

THE MODESTY OF THE HOME she [the sainted Rebbitzin] created was in harmony with the home which Rav Aharon conceived for Torah in America. The Rosh Yeshiva desired to restore the crown of the Jewish people to its former glory by making for Torah a glorious home in the Bais Medrash and the Yeshiva. As Rav Aharon's home in the Yeshiva was patterned after Volozhin and Slobodka and Kletzk, so too, the home of the great Rebbitzin was faithful to the glory that had once been the Jewish home. It could not be tainted in the slightest way by the spirit of materialism, yet, the paucity of material things did not mean that this was a poor home. Neither Rav Aharon nor the Rebbitzin "wanted" anything. They did not "want" in the sense of desiring material things and they did not want in the sense of lacking material things. Their home was as they wanted it to be.

They showed us that the Bais Medrash and the Jewish home are not dependent for their sanctity on physical splendor. More than ever this lesson is important for both the Bais Medrash and the home as our community and people become more indulgent and more intoxicated with wealth, splendor and ostentation.