By: The Commentator Editorial Board  | 

A Star Has Fallen (Vol. 6, Issue 7)

We were just beginning to regain our senses from the stunning shock following the demise of the late Dr. Bernard Revel, of sainted memory, when another stupefying jolt jarred us upon the news of the death of Rabbi Moses Soloveitchik.

For Rabbi Soloveitchik — or as all Jewry was wont to call him, Reb Moshe — represented the ideal goal in Jewish learning and sanctity as Yeshiva strives to implant them in its students. Himself the scion of a long standing aristocracy of brilliant scholarship and superlative spirituality, he was the living incarnation of the long chain of Jewish tradition and of the Jewish spirit. 

The many thousands who came to pay their final tribute to him by shedding a tear and recounting his great spiritual stature gave ample evidence of the high esteem in which all faction and groups in the Jewish community honored and loved him. He was the smoldering fire of zeal and devotion to Torah. He bore a love unsurpassed for all that constituted the greatness and glory of our tradition. 

While a recognized leader of Polish jewry he had the vision to see the fertile field here in which to sow and germinate the spirit of his illustrious forebears. Torah was his consuming love and the Talmud and Rambam the essence of his life. To these he pledged himself, body and soul, and in these he found his life’s work.

With his mighty stature of intellect and saintliness he coupled a simple love of his fellowman. His ways with his students, of whom there were thousands, was one of fatherly solicitude and tenderness, matched only by the request and consideration of his colleagues. To world Jewry he was the epitome of scholarly sanctity, while the Yeshiva student saw in him an inspiring teacher and loving father. 

Especially in these dark days for Jewry, when the glow of spirit and knowledge is most needed, has at sustained a major catastrophe. A guiding star has fallen in Israel. Tehi Nafsho Tzruroh Bitzror Hachayyim.