Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hamodia: Hagaon Harav Yosef Rosenblum, Zt”l

Hamodia (NEW YORK) - Harav Avraham Yosef Rosenblum, zt”l, Rosh Yeshivas Shaarei Yosher, Boro Park, was niftar on Monday night Acharon shel Pesach at the age of 89 in Maimonides Hospital, after an illness.
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Rav Rosenblum was sought out for his daas Torah and hadrachah by thousands in the Torah world, famed as one of the spokesmen for Torah Jewry and guiding lights of Torah education in America.

He was a talmid of Harav Aharon Kotler, zt”l, at Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, N.J. Once, when Rav Kotler learned that a certain Rav refused to make an appeal for the Lakewood yeshivah, he wondered aloud, “Who has talmidim like ours?” and he began listing his best talmidim, with Rav Yosef Rosenblum the first name mentioned.

Despite his illness, the Rosh Yeshivah sat and learned until his last hours.

He was surrounded by his family.

The Rosh Yeshivah was born in Belgium and was one of the first talmidim of, yblch”t, Harav Aharon Leib Steinman in Switzerland.

Rav Rosenblum established Shaarei Yosher together with Rosh Yeshivas Lucerne Harav Yitzchok Dovid Koppelman, zt”l, and he headed the yeshivah for over 60 years.

During Rav Steinman’s visit to America 11 years ago, a gathering was held in the beis medrash of Yeshivas Torah Vodaath in Flatbush to discuss chinuch issues.

Rav Rosenblum, being a leading authority on chinuch, addressed the gathering, and discussed the many pressing problems affecting American Jewry.

Concerning the mechanech’s responsibilities, the Rosh Yeshivah declared: “Every mechanech must be aware that he is different from all those who have pursued other professions as shoemakers, diamond polishers, real estate brokers, and the like.

“Hashem decides who will serve as a mechanech, so be happy that you have been appointed to positions that carry responsibility for the education of our generation’s youth! Hashem has entrusted the souls of Jewish children into your care.

“The perpetuation of the Jewish people’s heritage until Moshiach’s arrival depends on you. A mechanech who knows that Hashem has specifically chosen him for this sublime task ought to feel tremendous pride.

“You are their leaders; you are leading them toward eternal life!”

Relating to dropouts, the Rosh Yeshivah related that a boy who left the Torah path and later returned once came to him and said that learning Torah was very difficult for him. The antagonism toward learning that had built up within him during his younger years made it very difficult for him to now learn Torah, even though he knew intellectually that this was the best and the only true path.

“How does such a thing happen? We can’t absolve ourselves from soul searching. Let us examine our doings and engage in some probing.

“Torah’s influence upon the soul can be compared to the way a drug works on the body. A drug has to be used sensibly in order to heal a patient’s ailment or it can make his condition worse. Torah must also be used correctly for its virtuous properties to have the desired effect.

“The only way to attain eternal life and closeness to Hashem is through Torah. Torah is a force; it isn’t neutral. If it is used in the way that Hashem wants, it brings us eternal life and can even confer prophecy. If, however, it’s used incorrectly it acts as a ‘potion of death for those who steer to the left,’ and then anything can happen.”

The Rosh Yeshivah explained that there are usually two factors responsible for a child’s defection from the Torah path – alien ideologies, and desires.

“Today’s yetzer hara is of the second type — desires.

“When a person has no desire to learn Torah and he feels no satisfaction from it and from fulfilling mitzvos, he is drawn after what his eyes see and what his heart covets. Hashem created man in such a way that he must feel fulfillment in what he does in order to want to achieve more and more.

The levayah will take place on Wednesday morning at Yeshiva Sha’arei Yosher in Boro Park, 41st Street and 16th Avenue at 10:00AM. The kevurah will be at the Vishnitz Bais Hakvaros in Monsey.

Yehi zichro baruch.

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