Dear Aish Family,
Thank you to everyone who came together last week to celebrate the inauguration of the new Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Aish HaTorah, Rav Yitzchak Berkovits. There was an incredible feeling all over the Aish world that we have found a true successor to our founder and Rebbe, Rav Noach Weinberg ZT”L. You can see videos of the event here.
One of the highlights of the event was having Aryeh Lightstone, the Senior Advisor to the US Ambassador to Israel, address the guests at an exclusive dinner on the roof of the Aish World Center. Aish does a tremendous amount of work with the American and Israeli governments, and it was wonderful to have many of our friends at the event. I would like to share an excerpt from Aryeh Lightstone’s speech because I think it sums up Aish perfectly.
“When an American citizen calls us [US Embassy] for help, we help them. We don’t ask if they’re up-to-date with their tax payments, because it’s not relevant, now that they’re in crisis and need our help. The only thing that matters is that they’re American citizens. When a Jew calls Aish, they don’t ask what he or she has done and what they know, how up to date they might be – the only thing that matters is that it’s a Jew that needs help, so Aish is there.”
This statement is so true. At Aish, we don’t care how many commandments someone keeps or how good a Jew they consider themselves. They are our brother and sister. We will ALWAYS be there for all Jews. Our door will ALWAYS be wide open. Our hearts will ALWAYS be full of love for every Jew.
I attended a meeting between a prominent lay leader and the Rosh Yeshiva this past week. As we walked out, this Jewish leader turned to me and said that the meeting was amazing. He said he expected Rav Berkovits to talk about his personal Yeshiva. Yet he spoke the entire time about Jews all around the world and how we must reach out to them. It’s as if they were 100% his responsibility.
I smiled and said to him, “Now you’ve come closer to understanding Aish HaTorah. We believe that we are responsible for every Jew in the world physically and spiritually.” We will work hard, following our new Rosh Yeshiva, to make sure every Jew is safe and has the opportunity to come close to the Almighty. Please join us!