PHOTO LINK BELOW: This past Shabbos Hagadol, the tenth of Nissan, marked the first yahrtzeit of Hagaon Harav Alter Chanoch Henach Leibowitz, zt’l, Rosh HaYeshiva of Rabbinical Seminary of America – Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim of Queens. With the untimely passing of his father, Hagaon Harav Dovid Leibowitz, zt’l, Rav Henach assumed the mantel of the Yeshiva at the young age of twenty four. For over 66 years he led the Yeshiva with all his heart and soul.
The main branch of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim located in Kew Gardens Hills in Queens, NY boasts almost 400 young men learning in the Beis Medrash and Kollel. 19 affiliated boys’ high schools, 3 girls’ high schools, 7 elementary schools, 14 Beis Medrash programs, Synagogue centers and outreach centers started by Chofetz Chaim talmidim are located across the United States, Canada and Eretz Yisrael.
A special Sefer Torah is being written in memory of the Rosh HaYeshiva, Rav Henach Leibowitz, zt’l. This Sefer Torah will represent a life dedicated to Torah and Mussar and their dissemination, a life dedicated to thousands of students and to the Jewish people.
The day after the Rosh HaYeshiva’s first yahrtzeit, Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv and other Gedolei Eretz Yisrael filled in the first letters of the Sefer Torah. Rav Shea Gradzinsky, a close talmid of Rev Baruch Ber Lebovitz, expressed his tremendous joy to be able to join in the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah in memory of the Rosh HaYeshiva, Rav Henach. After making a lechaim in honor of this great simcha, Rav Shea spoke about Rav Henach being an ish emes in every area and the great zechus he had in being a Marbitz Torah across the world. Rav Baruch Mordechai Ezrachi related that he heard from his father in-law, Rav Meir Chodosh that Rav Dovid Leibowitz was one of the greatest talmidim of Slabodka and extremely close to the Alter. Rav Meir Chodosh would mention Rav Dovid’s name with awe and trepidation. Rav Baruch Mordechai said that while he did not know Rav Henach personally, it was known that Rav Henach had followed in the ways of his father. Rav Moshe Chait and Rav Avraham Kanarik, the Roshei Yeshiva of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim’s branch in Eretz Yisrael also joined in the writing of the first letters of this special Sefer Torah.
Motzei Shabbos after Pesach the haschalas Sefer Torah continued with a Kesivas Sefer Torah event held at the home of Rabbi and Mrs. Mordechai Grunberg of Har Nof, Yerushalayim. Many of Rav Henach’s talmidim, with Yeshivos of their own in Eretz Yisrael joined in the event. Amongst them were Rav Dovid Chait of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, Rav Baruch Chait of Maarava, Rav Moshe Dov Harris of Yeshiva Afula, Rav Dovid Granofsky of Yeshiva Ohr Dovid and Rav Hillel Waxman of Yeshiva Zichron Dovid. The event was well attended by many other alumni and friends. Opening remarks were given by Rav Dovid Chait and Rabbi Dovid Orlofsky was the guest speaker for the evening.
Many more Kesivas Sefer Torah events are being planned both locally in the Queens community and across the country where the impact of Rav Henach Leibowitz and Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim has been strongly felt.
Everyone is invited to join in this special Sefer Torah. It is an opportunity, not only to partake in the mitzvah of writing a Sefer Torah but to appreciate all that Rav Henach Leibowitz, zt’l did for Klal Yisrael and to assist Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in perpetuating his treasured legacy.
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