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To dedicate this lesson

Rav Ronen Neuwirth Zt"L: the Mountain Climber

I want to share some thoughts with you about Rav Ronen Neuwirth, of blessed memory.

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Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Iyar 17 5781
Last week, I wrote about the confluence of the parshiyot Acharei Mot, Kedoshim & Emor; "after the righteous die, you must speak about them." To that end, I want to share some thoughts with you about Rav Ronen Neuwirth, of blessed memory.

The first time we met – even before Rav Ronen began his almost decade-long tenure at Ohel Ari – we cried. He had come to meet Susie & I, & to learn about the fallen soldier for whom his shul was named. After we spoke about Ari HY"D for a long time, he cried. And we cried, too. I knew then what a genuine person he was, for tears are real, they’re genuine, & they can speak louder than words.

We became close friends & great admirers of his. He was a dynamo of activity, filled with an unquenchable desire to accomplish something special & important every day. An idealist, with a passion to change the Jewish world; he didn’t just talk the talk, he walked the walk. IDF's prestigious Shayetet unit, Tzohar, Beit Hillel, Ohel Ari, V’Ahavta – he was a man of action as well as words. I was zoche to review his landmark book, "The Halachic Bridge," a remarkable achievement, and we spent wonderful hours discussing it.

He was, above all, a giver - someone who sought to contribute, to share all of his many talents with whoever was prepared to receive them.

I keep thinking about the number 50; Rav Ronen's age when he was taken by Hashem. In our current period of S'firat Ha-Omer, as we make the spiritual climb from slavery to Sinai, our Sedra commands us to count 50 days: "U's'fartem lachem chamishim yom." But we never actually do that - we stop the count at 49. What happened to that elusive 50th day?! The answer is that we never actually reach the 50th level, for it is the level beyond. It is always just out of our reach, calling to us to keep going, to never stop, to try each and every day to add more Kedusha to our lives & attain an even higher level than yesterday. For if we stop, if we were to somehow reach the highest possible point, we would cease to exist.

I believe that while Rav Ronen zt"l had so much more to reveal to the world, he had the z'chut to come within reach of that ultimate 50th plateau. It’s therefore so fitting that his shloshim this week comes shortly before the parsha of B’Har; for he climbed that mountain & he made it to the top.

And so Rav Ronen zt"l is a model to all of us; an inspiration encouraging us to fill each day with positive achievement, to accomplish something every moment of our lives. If we do that, there can be no greater kavod that we can give him to honor his memory. Y'hi zichro baruch.
את המידע הדפסתי באמצעות אתר yeshiva.org.il