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Divrei Zikaron for  our Rebbi  Rav Ahron Walkin zt”l 



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 Yeshiva Beis Nosson Meir of Queens  Kollel Zichron Moshe V’Leah  Adress: 141-56 73rd Ave  Kew Gardens Hills, NY 11367  

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Introduction …….….pg. 6  

Prologue…………….pg. 9  

Chapter 1……………pg. 14  

Chapter 2……………pg. 23  

Chapter 3……………pg. 50


The purpose of the booklet is to continue the legacy of our dear Rebbi- to show hakarat hatov. Rebbi used to show and illustrate by example by making personal phone calls to donors of the lunch to the yeshivah and thank them and tell them how delicious the food was.

Rebbi gave his whole life for his talmidim and the Bukhari- an community. Rebbi built the Bucharian bnei Torah com- munity in Queens. This is just a ‘drop in the ocean’ of who and what Rabbis was.

We want to thank all the talmidim that contributed and took time to write something in memory of Rebbi. We did not get a chance to contact all the talmidim and there is much more that needs to be said.

If you have any story, vignette, or any chidushim by Rabbi Walkin please don’t hesitate to contact his talmidim or fami- ly members.

My wife remarked after reading all these articles: how would his wife let me spend time in queens all this time. To have such a person who radiated positivity and kindness, its hard to believe a wife would give that up for the benefit of others. Naturally one would want that to oneself.

Much Hakarat Hatov and appreciation is due to the Rebet- zin for allowing Rebbi to spend his time in Queens. Queens


gained a tremendous amount and owes much gratitude to the Walkin family.

The first chapter is a piece Rebbi wrote on his Rebbi - Rav Yis- roel Belsky zt”l. Even though it was published in the past, it will give one a great appreciation as to who was Rebbi when it came to his Rebbi-Talmid relationship.

The second chapter is a series of interviews and articles penned by a talmid - Adam Suionov. The articles appeared in the Bukharian Jewish Link and introduced the general public to Rav Walkin and his family.

In no way do they represent a true biographical sketch of Rebbi and his family. That will await a further publication.

The last and final chapter are words, memories, and recol- lections of some of the many talmidim Rebbi had. Not enough editing went into many of the articles, as the flavor, flow, and style of the individual talmid was kept. Each one said it in their own unique way.

Any errors and mistakes should be attributed solely to the compiler of this booklet.




Building Beis Aaron

Remembering my Yedid Nefesh Rav Ahron Walkin z’tl

By Rabbi Daniel Yaakov Travis

Beis Ahron #1 – Authoring a Sefer on Bava Kama in Jail

Rav Ahron son of R' Yaakov Zvi Walkin was born in Lithuania, 5625 (1864). He studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva, as a student of the Netziv. Later he learned in the "Kollel Persuhim", under Rav Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor. Rav Ahron Walkin went on to serve as Rabbi in several different cities and villages in Lithuania, Russia, and Poland until he finally became the Rabbi of the Pinsk - Karlin community. He was killed in the Holocaust, in 5702 (1943). He authored several works, including Beis Ahron on Shas and Shut Zekan Aaron.

Thirty-five years ago I was a Talmid in Yeshivas Toras Moshe in Eretz Yisrael and lived in a small apartment on Hagai St. in Geula. I had the privilege to be in the same apartment as the grandson and namesake of the above Gadol, Aaron


Walkin from Queens New York. We quickly became close friends.

I had been studying writing before I came to yeshiva, and the young Aaron Walkin approached me if I could write an article about his grandfather. He revealed to me many fascinating things about his grandfather. Yet there is one point that still resonates in my mind until today.

During the war, he was framed and thrown into jail for anti-government activities, and most people in jail would be happy if they could keep the basics of Yiddishkeit. Not Rav Aaron. Incredibly the Rav authored Beis Ahron, an entire Torah work b’iyun on Bava Kama without a single sefer to help him, based solely on his memory of the mesechta!

The young R’ Ahron Walkin had a fiery passion to walk in the ways of his illustrious grandfather. While still a bachur in yeshiva he authored his first sefer on the Maseches Kiddushin, and his whole mindset was striving for gadlus in Torah.

Rav Ahron returned to America and for many years we lost touch. When I became a Rosh Kollel I was zocheh to have talmidim from the Bukharian community. I was privileged to have a close kesher with many of them speaking regularly for them when I am in the USA, and it was through this that the Rav Ahron and I re-established ties after years of separation.

Beis Ahron #2 – Building the Bukharian Community

It is with tears in my eyes that I pen a few words about my

Yedid Nefesh Rav Ahron Walkin zt”l. Rav Ahron walked in


the ways of his grandfather and was complete Leshem she- mayim. He was totally given over to Klal Yisrael and especially in the Bukharian community he used every iota of his strength to guide them.

The Bukharian community is very warm and unique and my experiences have shown me that many Jews of other aidot, just do not understand where they are coming from. Grow- ing up in Communist Russia and then being thrust into the Democracy and freedom of the USA was not an easy transition for them. They needed a leader who could relate, emphasize and truly understand them.

Rav Ahron Walkin accepted this role on himself, and channeled his passion for Torah into teaching and guiding the Bukharian community. It was with great Simchas halev we renewed our Kesher. Every time I spoke to him I grew more and more in the deep deep sugya of caring about our fellow Jews.

Rav Ahron would deliver Torah shiurim with heartfelt passion and at the same time spoke to people with the gentlest tone of voice. Teaching and guiding them in Torah is certainly critical but it is not enough. Chazal teaches us that talmidim are called banim, children, and the reason is that one must view his talmidim as if they are his children.

There was not an aspect of his talmidim’s life that Rav Ahron did not get involved with, financial, Chinuch, shalom bayis, mental, emotional, and physical health. He was great in Torah and equally great at loving other Jews. He personified how a Jew is meant to act.


Rav Ahron Walkin’s whole life was devoted to the Klal and the Shechinah rested on him. He walked in the ways of Ahron HaKohen loving peace and pursuing peace, loving Jews and bringing them closer to Torah.

Beis Ahron #3 – Building the Beis Hamikdash
The Torah teaches us that Yocheved and Miriam were moser nefesh to save Klal Yisrael. In this

zechut they merited to build batim, the House of Levi and the House of Ahron.

A bayis, is a structure which has permanence in Klal Yisrael. Rav Walkins grandfather built the first Beis Ahron, by au- thoring an iyun sefer while in jail. The young Rav Ahron Walkin built a “second home”; all of his endeavors were a Beis Ahron in the Bukharian Community. The work of his hands will bear fruit for all generations.

When I heard that he had been taken I was devastated. He was only 54 and was so needed to Klal Yisrael. “HaTzur Tamaim Poelo” All of Hashem’s ways are perfect; How could this happen!

It is clear to me that Rav Ahron was a korban to protect Klal Yisrael from the magefa. I have no doubt that my yedid Rav Ahron Walkin zt”l is standing in Shemayim in front of the Kiseh Hakavod and pleading for the health and for the Geula of Klal Yisrael and that the third house, the Beis Hamikdash, should be rebuilt. May his tefilos be answered and may we see this day quickly.







Excerpts From Divrei Zikaron delivered by the Rosh Hayeshiva  Hagaon Harav Ahron Walkin ZT”L for his Rebbi, Rav Yisroel  Belsky Zt”l

People walk around saying so and so is my Rebbi and so and so is my Rebbi.

What is a “Rebbi”?

True that in Halacha it is stated anyone who teaches someone any Torah must be referred to as Rebbi

(See Shulchan Aruch Hilchos Talmud Torah Yoreh Deah 242:30)

But what does it mean to be a Rebbi?

The Torah states “Vishnantam Levanecha “you should teach

your son [Torah]. Rashi quoting Chazal states that “Lev- anecha” Aliv HaTalmidim- Levanecha here is referring to one's Talmidim.

Why and how is a Talmid one’s own son?


Yes, true the Rebbi must treat his Talmidim with love and devotion as if it were his own son.

But possibly there is a deeper pshat and intent:

The Rambam (Hilchos Rotzeach 7:1) writes that just as is the case if a student is murdered by accident we send the student together with גלות ערי מקלט his Rebbi to the same holds true that if the Rebbi must go to Golus we send the Talmidim .ערי מקלט with him to the

There is a discussion in the Achronim what is the reason that we send all his Talmidim with the Rebbi. I believe that the Pshat maybe the reason for sending the Rebbi with the Talmid, the Rambam writes, is because he גלות needs his Rebbi to grow in Torah. The Torah conditions and without Torah one is not וחי that it should be ערי מקלט alive.

This is also true if the Rebbi must go to Golus without his Talmidim, because the Rabbis whole life-is-his-Talmidim!!! Sending the Rebbi to Golus without his Talmidim would be


parallel to putting him to death and the Torah states גלות must be וחי- to sustain his life.

We now have a profound understanding of the parallel between the Talmid and one son. For just as a son is his father's whole life so too is the Talmid the Rabbi's whole life.

When I told this pshat to Rav Belsky while pointing out that I was referring to him he smiled and responded Du Farshtaist... You understand. Rebbi’s life was his teaching Torah and his Talmidim. A Rebbi is not just one who teaches one Torah. The Rebbi must create a connection, a bond so deep and strong as the Maharal writes that the connection and bond between Rebbi and Talmid is the strongest bond in this world. By creating this bond, then and only then can Torah be transmitted from Rebbi to Talmid.

The same holds true that a Talmid without his Rebbi must feel that a part of his life is missing. This to can be included in the understanding of the Halacha that we send the Rebbi

to accompany the Talmid to גלות because וחי-the Talmid needs to live.


Rashi writes: just as the Talmid is deemed a son so too the Rebbi is deemed “A Father” as we find by Elisha. Elisha called out to Eliyhau as he parted from this world Avi Avi – my father my father.

The meforshim ask why is there an additional limud that the Rebbi is a father? It is self-evident and understood if the Talmid is the son then the Rebbi is the father.

Maran Rav Shach in מחשבת מוסר answers, it is to teach that both sides are needed to create the Rebbi Talmid bond. The Rebbi must feel and treat his Talmid as his son but at the same time, the Talmid must treat and feel that the Rebbi is his father. Only then can the Rebbi Talmid bond be created - the bond that truly teaches Torah from Rebbi to Talmid.

Rebbi I believe I speak for me and all the Talmidim when I say yes Rebbi you mastered what it meant to be a Rebbi... I heard from Rav Belsky that a Menahel once came to RShraga Feivel Mendelowitz the great famed mechanech regarding a certain boy in his


class. The Menahel exclaimed that he was holding by giving up on him. He tried everything to teach him and influence

him and nothing ever worked. What should he do? R’ Shra- ga Feivel Mendelovitz thought for a moment and turned to the Menahel. Tell me, what color eyes does this student have?

“What”? Exclaimed the Menahel. What does the color of his eyes have to do with the problem I have with him?

RShraga Feivel Mendelovitz repeated the question what color eyes does this student have? “I don’t know” answered the Menahel.
Rav Shraga Feivel told the Menahel, if you don't know what color eyes he has, that

means you never looked him in the eyes. When you speak with him you are expected to connect to him and his Neshama that way.

This connection and bond between Rebbi

and Talmid like father and son isn't just a מעלה for a Rebbi to have. It is a חיוב- it is the responsibility of every Rebbi to

create and facilitate.

As Rav Elchanan Waserman writes in קובץ שיעורים - when we say ושיננתם לבנך אלו תלמידים, it isn’t a nice מעלה to have in a Rebbi it’s the chiyuv and responsibility of the Rebbi.


On the previously mentioned halacha that if the Talmid kills by accident we send him to גלות with his Rebbi meforshim ponder what did the Rebbi do wrong that he needs to uproot and leave his home and neighborhood to move to “sin city” with his Talmid. What did he do wrong to deserve such a “punishment”?

Many answers it is the sins of the Talmid reflect on some חסרון of the Rebbi. And even though he killed בשוגג and not במזיד, nevertheless, .מגלגלים חוב על ידי חייב

Actually, I believe after all the above mentioned, the Rebbi actually didn’t do anything wrong to deserve גלות, but since the Talmid needs him there it is his אחריות“his responsibility as a Rebbi to go there just as would a father go for a son.

I told this pshat of mine about מגלים רב עם תלמידו to Rav Belsky and he very much enjoyed it... Rebbi understood the אחריות of the “respond ושיננתם לבנך sibility” of teaching Torah to Talmidim and to every and as a ידישא קינד staunch soldier executed this אחריות selflessly day and night through health


and even through sickness... I believe the “Master” Rebbi needs to be charged with a great sense of אחריות to the lofty and privileged task he was given. Accompanied with a leap and pure heart the drives the Rebbi to do chesed with all his talmidim and all the people that turn to him for Torah and guidance.

My alter zeidi “The Bais Ahron” was a Talmid muvhak- koshur Blev Vonefesh to his great Rebbi the Heilige Netziv. When the son of the Bais Ahron once met Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz- the Birkas Shmuel ZTL, R' Boruch Ber related to him how his father the Bais Ahron seforim were all so matzliach, accepted and learned by all “is Bezchus that your father was so connected to his Rebbi the Netziv-his hand never left his Rebbi hand when the Bais Ahron son relayed to him what R’ Boruch Ber said the Bais Ahron responded ‘true I was completely attached to my Rebbi.’”

Rebbi till today my eyes still tear up when memories of you come to my mind your shiurim and the talks we had. I think of you every single day without missing a day When speaking of Rebbi there is a lot that we can elaborate on We can talk about his genius


We can talk about his yedios haTorah

We can talk about his koach Hapsak behalalcha

One most definitely was able to see all there of above maa- los his genius, his yedios haTorah, his koach lehalalcha in his questions and answer shiurm he never prepared never heard the questions in advance like most who do live q&a shurim. On the spot he was able to recall the entire sugya and the halacha and give a clear precise psak. What genius what yedios what koach psak.

Rebbi I think of you... as tears roll down my cheeks!!!! We can talk about your mesirus nefesh for teaching Torah. We can talk about your yiras shamayim.

But most of us have little to no שייכות- no connection to your גדלות and Genius. We have no comprehension let

alone following.

Therefore I believe we should talk about your midos Tovos.... so we can all take simple lesson and apply it to our own lives- to this we can some what have a shaychus

Rav Chaim M’volozhin in his Hakdama to nefesh hachayim quotes his great Rebbi the Gra Zy”a as saying that “man was

only created for one purpose-TO-HELP-ANOTHER!!!!!


Rav Matisyahu Solomon shilt”a mashgiach of Lakewood pointed out at his hesped on Maran Rav Shach Ztl, if one pay attention the ones that are saying this are people who spent every moment of their lives learning Torah, not people who spent all their days and all their effort in helping oth- ers.

Over the years I asked many gedolim the answer to the above observation and have received different answers some responded that learning Torah keeps up the world and so one who learns is indeed helping others

Upon observing the life and ways of Rav Moshe Feinstein it became clear to me that its not a contradiction one is able to learn all the time and yet still find all the time to help others.


HaRav Walkin taught me with one sentence what entire books couldn't teach. He was a master of instruction, with only the barest hint that I needed to refine any particular character trait.

Like all brilliant men, he had a mysterious twinkle in his eyes when I spoke to him, as though he was thinking way beyond my words. I noticed this most after absorbing his of- ten deceptively simple answers for my questions. The more I dig into his advice and answers, the more it yields.

His heart was cavernous, wide like the deepest ravine. His deep love of humanity shone forth clearly on his face and in his smile. The Rav exuded inner strength like a lion and at the same time a gentle touch; his words always falling like a dove feather.


The Rav's Torah and middot were legendary. His teachings were absolutely lucid and wrapped in sincere emotion and delivered lovingly. No heart could remain stone. The Rav's Torah was both a steady, patient drip, and a powerful spring of raw power. The Rav's heart and mind were unique.

The Rav was also a master of gladdening the heart. He would do this conspicuously and inconspicuously. Rain or shine, cloud or fog, the Rav was always a beaming sun. Of- ten, it was very easy to take our sunlight for granted. Now, when the luminary was taken back to heaven, where can we turn? The angels have come back for their own.

The Rav made sure that even without him, there would be a sky full of stars to give over light, for he happily prepared his talmidim. More than the students wanted to drink, the Rav yearned to give over his Torah. They drank thirstily and prepare their own students. The Rav will daven for us in shamayim, his students will endeavor to continue his work.

Thank you HaRav Walkin and family, for the opportunity to taste true gadlut in every sense of the word.


ME: Shalom Rabbi Walkin, thank you for agreeing to give our readers a very generous look into your family and work. Rebbi comes from a very well-known and illustrious line of great Torah scholars. Can Rebbi begin by giving our readers some context?

R.A.W: Sure. I grew up in Queens even though I was born in Brooklyn; my family moved when I was one years old. My grandfather was a Rav in Crown Heights and my Bris was in Crown Heights. I had the good fortune of having Rav Moshe Feinstein zt’l as my Sandek.

I grew up in Kew Garden Hills and my Grandparents lived in Kew Gardens. We eventually moved there to be closer with them. However, though I was born here, my family ac- tually originated in Europe. My great-grandfather was the Pinsker Rav, and my Grandfather was the Lukatcher Rav. My father was born in Poland before World War II. During World War II, the family relocated to Shanghai.

ME: The Pinsker Rav is an extremely reputable title, Can Rebbi please elaborate a little more on his great-Grandfa- ther?

R.A.W: Yes. He was a great Talmid Chaham, and actually his last job in public life was the position of Rav of Pinsk.


ME: What was his full name?

R.A.W: Ahron Walkin. I am named after him. I carry his name humbly since I don’t feel I do him justice, though I do try my best [light laughter]. He was indeed known as a great Gadol B’Yisrael. What isn’t clear is how he passed away. The full discussion is for a different time, but some accounts claim that he

was murdered in the Holocaust while others suggest that he perished in an old Jewish Ghetto.

His son is Rav Shmuel, who was the Rav of Lukatch. He fled the War by staying in Shanghai and eventually made his way to Crown Heights and was elected Rabbi. He eventually moved to Kew Gardens, Queens and was a Rav here for the re- mainder of his life.

In speaking to you and
your readers, I would like
to stress that this inter-
view is an opportunity for
me to discuss, more than anything else, the great work that is being done here in Queens. I’m a little less interested in


discussing personal events because I feel that the focus should really be on the bigger picture.

ME: I understand. The reason I like to ask about Rebbi’s background is because our readers would benefit from con- text when we discuss the next point, which is the universal rule that greatness in Torah requires effort, no matter whom you are or where you come from.

R.A.W. Right that is always true [smiles very deeply]. Chaz- al tell us that if a family produces three consecutive genera- tions of Torah scholars, then the Torah is guaranteed to ‘re- turns to its roost’ and the fourth generation will most likely produce Torah scholars as well. I have three generations, in- cluding my father who is a Gadol baTorah, Hagaon Rav Moshe Walkin. However, no one can come along and claim a monopoly on Torah. Torah needs to be acquired with mesirut nefesh and a lot of work and sacrifice. And this ef- fort is measured for each person, individually. For some people, the sacrifice can be as simple as coming to Yeshiva to learn.

In this community particularly, I feel that the effort expend- ed is the decision to just come to Yeshiva and learn. There are so many distractions and competing mindsets that it’s truly impressive that people in the Bukharian community take out time to learn Torah in Yeshiva. Parenthetically, people ‘born into the system’ may have to struggle with oth- er kinds of impediments. Torah takes a lot of will power, it’s never easy. The Medrash Tanchuma states that one who learns Torah clearly loves Hashem, because otherwise he


would not be able to put in the necessary dedication. There is so much going on in life and it is easy to become swamped. Hashem grants success to those who muster de- votion, and that devotion is put to the test no matter whom you are or where you come from. After careful analysis, you will see that really, it is all about nurturing a love for the Torah which will guide you past all difficulties. The Gemarah tells us that everyone has difficulties, but the Talmid Chacham, his difficulties stem from toiling in Torah.

ME: So that would be how you categorize your ascent in Torah? You climbed and climbed with unceasing toil and love?

R.A.W: Yes. Even though I came from a lineage of Rabbanim who were all great giants of Jewry, each one of them worked very hard. Everyone has a ladder that he must climb. Devotion and love is the cornerstone of this growth.

ME: It is very reassuring to hear that everyone shares a struggle in the toil for Torah. I must admit that when I was younger I was envious of my friends who came from very well-established and old-European Torah families. I felt that they did not need to work as hard as myself.

R.A.W: Every Jew has a special Neshama, a soul which thirsts for Torah. This inner love is ready to spark devotion if only it were cultivated properly. There is a beautiful psalm which describes how the soul longs to be in the shade


of G-d’s Hand to know all the secrets of His Torah. A Jew has a tremendous desire to connect to the Torah, and the way to tap into that is with feelings of joy.

ME: Is this Rebbi’s secret recipe for his students? Rebbi has a certain reputation when it comes to teaching Torah.

R.A.W: [smiles] I give my heart and soul when I give over Torah to my students. They also feel the joy in learning in the Yeshiva. Once a Jew has that fulfillment, then his soul delights in the Torah and he feels the difference. This method of Torah learning allows students to withstand all the difficulties in the world. As the Baal Shem Tov said, every Jew has three loves, Ahavat Hashem and Ahavat Yis- rael and Ahavat HaTorah, which are the core of every Ne- shama. Our Yeshiva is meant for that and we try to ignite the inner spark flickering in every Jewish heart. This is the gift that we try to give our students in Yeshiva, and it will give them happiness all their life.

The Bukharian people have an enormous heart, and when they see sincerity they resonate with it very well. That is why when we teach heart to heart, our students gush with love for the Torah. Beyond this, it’s not really something I can explain or describe. It is just a fact that when Torah drips into the thirsty heart, the heart experiences happiness.

ME: What do you mean by that last point? It seems perfect- ly understandable on its face that someone who is interest- ed in Torah would be happy when he studies it.


R.A.W: An important point to make is that the happiness felt by the heart of a Torah scholar outweighs the normal satisfaction of gratified curiosity. The level of happiness and content for a Torah scholar is actually the key to our na- tion’s survival throughout our difficult history. Most nations that would go through a similar ordeal would not survive and thrive. There is something deep in the Jewish Neshama which needs to connect with the Torah, a true and deep love for G-d’s Connection. We are here to tell the person, “listen to your Neshama, and just listen to what your soul pines for”. The Yeshiva helps the student by taking away the clut- ter of the world. There is also a lot of spiritual sound out there which needs be heard beyond the nonsense.

I want to take this opportunity to thank certain people who are working day and night to allow this spirituality to pene- trate the community. Hashem sent the Bukharian communi- ty two angels. He sent Rav Ilan Meirov, a Talmid Chaham with great leadership qualities. He has true mesirut nefesh in his learning and teaching. He also sent his brother Yaniv Meirov, a man with the biggest heart I ever saw. I also feel that I am going on the coattails of Rabbi Haimov, who start- ed the movement of Yeshivos for Bukharians. He put in so much effort, both physically and monetarily for the commu- nity; he was the Rosh and Rishon. He is a role model for me and everyone. He was the one who started me out in the community, gave me students here to teach. More boys came, and more students were produced. These are the people who I owe a lot to.


ME: Who are Rebbi’s teachers? Who gave Rebbi his method of teaching which he im- plements in the Yeshi- va?

R.A.W: I was always
devoted to my Rebbiim
and I used to study
them and their every
word like it was a trea-
sure. There was the
Gaon Rabbi Yitzchak Isaac Leibis, who was the head of the

Rabbinical Council (Igud Harabonim). He was a friend of the family with my grandfa- ther; I gained my Semicha from him. He had a tremendous mind, was a tremendous gadol in learning. He was wise in Torah and also very wise in the worldly. He was extremely per- ceptive and was my role model in Halacha.

I was also extremely close to Hagaon Rabbi Pinchas Schein- berg. I studied him in is life and his Hanhaga (mode of liv-


ing). He had a lot. He had greatness in halacha and learn- ing. I put him on a pedestal and learned from him. After that I had a Rebbi who I was extremely close to, who took the place of my grandfather whom I was also extremely close with. Hagaon Rav Avraham Pam took the place of my grandfather Rav Shmuel Walkin after he passed. This might not be the time and place to discuss how I met with all these people, but Rav Palm was also like a father to me. My Rebbi regarding how to decide Halacha was Hagaon Rav Yisroel Belsky from Torah Vodaath. Similarly, I also learned much halachah and psak from Hagaon Rav Dovid Feinstein.

In the Yeshiva, I was close to many of the Roshei Yeshivos. Because I had a strong background in the Litfishe style of learning I was able to develop a relationship with many of these people, including Hagaon Rav Shmuel Birnbaum. My Rebbi in Yeshiva was Hagaon Rav Shlomo Feivel Shustel from Torah Temimah.

The formula that guaranteed the success for all of these teachers, and the formula which we bring to our Yeshiva is absolute love for the Talmid. You need to be there for them and worry about them and care for them and love them like they are your own children.

ME: That is remarkable dedication. How did Rebbi gain this perspective regarding such love?

R.A.W: My grandfather. He had a lot of love for me and it left a lasting impression on me. I also feel that I was Zoche


(fortunate) along the way to have angels from heaven aid me.

In a sense, I feel like I was guided towards the Bukharian community. Why? I don’t know. But I look at this as my mis- sion, my marching orders from Hashem. Baruch Hashem we have had tremendous success in the past. Miracles after miracles, and I see it every day how Hashem builds the Torah through us and teaches his ways through the Yeshiv- os. In a sense this interview is really not about me at all but rather the Yeshiva we now have and how it came to be in the Bukharian Queens community. The Torah in the Bukhar- ian community is flourishing by the day. The day will come when the Bukharian community will have a Yeshiva, Chaz- aq’s yeshiva, Yeshiva Beis Nosson Meir. It will be just as great and famous as the others, just as illustrious. We will go full force with all our heart and I know that Hashem will guide us and continue to build the Yeshiva with us. May Hashem give us the continued strength to continue the work and spread His Torah.

Talmid: Can Harav please tell me a little about the Gadol Harav Birnbaum Zatzal?


Harav Walkin: I want to give an introductory glimpse into the personality of the Rosh Yeshiva Harav Birenbaum, so you can appreciate some of what I will disclose. The person was Kuloh Torah (completely dedicated to Torah) to the point where there was no person, only Torah. He was a man that truly felt the Galus of Yiddin, and was able to connect with Jews no matter where in the Galus they were.

Many years ago, we brought Harav Birenbaum to see the boys in the community Yeshiva. He came in and saw bachurim arguing over pshat in Reb Chaim, which I said that day in shiur. He turned to me and remarked “Reb Chaim?! These boys have come as immigrants from Stalinist Russia and they are already talking in Reb Chaim!” The sight must have made a great impression, for he then ex- claimed “Stalin tried to extinguish the flame and love of Torah from Jewish boys. Look. He didn’t succeed; nobody can succeed, because the light of Torah can never be extin- guished!” The Rav understood what transformation can take place when Torah in injected into the soul. He also taught that the Jewish Neshama can never be extinguished.

Harav Shmuel Birenbaum ‘breathed’ the Yeshivah, for him the seder was unalterable. My son R’ Yisroel Meir was born before Channukah, and his Bris fell out on Erev Shabbos and Rosh Chodesh Channukah. I asked Rav Shmuel to be Sandek. He answered me “Of course! Channukah is all about this bris. The Yevanim tried to vanquish Rosh Chodesh, Milah, Shabbos and Torah. You have them all here together, Rosh Chodesh, Milah, Shabbos and the Walkin


Family is Torah”, he said, while tapping my shoulder with each topic. That was Rav Birenbaum. His character was al- ways evident in his excitement for Torah and Mitzvos. Any- ways, he told me he was coming to be sandek at my son’s Bris. I called him up the day before the Bris to give him the time for davening, 8 A.M. He said “8 AM? I can’t, I’m sorry I cannot come...” Needless to say, my face fell and I said “What? Rebbi! You said you would be sandek!” I had no idea what had happened, did I insult him or something? But he responded to me “I can’t daven 8 o’clock. In Yeshiva we start 7:30 and I have to follow Sidrei HaYeshiva.”

He must have sensed my desperation and dejection though over the phone because he immediately responded “If you want, I will daven in Yeshiva and then someone can pick me up and bring me to you.” “That won’t work though” I replied. The whole thing was falling apart. “I don’t under- stand. Why can’t you make it?” He replied to me with a stern voice “Davening is part of Sidrei HaYeshiva. Seder by us in the Mir starts at 7:30 AM. I start at 7:30 in the morn- ing. I’m sorry I can’t come”. I admired his principles, but I realized I was stuck. How could I rescue the situation? I de- cided to play a different strategy; I approached him for ad- vice instead. “How can I get the Rosh Yeshiva to come?” I asked. He chuckled at my ploy and said “If you are willing to daven at 7:30 and get some people, I will join you in that shul, we can daven in a side room”. He then asked me to pick him early, around 6 AM.


When I came the next morning to the Yeshiva and noticed that the light in his classroom was on, it was the only light on in the building. I come in there and he’s learning; I wasn’t surprised. As we made our way down the steps, we could see through a window into the Beis Medrash. I no- ticed the beautiful sight of the Ner Tamid, as it lit up the en- tire Beis Medrash, and I was moved. I thought to myself “how many giants learned in this space...” and I told the Rav how I felt. But I also pointed out the well-used benches which were visibly worn-out. He looked to me and said “You understand. The Board wants to update the Beis Medrash, but you can understand. The beauty of the Beis Medrash is the used benches and the worn out books.” This was the beauty to him; a setting which testifies and screams out “I was used for Torah.” In fact, the benches stayed in the yeshiva until after he passed away. As long as he lived, he would not allow them to be updated.

BJL: Can you please define the function and importance of the Yeshiva and the Olam Hayeshivot (yeshiva world)?

Rav Walkin: The “Olam Hayeshivot” is a term and a title phrased by all the people who are in and are a part of this small world. It is a self-contained world, or better said, a world within a world. It is Hashem’s World, a sanctuary from the vast and emotionally turbulent world people term


“reality.” Only here can the Jewish person find respite, an oasis from the spiritual desert of worldly opinion. In order to better identify with the Olam Hayeshivot, we need to ex- plore and properly define the fundamental function and goal of a yeshiva.

Maran HaRav Baruch Ber Leibowitz, zt”l, the famed Birchas Shmuel Kamintzer Rosh Hayeshiva, used to refer to and call Bnai Yeshiva as “mevakshai Hashem,” those who seek out Hashem. The fundamental goal of a yeshiva is to provide a place where the sincere student can earnestly search for Truth and nurture his spirituality. Chazal state, “Ein lo Hakadosh Baruch Hu Elah Daled Amot Shel HaTorah”- Hashem has no place in the world except for the place in which people engage in His Torah.

The importance of the yeshiva is evident in all areas of our life, including our people’s social system and our youth. The Medrash tells us that when Yaakov prepared his family for descent into Egypt, he sent his son Yehuda ahead to secure land for a yeshiva, a place of study and spiritual enlighten- ment. Yaakov also hoped that the yeshiva would serve as a security and fortress from the “outside world” and the tur- bulence and influence of galut. The yeshiva would also serve to unify his twelve sons, since when people endeavor together to study the word of Hashem, they unify them- selves and consequently their entire community.

The Chazaq organization understands this, which is why the Menahel of the Yeshiva, Rav Ilan Meirov, Shlita, a tremen- dous talmid chochom and author of the sefer Pri Ilan, and


Executive Director Reb Yaniv Meirov have expended so much effort into making our yeshiva what it is today. Our Yeshiva also would not exist without the kindness, generosi- ty, and vision of Reb Noach Duetch from Australia, who founded the Yeshiva upon the behest and charge of the mashgiach, Rov Nosson zt”l. We in the Yeshiva and the en- tire “Olam HaTorah” owe Reb Noach Duetch a lot.

BJL: What is your yeshiva background and how has it shaped your plans for the Beis Medrash Gedolah of Queens?

Rav Walkin: I attended the Yeshivas of Staten Island, Long Beach, Torah Temima, the Mir Yeshiva of Yerushalayim, and also Lakewood Beit Medrash Govoha.
“On paper,” we are not a Lakewood yeshiva. But you need to understand that, in our roots, we “stem” from Lakewood Yeshiva. The “Olam HaTorah” is all one family; Lakewood Yeshiva is the father and we, who emulate its ideals, are the child. I personally consider Lakewood Yeshiva to be “my home.” My heart is in the Yeshiva and with all the Roshei Yeshiva; my days there were amongst the best of my life... I hold every aspect of the Yeshiva in the highest esteem and I am extremely privileged to be close to all four of the Roshei Yeshiva.

BJL: Can you point to specific factors of Lakewood Yeshiva that continue to influence your teaching meth- ods?


Rav Walkin: Yes. The Roshei Yeshivos taught me so much by showing me how they gave the most selfless devotion to all the b’nei Torah in general and their own talmidim in par- ticular. They have no day or night schedule. The doors to their houses were always unlocked; all you had to do was knock and walk in. It was very common and even expected to find students in their Roshei Yeshiva’s houses in the a.m.

I also gained so much from them in learning. The students there have the unique opportunity to drink in not only from the deep wellsprings of their Torah, but also a chance to study and emulate the beautiful qualities constantly on dis- play by the Roshei Yeshiva who are giants of Torah who give all their heart and soul.

The olam of b’nei Torah there are the most pure, devoted, heiligeh people who are completely devoted and moser ne- fesh to learn. Every time I walk in to the beis medrash, I am humbled. I truly feel as though I am walking in the Beis Hamikdosh.

BJL: Did you have a special relationship with the Roshei Yeshiva of Lakewood Yeshiva?

Rav Walkin: My own grandfather, Harav Shmuel Dovid Walkin, zt”l, was close to Rav Ahron and Rav Schneiur Kotler, zt”l. I was also extremely close to the mashgiach, Rav Nosson Wachtfogel zt”l, which is one of the reasons we named our yeshiva, Beis Nosson Meir, after him.


BJL: What was life like in the famous Lakewood Yeshiva atmosphere?

Rav Walkin: Well, learning in the Lakewood Yeshiva is a whole package deal. Their hashkafah (outlook) itself speaks volumes, even without verbal expression. The entire envi- ronment is conducive to student growth because the overar- ching approach is about living the life of a Ben Torah. Rather than mere intellectualism, the curriculum markedly molds the personality as well.

Another unique aspect was the high chance of meeting Torah luminaries from all over the world, at any given time. They could be spotted at Mincha, Maariv, or Shacharis, or visiting and giving a shiur or a schmooze. The Yeshiva is a central Torah nucleus, and always attracted the world’s Torah giants whenever they visited the States.

BJL: What closing message would you like to share with or readers?

Rav Walkin: I want your readers to understand that being invested in the Queens community enables me to give this wonderful experience back to the students I oversee in our Yeshiva. I want them to feel what it means to be part of the Olam haYeshivos. Our students have the same Torah her- itage and the same great potential as the students who call Beis Medrash Gevoha their home. This is what we are all about. Be’ezrat Hashem, this is what we will achieve here in Queens.


A Mini-Series on Ahavas Yisroel and Ahavas Chesed

HaRav Ahron Walkin: My Zaidy was a big giver; he was ac- customed to giving and not taking. The first Halacha in the Shulchan Aruch is, “Be brazen like a Nemer (leopard) and Gibor (strong) like an Ari (lion). My grandfather would of- ten remark that the law could have been written, “Gibor kanamer, be

strong like a
Leopard as well”.
However, as he
would explain
with wordplay in
the Yiddish lan-
guage, “a nemer
is nisht kain
giber, un a giber
is nisht kain ne-
mer”, a taker
(nimer) is usual-
ly not a giver
(giber), and a giver is usually not a taker. My Zaidy was a tremendous giver and not a taker.

We Ashkenazim have a custom of calling up the groom to the Torah on the Shabbat before a wedding; this is called


‘Shabbos Aufrof’. My grandfather’s Shabbos Aufrof was in the town of Pahust, where he was the Rav. Customarily dur- ing such an event, the important aliyah of Maftir is given to the Chosson (groom). As it turned out, my grandfather’s Aufrof coincided with a young boy’s in the town bar mitz- vah. In deference to custom, title and occasion, the gabay planned to give the Rav, my grandfather, the aliyah of Maftir; he planned to give the bar mitzvah boy a regular aliyah. However my grandfather refused and requested that the special maftir aliyah instead be given to the bar mitzvah boy. He explained, “Even though the Halacha may seem to imply that a chosson comes first, I have an upcoming wed- ding to look forward to with festivities and many good memories. If I take away this boy’s maftir, he won’t have much to take away from his bar mitzvah. I don’t want to take away from him the excitement of his bar mitzvah”. [The Lithuanian custom throughout Lita in those days was not to make large parties for the bar mitzvah. The boy would read the maftir, followed by a small kiddush]. My grandfather thus relinquished the aliya of maftir even though he was the chosson and Rav of the town.

HaRav Ahron Walkin: A certain well known Mirer talmid who suffered from a nervous breakdown during World War 2 used to regularly invite himself to my grandfather’s Shabbos table. Due to his mental state, this man would show up unexpectedly, unclean and totally disheveled. My grandfather always welcomed him warmly. He wanted this man to have a clean set of clothing and to feel that he was being given new clothing. So my grandfather would repack


his own freshly laundered clothing and gift it to this man as a ‘new set’ of Shabbos clothing. My grandfather was meticu- lous in folding this ‘new’ clothing before placing it in the bag.

My grandfather always invited this man to sit next to him at the head of the table, exclaiming “Reb so and so, you’re such a big Talmid chacham who deserves to sit at the head of the table with me”. My grandfather began this practice after noticing that others avoided the guest because of his offensive odor. My grandfather wholeheartedly felt that every human being, regardless of who and what they were, deserved to be treated royally with dignity and re- spect.

HaRav Ahron Walkin: I heard the following story from a family member of mine who accompanied my grandfather and grandmother to Eretz Yisroel: In preparation for their trip, my grandparents packed thousands of dollars of meat for their son R’ Chaim and his family. In those days people would buy American meats for Israeli family members when they would visit them since Israeli meat was scarce and ex- pensive.

Upon landing in Lod, customs discovered the meat and con- fiscated it. Unbeknownst to my grandfather, it was illegal to bring meat to Israel. My grandmother was extremely dis- traught since she packed two years’ worth of holiday meat for her son. My grandfather however was surprisingly calm and seemingly happy. When a family member asked why he was so calm, he responded, “When I asked the border patrol


what would be done with meat, they told me “we aren’t gonna throw it away, we will distribute it to the poor in Is- rael”. I’m happy that Baruch Hashem at least the needy yid- din in Eretz Yisroel will be enjoying this meat!”

I don’t know if they really meant what they said about dis- tributing the meat, maybe they just wanted to calm my grandfather down. However it was enough to make my grandfather happy losing a fortune of meat if he heard that it would be distributed amongst the poor yiddim in Eretz Yisroel. Now you understand what I mean when I say that my father was a big giver...

HaRav Ahron Walkin: I once came to my son’s Yeshiva Ke- tana to discuss tuition. The administrator looked at my son’s paper and remarked, “Walkin?! Growing up, Rav Shmuel Dovid Walkin was a household name...were you by any chance related to him?”

“Yes, he was my grandfather,” I responded. The administra- tor of my son’s yeshiva then shared with me a telling story:

"My mother escaped with our family and ran away from her country before the Second World War. After arriving in the city of Lukatch, she looked for a place to stay with our fami- ly. Naturally she knocked on the Rav’s door. The Rav of this town was your grandfather HaRav Shmuel Dovid Walkin; my mother asked him if she could stay in the Kehilla’s guest house”.

“Your grandfather realized that my mother needed respite from a long and arduous journey fraught with difficulties. He told her that he had a better idea. Rather than stay in


the Kehilla guest house, he invited her and her children into his own home. We quickly discovered that the Rav only had a single bedroom, his own.”
“Even though he was in shana rishona (Year 1), your grand- father offered his own bedroom and beds to my mother and her children. He instead would sleep on the living-room floor together with his wife.”

“When my mother saw this, she told him that her family hadn't bathed in a while and were crawling with lice. How- ever he wouldn't budge and insisted on the arrangement.”

“So it was that she slept with the children while your grand- father slept on the floor.”

“My mother and family eventually made their way to Amer- ica, but we again met hardship. When my mother read in the Jewish newspaper that HaRav Shmuel Dovid Walkin had recently arrived from Shanghai, she decided to call him for help. Your grandfather recorded all our info, were we wanted to live, and even the furniture we needed.”

“A few days later he called my mother back with the news that he found us an apartment. He also informed her that he found a furniture dealer who had odds and ends that weren’t sellable and was therefore willing to donate them.”

“About five or six years after this incident, we contacted the alleged furniture donor regarding repairs. To our surprise we found out that the Rav actually paid for the pieces him- self!


After telling me this story, the Yeshiva administrator re- marked “now you can understand why Rav Shmuel Dovid Walkin was a revered household name when I grew up”. HaRav Ahron Walkin: I once met HaRav Yisroel Pirkovsky zt”l. He was one of the Roshei Yeshiva of Beis HaTalmud of Bensonhurst, and he also went through the Mir in Shanghai. He told me "Your Zeidi’s Chesed and Hachnasat Orchim was from a different level. Astonishingly true even in Shanghai when no one had anything.”

“Your Zeidi didn't just open his home to all who needed, but actually gave away his own bedroom and beds. The Mirrer bachurim always had a home in his tiny apartment during those trying days of WWII.”

Rav Ahron kraiser ztl, a talmid of the Mir, often remarked how the Mirrer bochurim during those dark and difficult days would come to HaRav Shmuel Dovid Walkin for a warm story and a cold drink...

HaRav Ahron Walkin: I once met the Tzadik of Monsey HaRav Mordechai Schwab, zt”l. His family lived in the other half of a partitioned apartment which was split with my grandfather and his family. He too admired the Hachnasat Orchim of my Zeidi in Shanghai and made a point of telling me so.

In wonder I asked him, "How big could this famous apart- ment be? How did it become a home for so many people?” Rav Schwab paused and then responded, “Your Zeidi was a genius in Hachnosat Orchim.”


“He knew how to do Hachnosas Orchim the right way. You don't just bring the guest into your home... but more impor- tantly, into your heart... In the heart you will always find room...especially if the heart is big, and your Zeidi had the biggest heart”.

HaRav Ahron Walkin: My grandfather HaRav Shmuel Dovid was a giant, a tremendous role model in Ahavas Yis- rael and Ahavas Chesed. At his levaya he was titled ‘Ha- Gaon B’Chesed’. The following stories highlight his exem- plary Ben Adam le chavero and his sensitivity to others and their needs.

HaRav Shmuel Dovid Walkin was once invited to a Shabbos convention as one of three guest speakers. The set up was twenty minutes a speech, with HaRav Walkin set to close the night. As things go, the first speaker spoke half an hour and the second spoke 40 minutes. With ten minutes already overtime, my grandfather had reservations about overbur- dening the tzibur. As the director of the convention moved to introduce him, HaRav Shmuel respectfully asked to forgo the privilege.

“The hour is late, the people are tired, and it’s shabbos,” he said. The director wouldn’t hear it and instead insisted, “Please say something short and on point, that the people will enjoy!” My grandfather agreed and stood up and faced the crowd, “it’s late, I want to wish you good shabbos and a good night. He then turned to the director and said “nu, it


was short and on point and the tzibur definitely enjoyed it”.

My grandfather’s close talmid once questioned him on this incident; why did the Rav refuse to speak Divrei Torah? HaRav Shmuel replied that the real reason he declined the speech was because he noticed that the first two speakers failed to connect with and inspire the crowd; they were not great speakers. If my grandfather would speak, he was wor- ried it would overshadow and embarrass them. People would associate the event with him alone which would re- flect poorly on the honor and reputation of the first two speakers.

I heard this next story about my grandfather from Rav Mordechai ‘Max’ Braude. Rabbi Braude was once met with an offer to buy an existing business. It was a tremendous opportunity, except he didn’t have the money to invest. He went to my grandfather to seek advice regarding the merits of the deal. At the time, Rav Shmuel Dovid Walkin was stay- ing at a bungalow colony in the mountains.

When he sat before him, Rav Braude focused on the ques- tion of sound business and only slightly implicated that he was short of funds. Rav Braude returned to his bungalow af- ter the meeting. After a short moment, he heard a knock on his door and opened it to find HaRav Shmuel Dovid’s son holding an envelope in his hand. “Here,” he said. “My father wants to help you start the business”.


When recounting the story to me, Rabbi Braude marveled at how my grandfather precisely detected underlying concerns. He had an uncanny ability to connect and ‘read between the lines’ of his followers thoughts and hearts.


My Rebbi Rav Ahron Walkin zt”l was not a Cohen by lineage, but he was definitely Ahron in the sense of the word. He resembled the quality of Ahron haCo- hen who was Ohev Shalom and Rodef Shalom. My Rebbi loved every single


member of Klal Yisrael. His love and devotion will always stay with me for the rest of my life.

Rebbi lived a certain life model where he never ever wanted to connect to any type of machloket.

I remember an incident when I was learning in the kollel and had a problem with a chaver who I felt was 100% wrong (according to my understanding and anyone else who heard my story). However, Rebbi refused to take a side in this argument, just not to hurt anyone. Every time I ap- proached the subject, Rebbi just wanted to continue the

learning and ignore. He would say “you always have to re- member Abaye and Rava, that should be your model, that should be your goal, Abaye and Rava. “He said, you said, I said,” forget it. Abaye and Rava.” I understood from that how Rebbi never wanted machloket. The lesson he taught me saves me from a lot of machloket and politics.

When I was younger I used to think that a Rav is someone who is able to answer questions on the spot, quickly. But when I was older I realized that gadlus (greatness) was the fact that Rebbi was able to take your question and think about it.

When I would ask Rebbi a


question he would never answer me right away, he would always say, “let me think about it,” or “call me tomorrow.” I realized that he did this because he made a cheshbon on every word that came out of his mouth. I’m sure that he knew the answer to my question but wanted to give it im- portance and see all sides of the question so he can answer correctly.

Rebbi always made sure that he showed importance to your question. That is what really stayed with me and will always stay with me.

Sometimes I would see Rebbi not wearing his ‘frock’ when he was outside the yeshiva. I asked Rebbi once as to why he wasn’t makpid on this. The answer he gave me taught me a lesson for life.

He answered me that many times people that don’t have much going on inside, have a need to show it on the out-

side. Rebbi knew his stature, and said “I do not need this. I

know how to learn and who I am, and I don’t feel the need to show myself by walking with a Rabbinical coat to show that I am someone special.” I understood that even such a small act, he was trying to teach his talmidim that were go- ing to be future rabanim a great lesson.

Rav Walkin was a sandak for one of my kids. The night be- fore he didn’t sleep and learned the entire night, and went to the mikva. When he came to the Shul to be sandak he looked and resembled an Angel, completely pure, crying the entire time. The people in attendance were so emotionally


touched and spiritually connected from the sight of Rebbi, not understanding why he was crying.
To Rebbi this was an important mitzvah. It was like bringing a korban, that’s why he was crying, doing teshuva, hugging and kissing everyone. I had a friend that came from the Kol- lel to wish us a Mazal Tov. When witnessing this scene, he said he never saw anyone doing this mitzvah with so much emotion. He even received a kiss from Rav Walkin. He re- lated that he felt like Rebbi always knew him.

We arranged to bring Rebbi to Yeshiva Sha’arei Tzion to talk to the boys. When he walked into the Yeshiva, as soon as he saw the boys he started crying. I brought him to every grade.

When he walked into the first grade he started speaking to the boys on a first grade level. He got all the children in- volved and made sure to
say a good thing about

every boy. He always
practiced Lashon Tov.
One might think a great
Rav as him would not be
able to connect with first
graders. Rebbi was able
to connect to the chil-
dren so quickly, they lis-
tened to his words and
were just mesmerized by him. He was able to do the same with all the other grades, connect to them, bless them, and cry.


I got to know and became close to Rabbi Walkin when I was about 20 years old and was learning in Yeshiva Ohel Simcha Kollel. At the time Rabbi Haimoff brought him to teach us


The boys were so in love with him because he was so spiri- tually connected to them. When he spoke to the 7th and 8th graders he spoke to them for a long time but they listened to him because he spoke from the heart and they felt it.

Rebbi’s love and sense of responsibility knew no bounds. There was a Rebbi in the Yeshiva where I work, and I had to ask him to leave. The Rebbi was asked to leave for very le- gitimate reasons which would not be tolerated in any yeshi- va. I called my Rebbi, Rabbi Walkin for advice before we let him go. When he heard the story and reasons for my deci- sion, I was sure he would agree with my decision. This teacher was being let go for doing unbelievable actions. However Rebbi advised me to take the question to someone else. He said “when it comes to someone else’s parnasa, family, children, and ruining another Yid, I cannot take the achrayut”.

This was where we saw the quality of Ahron haCohen who was Ohev Shalom and Rodef Shalom. He would stay away from politics and he was always careful with the way he spoke about people and not, Chas veshalom, hurt them.


and told us that Rabbi Walkin will guide us in our learning and in hashkafa for life.

I was privileged to learn with Rabbi Walkin in Kollel for over 10 years. His style of learning Gemara was very new and unfamiliar to us. He taught
us the Brisker style of learning,

which is looking deep into what the Gemara was talking about, how different meforshim think, what they ask. Then he used to answer what questions they had. His answers were always unique, chidushim, like the Rishonim used to answer.

Rabbi Walkin was always trying to teach us to think, not just to accept things, but to analyze them for ourselves. Each day during the week he would give us a shiur for 2-3 hours on a Gemara and on Sunday he taught us Humash. He also stayed with us after the shiur and would watch how we did hazarot and help us with any questions that we had on the shiur. He would encourage us to take notes on the learning to understand it better.

I was greatly influenced by Rabbi Walkin’s personal example with how he learned, how he prepared the shiurim, how he lived. He was very open and straightforward with us and would tell us everything. His style of teaching Musar was


not learning from specific books, but rather learning from stories of Rebbeim.

He always talked about stories from the lives of different Rebbeim. Rabbi Walkin also taught us by personal example.

He would invite us to his house during the week so that we would see and learn from how he behaved in his home with his wife and children.
He was never overly concerned about physical comforts and did not make a big

deal over little things getting ru- ined or messed up.

Rabbi Walkin al-
ways demonstrat-
ed how much he
cared about us: he
would make par-
ties with us in the
Kollel, invite us to his family occasions, and was in general very warm and caring with us.

He gave us his whole heart.
He was a big inspiration to me about how I want to live my life, about the importance of learning Torah, and how to be a Ben Torah.


When I had my first child I asked him how do I raise her properly in the way of Torah. He answered me that 50% of chinuch is from self-example. This was his style, always to teach others by self-example.

When we were confused about where to put our children to get the best chinuch and Torah education for them, Rabbi Walkin advised us to send our kids to Brooklyn, Bais Yaakov and Yeshiva Ketana of Bensonhurst. All of my children have attended that school, and we have been tremendously hap- py with the hashkafa that they were taught there and the friends that they made.

Even after he no longer was teaching us, Rabbi Walkin was always available to us to ask questions and to be there for us when we needed him.

The last time that I saw him, was a few days before Purim, when he came to our Semicha presentation in Bet Gavriel, to support us and show once again how much he cared for us. He has made a big difference in my life and his memory will always stay in my heart inspiring me to live a true life of a Ben Torah. I am very grateful to Hashem that I was blessed to know and learn from such a special Rebbi.


In the year 1993 at the young age of 12 years, I arrived with my family to America. We settled with the community of Beth Aron in Queens, headed by Rav Moshe Yoel Walkin and Rebitzin Ester Walkin who at the time lived with Reb- itzin Tzivia, Rav Moshe’s mother.

The Walkin family introduced me to their children who I felt were the most wonderful and warmest children I had ever met, one of them being Rav Ahron Walkin.

A year later Rabbi Haimoff opened a school on Main Street for the Bukharian Jewish kids, and one of my Rebbeim was Rav Ahron and his brother Rav Avraham Walkin.

Rav Ahron Walkin was the smartest and wisest Rebbi I knew. When people used to come to him he used to listen to them with all his heart and tried to help anyone who came to him for help.

He also was a בעל תוקע and חזן during the Yamim Nora’im for many years in his father’s shul.

Rav Ahron was the most amazing and
warm hearted person I have ever met.
He gave me the life that I have today
through teaching me Torah and without him I wouldn’t know how to learn Torah today. He would always empha-


size to learn the פשט of psukim, mishnayot and gemarot. He would make us ask “why is it written this way”?

I used to record all his Shiurim and sit to his right. With love of Torah he used to tap on my back to wake me up if I ever dosed off.

Since Rebbe wanted to instill within us a love of ספרים he used to take the talmidim to book stores. We even went with Rebbi to Yeshiva University for their annual seforim

sale. Not only that, but Rebbi even gifted us ספרים that his grandfather wrote (Beis Ahron) and father wrote. On top of

all that, Rebbi would even gift us his own ספרים if he would have any extra.

Many times he took us to meet many תלמידי חכמים and Gedolim to show us what greatness was like.

I also remember the time
where we, the students,
didn't have a ride to
Yeshiva. This obstacle
didn't stop Rebbe from
teaching us. Even though
he used to live in Brook-
lyn, he made a stop at
his father’s shul to get his
students and bring us to Main Street, to our Yeshiva.


One of his students Rabbi Simcha Yasaev passed away at the age 24. Before he passed away, he left Rebbi a closed enve- lope stating that if he dies the Rabbi should bury him in Is- rael. Rabbi Ahron Walkin arranged and made sure that he was buried in Israel.

I thank השם for giving me this amazing, smart, wise, funny, warm, and caring Rebbi. I really appreciate it very much to this day.
We will truly miss him and he will never be forgotten


It’s hard to put into words how much my Rebbi, HaRav Walkin zt”l did for me and for the entire Bukharian commu- nity. He wasn’t just a
Rebbi, he was a fa-

ther, friend and a psychotherapist to many people.

His open-minded-
ness and easy going
nature attracted a lot
of students. He
taught us how to view life through proper Torah hashkafa. Torah wasn’t a theory for him, but rather a way of life.


He enabled us to see everything, including current events with authentic Torah hashkafa.

One of the main lessons that he imparted to us was dili- gence in learning. He constantly emphasized the importance of perseverance in Torah learning.

His delicate guidance to ba’alei teshuva on the path to Torah observance was extraordinary. He constantly cautioned them to be “normal”. He warned new ba’alei teshuva to take proper steps in spiri-

tual growth, “baby steps,” so that they would blossom and grow properly in Ya- hadut and not chas ve’shalom fall in- stead.

His students always
turned to him for
guidance in the area
of shidduchim, chinuch, and other areas of life, he was like a father to them.

I vividly remember how he comforted one of his critically ill students. At the end of the conversation, he promised his student that he’ll take care of his will. Unfortunately, the


student passed away and Rabbi Walkin kept his promise and prepared everything for his student’s burial and more.

He didn’t just teach and leave, but he constantly looked into his students’ needs. One of his great contributions with eternal reward was his advocacy for placement of his stu- dents’ children in main stream

yeshivot. Not only did he care for his students but he also cared about their children and their future.

His famous quote that I re- member was “You can say my Torah in your name, but don’t say your Torah in my name.”

We lost an irreplaceable giant
whose contributions can’t be
expressed in a short essay. He raised the spiritual level of the Bukharian community by producing Torah leaders who are continuing in the path of Torah and Mitzvot. May he be meilitz yosher and may all the zechuyot/merits that he ac- cumulated during his lifetime, destroy the harsh decrees of am yisrael. He will be sorely missed.


It is an injustice to summarize the life of my Rabbi in one book. However it is a greater injustice if I do not share with the world what he has shared with me.

In 1997 Rabbi Moshe Walkin married off one of his daugh- ters. My whole class including myself was there to share in the happiness. Rav Ahron was there and as usual was sur- rounded by all his Talmidim. He was known to always be in good spirits. He had

a kin ability to make
anyone around him
laugh. He greeted
me with a warm
smile. He must have
noticed I was a bit
nervous about being
there and made a
funny gesture in an
attempt to try to
make me laugh. Un-
fortunately at such a young age I was an extremely sensitive teenager and mistook his kind gesture as a negative remark. He did not intend to hurt me at all but being that I was too sensitive I took it the wrong way and was deeply hurt. There and then I made a conscious decision to avoid being around him as I did not want to be hurt again. The next day in class the Rabbi greeted me warmly however I was still hurt from the night before and therefore didn’t greet him

back. The Rabbi was well aware of how everyone felt


around him. He took me to the side and asked why I was not greeting him and if anything is wrong. At that moment my feelings overtook me. Unfortunately I did not hold my- self back at all. I was really tough with my Rebbi and I real- ly let him have it. I told him “Your comment really hurt me. Did you not see how much pain it caused me? Sadly I took it a step too far and said “ If this is what a Rabbi is then I want to have nothing to do with you from now on. As a matter of fact, from this day on you are no longer my Rebbi”. I meant it. I turned around and left to the store to buy some snacks as the lecture was about to begin.

On my way back I had a huge turmoil in me. Should I go back or not ? Maybe I should go to another Yeshiva?
As I neared my Yeshiva, I was surprised to see that all the students outside and the class had not started as scheduled. Unbeknown to me, my Rebbi was actually standing outside near the entrance waiting for my return. He would not start class until he would speak to me. I was nearing the door and my Rebbi stood in the doorway. I did not want to speak about this anymore and tried to enter around him. However my Rebbi stood in the doorway. He looked me straight in the eyes and said “Thank you for being a true friend to me for only a true friend says the truth. I’m deeply sorry that I hurt you. I never intended it as you received it. I didn’t know. From now on I’ll be more careful on my wording around you. You’re not only a student of mine but also a true friend”. He hugged me and asked me to call him for anything, anytime. Our relationship surely grew from then on. That day also had a profound impact on me as its lesson


guided me into my adult
life. The lesson was sim-
ple and clear. It’s ok to
say I’m sorry even to
someone who is much
younger than you as it
has the ability to build a
relationship. As a father,
it has given me strength
to apologize to my kids
and become their friend as well as their father. As a spouse, it has helped me to apologize to my partner in life whether I’m right or not as it has built our relationship to a higher level. Thank you my Rebbi.

This was a very serious day. All of us in Shul were worried. Everyone was fasting. We were all praying. It was 2pm. The day was Yom Kippur. My Rebbi was sitting across me pray- ing with fervor while I was trying to learn from his ways and do the same. I was trying my best to be like my Rebbi. I was trying to really feel deep regret for all my misdeeds that I had committed the previous year. As I was trying harder and harder I started to feel down and depressed. Right there and then I decided to glance at my Rebbi yet again to see what he was doing. Unbeknown to me, all this time my Rebbi was staring at me and as soon as I looked at him he made a very funny looking face at me as a loving father makes a funny face to his small baby to make him laugh.


I was so shocked by his reac-
tion, that in the midst of Yom
Kippur prayer I burst out
laughing. I did my best not to
attract attention of others
around me. The rest of my day
was wonderful and I felt bet-
ter. I wondered at that mo-
ment, “Why did he do that ?”
This is Yom Kippur!!!! I under-
stood then that just as a loving
father appreciates when his
children apologize and im-
prove their actions, however
the same loving and caring fa-
ther would feel bad if his chil-
dren overdo it and become
depressed over their actions, as that would be counterpro- ductive. When my Rebbi saw that I had overdone feeling re- gret and started to feel depressed, in a blink of an eye he sacrificed his own honor by making a funny face just to take me out of my depression and make my life happier. This les- son has followed me even into my later years and has helped me in my life. At times at home when tension is high between my children, I’ll make that funny face and all my kids will burst out laughing and the atmosphere at home will automatically change from high tension into bliss and peace. As a father it may be hard as he is a model of educa- tion, however when I practice this lesson at home it brings a lot of happiness. If there is anything that I learned from all your Torah my Rebbi, it’s that of your love and care. Thank you my Rebbi.


We have lost our Rebbi, our Rosh Yeshiva, our Mentor, in many ways - our father.
Rav Ahron Walkin zecher tzadik livrocho. I can't even be- lieve these words, just a few days ago we spoke on the phone - Rebbi you were so calm, so reassuring. I called, scared for myself and worried about you, and in a few words - as if all the clouds parted and the sun came out. I can't believe that you are gone. The Walkin family, every single one of them - are like stars in the sky. They seem to just be there, small and unassuming. Until you get closer and closer and you realize that it's not a dot of light - it's a huge ball of burning fire, never ending, never dimming.

Rebbi was born and raised in Kew Gardens, to a family of real erlicher Ovdei Hashem. His grandfather, Rav Shmuel Dovid Walkin zt"l survived the war by escaping with the Mir Yeshiva in Shanghai. A tremendous gaon in Torah, he was a beacon of light and chizzuk while there, and worked tire- lessly to save as many Jews as possible when he came to America in the midst of the war. Rav Moshe Yoel shlit"a, Rav Ahron's father, also seems so simple and down-to-earth. And yet those that know him (and there are many), know of his tremendous Ahavat Yisrael (especially for the Sefardic


community many of
which have become his
students), his clarity in
learning, his cheerful-
ness that’s so easily
lights up the room.
Rebbitzin Ester Walkin,
Rebbi's mother, is a
mother to everyone
single one of us. She
has such pride and
nachas at each of our
accomplishments. And
Rebbitzin Tzivia, Reb-
bi's grandmother, who
was zoche to live in
the house of the
Chofetz Chaim, who
was revered by the
whole family and re-
spected by many
Gedolim for her pure middot.
And then there was Rebbi. He was a prodigy from youth, known for his sharpness in learning (I remember seeing a sefer he authored at 16 on masechet Kidushin), his dili- gence, but most of all his tremendous love for people. I try to think back, I can't remember him without a smile on his face. It was like looking at a smiley face - so bright, so sin- cere.


Many times he would say "don't think things don't bother me. They bother me plenty, but when I walk into here (the bet midrash) EVERYTHING is left at the door! Just learn and be happy! There is nothing better than learning!" I was a young man, barely religious for a few years, and I couldn't believe that he was being honest - it couldn't be! But as time went on, day after day, I saw how much pleasure he had learning and even more - how much pleasure he had teach- ing! Like a father teaching his son, even if the son says something very garbled and mixed up - the father is beam- ing with pride - that was Rebbi! That's how he got me and many others, he would praise and compliment any com- ment, any question, any answer - no matter how silly or off mark it was. I can still remember how after the shiur he would pull that person over and say "tell me, you have a VERY good head! Where did you learn?" The guy would feel like a million dollars, he didn't go to any yeshiva and he managed to impress this big talmid chacham!

I still remember a friend of mine who was off the derech for 10 years - 10 years of intense rebellion at the system - and he walked into Rebbi's Humash shiur - and he was hooked. He's a ben Torah with a beautiful family. I asked him, what happened? He said - don't you see how he enjoys his learn- ing? He planted that same simcha in me, I remember by good days in yeshiva when I'm next to him. I personally didn't appreciate or even understand the enormity of his work. He used to say to us all the time - its a rough world out there, you don't know how much you are being shielded from by being here in yeshiva.


He was very careful with his words. He knew how to talk to every person - to some with jokes, to some with empathy, and to some by just crying with them.

Everyone felt that he had his whole focus when speaking to Rebbi. The few times that I got criticized, it was so gentle, like a grandfather correcting his infant grandson.

"I am only teaching you how to read! No lomdus! Just read, pshat!" So many times we all heard these words, and only now 20 years later we understand what it means. I am only describing a sliver of what I remember at such a crazy time. The truth is there is so much more. He was a loving father, a caring husband, a devoted teacher and father to his stu- dents. He taught us to appreciate people, despite all their faults, to stay happy and remain bnei Torah amidst very dif- ficult times. This is loss from so many angles. Each one of the above descriptions could fill several pages.

He taught all of us how to cry. Rebbi, I never saw anyone become so emotional just by speaking to kids, by describing Hashem's love for Klal Yisrael, by speaking about how pre- cious the Torah was to Klal Yisrael - we all saw how he would burst out in tears not able to continue.

I remember calling him to tell him that we were zoche to become pregnant with our second boy after many years, he said "You have no idea how happy I am. My whole Rosh Hashana and Yom kippur I just cried for you.”


There's much much more to say. Chazaq is Rabbi Walkin. Od Yosef Chai is Rabbi Walkin. Ohr HaTorah is Rabbi Walkin. Many of us in all of our different positions and jobs - all Rabbi Walkin.

Usually these things end by saying "he leaves a grieving wife and children". In this case he leaves a grieving community, thousands of people who were like children to him - who saw him like a father...

I want to wish the Rebbitzin much strength, no one will feel this loss like her, she treated him like crown jewel. She treated us, his talmidim, as her children. How many times I had come over to their house in Kensington, and I never, ever felt unwelcome.

Rebbitzin! I have no words to console you or the kids. I can only cry with you. Hashem should comfort you along with all of Klal Yisrael. We should be zoche to see Rebbi again, smiling and happy, with Mashiach tzidkeinu speedily in our days.


When I first met the Rebbi I was 13 years old. He had the Kollel in Rabbi Haimoff’s Shul and he was giving a Gemara Shiur to the Ba’al Habatim. My father would attend the Shi- urim, and told me that since I’m home all summer, I should go pray with them and attend the Shiur with the Rebbi later on. This was my first time learning Gemara with Rashi and Tosafot. I came home knowing that I have learnt so much. When the Yeshiva then relocated to the Od Yosef Chai syno- gouge, every opportunity that I had to go to his Shiur, I grabbed it.

The way he spoke was so sweet and it penetrated my heart. He made me feel special. Every break that I had from school, I would make sure that I was going to Shul at 8am to pray and learn with the Rav. Some days I felt like sleep- ing in, but when I remembered that Rabbi Walkin (my Reb- bi) was giving the Shiur, how could I? There were days where I would stay in Shul from 8am until 12pm learning, not realizing what the time was and that I haven’t ate or drank anything.

After vacation, I would brag to every friend of mine about the “new Rabbi I met”, when I told my Rebbeim, they told me of how he and his father helped the Bukharian commu- nity to grow spiritually and how much of Great Rebbeim they were.

When Rebbi visited my school, it was the happiest moment I had that year. I had the opportunity to show my class who he was and they were startled. When he saw me, his face shined with happiness and Rebbi pointed me out and said in front of the entire high school “This is my boy, my boy is here, this is my boy” he made me feel special treated me as if I were his own.


At the time of
the Siyum
HaShas I
heard Rebbi
was giving a
Daf Yomi Shi-
ur and from
that day on I
took upon my-
self to go
every night to
the Shiur. The
first night on my way to the Shiur I was thinking about the Siyum I would be making in 7 and 1/2 years from now and how I would dance with the Rebbi.

There were days where it was 10 degrees outside and my hands and face were numb, or I came home from basketball practice 30 minutes before the Shiur, I would quickly eat something and get ready to leave.

There were many days where I would feel so tired that I would close my eyes and when I was about to fall asleep in middle of shiur, Rebbe, with all of his intensity would yell the Gemara and I would be wide awake for the entire Shiur. Since I would sit right in front of him in the first row, every time he would see me space out or not taking notes on the Gemara, he would snap his fingers and motion to me to look inside or take notes.


I made sure rain or shine that I would make it to Rebbe’s Shiur. If the night Shiur wasn’t an option I would go to the morning Shiur.

Even though I was the only 16 year old in the group, he treated me like an adult worth a million dollars. His stories were the best, the ones that I can remember the most was “Ten, ten minutes to mincha” and “Meeting Baba Sali.” But every story was amazing whether it was about the “Chofetz Chaim” or “The Bais Ahron,” I enjoyed them all.

Luckily, I had the zechut to be able to finish Masechet Bera- chot with the Rebbi. Now that Rebbi is in a better place I will try in his merit to accomplish his goal, to finish Shas. Rebbi would tell my Rabbeim to lookout for me. He cared for me, treated me like his own. Just like he would watch over me and care for me here I know that up in Shamayim next to the Kiseh HaKavod he is watching over me. You are my Rebbi in this world and the next.

Thank you Rebbi!


Dear Rebbi,

Lucky. That’s the word that comes to mind 12 hours after hearing the horrible news that I will never see you again, my dear beautiful Rebbi. But why does the word lucky come to mind? If anything, the word should be unlucky. But you have always taught us to see the positive in every situation and the truth is:

• I was lucky enough to know you for 4 years and have the honor of calling you my Rebbi.
•I was lucky enough to have someone as amazing as you to

be able to give me the time of day to teach me gemara.
•I was lucky just to be in your presence and see what a true

eved Hashem looks like.
•We as a community were lucky to have you here for us

when you had every reason to be in Lakewood.
• Most importantly, we were all lucky to have you in our lives in some way, shape, or form because you affected all

of us in ways that cannot be said over in words.

Wednesday nights, 9 to 10 PM. I will always remember that specific hour every week of my life. It was the time where I was able to learn with you, Rebbi. You never told me “if you want to learn come in the mornings.” You just took me in and taught me Torah and what Hashem expects of me. You were exhausted by the time 9 PM came around from a day full of learning. You had every reason to send me some- where else to learn, yet you never told me, “no.” You made me feel special in a way no one else could. Rebbi, you al- ways told us that you were proud of us and those words meant more to us than anyone can ever imagine.

I’m sitting here by my computer trying to put the proper words on paper, but I sit here struggling to type because I


know that no words can do justice in representing who you were and what you meant to every neshama that you ever touched. All I can tell you is the truth. And the truth is that I miss you, and not a day will go by that I won’t miss you. I hate the fact that you won’t be there for my chuppah and the birth of my future children. I can’t stand that I never got a chance to say goodbye. I can’t believe you won’t be able to see what comes out of our project Limud L’chai (but I give you my word it will continue in your merit). It hurts that we can’t have the proper levaya, the likes of which you deserve. But I know you will always be watching over every moment of our lives, just like you did when you were here with us. And I know all the lessons you taught us will always be with us.

You were an angel amongst men. You barely ate food and rarely ever slept. You lived in a 4x4 room, throughout the week sleeping on a sofa chair while all you did was learn and help people with their problems. You cried for every Jew whether you knew them or not. Rebbi, you were a real tzaddik and I know you are up there with Hakadosh Baruch Hu right now. You taught us so much Rebbi, and most im- portantly, you taught us that there are a thousand reasons to find faults with people, but a normal person looks for that one reason to find the positive in someone. You taught us to just learn Torah and not worry about the rest. You taught us to love every Jew more than ourselves. All I can say is that I will try my hardest to do right by you and make you proud. Don’t worry Rebbi, we will be fine down here without you because we have every lesson you ever taught


us with us, forever. I know that we will meet again with the coming of Moshiach very soon and that we will learn to- gether again.
I look up to you my mentor, I miss you my Rebbi, I love you my Tati.


Rebbi was definitely a father figure to me. Everyday during dav- ening he would take me under his Tallit and cry a very deep cry, as if he can see through my soul, and what challenges I was going through. He loved all Jews so much, and it was a real love, not fake.

The one thing I will never forget what Rebbi taught me is, the most important thing in life and the only thing in life you need to do is ... to just do it ... you just gotta do ... you will be matzliach ...

I Remember the first time I ever met Rebbi I thought to my- self that this is not for me. After spending some time in the

Yeshiva and around Rabbi Walkin I realized that he was real and authentic. Everyone is looking for the truth and real. Rav Walkin will forever be in my Tefilot and in my learning. I love you Rebbi.


My Rebbi, HaRav Ahron Walkin, taught me how to be an eved Hashem. He taught me how to be happy and laugh from the heart. He changed my life, and anyone around him couldn’t help but be satisfied. The Rosh 

Yeshiva wouldn’t allow anyone to be depressed or unhappy. So when you came to yeshiva, you had to check your depression at the door. He wanted yeshiva to be where a Jew could come to learn Torah and be happy. Rebbi had an infectious smile that just made everyone instantly delighted. He taught me how to be happy, how to laugh from the heart. He taught me how to love every Jew with my whole heart. He taught me how to love myself and how to love Hashem. He was one of the people who helped me overcome the depression and the pain in my life. The one thing I will never forget my Rebbi saying to me is to be happy. His voice rings in my ears to this day. But, the most memorable memories I will have of him are all the times he made me laugh. Sometimes he would have me laugh so hard I couldn’t breathe. You couldn’t help but laugh when you were around him.


Following the passing of a Tzaddik, we come to know about his true greatness and fine character. We hear stories about his selfless and charitable deeds and become inspired to emulate his ways.

While it is true that following the sudden passing of Harav Ahron Walkin, ZT’L, we hear many amazing stories about his life and we aught to know how fortunate we were to have such a Talmid Chacham and Baal Chessed in our gen- eration. However, even when Rav Walkin was alive, people who have come to know Harav Walkin, saw how such a special, beautiful Neshama he had.


Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to learn in-per- son by Rav Walkin, but I continuously listened to his inspir- ing recorded Torah lectures.

There was a particular lecture, which I remember very well. This lecture like many
others was a perfect re-
flection of Rav Walkin’s

selfless character. The
lecture was titled
“What is Love?” and it
was delivered shortly
after the brutal
shootout at the Jersey
City kosher grocery
store, where three of our dear Jewish brethren were killed. During the lecture, Rav Walkin asked “who was killed in Jersey?” and responded that “part of me was killed.” Rav Walkin had unprecedented love of every Yid. How does one develop such deep love?

Rav Walkin quoted a famous story in the Gemara of a con- vert coming to Hillel and asking to be taught the whole Torah while standing on one foot, to which Hillel responded famously, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do to you.”

Why didn’t Hillel state instead, to “Love your friend as you love yourself”? asked Rav Walkin. Quoting the Ramban, Rav Walkin explained that it is against human nature to love someone else as much as one loves himself. By nature, per-


son is self-centered. However, with the learning of Torah, performing acts of kindness and doing mitzvot, the person can transform himself to become selfless; a change of “I” at being at the center to “us” becoming the center of person’s life.

Rav Walkin was a true Torah giant and as all of us know, he self-sacrificed so much of himself for our community. Per- haps this is what made him such a selfless person and al- lowed him to genuinely love every Jew and sympathize with everyone that came to him.

We currently live in challenging times. Rav Walkin quoting his grandfather, use to state that there will be two moshi- achs – one moshiach would take Jews out of Galus and an- other one will take Galus out of a Jew. The embodiment of mitrzayim is ingratitude. Hence, redemption is the opposite of ingratitude, which is always being grateful. Among the many of Rav Walkin’s students, I’m grateful to Hashem for giving me the opportunity to learn from Rav Walkin and the opportunity to emulate his character traits.

Another expression of gratitude we as a community can ex- press is by keeping the memory of Rav Walkin ZT’L always alive in any way possible.


Rav Walkin ztl was the most incredible person I ever met in my life. He lived with Hashem like a little child with his Abba and cared nothing about the outside world or its per- ceived reality.

He loved the Jewish people in an indescribable way and prayed for their well being with all of his might. He cried constantly because he was very pure and therefore acutely sensitive to the distress of others, and this empathy poured out of him every time he opened his mouth to pray to Hashem.

Through love, self sacrifice, empathy, conviction, deeply heartfelt Tefillah, passion for learning and teaching Torah, and leadership, Rebbi taught me the entire Torah.

He was a living, walking Sefer Torah, mamash. As a result, I was able to see how much Hashem really sacrifices for us, how much Hashem really empathizes with us, how much Hashem loves His Torah and His children. I had read about real Tzaddikim and their unimaginable levels of sacrifice and compassion in sefarim alone. Rebbi was the first, and only one, I have ever met in real life that exemplified what I had read in sefarim.

Rebbi taught me that above all else, simplicity and unpre- tentiousness were the keys to genuinely serving Hashem


and living a truly good life. This has left an indelible im- pression on me, and has changed me forever.

Rebbi was my Rebbi, he was my second Father, he was my best friend, he was my brother, he was my biggest support- er, he was my
guardian angel.

There is no way to describe who Rebbi was to me or how one person can do all those things at one time. Rebbi is Rebbi.

I remember to this
day that Rebbi used
to say "I am not jealous of anything or anybody except for one thing. (Tears begin welling up in Rebbi's eyes)...That Kohanim get to stand up in front of Klal Yisrael every day, and to bless them with love."

Rebbi never gave up on me. Despite all of my troubles with mental health, having no formal experience in learning Torah or reading Hebrew or Aramaic, Rebbi ONLY saw the good in me. He ONLY saw my heart. And Rebbi probably was the first to ever truly do so. As a result he gave birth to the person I am today. I could go on and on but it wouldn’t do him justice. He was truly remarkable. Hashem blessed me with the privilege to learn from such a tremendous Rebbi and person. I miss him greatly.

I am forever grateful to Rebbi and to Hashem for giving me Rebbi. I love you Rebbi, always and forever!


I’ve met Rabbi Ahron Walkin, over 13 years ago, in Yeshivah Ohel Simcha, at his amazing Sunday Chumash classes. It was an unbelievable experience. Surrounded by Rebbi’s love we all felt as his children.

This is how Rebbi treated people around him, with great love and sensitivity.
Rebbi taught us everything, in his classes he touched upon every detail of life. The words of Torah penetrated our hearts through the power of Rebbi’s voice.

Even when Rebbi was teaching Halacha, Rebbi was using multi-dimensional view at every aspect of Jewish law. This is an amazing inheritance from our dear Rebbi.
Rebbi was teaching us how to be honest and straight peo- ple, he had these qualities mastered.

It’s hard to believe that our dear HaRav HaGaon Rav Ahron Walkin is not with us anymore... Often, when I drive near the Yeshiva building, the place where Rebbi was giving his classes to his Talmidim and to the community members in general, I want to stop the car, enter the Bet Midrash and see Rebbi again...I say to myself – Rebbi is still here, he is here, what we’ve all experienced, the loss of our dear Rebbi was a bad dream... as tears are coming out, you realize that it’s not a dream. Rebbi is in Olam shel Emet and Bezrat Hashem, with the coming of Melech haMoshiach the Rebbi will be back.

We’re missing our dear Rabbi Walkin very much... his smile, his hugs, his energy and his positive outlook on everything in life. We love you, Rebbi, we will continue on the path you taught us Bezrat Hashem.


Rabbi Ahron Walkin was beyond any average human being. He was a gadol in all fields, whether it came to the most dif- ficult Torah concepts or just connecting to another person.

I had the merit to learn under the Rabbi for the past couple of years and not once seeing him without a smile on his face. He always asked us when he would walk in, " the beit midrash is a happy place, you need to smile”.

At times he would walk in and see someone not happy, he would look around and say " I think I've come to the wrong


place, where are the smiles.”

He would always tell jokes to get people to laugh and be besim- cha.

One of the many
things that always
amazed me was how
he learned Torah, he
always looked at the daf or the sugiyah in through many angles. He knew every aspect of what the sugiyah was deal- ing with, and this always left me in awe of his greatness in the sea of Torah.

We would sit and learn with the Rebbi and hear how he ex- plained and examined Rashi, Tosafot, or any of the great meforshim. He always emphasized the deeper meaning of what the meforshim actually said. We were able to see it simple after he said it then just what could be perceived from just reading the text.

How I first got to meet the Rabbi and join the Yeshivah was very interesting. It was the summer when I just came back from yeshivah from Israel and was looking for a place to learn in Queens. I heard from a few friends that there was this new yeshivah that just opened up that summer under the leadership of the Rav, Rabbi Ahron Walkin, and that he was an unbelievable Rebbi to learn from. I didn't know who


he was at all and actually was thinking of already signing up to another yeshivah to learn. However I decided to at least check out the Yeshivah and meet this great Rabbi that I've been told so much about.

When I walked in to the yeshivah with one of my friends, the second Rebbi saw me, he gave me a huge smile and said “Hi”, and began the shiur. I was amazed.

For 3 years that I merited to learn under Rebbi. There are no words capable of describing how amazing he was.

For us every second of being around his gadlut a lot can was learned. One of the few things I feel that I have learned and grown from Rebbi is having a whole different view and ap- preciation towards learning Torah.

Rebbi always taught us how to be healthy in our Avodat HaShem. By learning Mesilat Yesharim with him we saw how he knew how to break it up and explain everything so clear and beautifully. His explanation would be on our level and penetrate our hearts.

He will be forever missed, and always feel his void in our hearts. Bezrat Hashem we should meet again after coming of Moshiach.


I want to thank
Hakadosh Baruch
Hu for blessing
me with the priv-
ilege of knowing
and being in the
presence of our
precious holy and
brilliant Rebbi,
Harav Ahron
Walkin Zt”l. We were and still are engulfed in the bright light of the modern day Torah giant. He knew everything and cared for everyone. He would cry to Hashem to have mercy and compassion on all his students, congregants, and all of the Jews who were in struggle and suffering.

We greatly miss the light that would shine from his face when he would smile, the kind and funny word that instant- ly lifted up our mood. He was a fatherly figure to many, something that was exactly missing for some. We all wit- nessed how Rebbi had an endless grasp of holy Torah knowledge. He taught us priceless years of lessons in hours. Every class was like Gan Eden soaking in the Deep and holy wisdom of Hashem.

In the 18 months that that I spent together learning Torah we had learned so much. The Rav would shower us daily with words of Maran Rav Ovadya Yosef from the seforim

like Yalkut Yosef, Yabia Omer, Chazon Ovadia. His halacha shuir mixed with Yeshivish Pilpul was a combination of Torah brilliance that touched on all topics of Halacha, Gemara, etc. His weekly parsha shuirim were of particular artistic joy. It was like drinking the finest bottle of wine. Every lesson would make you intoxicated with spiritual ec- stasy.

Rebbi nurtured us through his warmth, humor and bril- liance. How lucky we were to have such a Rebbi.


Rabbi Ahron Walkin was a great example of how a Jew should be. His tremendous mesirut Nefesh showed what it meant to care for the Jewish nation. One such example would be how he commuted everyday from Lakewood to Queens to teach the community. He was able to teach any topic.

The way he would conduct himself was with tremendous derech ertetz and ahavat yisrael. He had such love for every Jew. His sweet warm personality would light you up and make you feel great. For me personally, he would make himself available to talk to me on anything I needed help with. There’s not enough words to describe what a loving and caring Rebbi he was for me personally. He would put himself in my shoes to help me with whatever situation I was in that needed guidance.

Every time I spoke to him about what was on my mind, he would always tell be “Be Happy”. The message I got from this is that no matter what, a person has to be happy and have a positive attitude in life.

I never in my life felt such love and warmth from any Rebbi like I felt from Rav Ahron Walkin. His passing is the biggest loss I ever felt in my entire life. Nobody could replace the amazing person he was to me personally.


When I set out to find a Yeshiv- ah to learn in for the summer of 2019, I didn’t anticipate to what extent my life would change.

I was first intro-
duced to Rav
Ahron Walkin
almost a year ago in mid-June and spent the last 10 months learning under his guidance in his Yeshiva. The day I met

him I was already swept away by his kindness and sensitivi- ty. I walked in, a bit lost, and Rav Walkin instantly wel- comed me and called me over to take a seat to join in for the shiur. Already I felt a wave of comfort wash over me and thought to myself that this might be “it”. As the days went on, Rav Ahron made it

his business to get to know me more, and this slowly led me to having a closer relationship with him as he guided me through life from so many different angles. It was under his guidance that I was able to ac- complish finishing my first tractate in the Tal- mud, Tractate Taanit.

More than that, the Yeshivah was more of a home to me and Rav Walkin was like a father. He showed sensitivity to each soul that stepped foot into the building and ensured that everyone was included and cared for. I have never met someone as selfless and caring as Rav Walkin, and I am so glad that I had the opportunity to spend all this time with him.

The Rav always placed strong emphasis on accepting every- thing that happens in our lives, and to always move in life with a smile. He would always say that there was nothing

better than the Yeshivah as “this is where the real world is.” The Rav taught me that learning isn’t a chore Chas Ve- shalom, nor an escape of any sort. Rather, he taught all of us that learning is the truest and realest thing there is in life. I was always astounded by how much the Rav did for us and for the community. To imagine living during the week in Queens, away from his family, so he can teach us is something so mind-blowing. He showed me what it means to be a person before anything else.

The Rav always said that we should “be good”, and he en- sured we got the message every single day. I know that right now he would only want his legacy to continue and that we should remain in a state of happiness and serenity knowing that Hashem is watching over us, ensuring that everything is for the best. Rav Walkin will surely be missed, but he will never be forgotten. Thank you Rav Ahron for everything you’ve done for us, may we all merit to see each other again very soon in the times of Mashiach, Amen!


As I sit here and write about Rebbi so many thoughts, mem- ories, feelings and emotions run through me. I still can’t be- lieve he is not with us, not because I’m in denial it’s just that he was so ALIVE, so vibrant, so happy, so full of energy, purpose, direction, and action I only now can understand when it says that “a tzadik is alive even after he passes”.

My real relationship started with Rebbi about 4 years ago when he came back to Queens. I always felt I missed out on all the years he was in our community before, so this time I did not want to miss out.

What finally pulled me in were my friends, Moshe Sadayeb, my brother in law Yehuda Nisanov, and Yehuda Mishpatov. They were all glowing and they were all different. I wanted what they had, so I came. The moment I sat down in his shiur the Gemara came to life. He knew how to make it so sweet, and make you feel so special and appreciate the greatness of limud haTorah.

Rebbi would drive in from Lakewood to Queens throughout the week and just knowing how long and tiring this drive can be, I couldn’t imagine how much longer he could con- tinue commuting like this. And then BH Rebbi made arrangements to stay in Queens throughout the week which showed us how serious and how important this mission of his was. “We need to bring Torah to Queens” he would al- ways tell us, and he was doing it.

One day he came over to me and asked me if I was interest- ed in taking something on. I told him I would think about it. Two days later he came to me and said, “Tzvi you can think about it as long as you want but time is short in this world for too much thinking. Now you will start and leave the thinking for later.” It was a crystallizing moment for me. He taught me how to grab onto opportunities in life and not miss them because of overthinking. Doing it was one of the best decisions in my life.

When we would have our learning in the morning almost everyday Rebbi would see who is missing and ask where is so and so. Is he feeling ok? Is he alright? He would ask me to stop everything and call them on the spot. “But Rebbi, we are in the middle of a sugya right now can I call in a few minutes. And then he would persist, “please call him now, see if he’s ok, tell him we miss him here and that it’s not the same without him”. He wasn’t just our Rebbi, he cared for us so much, he was our father.

In terms of Torah, he taught us that learning was not a sub- ject that you “learn”. It is life itself. I still remember how he would go from making us all smile and laugh, and in the same shiur would cry the most heartfelt tears telling us how much he loved each one of us.

One of the most amazing things that he accomplished was to show regular
working guys it
was possible to

start your day with hours of learning and still be able to have plenty of time to make a parnasa.

How he would go from one shiur

to the next with almost no breaks was something I never saw. From the Baal Habatim to the bochrim to the Kollel Avrechim. He would give each one exactly what they need- ed. Where did he get the strength for all of this I used to ask myself.

When a person lives with his own problems and is dealing with his own situations then his energy level has a limit they are finite and there is only so much you can do. But when you are living caring for another, and thinking about how to help someone other than yourself that’s when you tap into that tzelem Elokim and can have strength and en- ergy that you would never imagine you had. That’s who our Rebbi was. He was a gadol. When it came to himself, a chair to sleep in, the powdered coffee we all remember, the juice one of the guys would bring him made his day, he wouldn’t need anything else. But when it came to us, nothing less than the best would ever suffice.

He lived, and breathed every breath for his family, his Talmidim and for all of klal Yisroel, caring for us and con- necting us all to the Torah Hakedosha.
Rebbi I will miss you so much.


Rabbi Walkin ZT’’L had a tremendous influence on me.
The major influence he’s had on me was the fact that he was always adamant about thinking and acting “normal and healthy”; that life is good and HaShem is The All-Merciful and His Torah is Amazing.

He was also always adamant about us always being peace- ״ואהבת לרעך ful and loving other Jews to fulfill the mitzvah

-Rebbi himself was indescribably welcoming and lov .כמוך״ ing. People would walk into his shiur for the first time and he would welcome them with such great warmth that they would love coming back.

His patience was unparalleled.
A little over a year ago, Rebbi set up a group learning with an Avrech in the kollel. The purpose was that we have someone to learn with the after Rebbi’s Shiur.
After some time, due to work, some of the other guys stopped coming as often, allowing me to learn B’chavruta with the Avrech. Baruch HaShem I’ve learnt a lot by learn- ing with the Avrech and he became a mentor to me.

The incident which stays in my mind the most about Rebbi is that once, for certain valid reasons, the people that spon- sored lunch for the yeshiva stoped providing lunch, causing the Avrechim and Bochurim to get their own lunch. Some of the people were not that happy with the decision and were complaining to Rabbi Walkin. I remember Rabbi Walkin said that this situation should be dealt with diplo- macy and there shouldn’t be negativity and ruckus. Through peace and shalom everything will be solved.

About a week or two later, lunch was resumed being served in the Yeshiva. I was amazed by that. Rebbi’s peace solved the whole situation in such a short period of time. I will never forget that.


Rebbi was a great influence on me and my family. He cared about every one of his talmidim as if they were his own son. He wouldn’t start the
morning shiur, until he

made phone calls to the talmidim that weren’t there yet. Reb- bi used to always teach us how important it is to be happy and posi- tive.

One of the most amaz-
ing experiences was when he made the talmidim collect for a sefer Torah in memory of the Azan family. I remember how by the breakfast, Mr. Azan came, and how Rebbi spoke to him from his heart, it showed us how much he cared for every Jew.

I remember when we had the hachnasat sefer Torah, people were amazed how the Bukharian commu-

nity collected money in memory of a family that they never met, and sent it to an Ashkenazi shul in Lakewood.
Rebbi showed us that it doesn't matter your background we are all one.

One of the last times that we were sitting with him in the Yeshiva, someone asked him, “ you have so many things go- ing on, and you don’t let anything bother you when you learn, how do you do it”? Rebbi replied “when I come to learn, my worries I leave by the door”.

Rebbi would tell us many times one of the biggest yetzer hara of today’s world is people talk about what learn and how to learn, and they don’t learn anything. He would al- ways repeat and tell us just learn!!!

People used to ask him advice on ways to live, and he would always say “ just be normal!!!” I never saw a man who was always smiling like Rebbi, and always made other people smile. There are so many lessons that we learned from Reb- bi. Rebbi will be missed dearly. 


I still can’t set my mind around the past few weeks. It seems like we are trapped in our houses, breaking our normal and forgetting that an outside world exists. Worst of all, Bezrat Hashem when we can gather the communities again, your wisdom and presence won’t be there to comfort us.

Our dear and beloved Rebbi sacrificed so much to energize and revitalize our community with Torah and kindness. I spent my Mondays through Thursdays with Rebbi for more than a year, from the time of Shacharit until nearly midday.

My mornings began with a smile from Rebbi welcoming me to the shul. This always
pushed me to daven
timely and with the

minyan, in which I
would observe the tears
of Rebbi after his pri-
vate prayer. Ending
Shacharit with singing
when called for and en-
couraging and thanking
the Hazzan for leading the prayers. Without wasting time,

Rebbi gave us insights of mussar, halakha and pure inspira- tion after prayers. Always starting with a topic, that in my mind I thought I knew well, only towards the end reconsid- ering of how much depth a “simple” concept can have.

My morning proceeded with a new program that Rebbi be- gan, the daf yomi. An area that I haven’t touched and now have committed to continue.

If I had an opportunity I would tell Rebbi that other than all the time and care you have given me, I wish I could only re- late to you, of how important you were in my life. Your hand turned the wheel for me daily and inspired me to im- prove my contribution to the world. Everyday that I parted from you, you bade me Shalom with a genuine smile and to stay strong. The only thing I can say is, thank you and with Hashem’s help I will stay strong.


Father and son. That is the way I would describe my rela- tionship with Rebbi. He literally took me under his wing ever since I came back from Israel, and we never looked back. From his constant check up phone calls to his hilari- ous jokes, he showed me what a true Rebbi talmid relation- ship should be. He never ever discounted any one of my questions. He never let me feel lesser than him or anyone at the Yeshiva, which always blew me away.

But the biggest af-
fect Rebbi has had
on me other than
the massive
amount of Torah
he taught me was
that he showed me
how to truly be
happy; and that to
be happy is not
hard at all. I re-
member how every morning he would walk in and ask me

how are you!?” And I would respond “great Rebbiיונתן“ how are you?” He would always look at me in confusion as if I was speaking a different language. He would say “I’m amazing, what’s the question??” This taught me life’s great- est lesson. What is the question? Life is amazing when you have Rebbi’s glasses on. He always had the biggest smile on his face, even when he had every reason not to. Being around Rebbi I learnt how to be happy in life, with almost anything that came my way.

There is one story I will always remember. It was a Thurs- day after first seder, and at this time he usually started mak- ing his way back to Lakewood. He had asked me, “Do you mind helping me pack the car?” Of course I said yes, (it was my greatest pleasure to pay him back in any small way). So, we packed the car and he was off to Lakewood. Around 45 minutes later, I got a phone call and it was Rebbi. He started

apologizing profusely out of nowhere. I was trying to cut

him off to reply, “for what Rebbi?” He said, “יונתן, I forgot to thank you for helping me out!” In my mind I truly felt awe for a person of his stature. For him to have been worrying about this 45 minutes into his journey to Lakewood speaks volumes about the person he was. He was so concerned about whether or not he gave his student the proper thank you. Reflecting back, I realize that Rebbi’s gadlus lies in the fact that he made everyone feel special and important, es- pecially his students. Klal Yisrael had a true gem, and now I’m sure he’s resting comfortably next to the kisei hakavod.


Rav Walkin was and is my Rebbi. In my twelfth grade on orientation day a friend encouraged me to go to the new Chazaq Beit Midrash program and that was the first day I met my Rav. His smile and the way he greeted me Besever panim yafot with a warm hand shake and a passionate loud Shalom Alechem! I fell in love with him from the first day.

He taught me just by being who he was Simchat Hachaim how good life is, how good HaShem is, what a pleasure it is to learn Torah and living with HaShem is enjoyable beyond description.


He had such a love for HaShem, Torah, and the Am Yisroel that he expressed constantly through his Shiurim and through his normal conversations with people.

He made me feel like a million dollars every time he talked to me. I felt really comfortable and loved by him. When I’d come to Yeshivah first
Seder which was on

Sundays sometimes once
a month sometimes once
a week, I was so happy
to see him and he gave
me such a smile I’d run
up to him, hug him and
kiss him on the cheek. Ah
he was unique to me. I
learned to be more lov-
ing and warm to people,
happy, and comfortable
and that Jews are
chashuv. He was a living example of a Baal Habitachon, he taught me that when you choose HaShem, HaShem will take care of all your needs. HaShem was and is real to Reb- bi, he lived with Him! That was very visible. I appreciated Torah and Talmidei Chachamim more because of him. He was a true example of Talmidei Chachamim Marbim Shalom BaOlam. Because of him I chose Yeshivah.


quickly went away and it was just a comfortable feeling af- terwards.

Before meeting Rebbi I made efforts to try and judge people favorably. But it was difficult. I see things the way they are and I began judging people without really thinking before coming to an assumption of who they were. Rebbi through his actions broke that bad habit.

We see someone dressed a certain way, we see someone say something and in seconds we can have an opinion and sometimes not the smartest things are said and done by people. We may quickly have a negative image of who this person may, or may not be, which is what the Rosh Yeshiva taught us, "Okay, such and such happened, but look for the good in the person. Sometimes, we don't know what hap- pened to the person before we saw what he did". He taught me to really look for the good in people, regardless of who they are.

Our Yeshiva like in any yeshiva, had people come in in the middle of the day from all walk in life. They would walk into the yeshiva, and many times cause many disruption. The Rosh Yeshiva was able to compose himself and keep or- der in the yeshiva, which was a big lesson for myself and I think for even the other avreichim, where you don't have to be quick and try to throw the person out or have him re- moved. No. You try and deal with him and if you have to ignore, you ignore. You have do what you have do, which is learning.


To all the talmidim he always told us, "You have to know how to read". It's really understanding what the author is trying to say. Whats the message he is trying to get across.

From my Rebbi I've learned to appreciate things more. To show more love to my fellow Jews. Rebbi was amazing at that. I remember around 2-4 weeks before we had to close the yeshiva due to the virus I asked him to pray for a friends wife. At the time I had no idea what she had but I was asked that we pray for her. So I asked Rebbi to also pray for her and like always he did. I wrote the name down put it in his Tefilin bag where he had many names he prayed for. A week later I found out what the wife had a serious illness and it wasn't good. I walked in the yeshiva that day asking Rebbi again to please pray for the wife as things were not looking very good. He dedicated the class for her refuah and on the way out he called me over to walk him to the car. Af- ter heating the story, the tears and pain Rebbi felt for the family, for the person going through the sickness, was very real and you knew he felt the pain. This was one of Rebbi’s many attributes. It didn't matter if he knew you or not and it didn't matter if the person was Jewish or not. "They're people too" he used to tell me.

The last conversations that I had with him in the yeshiva was a couple of weeks before Purim. Our family, Baruch HaShem, is growing and I was trying to find a second source of parnassah. Besides for the Kollel, and teaching at


Chazaq's J-Wave program, I also needed just another job opportunity.
I approached the Rosh Yeshiva about potentially working for another kiruv organization, doing something along the same lines of the work I was already doing. Rebbi under- stood where I was coming from, but at the same time he wanted me to understand that it might offend people that I'm working for already. He explained that I have to give tremendous Hakarat Hatov to Chazaq (which I definitely appreciate what they've done for me and what they do for me).

Rebbi suggested me to speak to my superiors and make sure that they wouldn't be offended with me going to another kiruv organization. Even though this is a mitzvah field, he wanted to make sure I wasn't going to hurt anyone in the process.

The last phone conversation I had with him, was a day be- fore his sudden petira. We spoke a couple of times that week and his whole focus throughout the conversations was how my family is doing, how are the other avreichim doing? He wanted to know whether financially, and physically, everyone was okay.

His compassion that he had for the avreichim, it was like no other. Even with everything going on in his personal life, it's like it didn't exist. He treated us no differently than he treated his own kids. He cared for us the same way.

Rebbi was able to pick up in an instant when something was even slightly off, regardless of what it was. He could tell by


our faces. You could fake a smile and he'd know it. He would call you over and make sure everything was okay and give you the time that you needed.

Rebbi was was not judgmental? I remember asking him for a couple of things that may have seemed off in some peo- ple's minds, but Rebbi didn’t treat me any differently after I asked the question. He just made sure I understood the po- tential consequences of saying certain things or doing cer- tain things and there was no judgment from him, which made it so much easier to keep coming back to him and ask- ing more.

I remember almost everyday he told myself as well as others around that what we have is just the beginning. We're going to build and make this Yeshiva a place where people want to be. It was never of a question of IF but WHEN would it hap- pen. He loved us all so dearly. Literally like we were his own kids. I had a few rough goings in my life and I came to him to speak about it and I knew he felt may pain as he began to cry. He was able to feel what we were going through while speaking with us. The love he had for his Talmidim was un- believable.

The love he had for Torah was surreal. We gifted him with a laptop to type his shiurim and it was set up in a way that I can access the files so I can help him with editing layouts and whatever else was needed. Many of the shiurim were being typed at 3am. There is an option that lets you see when the file was created and they had it at a rage of


3-4am. He gave us EVERYTHING he had. When I realized he was barley sleeping and eating I tried to get him food so he's have energy. He stopped me because he felt it was a tir- cha (bother) for my wife to make the meal. I insisted but he asked please not to do it. He appreciated everything we did for him. He was always so thankful for everything.

The Rosh Yeshiva taught us so much besides just Halacha. One of the key lessons was Hakarat Hatov. It was so impor- tant to him for us to be grateful for what others did for us. He'd led by example by thanking the gentleman that brought in danishes for us daily. The Rosh Hayeshiva used to take home danishes for his kids so that if this man came in later he'd see that his time wasn't wasted. He cared about his talmidim in Lakewood and would ask if it was ok if he took some of the untouched food from our Kolel to Lake- wood for the Avreichim there. Even meal Meal Mart who we owe a lot of Hakarat Hatov for continuously sponsoring lunch for the yeshiva weekly got a call from the Rosh Yeshi- va about how thankful he was for the piece of fish they pro- vided for him.

Another huge lesson he taught us was honesty. It was so important to him to be honest. Everything we did had to be honest.

I was had the merit to help The Rosh Yeshiva with anything he needed. And he made efforts to make sure I was ok with helping him. I was very fortunate to have this privilege and its something I'll always remember. I remember getting calls


As a close student of Harav Ahron Walkin Ztz”l, I am still heartbroken over the loss. Rebbi was my mentor, father, role model and friend. Rebbi showed me a whole new dimension to the relationship a Rebbi can have with his student. His caring and devotion was so real. He always spoke to the point and said it as it is. He would always remind us that the main thing was for us to be happy while we are learning


from the Rosh Yeshiva on how to edit some of the docu- ments when we just got him the laptop. He made sure that the time was really ok and even asked when is a good time to figure it out.

We can go on and on about the Rosh Yeshiva and how great he was but we'd never have an end. I do want to add that he gave credit to everything he was able to do to his Rebb- itzin. He'd say it every so often how much his wife sacrifices for him to stay with us. When the Yeshiva started he used to come in Sunday for his morning parsha shiur travel back Monday night and comeback Wednesday only to go back to Lakewood Thursday. Eventually he'd come in Monday morn- ing spend the week in Queens and go back Thursday. He could only do it thanks to the Rebbitzin. I want to Thank the Walkin Family for giving us Rav Ahron Walkin ZATZAL. What you gave us for free people wouldn't give for Money. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


and in general. He made it so clear to me that he only wanted for us to grow and enjoy our time in the Kollel. His humor and electric
personality made it

much easier for our relationship to grow. All of this made it so much easier for me to connect and re- ceive even more wisdom from Reb- bi.

I always felt that I learnt the most from Rebbi by just ob- serving his greatness. I saw how he cherished everyone around him. How he treated strangers who came near him. The love and care he emitted with his Shalom Aleichem. His constant smile and happiness was contagious. I saw how this gadlut instantly raised the spirits of all around him. All of this led to people wanting to learn more and overall hav- ing a better day. I realized the power of influence a person can have on others for the good, just by being happy and honestly caring for others.

I saw his strict adherence to making sure he said thank you to anyone who helped him. His uncanny determination to do what he said he would. I remember he would repeat “we will get it done!” And “ this Yeshiva is gonna be big one day” over and over again. It was so empowering. I saw how he


would come in after so much driving and teach the whole morning. There were so many times he told me personally that he was so tired and that he didn’t even sleep 4 hours the night before. I saw how the determination a person can make him accomplish so much in one day. The amount of work Rebbi did was above nature.

Learning with him and sitting in his shiur was so unique. He spoke so openly about the topic and sources we were learn- ing. He made the setting in a way where we can all join in and have a real discussion about what we were learning. He always said it as it is and always had the most profound way at looking at everything. He had the amazing skill of taking complicated topics and boiling it down to a simple idea the size of a pill. His power of explanation was phe- nomenal. He always knew how to say it in the way that per- son needs to hear it.

He challenged you but complimented you. He was a very real teacher. Rebbi was such a real person. I never met a person who would cry when speaking about the bet hamik- dash or about someone else’s tragedy.

It was so beautiful to see someone just share his inner feel- ings with you like that. It brought out the same good feel- ings in me. He would give His classic Chumash shiur and touch on such real life topics. He would get emotional just speaking about Hashem and Chazal. He would figuratively put his heart on a platter and share it with you and you couldn’t help but feel your heart connecting to his.


I saw how he connected to his students on such a deep level using these emotions that we all felt we could talk to Rebbi about anything.
My relationship with Rebbi was everything in one. He made me feel like his son. When he would reprimand me, I would never have any bad feelings in me because he made it so clear he did it out of love. He always joked with me and yet we had the most serious conversations two minutes later. It was such a dynamic that I wish every child had that rela- tionship with his parents.

The quote I remember the most is “if you are not happy in this Yeshiva, we will happily throw you out” and “ people are always looking for the city of happiness but don’t realize that it’s a state of mind”.

The incident that stands out the most is when I once went to Rebbi for advice. I was in a situation where I was in a conflict with another person and things were getting heat- ed. I needed to know how to respond moving forward. Reb- bi told me to keep calm and not to react with emotion. He predicted that the situation would solve itself.

remember feeling that it would be be very hard to follow that advice. Looking back now, I realized I felt that way be- cause I never thought it could be done and it was too hard.

Later that day, a random person came into the Yeshiva and began talking to Rebbi at the back table of the room. I was observing the entire time from the side. The conversation


Rebbi was a tremendous part of my day personally. From the moment that I would step into the Yeshivah until the moment I would leave I would feel that I was at home.

Besides the tremendous amount of wisdom that Rav Walkin zt’l had, his way to make every single person feel like his own was something that had to be experienced to have known.

He always had a smile on his face, no matter what time of the day or day of the week it was. Every single word that came out of his mouth penetrated my heart in an immense way.


began to escalate and become one sided. The person began getting upset and began hurling harsh words toward Rebbi. This went on for 10 minutes. Rebbi let this person insult him and chastise him for 10 min while Rebbi was quiet and nodding his head. I never saw anyone react in that way. Af- ter the person left, Rebbi called me over. He knew I was watching. He told me that what he did is what I need to do also. He really taught me by example and showed me that it was possible. His actions spoke louder then his words. His greatness just flowed out and around him.


I remember sit-
ting right by him
during an after-
noon drasha, and
the Rav was ex-
pounding on
what our Sages
explained in re-
gards to the cre-
ation of the
world. The Rav
explained how when Hashem created the world, he infused within it the trait of judgement. Hashem then saw that the world would not be able to exist without some sort of mer- cy, so he incorporated a complementary aspect of mercy into the creation.

The next sentence by the Rav was something that has a last- ing affect on my heart and mind. With tears in his eyes he said “What do we see from here? We see that Hashem really wanted judgement”. For a while I was trying to understand the profound meaning in Rebbi’s statement and I believe that I have finally understood it.

Rebbi was all love and all kindness and it was an almost impossible task to draw a few words of fire and fury out of him. With his statement I believe that Rebbi acknowledged that the true will of Hashem was to implement judgement and judgement alone in the world which was the opposite of Rebbi’s own personality. This is the exact midda of Rav


Rav Ahron Walkin zt”l was a very inspiring figure in my life. When I first started to become religious, I had the privilege of going to hear his weekly parsha shiur. Though at that time in my life I knew very little Torah I saw something spe- cial in Rav Walkin that I never saw anywhere else. I didn’t understand everything he was saying in his shiur, but I knew there was something deep in his shiurim that I didn’t hear from anyone else. I asked Rabbi Walkin many ques- tions about life and Torah. He always had a very simple, but true answer.

One day I was standing next to him outside on the street next to the bet midrash. He had just finished giving one of his shiurim and I said to him, “Rebbi I want to go to Israel.” He asked, “Why?” I said, “Rebbi I just want to see a tzaddik!” As humble as Rabbi Ahron was, he turned to me and said, “You want to see a tzaddik, here front view, back view, side view” as he turned front, back, side.


Walkin that I strive to attain until today, and that is the midda of Emet.

Rav Walkin would always say that it’s all good, and not only say it but believe it and live it. May we all merit to see you soon Rebbi, and dance with Moshiach and all of the tzadikim speedily in our days.


I started laughing,
but now I realize
that on one hand I
was taught a les-
son that a tzadik
is not only one
who lives in Eretz
Israel and hides
from everyone but
it could be one
who lives a regu-
lar life and dedi-
cates his time to
Torah and mitzvot. On the other hand Rav Ahron Walkin taught me that a tzadik knows his greatness. That was what made him so great, he knew he was on a high spiritual lev- el, but it never got to his head. He didn’t belittle anyone who was below him. He was like the Aron Kodesh, golden outside and golden inside but simple like the wood in the middle. Rebbi always taught us that that's the way one should be.

Many years ago I was privileged to learn in Eretz Yisrael in Yeshiva Marbe Torah in Bnei Brak. I had a very heated dis- cussion with my chavrutah. He said that the Chazon Ish holds that if you sit and learn Torah, Hashem will send you a shidduch. You don’t have to go out and look for a shid- duch.


I had a very big argument with him. I decided to call Rabbi Walkin to clear up this machloket. Rebbi told me I must do minimum hishtadlut. He told me to go to two shadchanim and that will be my hishtadlut. He mentioned to me his mother will be in Eretz Yisrael by his aunts home, who hap- pens to be a shadchanit for Neve Yerushalayim.

He said, “Call her and go to meet my mother, if you make an impression on my mother my aunt will set you up.”
I followed his advice and the next week I met my wife through Rebbitzin Henny Walkin, the shadchanit of Neve Yerushalayim. My wife later mentioned to me that she did not know how choshuv the Walkin name was until she asked her Rebbitzin to check my references. My wife men- tioned how I got to Rebbitzin Walkin thru Rabbi Ahron. Her Rebbitzin said, “If it comes from the Walkin family I don’t have to check the references.”

My wife and I saw time and time again that Rav Ahron Walkin’s name was very well known and respected in Eretz Yisrael. After we got married, my wife and I tried to get an Israeli marriage certificate. In order to get a marriage cer- tificate, apparently we needed to go to the Rabbanut and prove that we are Jewish as in Eretz Yisrael many Russians claim that they are Jewish, but really lack a clear Jewish lineage.

My wife and I went to the Rabbanut of Petach Tikvah. We came with relatives to testify to our Jewishness.
As much as we were trying to prove our Jewishness to the court, they were hesitant to believe us. They asked where


we got married. I told them, “We were married in America” I showed them a picture of Rav Ahron Walkin reading our ketubah. I brought it to the Av Beit Din and said this is Rab- bi Ahron Walkin reading the ketubah. “Rabbi Ahron Walkin????” They were shocked and told us we are ap- proved for a marriage certificate.

When I related this story to Rebbi many years later, he said, “oh yes I know them, they call me with questions some- times.” Wow, I thought we really do not understand Rebbi’s greatness. His knowledge of halacha was exceptional that even an Av Beit Din from Israel calls him with questions.

During my long journey and growth in Torah, I learned many new laws and customs. I absorbed everything I learned with a great desire to grow. Sometimes I would call Rebbi to ask if I should take on a new hanhaga I learned. His first answer was always, “Baruch, be normal.” This is what I remember throughout my growth period.

As I get older and wise I see being normal is the key to stay- ing humble in a world where many laws, rituals, and cus- toms are not observed. Rabbi Wolbe calls it “frumkite”, where people take on so many stringencies, they start to loose sight of the important part of ben adam lechavero.

One thing I really learned from Rebbi is that people need to be given kavod. There were many situations that required exceptional aproach, and I always consulted Rabbi Ahron before I would make a decision concerning kavod.


When one reflects back in memory of Rav Ahron Walkin ZTL one cannot help but pause in awe and wonder how such a great Tzadik and Chacham could exist in our genera- tion.


Rav Ahron Walkin was an amazing neshama, and was a self- less individual who gave so much of his life to the Bukhari- an community. He was a gadol baTorah.
I don’t think people appreciated his gadlus because he was so down to earth. He was an exceptional spiritual person and a kiddush hashem to everyone who knew him. He has a very high place in shamayim. I hope his family and his chil- dren know that his life here was very productive. He changed the life of so many people. Mainly he introduced them to the beauty and wellspring of Torah.

May hashem give comfort to the Walkin family and all his talmidim on the loss of such a special neshama. Rebbi you will be greatly missed in this world, but your Torah will al- ways be with us. There are so many life lessons you taught me.

Those nights I use to call you at 2 am you always listened without any complaints. You were always there for me. Baruch Dayan Haemet. We don’t understand the ways of Hashem, but all we could do is keep Rabbi Ahron’s Torah alive by learning it.


In my personal memory, if I had to describe Rav Walkin in one word, I would have to say that above all he encompass- es the meaning of Ahavat Chinam.

No matter who you were, what you looked like or where you were from Rav Walkin would give off an impression that it was you who were gracing his presence, not the oth- er way around. He had the incredible power to make you feel as if you are royalty.

Rav Ahron Walkin truly and utterly believed that every Jew he encountered was in fact royalty. I will never forget Rav Walkin or the confidence, happiness and Torah that he freely gave out to me and all of Klal Yisroel.


This still feels so unreal. Our holy Rebbi was more than just our Rosh Yeshiva, devoting his life to teach and spread Torah to people of all levels. Rav Walkin Zt’l was our mentor and very much a father figure to many of his talmidim who aspired to be just like him, an Adam Shaleim.

In my life, I have never seen anyone with such authenticity with their avodat Hashem. Besides for his mastery in learn- ing, he cared so much about every single neshama. I still remember that feeling of prominence I used to get when Rav Walkin would find time in his busy schedule to person-


ally call and ask why I am not in yeshiva, as he did to many others.

When the Rav con-
cluded giving me chat-
tan classes before my
wedding, he looked me
straight in the eyes and
said, “Yakhiel, just be a
mensch!” Somewhat
understanding Rav
Walkin Zt”l’s perfection
as a Yid, those words
meant so much more than just that. Furthermore, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Rav had an emergency and couldn’t make it to my wedding. Months went by and the Rav caught me at another talmid’s wedding, grabbed my hands and said “Yakhiel, this is for your wedding” and we danced a bit. This just shows Rav was always just mindful of other people, lifting the spirits of others.

The Rav had a unique sense of humor, jokingly heading out of yeshiva if we did not return a smile first thing in the morning, only to come zooming back in to start another day of teaching Torah. He always knew how to put a smile on our faces.

One of the Rav’s teachings that really stuck with me was when he said: “If you want to quote Rav Walkin in 100


years from now, this is what you should say. Intelligent peo- ple do not judge anyone because you just don’t know. No- body knows. If we barely know what we are thinking, how should we know what the other person is thinking?!”

The Rav went on to quote the famous Mishna in Pirkei Avot Do not judge your fellow - ְואַל ָתּ ִדין ֶאת ֲח ֵב ְרךָ ַעד ֶשׁ ַתּ ִגּי ַע ִל ְמקוֹמוֹ :2:4 man until you have reached his place. The Rav led his life by example and embodied this teaching, genuinely under- standing every single Yid and never passing even the slight- est judgement. His empathy and love towards others and was unmatched.

I am forever grateful to Rav Walkin Zt”l as his impact on my life will last more than a lifetime and His legacy will live on forever.

.יהיה זכרו ברוך


So many memories come to mind when I think of my Rebbi. Actually, he wasn’t just my Rebbi.
He was mine, Chazaq’s, Queens’, Lakewood’s, the Bukharian community’s, the New York community’s and finally he was the World’s Rebbi as well. Rebbi was able to juggle all of those communities. Each with their own joys, Simchas and challenges.


The second I heard the untimely news of Rebbi’s passing one saying linked to the passing of many other Gedolim

popped up in my head. ״נפלה עטרת ראשינו״ “The crown jewel has fallen off of our heads.”

Myself, like many of his students feel a certain sense of con- fusion of where we’ll turn to next as Rebbi was simply unique and irreplaceable.

The style of teaching, the warmth, the love, the care and the knowledge was unparalleled.
For me, Rebbi was the epitome of a Gadol Hador and his humility was a real treat for us to see.

As a personal experience I was always mind blown when I woke up to a Phone call from Rebbi reminding me that I was a few minutes late for Shacharit and that he wanted to see me. I know that countless amounts of people reached out to Rebbi daily about all their trials and tribulations which affected him deeply, yet he still thought about me and why I was late to Shul.

Rebbi taught us so much. Namely how to develop real love for another Jew. In hindsight every moment I spent with Rebbi I cherish as gold. The world has big shoes to fill. I hope and pray that Rebbi continues to watch over us from Shamayim and we have the Siyata Dishmaya to carry on.

I greatly look forward for Moshiach’s arrival so I can learn with my Rebbi once more. May he arrive speedily in our


days and may the world not see any more Tzarot. My thoughts are always with Rebbi’s beautiful family. A tremendous thank you to Rebbi’s wife Dr. Yaffa Walkin for her incredible sacrifice for letting the Rav stay with us.

In quote of Rabbi Akiva ״שלי ושלכם שלה״ our Torah is in her merit.
Thank you.
Forever your Talmid,


I walked in to greet my friend that I haven’t seen in a while (since I was in Yeshiva in Israel) and as I walk in the Yeshiva I felt a bright aura.

I’ve never seen any Yeshiva like Rabbi Walkin’s, where the pure purpose of the Yeshiva was just Torah, and nothing but Torah.
I didn’t matter where you were in life, Rabbi Walkin had a place for you in his

big heart.

Everyday I would walk into Yeshiva, no matter what time I came or what I was wear-


ing he always greeted me and everyone with the brightest smile that can change anyones mood.

I remember days when I was going through difficulties and state of confusion, and Rabbi Walkin was personally there for me, answering my questions and always guiding me with whatever I needed. He was the one that anyone can go to and ask or say anything and not feel that he would judge you. That in my opinion is what’s a true Yid is, he fully andואהבתה בערך beyond his capability fulfilled the Mitzvah of .כמוך

Now that he’s gone I just don’t know...

One thing I know is that he put His entire heart and more for our Bukharian community. It wasn’t his community, and we don’t share the same Minhagim, but he didn’t care, all he cared about was giving the most love, and the success of helping us become a true Ben Torah.

When I was asked to include a personal story with him, there was a Million thoughts flying around my head, all the stories he told us over about his life all the smiles he’s given, and all the love and acceptance as well, and of course can’t go with out mentioning all the Torah he gave us.

The memory, and that day when I saw him for the last time lingered and stood bold in my head.

We used to have our own private debates about why are we still in America, and not in Israel. I would always ask why


don’t we take a leap forward and jump in the water like tribe Yehuda did before the Splitting of the Yam Suf.

For over a year and half I would ask him this question and he would give me reasons why it’s not the time yet.

Last time I visited the yeshiva, I said in a jokingly but in a serious manner that it’s time to go to Israel. He looked at me with the most serious look that I have ever seen and nodded his head and said yes it may be the time.

I was completely thrown off guard, and I didn’t know that I was going to get that answer, especially with the look he gave me. I can never forget the last time I saw Rabbi Walkin.

If there’s one thing I can say is that we should all try to em- ulate Rabbi Walkin and his love for another Jew no matter what, to push boundaries for the love of a Jew, for the sake of the Torah, and for HaShem


“What I learned from my Rebbi”
A Rebbi is way more than someone who teaches you pshat in a sugya. Our Rebbi Harav Ahron Walkin zt”l is someone who left a deep impact on all of us. We had the privilege to experience first hand what true ahavat yisrael is and the


value of avoiding machlokes at all costs.

I once watched a per-
son walk into the
Yeshiva, complaining
to a few of the Kollel
members and eventu-
ally made his way to
the back where Rebbi
was learning. I looked up to see how Rebbi would handle the situation and was amazed at how quickly and gracefully he calmed the man down. What began as an accusation and harsh tone ended with an appreciative thank you and a peaceful conclusion. He had a way about him.

When he gave musar it was never in a manner where he was looking down at those he was speaking to. His method was very subtle but the point was driven home.
Rebbi would constantly remind us to just learn and be hap- py. Never to be involved in politics!

Rebbi was always able to joke and laugh with his talmidim. He connected so deeply to those around him that he would even cry with them. This same Rebbi was up late nights preparing shiurim and doing his own learning. I never real- ized he was up so late and was pushing so hard. Not leshem kavod rather leshem shamayim.


This world without Rebbi is so surreal and I cannot believe he was called to the yeshiva shel maala so soon. Deep down I know that Rebbi went up as a protection for the genera- tion. May our dear Rebbi stand in prayer in front of Hashem for his family, his students, and for all Am Yisrael.

יהי רצון שיעמוד בתפילה למען משפחתו, תלמידיו, ולמען כל עם ישראל


This world without Rebbi is so surreal and I cannot believe he was called to the yeshiva shel maala so soon. Deep down I know that Rebbi went up as a protection for the genera- tion. May our dear Rebbi stand in prayer in front of Hashem for his family, his students, and for all Am Yisrael.

יהי רצון שיעמוד בתפילה למען משפחתו, תלמידיו, ולמען כל עם ישראל


The Gemara in Rosh HaShana tells us that the passing of a Tzaddik is equal to the destruction of the Bet HaMikdash. However, Rashi in Yehoshua (29:14) states that the passing of a Tzaddik is twice as tragic. The Netziv writes that HaShem wants Klal Yisrael to be on a high spiritual level, and if they are

lacking in a par- ticular attribute, HaShem takes away a Tzaddik who exemplifies that Midda.

During my short-
lived relationship
with Rabbi Ahron
Walkin ztz”l, I was
Zocheh to have a firsthand experience to one of his many great Middot, the Middah of Ahavat Yisrael. When I was


starting to teach in Chazaq’s JWave program, Rebbi gave me guidance that has stayed with me ever since. He told me, “Yitzchak, you have to make sure not only to love every sin- gle one of your students, but they need to feel that love from you.”

Rabbi Walkin didn’t just teach us about the concept of Aha- vat Yisrael, he embodied it. His love for every Jew was so strong that, during his famous Parsha Shmoozin, tears would be streaming down his face as he discussed the suf- ferings in Klal Yisrael. That is who Rebbi was, he loved every Jew and felt deeply hurt by their pain.

Our nation has been in exile for over 2,000 years due to the lack of Ahavat Yisrael. HaShem took away a Tzaddik who exemplified this Middah in this generation, and that Tzad- dik was our Rebbi. Our Rebbi loved every Jew that came his path, he loved endlessly and unconditionally. This is what drew thousands of Talmidim, young and old alike, to him worldwide.

The most proper way to continue Rebbi’s legacy is by in- creasing our love for one another, and this way we will be Zocheh to the coming of Mashiach, Amen!


I have heard the name Rabbi Walkin many times before I learned under him. I knew that in Queens many of the Ra- banim I knew learned by him. Many would tell me very in- teresting things in his name that made me wonder who he really was. But at the time Rav Walkin was in Lakewood and the possibility of me ever getting to know him was very far. It seemed that the era of Rav Walkin in Queens was be- hind me.

That all changed when I heard Rav Walkin was going to be head- ing a Kollel under the current Yeshiva that was functioning.

I quickly signed up and didn’t regret it for a day.

When I got to know him I realized this was the most intelli- gent man I’ve ever met. I was able to have a conversation on any topic.

I would sit there mesmerized and switching the topic from one conversation to another. I knew I had finally found a Rebbi. I was able to bring up the most taboo topic and can have a healthy discussion about it. He had vast knowledge on any topic.


He used to constantly teach us “Don’t be a baal shita. Learn everybody and everything. Love all jews.”

I once asked what does Rebbi say about a certain set of Se- forim that didn’t want to quote Rav Ovadia Yosef psakim de- liberately. He couldn’t believe that there would be such a thing. He refused to believe that someone can do such a thing.

He later made his own research and was told the same. He

quipped: “It Doesn’t make sense how you talk against someone who knows more than you”.

In his small room that he stayed in Queens, Rebbi made himself a sanctuary. He wanted the avrechim to arrange that he should have every single Sefer Rav Ovadia Yosef and his sons wrote. He was later gifted a big framed picture of Rav Ovadia Yosef and hang it up in his room. This was Rebbi’s way of showing us how much he valued sefardi Gedolim that his talmidim relat- ed to.

He would use all these sefarim
to teach his daily Halacha shire
after shiur. Rebbi knew Rav Ovadia’s long teshuvot and would surprise even sefardi rabanim.


The humility of Rebbi was beyond my imagination.
Many times he would ask the avrechim as to how he can make the yeshiva more better and the environment more conducive. He didn’t need our advice, but his humility made him learn from everyone.

Once he asked me to look into a certain peculiar Halachic question which many seforim didn’t talk about. After learn- ing that a certain talmid (that used to learn under Rebbi a few years back) had written a Teshuva on it, he immediately dialed his number and as if Rebbi is now the talmid asked him all the details of the question. This was done in front of all his talmidim.

Rebbi was very candid with his talmidim. He didn’t hold back anything for he really wanted to teach.

A new talmid that was working part time joined the yeshiva and was quickly hooked. He would not miss reebbi’s shiur , and if he would miss it he would ask for the recording. He once remarked that just hearing Rebbi on audio showed how he was a gifted orator. Every word was chosen careful- ly and every concept explained. Even if the shiur was only given to 3 talmidim.

When Rebbi was very tired from lack of sleep, he would ask me how was his delivery. I wouldn’t notice a slighted differ- ence. To him it was a work of art and had to be perfect.


When the idea came up to get Rebbi’s Shiurim to be typed up some talmidim were asked to write it up. When Rebbi saw that it wasn’t up to his speed, he decided to do it himself.

He quickly learned how to type. I was shocked to see how someone who has never typed before, is typing a few articles a week. Eventually some generous sponsor got Rebbi a personal laptop so he can start to type his shi- urim.

He would type Kollel level shiurim at about 3-4 in the morn- ing. Sometimes the Mareh Makom was off by Seif or so, Rebbi would apologize saying that he typed it all up by memory at 3-4AM.

It was really hard to believe that so many sources can be quoted and typed up from memory.

Rebbi accomplished more in his lifetime than anyone else older than him.
He barely slept. He didn’t have a bed in the apartment. He slept on a recliner sofa. When I asked him why, he replied that its easier to get back to learning in that position then if he would be laying in bed. I understood that he never offi-


cially “slept”, just dozed and when awoken got back into learning.

He didn’t sleep all night, and many times would relate to me that he only slept about 2 hours the night before. I didn’t under- stand how someone with so little sleep can give shiurim like a ma- chine non stop. He literally didn’t stop giving shiur. He barely had time to put food in his mouth for breakfast.

His seder hayom in the yeshiva would be Shaharit (which he would show up the first), and immediately after shaharit without wasting even a minute, he would give a Halacha for about 30 minutes.

Right after Kaddish, not having enough time to put away his Tallis and teffilin he went to give the morning daf yomi shi- ur (besides the night day Yomi shiur he used to give), im- mediately after that with no break whatsoever there was another shiur to the bale batim on any topic they wanted to learn.

Just as he would finish with them, he would call over the Kollel avrechim to give a shiur to them. By the time he was finished the time was already almost 1:30pm and Rebbi did this on 2-3 hours of sleep.


Nobody would be able to tell the tiredness on his face. He would relate that he had to constantly battle and fight through to make sure the shiur was as clear as possible.

Rebbi would many times forget to eat. He would feel weak a day later and wouldn’t understand why. Until he finally remembered that he hadn’t eaten in about 20 hours.

He would be able to find a common language with just about anyone.
He quickly learned what his crowd wanted to hear, and changed his Chumash shiur by adding many Mareh Meko- mot to cater to a Sefardic crowd in Queens to keep them in- terested.

If anything would be going on with his private life at home, nobody was able to tell. He put the other person first and foremost.

It alway made me wonder: how is this Gadol in his own right that was Meshamesh the Gedolei Hador of the previ- ous generation has time, patience, interest to speak to someone like me. To think that I had a chance to sit next to him and drink from his knowledge. What a zechut this was for me. Hashem gave me a present.

I always wondered to myself, doesn’t he have a desire to talk in lomdus, chilukim, gemarot, etc? Why is he dedicat- ing time to talk to me and answer my petty questions?


Anyone that used to pass by Rebbi’s table could but help to stop by and listen in to the discussion. It was alway fresh, exciting and something you never heard before. Something that was very unique to our yeshiva.

Rebbi gave us a glimpse to what a true European and litvish Rav was. Being around him one felt what the rabbanim of the yesteryear were like. He was not from this generation. Rebbi made himself ‘batel’ to the previous dor, and his Rebbeim, and even though he lived in our generation, the Derech hapsak, simplicity, being straight forward, was not from this generation. He was a true link in the mesorah.

Rebbi hated when people had agendas in learning and psak. He taught and preached to never have agendas and shitot. He would love an appreciate when someone spoke the Emet, and to Rebbi Torah always had to be emet.

Even though Rebbi was very loving and emotional, it did not effect his way of psak and limed haTorah. He was like a lion when it came to learning and would fight until the end to prove his point.

An intersting dichotomy.
There can be volumes written on Rebbi, and they should be written.
Rebbi will surely be missed.


A smile a hug, how are you doing.
He cared and worried about all people around him, not just his students, and what more it was sincere and from his heart.
Rabbi Walkin z"l was a very special Jew and One of a kind. His love and constant passion of learning Hashem Torah, was felt in everyone of his shiurim.
His genuine caring and love for all, is what we all need to strive for.
We lost a great Rebbi and role model.
May we all be zoche to see our Rebbi soon with moshiach

.תחיית המתים and


I was zocheh to learn under Rav Ahron Walkin ZT"L in his yeshivah, right across the table from him when he taught. I always found myself drawn in and also felt that I gained so much from hearing his words, whatever he was speaking about. Whether it be ideas of mussar, hashkaffa, gemara, or just him speaking to me, I truly felt like I was becoming a better person. Overall, that is surely what drew me to him as well as the Yeshiva, Rav Ahron's warmth, love, true tzid- kus, and how I felt I grew so much from listening to him, speaking to him, and just being in his presence.


In פרקי אבות א:יב it says
ֱהֵוי ִמ ַתּ ְל ִמי ָדיו ֶשׁל אַ ֲהרֹן, אוֹ ֵהב ָשׁלוֹם ְורוֹ ֵדף ָשׁלוֹם, אוֹ ֵהב ֶאת ַה ְבִּריּוֹת וּ ְמ ָקְר ָבן , ַל תּ וֹ ָר ה

"be of the students of Ahron, love peace, chase after peace, love the creations, and bring them close to Torah". I heard

once in a shiur a pshat on אֹוהֵב ֶאת הַבְּרִּיֹות. How do you come to fulfill this,
to love people?
Sometimes it is diffi-

cult because they
may have wronged
you or not done
enough good, or
even you don't have
anything to do with
them. So how do
you love all people? The Tosfos Yom Tov (and similarly in the Medrash Shmuel) says that the specific wording used as ,' ְבּ ִריּוֹת' is the key. If you think of them as אוֹ ֵהב ֶאת ַה ְבּ ִריּוֹת creations of Hashem, then you can love them all. If they were created by Hashem and Hashem sees them to be fit- ting enough to be in the world at this second, it means they have a unique purpose in the world, and without them, the world and Hashem's plan is lacking. Therefore, looking at people in that perspective, as ַה ְבּ ִריּוֹת , you learn to not only value every single person, but love every single person, be- cause they all have their unique purpose.


My beloved Rebbi,

Besides being a tremendous, honorable, and profound Tal- mudic scholar, you were also the most kind and understand- ing soul I had met. You were extremely sensitive to every- one’s, especially a Jew’s feelings. I remember the outpour- ing of care and love you demonstrated whenever someone would tell you something unfortunate about themselves or their families, how you would literally stop teaching us and cry.

I never heard you say a negative thing about someone. Your ability to see the praise and positivity in each individual as-


tounds me to this day. I remember sharing with you an idea I had in learning Masechet Avot where “Reb Yochanan ben Zakai would recount the praises of his disciples.” I called you and told you that that Mishnah reminded me of you and how you always would recall the praises of your stu- dents.

Your response to whenever I asked, “Rebbi, how are you feeling today?” was “Baruch HaShem, wonderful, wonder- ful!!!” with a huge radiant smile on your face. No one could have ever told what pain you were hiding inside.

Despite any challenges you experienced per- sonally, you always treated your students as literally your own children. I still re- member the first time I met you when Yeshi- va Beis Nosson Meir started in September 2016, you shook my hand, pulled me in, and gave me a kiss as I quietly mused “No other Rabbi had ever treated me with such warmth.” I remember the first thing you taught us about how


learning Torah properly has the ability to make a Jew’s heart happy and about how David Hamelech was able to fight through his suffering and pain by being constantly in- volved in HaShem’s Torah—

I remember how much you would love it when I davened as the Chazzan in the Bet Midrash and how you would always find a new way to compliment me on it.
I still remember coming to you with my questions, thoughts, and sometimes pain, and you always managed to not only

share in my pain (נושא בעול חבירו) as you did with all your students, but miraculously lift my spirits, and encourage me to continue studying Torah.

Together with your family, disciples, and all those whom you influenced positively, I shed and will always shed tears for you my dear Rebbi. On this past Erev Shabbat, I stared at my Sefarim in my apartment, and started crying because I understood that my ability, love, and desire to learn Torah had been greatly implanted within me by you! I loved you as a father and would often call you to see how you’re doing or to wish you a Shabbat Shalom.

One thing I think we may all learn from you was your sensi- tivity towards others. Every time I’d see you for anything, you would always raise my spirits. I loved that about you so much. You truly exemplified the statement of the famous

דעלך סני לחברך לא——Hillel HaZaken in Masechet Shabbat THIS, said Hillel IS the entire Torah, while the“——תעביד


rest is its commentary. Go and study it” You Rebbi, lived and embodied this most fundamental principle!

,בעזרת ה׳ I will always continue studying Rebbi, and will

provide you with נחת רוח as I dedicate myself to studying and applying my Torah, and influence those I encounter positively as you always had! I hope and pray that Mashiach will arrive soon so that we’ll all see each other again during

.בעזרת ה׳ ,the ultimate redemption speedily in our time


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