7/10/2005

A Tale of Two Aarons

Baltimore, Maryland, Circa 1943.

A classroom in the old Talmudical Academy building, at the corner of Cottage and Springhill Avenues, in the Lower Park Heights neighborhood.

The highest shiur in T.A. in those days before it opened a high-school was the equivalent of the 8th-grade shiur. It was taught by the European Rav Bobrowski.

That year in particular, his class gained a reputation for being stocked with iluyim, promising young Talmudic intellects. Two in particular stood out.

One was a native Baltimorean, one of three brothers, in an established family in the Baltimore Orthodox community. Nearing the age of Bar Mitzvah, upon completing his studies at T.A., he would go on to Ner Israel.

The second was 3 years younger than the first. A native of Paris whose family did a bit of moving around in his youth, an only son, very shy and reserved by nature and a fan of baseball, he would go on to study in Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, celebrating his Bar Mitzvah during his studies there.

Both of these students went on to lead Yeshivot, and to become leaders and spokesmen for their communities.

Both, then, went by the name 'Aaron'.

The elder's last name was Feldman.
The younger's last name was Lichtenstein.
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