If you were told that one of the most prolific lecturers in the Torah world lives in the Five Towns, you would probably assume that such a person is a senior magid shiur at one of the local yeshivas or perhaps the senior rabbi of one of the larger shuls. But, to find such a person, you need to head up Branch Boulevard, past North Woodmere Park, to the Beis Haknesses of North Woodmere (BKNW).
This month, Rabbi Aryeh Lebowitz, the 36-year-old rabbi of BKNW, became the third person, and the first non-rosh yeshiva of YU, to post more than 3,000 shiurim on YUTorah.org.
Rabbi Lebowitz is also an eleventh-grade rebbe at the DRS Yeshiva High School (HALB). He is a native of the Five Towns community who previously served as assistant rabbi to Rav Dovid Weinberger at Congregation Shaarei Tefilah in Lawrence. While at Shaarei Tefilah, Rabbi Lebowitz was also the rosh kollel of the morning kollel, one of the foremost centers of adult education in the Lawrence community. A student of Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, Yeshiva University, and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS), Rabbi Lebowitz has published numerous articles on practical halachic topics in various journals, including several recent articles in the Journal of Halacha and Contemporary Society.
YUTorah.org is coordinated by Yeshiva University’s Center for the Jewish Future and offers more than 65,000 shiurim via webcast in audio, video, and text formats. Many of the shiurim on YUTorah.org are given by the roshei yeshiva of RIETS, while numerous others are given by alumni or rebbeim from affiliated institutions.
Though not an employee of YU, Rabbi Lebowitz has given the primary daf yomi on YUTorah.org since 2008. Rabbi Lebowitz also posts shiurim given at BKNW and DRS, as well as HALB’s post-high school Yeshivat Lev Shlomo, the site of Rabbi Lebowitz’s most popular shiurim, the “10 Minute Halacha” series. Geared toward students with only a short break between Torah learning and college courses, the more than 500 “10 Minute Halacha” lectures, on topics ranging from celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden to the permissibility of throwing Torah-filled newspapers like the 5TJT in the garbage, demonstrate both the overwhelming breadth of Rabbi Lebowitz’s knowledge and his erudite and entertaining speaking style. Many of Rabbi Lebowitz’s shiurim have been downloaded several hundred times.
When asked about his unique accomplishment, Rabbi Lebowitz responded with his characteristic modesty, deflecting credit away from himself and toward the numerous people and institutions in his life. He remarked, “I am so grateful to my wife, kids, parents, in-laws, and rebbeim for encouraging and enabling my small contribution of harbatzas haTorah, and to my outstanding DRS and Lev Shlomo talmidim and amazing BKNW community for affording me the opportunity to grow together in Torah and yiras Shamayim. And, of course to the achsanya shel Torah, Yeshiva University’s Marcos and Adina Katz YUtorah.org which allows me to share Torah with the broader community and more importantly, enriches my life with the ability to continue to learn from my own very great rebbeim.”
In honor of this incredible achievement, BKNW, in cooperation with YU, will be hosting a special learning program on Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, at BKNW, 649 Hungry Harbor Road in North Woodmere. The program will include shiurim from two of Rabbi Lebowitz’s teachers and mentors, Harav Hershel Schachter, rosh yeshiva and rosh kollel at RIETS, and Harav Yisroel Kaminetsky, menahel at DRS Yeshiva High School (HALB). Shacharis is at 8:30, followed by the program from 9:30-11:00 a.m. For further details or any questions about this event, contact Gavri Butler at email@example.com. For more information about BKNW and the North Woodmere community, visit www.bknw.org. v