“Twenty years ago, when we traveled together to Russia, no one would have believed that in such a place there would be a total Torah revolution and rebirth. It was Reb Zeev Wolfson who put his life and soul into making this happen.”
Speaking at a siyum this week in memory of Reb Wolfson, the well-known philanthropist, Rehovot’s Chief Rabbi, Rav Simcha HaKohen Kook, recalled the days when teaching Torah in Russia was a dream that seemed utopian. “But thanks to Zeev Wolfson‘s personal investment, people who actually rejected Jewish values became imbued with a love of Torah,” said Rav Kook. “Reb Zeev Wolfson, z’l, made his goal to support Torah studies and set up learning centers all over the world, and his sons are continuing in his footsteps.”
As Rav Kook spoke, a crowded hall of Torah students at Rehovot‘s Meor HatTalmud Yeshiva paid tribute to the enormous contribution that the dedicated Wolfson made in carrying the burden of the Torah institutions worldwide. The students had taken upon themselves to learn all Shisha Sidrei Mishnah in his memory until the shloshim, in a fitting tribute to a great man.
The rosh yeshiva, Rav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook, added that Wolfson not only supported existing institutions, but opened new ones “in the desert,” in places that were bereft of any Jewish learning centers at all.