The 25th of Shevat is the yartzeit of R’ Aharon Yosef ben Mazal, Mr. Aron Laniado z”l, namesake of Yeshivat Lev Aharon and father of our beloved Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi David Laniado shlita.
We asked the Rabbi to share a few words about his father a”h, and how he founded the Yeshiva in his name.
“My father, R’ Aharon Laniado, was not merely the namesake of the Yeshiva; the entire Yeshiva originated based on his wonderful middot. First and foremost was his love of giving. He loved to give but, even more, he lived to give.
The secret of success in teaching and building students is the will to impart to them as much as we can. We, at the Yeshiva, feel that we are giving our boys the ultimate gift of life. If someone would see his friend in desperate need of help, he would certainly do all that he could to assist him. All the more so, when someone is spiritually lacking, we have to do whatever it takes, anything we can, to help him. Being able to give and help others infused my father with life. Many times, he helped people financially, giving them what they needed to get them back on their feet. Yet, money was not all he gave. He knew how to make people feel good about themselves, picking up their spirits with compliments, or, by telling them how much he admired them. This was my father z”l, always giving to others.
I remember once before a certain Chag that my father helped a destitute family by giving them a large sum of money so they could buy food and clothes for the Holiday. Throughout the entire Chag, at every seuda, all he talked about was how happy he was that the poor family would be able to celebrate the Holiday with joy and dignity. Their happiness made him happy.
Once, when he was living in Israel, he won the lottery for 50,000 shekels. He called me to share the exciting news. Before he said anything about his big win, he asked me: “How much maaser is taken for 50,000 shekels?” I told him 5,000 shekels. “You got it!” was his response. “I won 50,000 shekels today and I’m giving my maaser to the Yeshiva.” His enthusiasm wasn’t so much about actually winning the money; it was about being able to give to tzedakah! He just loved to give.
In our Yeshiva, Baruch Hashem, we have a wonderful staff that also live for giving. As hard as a job as it is, seeing the fruits of our labor—boys that are leading happy and productive lives and growing spiritually—gives us the strength to continue giving.
In our lives, it is our job to recognize and appreciate the constant gifts that Hashem gives us. It is also our obligation to emulate and follow Hashem’s ways and keep the world running by giving to others. My father a”h, was a perfect example of someone who truly strived to emulate Hashem’s midda of chessedand benevolence. May all of the Torah learning and good deeds that blossom from the Yeshiva founded in his name, Lev Aharon, be l’iluy Nishmato. May he rest in Gan Eden with his illustrious ancestors and the great tzaddikim, ad biat ha’Goel.”