His Learning, Her Destiny| August 17, 2016
r. Boruch Liechtung may have been a successful businessman but his most cherished asset was his only daughter Shoshana. When she was still a girl he shared his dream for her future. He wasn’t looking for a son-in-law who would be a doctor or lawyer he told her. “For my special Shoshana only the best will do. For you only a talmid chacham.”
When Rav Yitzchok Hutner ztz”l suggested his prize talmid Rav Aharon Schechter as a suitable match her father’s dream became reality. They married in 1954 and her reverence for her husband infused her every moment. His learning his talmidim and his path to greatness became her pride. She became his wife he became her life.
“This was unheard of in those days” shared a family friend “completely unconventional.” Most girls were looking for a husband with a promising profession. But Shoshana had chosen otherwise. And not for lack of options: “She was bright educated musically gifted and personable. She had the world open to her. This was not a matter of circumstance nor a result of her parents’ decision. It was her pride her honor and her deepest desire.” Many of Shoshana’s friends married men of means — after all they would say we need to guarantee our future. Her reply was instant: She too was guaranteeing her future. Her husband’s growth in learning was her destiny.
Queen of her Home
“She was a queen” says Rav Hillel Belsky “there’s no other adjective or accolade so befitting. Just a queen. The Rosh Hayeshivah was the king and she his wife of royalty.” The children would observe their mother’s total devotion to their father and absorb the essence of true kavod haTorah — not merely respecting her husband’s wishes but venerating his words.
Rebbetzin Shoshana’s absolute respect manifested in all aspects of daily life. Take meal times. There were no set times for meals or seudos. Whenever Rav Aharon arrived that was when the meal began. Talmidim often found the Rebbetzin sitting in her car outside the yeshivah waiting to bring the Rosh Yeshivah home. “Should I go call the Rosh Hayeshivah?” they would ask her. “Should I tell him you are waiting?”
“No no” she would say thanking them for their concern. “He knows I’m here and whenever he’s ready he’ll come.” She said this calmly and serenely without an ounce of impatience.
Her son Rav Mordechai Schechter shlita a rosh yeshivah in ChaimBerlin recalled how as a child he and his siblings would sit in the car ready and waiting to make their annual summer trip to the Catskills. The suitcases and boxes were all strategically pushed into every nook and cranny of the car and tied down to the roof. All was ready. But their father Rav Aharon was learning. With grace and poise the Rebbetzin would inform the children that it was not yet time to leave. “Abba is still learning ” she’d tell them. There was no tension or anxiety in her words. It was simple. Abba is learning so we cannot be ready. Her husband was learning Torah; nothing else was important.
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