by the Forward

Larry Rothwachs

Congregation Beth Aaron | Teaneck, New Jersey | 43 years old
Orthodox | Yeshiva University

Rabbi Larry Rothwachs is a tzaddik. To look at him, you see a handsome, diminutive, traditional-looking Orthodox Jew. He answers questions with wisdom and compassion, and when something is out of his area of expertise, he humbly defers to those upon whom he relies for counsel. Rabbi Rothwachs typically shares our life cycle events, as one would expect. However, beneath his classic rabbinic exterior lies the heart of a true “Lamed Vavnik.” Last year, Rabbi Rothwachs was solicited by Project Renewal, the organization that promotes live kidney donations on behalf of desperate individuals, to do a presentation at our shul. Not only did the rabbi give his okay, but he was also moved to donate a kidney to a local man who had been on dialysis for three years already. He heard an appeal on behalf of the man’s family, and when he was found to be a match, answered the call in the most personal way. He gave of himself, literally, to another individual—despite the personal risk to himself, his family and all those who benefit from his attention. We cannot know how many individuals have felt a call to action because of Rabbi Rothwachs. We do know that all of us at Congregation Beth Aaron and the broader community see him as a giant.

— Bonnie Eizikovitz

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