Rav Moshe Twersky was born on the 15th of Elul, 5715 (Sep. 2, 1955) in Boston, MA to loving and nurturing parents, Ha’Rav Yitzchak Asher, Talner Rebbe, ztllh”h and, tlct”v Rebbitzen Atarah. From his earliest youth, he was tutored intensively with paternal devotion by his grandfather, Ha’Rav Ha’Gaon Rabbi Yosef Dov Ha’Levi Soloveitchik ztllh”h. That, coupled with the warm and embracing atmosphere of the Talner Congregation/Family provided Rav Twersky with the foundations that would serve as his springboard to a life of Torah and avodas Hashem.
Rav Twersky was internally driven by an unquenchable thirst for Torah and closeness to the Hashem. He was blessed with natural brilliance, but never allowed himself to become complacent. Forswearing physical comfort and material pleasure and always pushing himself to the boundaries of minimal sleep, Rav Twersky ceaselessly studied Torah throughout his life with singular intensity, industriousness, and mesirus nefesh. He actively sought out great figures – such as Rav Yehuda Zev Segal zt”l, Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, and Rav Yisrael Elya Weintraub zt”l, one of the world’s experts in kabbalah, amongst many others – from whom he could further his Torah knowledge and perfection of avodas Hashem and middos tovos. This, even when he had already achieved levels of Torah mastery and great righteousness that very few ever reach. He never stopped striving and growing.
One of his trademark characteristics was his unimpeachable humility. Rav Twersky grew, quietly and inconspicuously, into one of the gedolei hador, a scion of the Brisker tradition. His remarkable, creative mastery of Torah, exoteric and esoteric, was masked by his extraordinary modesty and self-effacement. He craved and, in large measure, preserved humble anonymity.
For over twenty years, Rav Twersky served as a Rebbi in Yeshivas Toras Moshe where he selflessly gave of himself – way beyond the call of duty – to hundreds of young, budding students. In addition to the incalculably valuable lessons in Talmudical analysis and the breadth of Torah knowledge to which he exposed his students, the impact he had on them – and on the Yeshiva as a whole – simply by dint of his very character, was phenomenal. In Rav Twersky, the students perceived a true “Rav who is akin to an angel of G-d”.
Rav Twersky was wholly unique in his exacting fulfillment of each and every mitzvah; his profound awe of Heaven informed his every word and deed. Exemplary in his middos tovos and practice of chesed, he lovingly opened his great heart and humble home to all. Those who came into contact with him – even on a very minimal level – could not help but be touched by his singular greatness. On the 25th of Cheshvon, 5775 (Nov. 18th, 2014), in the Har Nof neighborhood of Yerushalayim, wrapped in tallis and adorned with tefilin, totally immersed in heartfelt worship of the Almighty with his characteristic transcendent kavanah, Rav Moshe Twersky’s remarkable life of kiddush hashem culminated in his death al kiddush hashem when he was felled by a terrorist’s bullet. May Hashem avenge his blood.
Because Rav Twersky lived in relative anonymity his incredible lessons of Torah, ethics, and life were not available to the broader Jewish community. Although he shunned the limelight his whole life, the Almighty brought awareness of this as-yet unknown Gadol B’Torah to the fore by the way he was taken from us. Immediately, he was catapulted into fame, posthumously. Clearly, Hashem wanted all of Klal Yisrael to come to know this great angel amongst men who existed in their midst. To learn from his teachings and ways. And that is the primary purpose of Vayigdal Moshe. To comprise a resource center for everything about Rav Twersky. To make his priceless lessons available to everyone. By perpetuating the memory and teachings of this great Gaon v’Kadosh, we can bring inestimable merit both to ourselves and the neshama of Rav Twersky zt”l Hy”d.