BD”E – Harav Yitzchak Yaakov Sekula, Zt”l, Menahel Ruchni of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas

Hamodia is saddened to report the petirah of Harav Yitzchak Yaakov Sekula, zt”l, who served as a magid shiur and the Menahel Ruchni of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas for half a century. He was 85 years old.

Rav Sekula’s father, Harav Yerachmiel Yisrael, zt”l, was the Sadovna Rav, and together with his family escaped to Siberia during WWII. The family arrived in New York City after WWII and Harav Yitzchak Yaakov became a talmid in the Yeshiva Chassan Sofer which was then located on the Lower East Side. He later joined Bais Medrash Elyon in Monsey where he was the chavruah of Harav Shmelke Taubenfeld, zt”l, Harav Moshe Steinwurtzel, zt”l, and ybl”c Harav Avraham Yehoshua Bick, shlita.

In 1960, he was chosen by the Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Vodaas, Harav Gedalia Schorr, zt”l, to serve as a maggid shiur in Mesivta Torah Vodaas, and was quickly recognized as a superior Rebbi who inspired his talmidim to aspire to great heights through his clear and deep shiurim.

In 1978, Rav Sekula was appointed as Mashgiach in the Beis Medrash, and infused it with a new spirit of excitement with his presence and his masterful shmuezen, in which he wove a tapestry drawing from his vast knowledge of sources in sifrei mussar, drush and machshavah. He organized the publication of the annual Hamesivta, a journal of chiddushei Torah of the talmidim of the yeshiva which inspired them to share their chiddushim with the Torah world at large.

When Harav Gedalia Schorr, zt”l, was niftar in 1979, Rav Sekula was selected to be an integral part of the Vaad Hanhalah which led the yeshiva together with Harav Elya Chazzan, Harav Avraham Pam, zichronam levrachah and ybl”c Harav Moshe Wolfson, shlita. Upon the petirah of Harav Elya Chazzan, zt”l, in 1982, Rav Sekula was named Menahel Hayeshiva by Harav Avraham Pam, zt”l.

In this capacity, Rav Sekula expanded the kollel by personally raising vast sums to offer stipends to yungeleit, and oversaw the growth of the yeshiva. He brought in Harav Reuven Fain, zt”l, to say shiur in the beis medrash, which added to the growth of the talmidim in quantity and quality.

The levayah was scheduled for Thursday in the Sadovna Beis Medrash at 1424 51th Street in Boro Park at 9:45 a.m.

Yehi zichro baruch.

(Tzemach Glenn)

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