HaRav Zvi Bergman (son-in-law of Rav Shach, Ztz"l), Rosh Yeshivat Rasbi Bnei Brak, spoke about the fact that the greatness of a Jew is measured by how much he cares for Klal Yisrael. He brought examples from verses in the Torah about Moshe Rabeinu, who showed his compassion and was pro-active to help Klal Yisrael in Egypt and in their desert wanderings; Avraham Avinu who opened his tent to all comers and opened their eyes to belief in one G-d; the sun that lights up the world and is called the "big" light because it lights up and benefits the entire world, as opposed to the moon, which mostly receives light rather than giving it off. He quoted from his father-in-law, Rav Shach, who said that true Chessed is to work intensively to understand what the other person needs, and this was Rav Weinberg, he said with a strong voice. During a recent hospital visit, he said that all that Rav Weinberg was interested in was worrying about the state of Klal Yisrael, and what can be done to remedy the situation.
HaRav Neventzal, Rav of the Old City, spoke about Rav Noach's tremendous merit. He said that he lived up to his name, as Rashi says about Noach - Noach LeShamayim and Noach LeBrios - pleasing to the heavens and pleasing to the world's creations. His soul is passing on to the World of Truth fully loaded with Mitzvot and merit in unfathomable proportions, including merit from all the Mitzvot of his tens of thousands of students, hundreds of thousands of people he influenced to keep Mitzvot, and their children and children's children, for all generations to come!
HaRav Moshe Hillel Hirsch, Rosh Yeshivat Slabodka, said that Rav Noach walked in the ways of Avraham Avinu to bring close to HaSh-m, Torah learning and Mitzvah observance, multitudes of Jews. He explained the Midrash that says that HaSh-m hung a necklace of diamonds from Avraham's neck that lit up the world even after his passing. He explained that Avraham's voice and way of speaking was so special, that when one heard him speak, that person immediately became closer to HaSh-m. He mentioned the early years of Rav Noach, when he helped for a Yeshiva for Ba'alei Teshuva near the Slobodka Yeshiva in Bnei Brak, and how he completely immersed himself day and night, body and soul in that task, with his great talent for oratory and convincing arguments. He also spoke about what Rav Yisrael Salanter explained regarding building on the merit of our ancestors, meaning that our deeds are measured and credited not just by what we do, but by the effects that our deeds have based on the fruit they bear and the fruit of the fruit in the following generations, and this great merit was fully demonstrated by Rav Noach already during his lifetime, and certainly into the future, as his students and those influence by him, follow in his footsteps and continue to influence the next generations throughout the world. He spoke about the importance of emulating his successful ways to bring all the Jews of the world back to their Father in Heaven.
HaRav Chaim Uri Freund, a teacher at Aish HaTorah and a personal friend of Rav Noach since his years in the Mirrer Yeshiva, said that Rav Noach's life could be viewed in two sections, the second part, which is more known to us, "Eilu Toldos Noach," these are the generations of Noach, as the leader of the Yeshiva and pioneer of the worldwide Tshuva Movement over the last 50 years; and the first part of his life, "Noach Motzei Chen Be'einei HaSh-m," Noach was pleasing in the eyes of HaSh-m, the period when his whole existence, direction and commitment was devoted to learning Torah and to be pleasing in the eyes of HaSh-m. "I'm suffering so much from losing you, my brother," he shouted in pain. "We were brothers for 50 years, and I can bear witness to the fact that your exertion, drive, awe of HaSh-m (Yirat Shamayim), closeness to HaSh-m, love of HaSh-m, was your entire purpose in life." Rav Noach learning Torah using all of the 48 Ways to Wisdom that he spoke about in his famous series of lessons of the Mishna in Pirkei Avos, including limiting his sleep to 3-4 hours a day. He accumulated hours upon hours of commitment and devotion to HaSh m's Holy Work.
Rav Yehoshua Eichenstein, Rosh Yeshivat Yad Aharon, spoke about how Avraham Avinu was "Ivry HaGadol" - the great independent thinker, with tremendous strength of character, and according to the Chofetz Chaim, during this generation on he brink of the coming of Meshiach, each generation will have it's special messengers assigned to carrying out the task that Avraham carried out in HIS generation to bring Jews back and prepare them for the era of Mashiach by keeping Torah and Mitzvot. Rav Noach was clearly one of these special messengers.
Rav Yitzchak Berkovits, former spiritual leader of Aish HaTorah, spoke about how the angels wanted to sing Shira - praises - when the first man was created since it seemed to them that a new "creator" came into the world. Rav Noach was a creator, with creativity, consistence, truth, demanding of himself. He was like Avraham HaIvri - he was on one side of the river, and everyone else was on the other side, and slowly and wisely he pulled the generation over to his side. Fascinating, true to the core, we're here for Kavod of HaSh-m. Everything he learned had to make sense - he wouldn't fall asleep until he answered all of his difficult questions that came up during the day. The world is insane, and HaSh-m demands from us sanity (- by learning Torah and keeping Mitzvot - that's the only way to sanity). It was all so simple to Rav Noach because it was all part of his vision and genius. The material world meant nothing to him, only HaSh-m Will. He brought back tens of thousands of Jewish families. His face lit up, even in his final weeks, whenever he spoke about Kiruv activities. He lived by miracles and was worth of miracles. Just as he had caring and compassion for every Jew and for Klal Yisrael, HaSh-m had compassion for him.
HaRav Chaim Feinstein, Rosh Yeshivat Beis Yehuda Bnei Brak, said that as opposed to a fire out of control which spreads and spreads on its own, the positive influence of Rav Noach's work and life spread like a wildfire - Aish HaTorah - the fire of Torah - throughout the world to spark Jewish Torah-observant life into the dry, thirsty brush of the generation. "Naflu Giborim Betoch HaMilchama - Warriors Fell in the Midst of the War". But sons will return their fathers to HaSh-m, and that's what has happened and is happening. It is like the Midrash that describes a shepherd whose lamb runs and runs and runs far, far away from the herd, and the shepherd faithfully chases after him with all his strength to bring him back to the fold. That's how Rav Noach pursued every Jew, either directly or though messengers, desiring only that now sheep will remain lost and far away when Mashiach arrives, soon in our days. Rav Noach was such a thoughtful person, had no private life - all was for Klal Yisrael. Just last month, in the hospital, he said he had a Plan to ensure that every Jew in the world, without exception, would observe Mitzvot. In the Amida prayer, Tshuva comes right after Da'at (knowledge), demonstrating that it is even more important than physical health (which comes three blessings later). He revealed only a small part of himself, of his genius and wisdom. Most of that he kept for himself and those closest to him. He sat on the edge of the pit of Gehenom (hell), and physically and spiritually stopped Jews from falling in the pit. He didn't hold himself to be great, but he had incredible character traits (middos), and especially in dealing with other people. For him, it is okay to say Shira - praises to HaSh-m - on the day of his death, because, as King Solomon wrote, one who is "dressed" in strength and beauty (in carrying out HaSh-m's Holy Work), is joyful on the day of his death, (when he finally reaps all of the spiritual rewards that he accumulated during his life on this earth).
Rav Yosef-Hillel Weinberg, Rav Noach's son, said that regarding the verse "Avi Avi Rechev Yisrael ve Parashav - my father, my father, the chariot of Israel and it's riders," the commentators explain that the chariot is the spiritual aspect of maintaining the Jewish People, and the riders are the material aspect. He said that every Yeshiva needs strong leaders in both areas to maintain the Yeshiva, and his father was always the leader of both aspects at Eish HaTorah. He said that Rav Beinush Finkel, Rosh Yeshivat Mir, remembers how Rav Noach used to sleep only three hours a day - from 12-1 in the morning, from 6-7 in the morning, and from 3-4 in the afternoon. He remembers how when he solved a difficult Gemara question in the middle of the night, he started dancing around the Yeshiva. Over 100,000 names of people influenced by Rav Noach were sent to his hospital bed, and he was overjoyed to see the list, but he said that instead of eulogizing him, he wants each and every Jew that was influenced by him to make a serious attempt to become a greater person than Rav Noach himself. He often used to say, "the world was created for each and every one of us, in order for us to change the world according to HaSh-m's Will.
Rav Simcha Weinberg, Rav Noach's son, quoted from Chovos HaLevavos regarding the fact that one of the highest levels a Jew can reach is to instruct others in the proper way to carry out HaSh-m's Work, and that HaSh-m, so to speak, dances with joy and accepts with open arms every Tzaddik who carries out this mission. With his genius in Torah learning and understanding of human nature, he could have become one of the spiritual leaders of the generation, but he gave that up in order to focus exclusively on returning Jews to HaSh-m. He constantly repeated that all of his merit is due to his wife, and it's all her merit.
May his soul be constantly elevated and sit among Tzadikim in the Great Yeshivat Above for eternity.