With profound sadness, the Orthodox Union joins the entire Jewish community in mourning the passing of HaRav Matisyahu Salomon, zt”l, the Mashgiach Ruchani of Bais Medrash Govoha in Lakewood.דברי חכמים בנחת נשמעים (Koheles 9:17). “The words of the wise are best heard when spoken softly.” Since arriving in the United States in 1998, Rav Matisyahu’s calm and pleasant voice spoke to the hearts of our community. His mussar teachings raised the level of spiritual striving and avodas Hashem of our most dedicated and accomplished Torah students and scholars, while his community-wide addresses on contemporary issues provided incisive, practical, and uplifting perspective and guidance. In his personal life and manner, the Mashgiach was a model of dignity, diligence, personal modesty, and profound sensitivity, as he made himself approachable and available to an unending stream of individuals who sought his counsel and support. וינחם אותם וידבר על לבם (Bereishis 50:21). “He comforted them, and he spoke to their hearts.” His was a life of kiddush Hashem exactly as described by the Rambam (Yesodei Hatorah 5:11), “personally careful and deliberate, speaking pleasantly with others and sensitively connecting to them, interacting faithfully with people, studying Torah at all times and acting beyond the letter of the law without alienating others, such that all praise him, love him, and strive to emulate him.” Rav Matisyahu’s elevating presence will be sorely missed but his teachings and personal example will continue to instruct and inspire us to live lives defined and refined by Torah and its values. Yehi zichro baruch. May his memory be a blessing.