I am writing this letter to recount a moving incident that I personally witnessed. I am confident that despite the many anecdotes that you are privy to, you will be fond of this one in particular, as it is worthy of repetition.
Recently, HaRav Yitzchok Scheiner shlit”a, the venerable Rosh Yeshiva of Kaminetz in Yerushalayim, visited our neighborhood in Far Rockaway and the Five Towns. Rav Yaakov Bender shlit”a, the indefatigable Rosh Yeshiva of Darchei Torah, persuaded Rav Scheiner to address the talmidim of his yeshiva. Needless to say, the bachurim were eager to hear inspirational words from one of the Gedolei HaDor.
After his warm words of encouragement, the talmidim lined up to greet the Rosh Yeshiva and many requested a personal bracha from him. Many hundreds of bachurim filled the room savoring the opportunity to meet this formidable talmid chachom. After spending quite some time with them, and finding just the right words for each one, Rav Scheiner was able to enjoy a much needed respite from his activities.
It was at this time that Rav Scheiner shared with me his moving impressions of the talmidim of Yeshiva Darchei Torah and his even more profound observations of the leadership of this remarkable mosad.
The Rosh Yeshiva elaborated upon the manner in which Rav Yaakov Bender introduced the various bachurim to him. He explained that it is customary for the Rosh Yeshiva of an institution to give special recognition to the talmidim possessing special name recognition. Introductions often begin with, “This boy’s father is the Chairman of the Board. The next boy is the son of a famous Rosh Yeshiva. Yanky’s mother is an einikel of a Chasidishe Rebbe etc.” In contrast, Rav Scheiner explained, Rav Bender’s approach is unprecedented. Rav Bender’s introductions between the talmidim and Rav Scheiner began with, “This boy just experienced trauma during the recent storm, and he is displaced. Please give him chizuk… The next boy is a yasom, and must be treated with concern… This boy is struggling in his learning, but trying hard to make progress.”
As I left this event, not only did I feel uplifted by the tremendous message imparted by Rav Scheiner but also by the fact that I was doubly zocheh to be an alumnus and proud parent of a son attending a yeshiva with a remarkable Rosh Yeshiva, Rav Yaakov Bender, at its helm.
A Proud Alumnus and Parent of Yeshiva Darchei Torah