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Life Lessons from Three Roshei Yeshiva

Thursday September 10, 2009 12:48 PM - 12 Comments

rav-avrohom-ausband-By KollelGuy
What do Rav Avrohom Ausband, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of Telshe Alumni in Riverdale, Rav Elya Meir Sorotzkin, rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva Gedolah of North Plainfield (Springfield), and Rav Elya Chaim Swerdloff, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Gedolah of Paterson, NJ, have in common?

They all have successful yeshivos, they are all tremendous talmidei chachomim, and they are all sons-in-law and (except for Rav Swerdloff) sons of roshei yeshiva.

rav-elya-meir-sorotzkin-2[Note: Rav Ausband is a son of Rav Eizik Ausband, rosh yeshiva in Telshe Cleveland and son-in-law of Rav Binyamin Zeilberger, rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Bais Hatalmud. Rav Sorotzkin is a son of Rav Boruch Sorotzkin, rosh yeshiva of Telshe Cleveland and a son-in-law of Rav Shmuel Berenbaum, rosh yeshiva of the Mirrer Yeshiva. Rav Swerdloff is a son of Reb Moish Swerd0lff zt"l (an adam choshuv  in his own right) and son-in-law of Rav Gershon Weisenfeld, rosh yeshiva in Bais Hatalmud.]

Most people in their situation would have just waited for an opportunity to fall into their lap. After all, with such yichus, the world “owes them” a royal shteler, complete with a frock and mizrach vant.

However, they did otherwise. They abandoned their “comfortable” positions where they were, and left to start themselves off, on their own, in unfamiliar territory, with absolutely no guarantee of success.

rav-elya-chaim-swerdloffWhy did they do this? Looking back now, it was a pretty smart move, but at the time it was considered perhaps foolish and risky.

The answer is simple, yet not understood by many. In order to be successful, one has to be able to operate on his own terms. You cannot be a person of significance in the shadow of others, bound to their rules and guidelines.

They all saw the future ahead of them. They were scared to sit still and do nothing, because that meant being restricted in what they could say, how they could learn, which talmidim they could take, etc.

And they knew that their potential could not be reached under other people’s rules. They knew themselves, and realized early on that their ultimate success depended on them getting out and starting fresh.

Everyone has within themselves the potential to do something well. Don’t stifle it by restricting yourself to other people’s rules. Get out on your own, and bring out the best things that you can only do when its on your own terms.

{KollelGuy/Matzav.com Newscenter}

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12 Responses to “Life Lessons from Three Roshei Yeshiva”

1. Comment from ME
Time September 10, 2009 at 1:32 PM

it’s more like this. they operate on their own terms, and are smart enough to know if they are not the ones dictating the terms they will sooner or later get into a machlokes. so they used their brains and set up their own shops, with nobody telling them what to do.

2. Comment from The YICHUS Police
Time September 10, 2009 at 1:41 PM

They all spoke it over with Daas Torah. You (KollelGuy) don’t know what your talking about!

3. Comment from Leibel
Time September 10, 2009 at 1:58 PM

They ARE Daas Torah

4. Comment from bais hatalmud
Time September 10, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Mr Moshe Swerdloff has nothing to be ashamed off although not a rosh hayshiva vhamavin yovin

5. Comment from anonymous
Time September 10, 2009 at 2:04 PM

He nor anyone is ro’ui to consider the cheshbonos of great roshe yeshiva. It is presumptuous to an extreme. I am not happy with his viewpoint.

6. Comment from !
Time September 10, 2009 at 2:41 PM

This has got to be one of the most foolish pieces ever featured on Matzav.com.

There sometimes exists a situation where a Rosh Yeshiva has an “heir apparent”; a son or son-in-law who is clearly marked to eventually assume the leadership of the Yeshiva. More often than not, the head or heads of a Yeshiva will have multiple children / sons-in-law who fit the bill. They cannot all be the ones to take over.

Thus, it is not uncommon for the sons or sons-in-law of Roshei yeshiva to open up their own mosdos. I cannot think of a single case where an heir apparent decided to forgo the chance to take over an established Yeshiva in order to open up on his own.

If there is something the three Roshei Yeshiva named in this piece have in common, it was the impossibility of their one day becoming the head of the Yeshiva where their father / father-in-law once reigned.

As I said, this piece never got off the ground!

If you really wanted to get the readership riled up, you might have pointed out that these three respected Roshei Yeshiva represent the new generation of “Briskers” who are not active in the Agudah and are not “joiners”. This allows them to speak the truth on every issue of the day and they are not tied to any particular “party line”. The current dor of Bnai Torah is looking up to these Roshei Yeshiva (led by Rav Meir Stern, Rav Eli Ber Wachtfogel and Rav Shlomo Feivel Shustal) and have stopped being enamored by the Agudah, its conventions or its public statements written by lawyers and balebatim and signed by Roshei Yeshiva who have long abdicated their daas Torah role to the party powers-that-be.

7. Comment from Yehuda
Time September 10, 2009 at 2:59 PM

Stupid, distasteful, and pointless article.
At least Mr. Kollel guy was smart enough not put his name on it.

8. Comment from also
Time September 10, 2009 at 3:42 PM

To #6:
I like your style. You “Teitched up” the current Agudah situation perfectly!

9. Comment from who cares
Time September 10, 2009 at 5:04 PM

whats the purpose of this story and who really cares

10. Comment from wondering
Time September 10, 2009 at 5:53 PM

How do you know tha they would have even gotten a shteller by their father or father in law??
I am not trying to say that they are no good i am just wondering where and on what you base your theory?
I do agree that it certainly was a good move for them

11. Comment from yankel
Time September 10, 2009 at 6:05 PM

who cares

12. Comment from r’ avrohom
Time April 28, 2011 at 7:51 PM

nice article although a bit random

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