Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

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1 Adar 5762 - February 13, 2002 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











Yearly Gathering in Memory of HaRav Nochum Abba Grossbard zt'l
by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Earlier this month disciples of HaRav Nochum Abba Grossbard zt'l held their yearly gathering to honor the memory of their beloved mentor, nine years after his passing.

The gathering was graced by the presence of distinguished rabbonim and roshei yeshivos -- many of them disciples of HaRav Grossbard, zt'l. The guest of honor was R. Grossbard's son, HaRav Shmuel Grossbard, rosh yeshiva of the Telstone Yeshiva Gedoloh in Israel, who made a special trip to America to attend.

One of the leading rebuilders of the yeshiva world after the Holocaust, R. Grossbard zt'l taught Torah to thousands of disciples in America, stressing character development and yiras Shomayim. Many of his disciples are now roshei yeshiva and disseminators of Torah in the U.S. and around the world. Every year his talmidim assemble on his yahrtzeit (Shevat 9) to honor his memory with divrei Torah and mussar.

This year's gathering was hosted by Kahal Tomchei Torah of Ocean Parkway, Flatbush. Inspiring words in R. Grossbard's memory were spoken by HaRav Shraga Faivel Cohen, rav of Ocean Parkway and a disciple of R. Nachum Abba zt'l. He said that the halacha requires any talmid to feel gratitude towards his mentor. "Our obligation towards Rabbeinu is especially great, for he literally stood us on our feet. We are deeply indebted to him for practically all of the spirituality that we are blessed with today, and his positive spiritual influence continues to be felt."

HaRav Cohen praised R. Shmuel Grossbard for following in the ways of his father and establishing a leading yeshiva in Israel, "for this was his father's greatest wish in the waning years of his life."

HaRav Shmuel spoke next, quoting consoling words said to him by Maran HaRav Elozor Menachem Mann Shach zt'l after the passing of his father. HaRav Shach told him, "A wondrous sign of his special greatness was the deep connection that his talmidim felt with him even twenty-five years after he left America."

The Rosh Yeshiva noted the high regard that HaRav Shach zt'l had for his father, and said that in the later years of his father's life, the two used to spend hours together speaking of emunah, yiras Shomayim, and contemporary problems.

The Telstone rosh yeshiva continued, "It is nine years after my father's passing, yet every year his many talmidim gather together and remember him. The reason is the strong spiritual tie that will not be broken, for his talmidim were like sons to him, and so he worried about them. This is how he treated every one of them, like his own son -- and no one forgets his father.

"One of his talmidim told me that once he saw my father whispering a prayer before entering the yeshiva to give the first shiur of the new year. What was the prayer? That he should have the strength to love every one of his talmidim no matter what the talmid's situation or behavior might be.

"He is not simply a memory for us. His influence is apparent on all of his talmidim, in every way that they manage their lives and all their spirituality -- whether they are roshei yeshivos and gedolei Torah or working men, for tzadikim do not really die. Their words and deeds remain and continually recall them."

HaRav Grossbard spoke of the Telstone Yeshiva that he heads in Israel. The yeshiva, which was guided by the careful advice of HaRav Shach zt'l, is blessed with a superb staff of rabbonim. The Rosh Yeshiva spoke with special fondness about HaRav Tzvi Shenker, a beloved disciple of HaRav Shach zt'l and HaRav Yechezkel Levinstein, mashgiach of Ponevezh.

R. Shmuel concluded by saying that in his father's merit, "Telstone Yeshiva has had unique help from Heaven. In the short time that has passed since its founding, the yeshiva has grown steadily and tremendously. The beis hamedrash is overflowing with talmidim, whose intense and dedicated Torah learning undoubtedly gives pleasure to my departed father, may his soul be enveloped by the Source of Life."


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