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
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
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