YOSS Talmidim Return to Their Roots
This past week Klal Yisroel commemorated Reb Yaakov Kamenetzky’s yahrzeit (1891-1986). Rabbi Mordechai Kamenetzky, Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva of South Shore, took Rabbi Rosenwasser’s 8th grade shiur to Reb Yaakov’s kever. Besides being his illustrious grandfather, Reb Yaakov was also heavily involved in the formation of the yeshiva more than 60 years ago, and his Daas Torah continues to resonate in the learning and hashkafa every single day. Reb Yaakov had a systematic approach to chinuch that included when to learn Alef-Bais, when to get their first Sidder and Chumash, and when to begin learning Gemorah. Reb Yaakov had a keen understanding of children and the learning process, and he inspired a generation of mechanchim to reach every single talmid.
One of the more famous stories is when Reb Binyamin Kamenetzky zt’l asked his father Reb Yaakov if he could lower the Mezzuzah for the y
ounger talmidim so they could reach it. Reb Yaakov replied that the Mezzuzah must remain in its proper spot and the children should have a step stool to climb up and kiss the Mezzuzah. “In being mechaneich children,” explained Reb Yaakov, “you can never lower the Mitzvah, rather you must raise the child!”
Going to the Beis Olam and davening at Reb Yaakov’s kever gave the talmidim a real sense of connection to the gadol who was so instrumental in their chinuch, and Reb Mordechai kamenetzky showed them how the legacy of a gadol can impact generations of yidden.
They also davened at the kever of many other gedolim buried there including Rabbi Shlomo Heiman, (1885-1944), Rabbi Reuvain Grozovsky (1886-1958), Rabbi Dovid Leibowitz (1889-1941), Rabbi Henoch Leibowitz (1916-2008), and Rebbetzin Miriam Freida, the wife of the Chofetz Chaim zt’l.
It is so important for talmidim to connect to the gedolim of the previous generation, and when the gadol is someone who impacted their life, it is all the more meaningful. These talmidim experience the legacy of Reb Yaakov every single day at YOSS, and they now have an even more personal connection to his legacy.