Our Rabbi and the Yeshiva Students - Part 1

Our Rabbi related to every one of his students as if he were his only child. Even through thousands of students passed through the yeshiva over the years, each one thought that he was our Rabbi's most beloved. Our Rabbi would invest everything he had in any one who came to him. Even if many people or important people waited for him outside – whether for a class or a meeting – he would finish the discussion only after providing the student with what he needed.

Many times students sat in our Rabbi's house, hour after hour, until late at night. He was once asked, doesn't a certain student waste his time, since there are many students, and sometimes an entire community waits for him? He responded: "My wife also once said to me: Why do you sit so long with this young man, it is for naught. I said to her: I cannot separate myself. Someone who comes and needs me to speak to him, I devote myself, and devote myself, and devote myself without any calculation."

Our Rabbi knew the names of all of the students, and always referred to them by their first name. Each student felt that he was our Rabbi's student. It happened on occasion that a student would inform our Rabbi that he was leaving the yeshiva, and our Rabbi would burst out in tears.

When there were weak students in the yeshiva who had difficulty in learning, he would pair them together with stronger students and tell them: "Even if this holds you back, you need self-sacrifice."

Our Rabbi said to his students: If you see a "hanhagah" (practice) which I perform, do not perform it. I am not a Rebbe. Eat a meal with me because it is "seudah shlishit" (the third meal of Shabbat), not because I am a Rebbe who passes out "Shirayim" ("leftover" – there is a custom to gather around a Chasidic Rebbe and to eat his leftovers). (Romem Eldobi)