Rabbi Binyamin Eisner – The Shofar of Rav Kook

[Be-Ahavah U-Be-Emunah – Lech Lecha 5772 – translated by R. Blumberg]

Following much suffering, the pure soul of the great man, Rabbi Binyamin Eisner, z”l, has ascended to heaven. Who is a great man? One who recognizes the greatness of an outstanding figure and follows in his path. That is what our friend Rav Binyamin did. All his life he was drawn to our great master, Rav Avraham Yitzchak Ha-Cohain Kook, and he humbly used to say: “To speak of a great man, one must be great oneself, and since I am not great, I will not speak about Rav Kook. Rather, we shall attempt, together, to learn his writings.”
Indeed, Rav Binyamin devoted his whole life to being the Shofar of Rav Kook, no more and no less. He was a gentle Shofar, a clear Shofar, a heartening Shofar, a profound Shofar.
All his life he taught the works of Orot, teaching faith, love of the Nation, and patience vis-à-vis the Jewish State. All his life he explained, with infinite patience, “Torat Eretz Yisrael” – the unique Land-of-Israel-based approach to Torah. All his life he built Eretz Yisrael. Torah scholars are called “builders”. He built up Eretz Yisrael in the spiritual sense, by being a faithful emissary of Rav Avraham Yitzchak Kook and his son Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook.
Our thoughts are with you, our dear friend, shepherd, teacher and mentor. You had a great deal more to build and to teach, and enormous abilities to carry on with your work, but “the Sefer Torah is now hidden away”…
Still, Rav Binyamin remains here with us. All his life, Rav Benny taught. He learned and he taught. He taught everyone. He taught the great and the small. He was a Torah teacher in Machon Meir and in the Mercaz HaRav Yeshiva high school. He taught Hebrew speakers and English speakers, yeshiva students and students of pre-military yeshiva academies.
Yet he never spoke a “canned” truth that he heard from others or that he read from others. Rather, his teachings came from within him, from the truth within him, from the divine truth abiding inside him, in his heart, his mind and his entire personality.
A Torah scroll could be placed beside him and we could say, “A learned what is written in B. A fulfilled what is written in B. He fulfilled its mitzvot. He fulfilled its mitzvot through his intent prayers, his sterling character, his seriousness and his happiness.
He fulfilled its mitzvot with all his heart and soul and might.
May his soul be bound up in the bond of the living, with all the righteous.