Rav Aharon Schechter, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, was once heading home on a Shabbos afternoon after Minchah. As he made his way down a Flatbush street accompanied by a small group, he encountered three Jewish boys smoking cigarettes. Rav Aharon, still surrounded by his coterie, continued for another block or so when, suddenly, he turned around.
Some months ago, in these pages, I shared that a call had been placed to one of the senior gedolei Torah of America to inquire as to whether something submitted for publication was appropriate for the Yated.
At the time, I refrained from identifying the gadol, knowing that, in his great humility, such exposure would greatly bother him.
Last Tuesday, Rabbi Uri Pilichowski, a resident of Boca Raton, Florida, found himself in Scottsboro, Alabama, where he made a discovery that would send Jews all over the world with access to computer mediated communication into a frenzy in a bid to fulfill the mitzvah of hashovas aveidah.
There he went, the diminutive man dressed in his distinctive garb. He was walking the streets here on American soil, but he seemed to still be living in his native country, some 7,000 miles away. Head bowed, with a siddur in hand and his lips moving purposefully, he appeared to be in another world. His silver peyos framed his face and his distinctive black hat made him seem a bit taller than he truly was. He was unmistakably unique. His tefillah and approach to avodas Hashem were reminiscent of a world gone by, a time and place long forgotten.