Monday, March 24, 2008
"You have no idea how much I miss the Rebbe."
These words were the last that Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum, z"l, said to a renowned Crown Heights Rosh Yeshiva two weeks ago. The two had been friends for over forty years, and had been discussing sichos of the Rebbe, amongst inyonei haklal. These words are probably not what you'll see in the obituaries this week, but they're true nonetheless. You may see others forget that he learned in yeshiva; they may just talk about his great accomplishments, but that won't change the facts. The little kuntres on the table further proves my point. Reb Eli was a talmid of Tomchei Tmimim throughout his late childhood and adult yeshiva life. He was a chossid of the Rebbe with all his heart, and had great tza'ar seeing what others had made of the Rebbe after his passing. RET's passing came as a great shock to all that ever benefited from any of his endeavors, and they are in the many tens of thousands. He had "mazel" that his passing was made public the same day that the world learned about the Dunner tragedy; since he'd probably not like all the fuss that's made of him.
HIs father, Harav Avrohom Yakov, z"l, was an old time Rav for whom both the Lubavitcher Rebbe and Satmar Rov, zt"l had great respect. Eli's friends tell me that his father was the go-between for the two, the shliach if you will. He was also what you might call a Ruzhiner Kano'i, a talmid of the great Rav Meir Arik, and a Kopycynitzer/Husyatiner Chossid. Why he sent his sons to Lubavitch, and not to Chaim Berlin or Torah Vodaas is anybody's guess.
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Yehi Zichro Baruch.