Sunday, October 25, 2009
Magazines these days like round numbers. 184.108.40.206.60.75.100. Even 70 years. This week it was Reb Shimon Shkop's turn. Soon it'll be Reb Baruch Ber, and then, in the summer it'll be Reb Chaim Ozer. All 70 years since their passing in 5700. The problem is that since there are books and books written about these people you need a twist, something new, some angle we never heard before. Or some new, never-before-seen pictures will do the trick as well. Mishpacha magazine (Hebrew) had some good ones this week, which we'll share with you today, as well as discuss them. If you'll allow me; I think the above picture gives us a short glimpse into the love that Reb Shimon had for his talmidim. I doubt if some big Rosh Yeshivah in his 70s today would pose like that with his bachurim'lach. Then again; this should come as no surprise to us, since RSS took the wandershtekken in hant and traveled to America for a long time, just so his bachurim'lach can sit and learn BeMenuchas HaNefesh and not starve, KiPshuto.
So what was the twist this year, you ask? Well; for one, this picture, the one with the Tzylinder. Yeah, they have a conversation with a talmid who's still alive and well, but the Tzylinder tells us a whole lot about the times and the person. It seems like some well-meaning yiddel told Reb Shimon "az in Amerikkkeh darf men geyn sheyn OhnGetohn, azey vi in Vilne. Mit aza shlappe vet men nit machen kayn gelt." Reb Shimon - who had the talmidim and the Yeshiva in mind - did what they told him to. You'd never see that today - and yes, times have changed, there's no need to dress up today when collecting money for Yeshivos, but the point stands. For some reason this picture is a "pirsum rishon;" others like it have been around for a very long time. The Kovner Rov and Reb Moshe Mordche Epstein both come to mind wearing the top hats in America, despite not wearing it in Di Lita. Yet Reb Shimon with the top hat never saw the light of day until this week. Which makes you wonder.... but it could just be that only this week did the owner of the picture decide to release it. Who knows? Trust nobody.
LeTovas HaInyan we bring the pic of RaSHaG with HIS Tzylinder, upon arriving at New York on 9 Adar II, 5700. Then again, he was no Rosh Yeshiveh...