One of the few perks of maintaining this blog - other than interacting and meeting with so many fascinating people, of course - is that every once in a while somebody appreciates what you do, values your opinion, and wants to hear what you think about a certain subject/matter. If that weren't enough, an author or publisher will want you to read what he wrote and share it with the readers! Which is what happened here. We got the book so that we review it here on the blog. After several days of reading I finished, and can now share my humble opinion with you all.
For starters, Rubin did a very thorough job, going back several generations to find the roots of the Drizin family. Father, father's father, brothers, sisters, cousin, town Rov, and so on are all described in as much detail as possible, not much is often known. Mayore's Rov (which is why he was named Mayorer - from Mayore) was also an Oylimisher, as was the case in Chassidishe shtetlach all over Russia. Reb DovBer Pianko, HY"D was loved and respected by all, and considerable attention is given to the details of his death at the hands of the local goyim, who made him and example, as well as the mesiras nefesh - literally - that Reb Avrohom's uncle had to bring the Rov and a family member (I forget which) to kever yisroel. Even before getting to the story, much effort is made to credit absolutely anybody and everybody who helped make the book possible - from Zalman Alpert to parents and spouse, which tells you right off the bat that this work was one of thoroughness, and that what we have here is something that can be Oleh al shulchan melochim. I also think that the fact that the book was written by a rechter eynikel of Reb Avrohom makes it so much worthwhile; the love for the protagonist, the respect, even the longing for him, is evident in every page.
New York, 1950s. Reb Meir Itkin standing, left. Is that Zelig Levin sitting in the middle?!
I'll leave it for now and post this as part I, since I'd like to get this review going and not wait for the whole thing to be done before I post any of it. It makes it better for all parties involved.