Monday, February 21, 2011
Rav Yehuda Tirnauer, z"l, with a meshulach in the YCS lunchroom, circa 1959. The young man on the right, in the background, is Reb Nissen Neiman, Vizhnitzer Dayan.
The man who sent me this picture, sent it on the condition that I name this thread like that, "The Rabbi of the Homeless." At first we thought that this picture illustrated that idea perfectly, but then he realized that it was a meshulach resting on the bench after a filling lunch. I wasn't aware of that aspect of Rav Tirnauer, who passed away 2 weeks ago, despite me growing up in BP, and despite the fact that my zeide would attend his shiurim daily after he retired. But this is the case, apparently. In Yeshiva Ch'san Sofer on the LES, many of the bachurim were either born during the war or immediately after, and some had parents who could not relate to them. These boys needed a man who would listen to them, and RYT was the man. And that relationship lasted for decades and spanned generations, not just while they were in Yeshivah. Many of these men continued to seek and heed his advice even when dealing with their own children and the issues that arise with raising them. Which makes you think that maybe the fact that so many homeless Jews found a quasi-home in the basement of Shomrei Shabbos shul, where RYT was Rov, was no coincidence after all.