R Yisroel Sholom Yosef Friedman passed away yesterday, on his 95th birthday, that is. [My grandmother died on her 86th birthday, not that you care.] Not much is known about this quiet, unassuming man who managed the Ruzhiner Yeshivah in Yerushalayim for close to sixty years. He was the son of Reb Mordche Shlomo of Boyan-New York, and the brother in law of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, having married RHL's sister. Some years ago, when we discussed Boyan at the visit of the Boyaner Rebbe to Crown Heights for the wedding of his wife's cousin Nosson Gurary's child, Schneur mentioned him in passing, and dubbed him and his younger brother Yitzchok "MO lay people." "Yisrael has the personality, appearance and temper of a Rebbe," he said. "It's too bad he was not interested in the position. He would have met a fine Rebbe in the US," Schneur said. I guess what Schneur is saying is that he wishes that R Yisroel would have bucked the trend and had more of an impact in a much broader circle of Jews. What happened by him refusing the position was that we waited 14 years for a Boyaner Rebbe, who despite being an exceptional leader, moved to Israel and has no impact here, his accomplishments not withstanding.
I realize it sounds corny, using the term "Prince" just because he was a Ruzhiner eynikel, but what else would you suggest?