Klal Yisroel Mourns

Nuffluh Ateress Rosheinu" (lobby of Yeshivas Torah Vodaath)
Poster in the lobby of Yeshiva Torah Vodaath. (Isser Berg/Hamodia)

It is almost impossible to gather our thoughts and put pen to paper after receiving such a devastating blow. The Rosh Hayeshiva loved every talmid in the Yeshiva. No one escaped notice.

Recently the Menahelim, Mechanchim and Roshei Yeshiva were zoche to spend a Shabbos away, together with our Rosh Hayeshiva. I believe that the Divrei Chizuk that the Rosh Hayeshiva delivered, speaks volumes about how Moreinu Horav Chaim Yisroel Belsky zt”l lived his life.

Below is a transcript of what the Rosh Hayeshiva said (on Shabbos), written by Rabbi Moshe Shochet.

A Rebbe has to do more than love every Talmid [even the difficult ones]. He has to also believe in each and every one of his talmidim. Even if the talmid does not believe in himself, when he sees the Rebbe believing in him, it will give him a healthy self-esteem to begin believing in himself.

A Rebbe has to see potential Kochos and Kishronos in a child. Even if the student resists your efforts, don’t give up on anyone.

It possibly may be that Talmidim who are not matzliach is because in the past a parent, rebbe, or friend was too cynical with him and told him that he wouldn’t amount to anything. A talmid may not even realize what inner abilities he possesses and never knew exists. As a Rebbe, you can bring that out of him, and your efforts never go to waste. Years later, you may be surprised and see him grow up IY”H into a Talmid Chochom.

If you believe in your talmidim, then they’ll see themselves in a different light. A Rebbe should never be angry at a talmid, except outwardly he can show that he’s upset with him but never in your inner heart. You can’t be jealous of a talmid, in fact a talmid is supposed to “shteig” more than the Rebbe.

The Rosh Hayeshiva was very open when he told everyone that in all his 50 years of teaching he never hated a talmid; just the opposite – he loved each and every Talmid!

Moreinu Horav Belsky touched the lives of thousands of people. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and a person to whom thousands turned to for advice, direction and understanding. Klal Yisroel lost an exceptional Talmid Chacham who was filled with ahavas Yisroel. Torah Vodaath lost our leader, whose drive to build the Yeshiva, which was founded by his Zaida, R’ Binyomin Wilhelm, zt”l, was an inspiration.

Hashem Yisborach should watch over his beautiful family, the talmidim and all of us who loved and respected this special individual.