I was close to Harav Gedalia Schorr, zt”l, as well as Harav Moshe Rivkin, zt”l. I remember that Rav Schorr would often come and daven Minchah in the beis medrash kattan, where my father was in charge. I was in Rav Rivkin’s shiur when the Stoliner Rebbe, zy”a, was niftar. Rav Rivkin asked me why I came to yeshivah that day, since he knew our family were Stoliner Chassidim. When I said I would be going to the levayah later, he insisted that I belonged there early, and told me to go.
I had the zechus to drive Rav Schorr, and at times he would ask me to sing some special niggunim. I also remember watching how Rav Schorr would spend hours upon hours in the library talking in learning with Harav Moshe Steinwurzel, zt”l, who was one of the top bachurim in America at that time.
Eventually, after learning in Bais Medrash Elyon for a number of years, he was the first Rosh Kollel of the yeshivah’s kollel. Later, he became Rosh Yeshivah of Bobov.
I worked closely with Rabbi Moshe Lonner, z”l, for many years, and he was a mentor to me. He was an exceptional and meticulous person, and he worked tirelessly to procure visas for foreigners to enter the country.
He taught sixth-period math, which was an advanced class for those who wanted to learn it. After class, he would say a shiur in mussar. He actually had Latin as a choice for language classes, in addition to French and Spanish.
At the beginning, he was the assistant to Rabbi Sender Linchner, but when Rabbi Linchner left to start Boys Town in Yerushalayim, Rabbi Lonner became principal, and I became his assistant. I also taught two periods of history, and I had some wonderful students during that time, including Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zweibel, Rabbi Shlomo Gertzulin, Dr. Dovid Ziemba, and Rabbi Gedalia Weinberger.
There are many, but some of my favorites involved the annual Purim shpiel put on by some of the talented bachurim. Rabbi Nosson Scherman put on a superb play, and I remember Harav Yisroel Belsky, zt”l, acting as King Saud. I recall another one with Rabbi Ronnie Greenwald, z”l. They were funny, and it was all done without anyone getting drunk, and there was an uplifting spirit on Purim.
I’ve been told by many people that they remember the way my father would daven and lein on Asarah B’Teves. My father had yahrtzeit on that day, and many times, former talmidim would return just to hear him. He was the baal korei in the Mir, and he had a special way of leining the haftorah of the taanis.
Another memory is from the year I was in the shiur of Harav Elya Chazzan, zt”l. We were learning Maseches Gittin, and our class finished the entire masechta by Pesach. We wanted to learn a different masechta after Pesach, but the hanhalah overruled us.
In the end, Rav Chazzan said a shiur on the third perek of Maseches Gittin, in the morning, and Rav Schorr said a special shiur for us in Maseches Nedarim in the evening in my father’s classroom. That was a special year.
I wish that it could replicate the atmosphere when I attended. They produced model students, filled with middos and eidelkeit. I hear many times that people involved in shidduchim are looking for “the old YTV-style boys.” It is meant as a compliment. I would like to see the yeshivah be successful and produce many more such talmidim.