Truth be told, after the passing of Rav Beinish on the 18th of Shevat, 1990, most were skeptical that Reb Nosson Zvi – because of his poor health – would be able to dynamically lead the yeshivah. And if truth need be told, no one would have ever dreamed that he would become the architect of a legendary empire. But that is exactly what he became.
Many have labeled Reb Nosson Zvi the Ponevezher Rav of his day. The comparison, as most comparisons, is simplistic and highlights one obvious similarity. The Ponevezher Rav was the greatest builder of yeshivos in his day – probably in history, and Reb Nosson Zvi was the builder of yeshivos in his day – probably in history.
Every rosh yeshivah must possess fundamental qualifications of Torah scholarship (and Reb Nosson Zvi met the standard). Every rosh yeshivah must have a refined character (ditto). Many roshei yeshivah are descended from a long line of roshei yeshivos or famed Torah scholars (ditto again). After these givens, every rosh yeshivah brings his own unique talents and personality traits to the job, but many of Reb Nosson Zvi's talents were hiding in places that prople weren't looking.
Mrs. Sara Finkel said that the outstanding thing about her son was that he loved to give. She can be trusted in her assessment, in sync with the adage, "it takes one to know one." And he gave in spades – he had the desire, nay, the craving to give – to assist the boys that came under his care to grow in Torah.
If yeshivah funds were short, Reb Nosson Zvi could not look his avreichim in the eyes. After they had studied Torah so diligently, he felt terrible that he could not hand out their monthly stipends. Thereafter, any time he would obtain money, no matter how small the amount, he would start filling up envelopes to be distributed to avreichim. The concept of saving was foreign to him; once funds came in, he immediately gave them out.
He explained that the reason he offered money as an incentive to increase Torah learning was because, in the never-ending battle between Torah and the distractions of the world, money is the simplest, most inexpensive weapon that we have. Thus by giving money, he was really giving Torah.
Words of Praise
|“PUBLISHER’S ALERT! New editions of biography of Rav Nosson Zvi Finkel, zt”l, will feature a prominent warning label boldly stating:“Beware!! Contents packed under pressure! Highly flammable material!”Indeed, this amazing book is packed with awesome pressure; enough to propel the laziest bochur into soaring “masmid mode.” The fiery Torah love of Rav Finkel is powerful enough to ignite a flaming passion in every student’s heart. Caution! Do not read this book in bed, dressed in pajamas. After two pages you are liable to leap off your mattress and dash over to the bais midrash in a frenzy to open up the nearest gemara! "|
Rabbi Avraham Chaim Feuer,