"We came here thinking we were full, but now, we find out just how empty we are"
Decades later, when Rav Yaakov Edelstein, rav of Ramat Hasharon, was no longer able to speak toward the end of his life, he shared a memory with talmidim in writing. It was when he and a group of friends spent a week of bein hazmanim in the Beit Havra’ah of the Vaad Hayeshivos, in Netanya.
“And I was the only one among them who was not yet a baki in Shas… the group included Rav Ephraim Noach Garbuz, Rav Avraham Yaakov Zaleznik, Rav Shmuel Auerbach, and [ybdlch”t] Rav Dov Landau. The conversation was all in learning and only in learning. One day, after hearing just how much Rav Dov Landau knew, Rav Shmuel remarked in his pithy way, ‘We came here thinking we were full, but now, we find out just how empty we are.’ It was a beautiful time.”
Rav Dov Yaffe, revered mashgiach of Kfar Chassidim, recalled a bein hazmanim stay in Netanya where, to his consternation, the tefillos were much faster than in yeshivah itself. He spoke up. “Look,” he told his friends, “it’s certainly possible to daven at this pace and have kavanah, but it takes hard work… and didn’t we come here to relax? Why daven fast and make us work so much harder?”
(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 871)
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