We think of our gedolim as elderly men, wise and learned. But our sages were not always men with white beards. Great men, too, were once children. Children who had mothers and fathers, teachers and friends. Children who learned alef-beis and occasionally got into mischief. Stories for Shauli is a collection of marvelous tales about the youngsters who grew up to become our gedolim. We meet young Moshe, who would one day become the illustrious Rambam, but who now doesn't like to study. We read of Chaim David Azulay, later known as the Chida, who wrote a Talmud commentary before he was bar mitzvah. And then there is that precocious lad, Chaim, whom the world knows as the renowned Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik of Brisk, but who, even at age four, would answer his mother with wit and intelligence. Stories for Shauli presents more than sixty memorable profiles of gedolim as children, from the Gaon of Vilna to Rav Moshe Feinstein, from the Ben Ish Chai to Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. These are stories that inspire young and old to strive for greatness, stories that inspire young and old to strive for greatness, stories that remind us that we can, no matter what our circumstances may be, reach the heights of our spiritual potential, if only we try.
by Rabbi Aaron Zakkai
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