A towering Torah figure — one of those giants of the spirit that treads the earth in the guise of man — achieves his status by dint of exceptional diligence and scholarship in Torah. But more than that, he is also a Torah personality whose emotions and very reflexes are in tune with Torah law and reflect Torah values.
How can one come to know these exceptional individuals, catch glimpses of their souls, become acquainted with their genius of mind and heart? Throughout the ages Jews of all types took note of every nuance and gesture, every utterance and deed of their Torah leaders, the better to know them and emulate them. Here are stories of the deeds and doings of great Jewish leaders – how they came to grips with the problems of their time, how they guided Klal Yisrael, and how they gave counsel and encouragement to “Reb Yisrael.”
The chapters in this book — drawn from the pages of The Jewish Observer – take a variety of forms: biographies, sketches, and eulogies … newspaper accounts, descriptions of a Rebbe’s tisch, the “story” of a city or village. Never mind the format. Focus on the man … or the angel in the guise of a man. Take note of the lacing of a shoe, or the unslept-on mattress. These — each in its own way — give us a keen glimpse of the dazzling riches of the Jewish people, not to be found in any other national treasury: The Torah Personality.
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