"He looks like a mortal being, just another man of flesh and blood. But it is an illusion. He is truly a malach, an angel of G-d." With these words, the Chazon Ish described his extraordinary view of an ordinary encounter with a ben Torah, someone who has made Torah study his primary occupation, whose mind is involved in Torah thoughts, whose priorities are structured by Torah. in short, a person who leads a Torah life. What sets him apart? Surely not his appearance, unless you have the vision of a Chazon Ish who perceives the malach within a human exterior. It is his thoughts, his actions, his imprint on others that make him remarkable. In the pages of this book, we will profile some towering Torah lives. We will examine how Reb Yisroel Salanter's "nireh li, it appears to me" is not an intuitive hunch, but a seasoned judgment based on the entirety of the Oral law. Note how an ailing Rosh Yeshiva instinctively reaches for a cup of water with his tube-encumbered right hand, instead of his free left hand, because the dignity of the bracha he was about to recite called for using his right. Absorb the lesson a master Torah teacher imparts to his students when he lifts a stone and "teaches" the insects nestled beneath it the glory of the expanded horizons of a sunlit world. Glimpse the tears a devoted nurse could not brush off her cheeks when treating a maimed yeshiva student, for fear of compromising the sterility of surgery. Appreciate the mentor of a promising Sephardic youth, who took his student's place behind the grocery counter to free the young man to pursue his Talmudic studies. Little touches and master strokes that together draw awe-inspiring portraits of men and women who achieved extraordinary measures of greatness, by virtue of leading Torah lives.
by Rabbi Nisson Wolpin
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