Ten Thoughts and Sayings of Rav Reuvain Grozovsky zt”l

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By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for 5tjt.com

Rav Reuvain Grozovsky zt”l, was one of the Gedolei HaDor, who almost single-handedly changed the face of the Torah world as we know it.  He was the person responsible for bringing Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l and Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l to the Slabodka Yeshiva – and literally saving them from grave spiritual dangers.  He married the daughter of Rav Boruch Ber, was a member of the Vaad Hatzolah, Moetzes Gedolei Torah and Torah uMesorah. He was a Rosh Yeshiva in Torah V’Daas, Beis Medrash Elyon and Kamenetz.  Imagine.  No Rav Aharon Kotler zt”l.  No Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l.  No Lakewood Yeshiva.  Also, all of the Yeshiva Bochurim that were saved by Rav Reuvain and Rav Aharon.  One shudders to think of what would have been without him.  What follows are ten thoughts and sayings of Rav Grozovsky.

  1. The Holiness of Shabbos pre-existed creation and is the culmination of the world’s completion. The verse states that G-d completed His work on the seventh day. Before the Holiness of Shabbos existed – the world was incomplete. This can only be understood by those who perceive that Holiness. The seventy two sages who translated the Septuagint for Ptolemy II Philadelphus, the Greek king of Egypt in 72 different rooms – thus all translated that G-d completed His work on Friday (Bretton translation on Genesis 2:2).  This is because they knew that only Jews would understand why the world’s real completion was on Shabbos. (Sichos Rav Reuvain, Moadim, Maamar 1).
  2. If a person is cruel and shows no concern about embarrassing another and does not care about the other being mortified – this is not of the “lighter sins” at all – rather it is of the gravest of sins (Maamarei Rav Reuvain p. 13)
  3. Sometimes a person will use Torah to chas veshalom cause pain or tzaar to another human being. He makes the Torah into a sword to stab another human being. This is the very opposite of Torah – which is a Torah of chessed and gives Everlasting life. (Maamarei  Rav Reuvain p. 8)
  4. The trait of humility is what strengthens the trait of fear of Heaven (Maamarei Rav Reuvain p.32)
  5. The purpose of Vidui is so that a person will be filled with a fear and dread of his aveiros, (Lev Reuvain p.410)
  6. Just like we count our money in gashmius, we should also be counting our Mitzvos (See Rav Broan Brachos 9b) – this way he will understand, appreciate and value the mitzvah. He will also take pride and joy in it and seek to work harder in the performance of Mitzvos. (Maamarei Rav Reuvain p.3)
  7. Torah is life itself. Since Torah is so precious and valuable, a person should be in a state of great joy for every insight in Torah that he creates – for every question he has, and for every answer.  As a result he will endeavor to sharpen it, clarify it, write it and spread it.  He should do this also for his friend’s insights too (Maamarei Rav Reuvain p.22)
  8. If one does not feel the simcha in the learning of Torah it is because he never truly tasted Torah in the correct and proper manner. (Lev Ruevain p.416)
  9. When explaining a lomdisha shiur to Talmidim – it is important to leave out everything that does not directly pertain to understanding the concepts being conveyed – no matter how interesting that extraneous idea is. (Heard from a talmid).
  10. A person is obligated to honor his limbs and his body. It is part of the Mitzvah of Zeh Kaili v’anveihu since man was created b’Tzelem Elokim. (Maamrei Rav Reuvain p.45)

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If anyone has any letters, notes, recollections, stories or personal encounters of or with this remarkable Gadol HaDor and would like to share them please contact the author.