In the shadow of the deep aveilus for HaGoan HaRav Gershon Edelstein, z’tl arose the need to appoint a replacement for the tafkid the Rosh Yeshivah held for over 70 years since he was a bochur – in the first years of the founding of the yeshivah – as the yeshivah’s Ba’al Tokea.
Rosh HaYeshivah HaGaon HaRav Dovid Povarsky was consulted by the Yeshivah’s Nasi, HaGaon HaRav Eliezer Kahaneman, and he paskened that the tafkid belongs – b’chezkas yerushash – to HaRav Edelstein’s sons. He requested to ask HaRav Edelstein’s older son, HaRav Tzvi Yehudah Edelstein, Rosh Yeshivas Orchos Torah, if he’s interested in the position. HaRav Tzvi Yehudah, who served as the Ba’al Tokeah over 30 years ago in Yeshivas Gaon Yaakov, where he served as a Rosh Mesivta prior to opening Orchos Torah, responded that he hasn’t blown the shofar in many years and he has no intention of resuming.
HaRav Povarsky then instructed that the Rosh Yeshivah’s second son, HaGaon HaRav Yisrael Edelstein, one of the Roshei Yeshivos of Beis Medrash Elyon, will serve as the Ba’al Tokea. HaRav Yisrael davens at Ponevezh on Rosh Hashanah and until this year, served as the Ba’al Tokea after the end of davening, when additional tekiyos are blown to be makayeim the varoius shitos.
HaRav Yisrael visited the home of HaRav Povarsky on Thursday night in order to receive his halachic guidance ahead of Rosh Hashanah.
HaRav Povarsky instructed HaRav Yisrael not only to practice the tekiyos but to practice blowing them in accordance with the recitation of the tekiyos, saying that there are many that don’t take into account the required hafsakah between tekiyah and tekiyah to hear the recitation from the mikrah, which can cause the ba’al tokea to blow before the recitation of the teikyah.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)