Because I haven’t written in a long time and it is almost Purim, I want to put a few thoughts together.

This year we observed Rav Schwab’s Yahrzeit on Purim Katan as it was in the year he passed away. Elsewhere I wrote a Remez beween Rav Schwab’s name and Lag B’omer (which is alluded to in the Rema about Purim Katan.) Today I will add that Rav Schwab’s name SHIMON, plus his father’s name YEHUDAH, equals “PURIM KATAN” (im hakolel). 

I will also add the following story written elsewhere on my blogs. 

One of Rav Schwab’s grandchildren who was learning in a Yeshivah Gedolah visited him shortly before Purim. Rav Schwab asked him if he plans on getting drunk over Purim. The grandchild didn’t want to answer, and the Rav did not let him leave without promising that he wouldn’t get drunk. (Heard from a member of the family.) I believe the story ends that the grandchild made sure not to visit at that time of year, subsequently- in order not to have to take another oath!

I want to write another story that I don’t believe I have shared before, and it pertains to the Rav’s lifelong query about the need/applicability of TIDE in the face of a robust Kolel and Yeshivah system.

I heard from a member of Rabbi Moshe Eisenmann’s family (Rosh Yeshivah of Vineland, NJ) that Rav Schwab was invited to speak at the Lakewood Yeshivah in its early years and he told the following story:

There is a well-known story about the Chofetz Chaim that goes approximately like this:

There was once an order by the local authorities that would have hurt the Jewish communities in Poland. The Chofetz Chaim was granted a meeting with the governor behind it and pleaded to him with tears in his eyes. The governor did not speak Yiddish and someone stepped forward to translate. The governor declined any translation and stated that he could see the sincerity in the Rabbi’s words and would rescind the law. 

Rav Schwab related to the Talmidim in Lakewood that few people know the end of the story!

The Chofetz Chaim then said to his students as they were returning to Radin, “You see, I was right when I said that there is no reason to learn the Russian language!” To which one Bochur retorted, “But Rebbe, without speaking Russian, we would not have been able to set up the meeting!?” The Chofetz Chaim nodded, “It is true, we need people who speak Russian. Ober nisht fun der Kluger!BUT NOT FROM THE BRIGHTEST!”  

Rav Schwab thus encouraged the students in Lakewood who would forego college education at a time when it was the only key to success. If you have been fortunate enough to wind up in the walls of the Beis Hamedrash, Hashem will provide for His adherents! 

Moreinu Roseheim writes that in Frankfurt in his time if someone wanted to enter the rabbinate they would encourage them to go East to the more popular Yeshivahs. This is an important chapter in the discussion of TIDE as it applies in a society that has advanced to offer higher opportunities for learning. (Discussed at length elsewhere in my blogs.)

Ironically, by stringing these two stories together, we see that Rav Schwab saw a need for TIDE even within the framework of Yeshivah life. Calling the Ben Torah to a standard even higher than the Olam HaTorah would ask!

Yehi Zichro Boruch 

Adar and Rav Schwab Zt’l Revisited

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