Mordechai GranekApril 15, 2021
Levi RibacoffApril 19, 2021
Tell us a bit about yourself. (E.G. job, family, hobby, where you live)
I am currently living in Lakewood and have 5 children B”H. Although I have not continued in Kollel here in America, Lakewood and specifically the neighborhood I live in allow me to really stay connected to the torah lifestyle I so cherish.
I can say that one of my greatest hobbies here is when I get the opportunity to speak in front of my shul and/or a family gathering, there I can share some of the most unbelievable divrei torah and hashkafas I have learned in Bais Yisroel! And the reaction of the listeners is even more enjoyable. I feel privileged that I learnt in Bais and love sharing the wealth!
What is one of your favorite memories, Shiurim, Rebbeim, or events while attending Bais?
I really had 2 Tekufas in Bais. I was a bachur there for 3 years and I spent a little over 5 years there in Kollel! I will share 2 fond memories that come to mind as I am filling out this form…
One of my first conversations with R Ruvel… When we used to have those really large fans in the BM… In the back of the Bais there was a fan that was so low down that even I was able to reach! Either way R Ruvel used to hang his hat on the knob and since I heard that R Ruvel “knew Kol Hatorah Kula” I wanted a shaychus. I used to bring him his hat every day before mincha. Day after day it was a simple nod nothing major until he said something…I can vividly record the scene, He looked at me top to bottom and asked “SWEET! How much do you weigh? I was thinking maybe I’m quadruple your size!?
Then later in Kollel, I would always ask how the Rebbe was feeling, His notorious answer was always either “Alive” or “Been worse!” At first I was stunned, but soon I understood that my Rebbe is truly the happiest man on earth! I remember him telling me “Sweet! You know the difference between an optimist and a pessimist? A pessimist says “it cant get any worse” the optimist says “it could always get worse!”
This was a valuable life long lesson for me.
How has your time at Bais influenced or helped you in your life?
This is truly a great question and I hesitated to fill out this form until I gave it some serious thought. In yeshiva we have no real responsibilities. We are free to learn and grow. Something amazing happens in such a atmosphere, you get pulled to different areas of interest. Some are pulled towards iyun some towards bekius and some towards mussar. After some thought I saw that although I was involved in all areas but something else was cooking by me…
I had a burning passion to grow close (closer than others) to gedolim (our rebbeim in specific) and I feel as if hashem granted my request with a natural chein that made it possible to find favor in there eyes as well. As a young bochur I clinged to my rebbeim at any opportunity I had if it were getting there hats, bringing up seforim to the shiur room or shabbos meals etc. As I grew in the yeshiva I found myself connecting very much to younger bachurim and showing them how truly great our rebbeim really are…
None of the above has proved any influence or help for me in my mature working life, or at least that’s what I have thought… Recently we have been privileged to have the Rosh Yeshiva Shlita come to America. Upon finding out I immediately made an effort to connect. This year we had a few successful meetings all across America to benefit the Yeshiva B”H. I only took part in one event, I shared my sincere feeling toward the Rosh Yeshiva and the Yeshiva at large. This made a roshem on the Rosh Yeshiva. He saw my passion and told me he wants me to spread the word around Lakewood. I replied that this will turn out to be a full time job and the answer was I know, and I want you to do it!
What advice would you give a fellow Bais Alumni?
If you spent a substantial time in Yeshiva contemplate what area took you. delve into that and find your kochos, they are powerful and they can help you find your way. To everyone else on a general level, please fill out this form, note there is no “required star” by most of these questions! Lets get together again and stay connected!I would love to hear from everybody!
Bracha vhatzlacha !!