A year after the passing of legendary Rosh Yeshiva Reb Yisroel Friedman a”h, a new yeshiva is pledging to carry his name and continue the legacy which he transmitted to thousands of Bochurim.
For over five decades, Reb Yisroel Friedman served as the Rosh Yeshiva of Oholei Torah in Crown Heights. Thousands of bochurim from around the globe learned under him during their years in yeshiva, and countless others were inspired and uplifted by his farbrengens, shiurim and simply by just watching him daven or learn.
Among those who counted themselves as his students were Rabbi Shimon Garbose and Rabbi Chaim Moss, the Rosh Yeshiva and Menahel of the new yeshiva for English speakers in Eretz Yisroel (link previous article). Both spent part of their yeshiva years in Oholei Torah and fondly remember their encounters with Reb Yisroel.
So when the hanhala of the new yeshiva was considering different options for the name of their yeshiva, they felt it would be fitting to memorialize the illustrious Rosh Yeshiva by having the yeshiva carry his name. After consulting with the other Hanhala members, they decided to call the yeshiva “Yeshivas Lubavitch – Tiferes Yisroel.”
For Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Garbose, a close student of Reb Yisroel, the choice is natural: “What could be more befitting for a man who toiled for almost all of his life in order to educate bochurim than to name a yeshiva after him?” he said.
“Reb Yisroel and I used to speak frequently. But I really got to see Reb Yisroel outside of yeshiva,” Rabbi Garbose recalls.
“For a period of time, I would daven in the Chevra Shas shul, run by the unforgettable Reb Mottel Gurary. There, I used to see Reb Yisroel prepare for davening and learning tanya. Reb Yisroel used to stand during davening like an eved in front of the Eibishter, investing his full effort in kavono, you were always able to hear him clearly pronounce every word of davening.
“We would often speak after davening about various topics in learning. For any topic that we spoke of he was instantaneously within the discussion without any hesitation as if he had just learned it. But what stuck out to me was that someone of his stature and age was actually listening, eager and happy to discuss the matter at hand because it was important to me” he said.
Beyond simply carrying his name, the hanhala says that the reason they named the yeshiva after Reb Yisroell, is to continue his legacy, passing on his love of learning, warmth and authentic chassidishkeit to the next generation of Chabad bochurim.
“The reason we chose the name Tiferes Yisroel was to highlight our vision for the new yeshiva,” said Menahel Rabbi Moss. “Tiferes is a mix of Chessed and Gevura, blending two opposite attributes together to create balance which is empathy and beauty.”
“It is exactly that which we hope to accomplish with the new Yeshivas Lubavitch Tiferes Yisroel, using the right balance of warmth and structure to give each bochur an unforgettable experience of growth beruchniyus ubegashmiyus in yeshiva,” he said.