Elul 5774/September 2014
A Great Gadol Book
When one thinks of the special contributions made to the world by the many Jewish publishing houses, one of the greatest contributions is probably the historical portrayals of our Gedolim. The Gedolim were and are the real leaders of our nation, and only with a thorough understanding of their lives can we honestly digest their life missions and beliefs.
The truth is that these Gedolim books can actually be divided into two categories: recordings of those who lived many years ago and those who lived in our times.
When writing about Gedolim of yesteryear, there are natural drawbacks. One of the drawbacks is the fact that the author certainly never met the Gadol in person, nor is he able to interview anyone who did. The author’s material is gleaned solely from old books – historical texts and sefarim, and based on these sources will the author do his best to accurately portray the Gadol.
However, when writing about a Gadol who lived in the author’s lifetime, the story is totally different. In this case, the author could have known the Gadol personally, allowing for a very different style of writing.
One obvious advantage of writing about a recent Gadol is that the facts should be accurate; there should be little or no miscommunication through repeated transmission (also called the “telephone game”). But there is another major difference. Since the author was able to have known the Gadol on a personal level, the style of writing can be richer and more lively without resorting to embellishing. And as a result, just as the author knew the Gadol, so too the reader can feel that he too knows the Gadol.
In Torah Temimah Publications’ first Gadol biography, A Gadol in Our Midst, the personality of the late Gadol, Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, zt”l, comes to life based on the personal accounts of Rabbi Shmuel Assayag, a close talmid of Rav Scheinberg for more than ten years.
Besides learning many fascinating details of the life of this great Gadol, the reader slowly becomes familiar with Rav Scheinberg’s way of thinking. His pure faith and piety come forth in every story and in between the lines, as the reader reads anecdote after anecdote demonstrating the Rosh Yeshivah’s strength of character and love for Hashem and every single Jew.
In addition to these remarkable stories, the author collected around 550 short questions and answers to very real, everyday shailos posed to Rav Scheinberg by many individuals, especially his talmidim in Yeshivas Torah Ore in Yerushalayim. This unique section, not found in many Gadol books, offers vital guidance to Jews of our generation seeking solid, reliable halachic opinions on a variety of topics.
Our hope is that you will indulge yourselves in this beautiful work and gain the appreciation of Rav Scheinberg, a true Gadol of our time.
Wishing you a kesivah v’chasimah tovah,
Rabbi Eliyahu Miller
Publisher and General Editor