OU Posts Video “Portrait of a Tsaddik” Following Death of HaRav Scheinberg
“Together with all of Klal Yisrael, the Orthodox Union mourns the passing yesterday at the age of 101 of HaGaon HaRav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg zt”l, one of the leading gedolim and poskim of our generation,” said Rabbi Steven Burg, Managing Director of the OU. As a living memorial to him, Rabbi Burg noted, the OU has posted on its website, www.ou.org, a 28-minute video, Rabbi Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg: Portrait of a Tsaddik, featuring an extended interview with the Rav and comments by people who knew him well.
Filmed in 1999 by Rick Magder, the video is part of the OU’s “Torah Personalities Series” and provides a view of the world through Rabbi Scheinberg’s eyes. The video offers a unique glimpse into a day in the life of the Rav, the Rosh Yeshiva of Torah Ore, which he established in Israel in 1965, after spending years at Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Queens and Congregation Bakash Shalom Anshei Ostrov on the Lower East Side of New York.
Switching between the Rav’s study and the Beit Medrash of the yeshiva, the video shows the Gaon as he davens with such intensity that he weeps -- “You have to beseech Hashem,” he says -- and delivering lectures to his beloved bacherim. “A Rosh Yeshiva is like a father. The students are like his children,” his son-in-law relates. “He has a sense of humor, a softness, but he can be as tough as nails,” one rabbi reports. If necessary, he tells boys that their rooms are untidy and that they should straighten them up.
The Rav was deeply affected by the faces of the children in Jerusalem and he determined that there was a place for American boys in Jerusalem, which resulted in his decision to establish his yeshiva in Israel. There, he has turned out generations of Torah scholars, including a young man who wanted to return to his non-religious family in the United States, which caused the Rav to burst into tears. Seeing how much the Rosh Yeshiva cared about him, the young man remained and today is a noted ben Torah in Israel.
At home, wearing his tefillin throughout the day, the Rav, while discussing his world view, is also shown blessing children and answering she’eilot – or questions – on the phone. He deals particularly with matters of Shalom Bayit – harmony in the household -- and of children, demonstrating an extreme sensitivity to people’s feelings. “He has a great head and a great heart,” a disciple reports.
Rabbi Scheinberg was well-known for wearing as many as 150 pairs of tzitzit, a unique aspect of his piety. Son of a simple tailor, but father to generations of young men who live their lives by the precepts of Torah, the Rav’s uniqueness is brilliantly displayed in this video.
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