Rabbi Yehuda (Leonard) Blank MS, BCC
Director of Programming, Chaplaincy Commission and External Affairs
Rabbinical Alliance of America/Igud HaRabbonim
Thursday, June 30th,2022, Tammuz 1 5782
The power of caring with a full heart – no matter how he/she looks or acts.
A film about Rabbi Dovid Trenk zt” l by the world renown Rabbi Yoel Gold.
“Living with Rebbe”
The immense care he had for all his talmidim- no matter what!
A way of life we all should be like.
[Rabbi Gold has produced many well-known films and is a well-known lecturer.)
Many of his lectures can be found TorahAnytime.com)
“A Torah Scholar with Earrings and Tattoos”
Told by the well-known lecturer Rabbi Ephraim Shapiro on TorahAnytime .com
Click below to view the video film by and with Rabbi Yoel Gold
and Mrs. Leah Trenk.
featuring many scenes with Rabbi Dovid Trenk zt” l.
“Living with Rebbe”’
Click here to see the video Living with Rebbe
Click here to view the video of Rabbi Shapiro
“A Torah Scholar With Earrings and Tattoos.”
There is no cookie-cutter one shape fits all on how to care for our fellow Jew.
Rabbi Trenk was unique in his style, never compromising his Yiddishkeit, but always finding ways to offer from his heart the care he felt was necessary. The impact we can have could be immense and everlasting. Rabbi Trenk never called it quits.
From Artscroll – Rabbi Dovid Trenk: Still showing us how to live —
and love — better. POSTED ON JUNE 20, 2020 BY ELID
“To know Rabbi Dovid Trenk was to love him — because he loved you. Even if he’d just met you. Dovid Trenk was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of person, and Just Love Them: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Dovid Trenk by Yisroel Besser, published in time for Rabbi Trenk’s first yahrzeit, is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book.
Exuberant, empathetic, and almost unbelievably energetic, Rabbi Trenk overflowed with simchas hachaim, with the joy of living in H ‘s world. As a rebbe and rosh yeshivah, first in Yeshivas Mir, then in the Adelphia Yeshivah he helped create, and finally in his own yeshivah, Yeshiva Moreshes Yehoshua, he saw the good, the potential, and, yes, the holy neshamah in every talmid, and he drew out what was best in each of them. With his powerful personality, his humor and understanding, and, of course, his infinite love for his talmidim and for Torah, he showed thousands of people of all ages just how good they could be.
When he found his students breaking into the yeshivah kitchen at night, he led them to his own house and cooked up a pot of pasta (the boys still remember how good it tasted). A simple question asked by a weak student became, in Rabbi Trenk’s words, a “bomb kushya,” good enough to ask of the Rosh Yeshivah — giving the student a much-needed and long-lasting boost of confidence and love for learning. The stories, and there are so many of them, beautifully illustrate his philosophy of chinuch, and of life: “Just go in and love them, teach them, listen to them, and build them. That’s all you have to know!”
Written by master storyteller Yisroel Besser, Just Love Them is much more than an engrossing read and a great collection of stories (though it is that too!). In the hundreds of stories about him, each one as unique as Rabbi Trenk himself, we learn to dream big. To live big. And most of all, to love our children, our talmidim, our nation, and ourselves.
As Yisroel Besser says, “[This book] will change the way you look at everybody around you: Your wife, your children, your friends, and neighbors. And the way you look at yourself.”
The video of the story by Rabbi Shapiro shows how important it is not to be judgmental, and not to give up on another Yid, no matter what his/her background is or how he/she might be at the present time.
There are zillions of opportunities way beyond the scope of this article that are available to share that special love of H through the kindness, the goodness, the heart of gold each and everyone of us has, with others, especially those in their time of need. It is important to be open minded and most of all, sincere. There is so much goodness that can be found. If only one can take the time to find it with sincere appreciation and imbue that goodness with much kindness. It is also important not to be judgmental. Not to think negative about others, if someone comes to shul wearing weekday clothing on Shabbos or attending minyan a young man is wearing clothing he is wearing to camp as part of his job. What are one’s thoughts? When I was doing many of Rabbi Ephraim Buchwald’s NJOP Jewish Outreach programs in the shul I was a rabbi of, there were men and women who joined some of the minyanim from diverse backgrounds, but everyone was welcome and felt welcome. The shul was and still is very traditional orthodox. Those programs were remarkably successful and were done during the weekday’s, nights and sometimes on Sunday’s.
In Rabbi Yissocher Frand’s book on the parsha by Artscroll Mesorah Publications Ltd Parshas Korach Pages 223-224 “Rabbi Shimon Schwab explains that in an argument for the sake of Heaven both parties are interested in hearing the opinion of the other. Their goal is to arrive at the truth, and in order to do so, they have to hear both sides of the argument. Afterward, they will decide what they believe, and if it differs from the other school, there will be a dispute.
But in an argument that is not for the sake of Heaven, such as that of Korach and his followers, there was no interest in discovering the truth. There was only a grab for prestige and power. Why would they want to hear what the other side had to say? They turned a deaf ear to all the arguments against their position. Therefore, their dispute did not really have two sides. There was only one- Korach and his followers.
The Talmud tells us (Berachos 58a), “Just as people’s faces are not exactly alike, so are their opinions not exactly alike.” Rav Shlomo Eiger discerns an important lesson in this comment. No one is bothered by the differences in appearance among people. No one needs that all people should be identical to him. By the same token, no one should feel that everyone must share his opinions exactly.
If we would be more tolerant, if we would accept that others have different views and opinions, and that this is as it should be, we would go a long way toward avoiding machlokes.”
Being a chaplain, one must be open minded, sincere, and understanding. It is important to be empathetic with a smile on one’s face. Rabbi Wallerstein zt” l who I wrote about in previous articles was immensely sincere, welcoming, and loving.
“If one gives his friend all of the finest gifts of the world but does it begrudging, with his face of gloom, the gifts are considered of no value; but one who receives hi friend with warmth and a smile on his face, even if he does not give him anything, it is as through he gave him all the gifts of the world” (Avos d’R.Noson 13:14).
From Love Your Neighbor by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin Aish HaTorah Publications, Pages 345-346. “We must learn to see the good in everything and everybody. “And the Lrd spoke to Moshe, saying: send for yourself men, that they may spy out the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the Children of Israel; one man, one man of every tribe of their fathers you shall send, every one a prince among them.” (Bamidbar 13;1,2).
Rashi cites the Midrash Tanchuma for the reason why the section of the Torah dealing with sending spies to the land of Canaan is next to the section of Miriam’s speaking loshon hara. Even though Miriam was publicly punished for speaking loshon hara against her brother, these wicked people who witnessed her punishment did not learn a lesson.
A question arises. How could the spies be expected to learn from Miriam’s loshon hara? Miriam spoke against a person, while they spoke against a land. Rabbi Yisrael Ordman, of Telshe Yeshiva, in Lithuania, offered the following explanation. One must acquire the attribute of always seeing the good in everything. A person who finds fault with things (meals, accommodation’s etc.) will also find fault with people. Conversely, a person who always seeks to find the good in all phenomena will also see the good in his fellow man. That is the lesson the spies should have learned: to notice virtues rather that to seek our faults.
As a pious man once noted, “We were given two eyes: one very powerful for introspection, so we should find our smallest faults; the other very weak, for viewing others. Only, too we switch their functions.:
In my forthcoming article, I will be featuring Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel zt” l Rosh Hayeshiva of Mirrer Yeshiva in Yerushalayim with a video produced by the renown Rabbi Yaakov Moskowitz. The amazing story of how despite his Parkinsons, achieved so much and the love he gave each talmid and Klal Yisrael.
Clarity and Assurance by Rebbi Nachman of Breslov form Gentle Weapon Prayers for Everyday and Not-So-Everyday Moments. Jewish Lights Publishing.
“O G, grant me clarity and assurance in whatever I do. Teach me to trust in wise teachers- to learn from their insightful words. Teach me to trust in true friends- to treasure their care and concern. Teach me to trust in myself-to judge my own course correctly, and so to live with conviction and hope.”
Sincerely, Rabbi Yehuda Blank