"During the past year, the Alter of Slobodka [Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel] worked hard to explain several fundamental perspectives which pertain to me personally, but in no way could I assimilate them, could I integrate them into my consciousness. And now, suddenly, with the death of the Alter, they have all become clear and vivid...'Greater are the righteous in death than in life..'"
Pachad Yitzchak, Letter 159
"When tears well up into weeping, we know why we weep. My tears at this moment, however, surely and surely did not well up now. My tears are old and venerable now, having gathered in the subsoil of the soul now and over time, in their own time. Hidden tears, the soul itself hid them by placing a concealing rock over the entrance to the well of the soul. Across time - their own time - there gathered types of tears, different tears. In this hidden spot of tears there are those of 'My eyes dropped streams of water for not having kept your Torah' and of 'Extend grace to me, wretched am I' - tears of sharing the sorrows of men, of pitying an orphaned generation, of yearning for the countenance of parents and teachers whom I was privileged to view once upon a time, of yearning for the higher light in blessed hours of engagement with the secrets of Torah, of reciting the Song of Songs from out of a mighty sense of their loftiness - tears flowing as water libations upon the altar, the altar of love of God, tears of exaltation. All these types of tears, sentenced to hiding across ages, across years, now coalesced into one unity beneath the concealing rock, and behold! When my fingers just grazed Maharal's tombstone, the concealing rock on my breast split to smithereens and my tears came gushing, like a waterfall cascading downward between clefts in the rock."
Sefer Zichronot, 62
(translations by Hillel Goldberg, Between Berlin and Sloboka)
The Ponevezher Rav zt"l on Yom Yerushalayim
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