Friday, Jun 21, 2024


Torah, Torah chigri sak

V’hisfalshi b’aifer

Tears do flow on every face

Of each yodeia sefer


A living Sefer Torah

Each breath an education

From that home, Rechov Rashbam

A light unto our nation


Shall I list the seforim

In which he was proficient

Ten pages in this paper

Would not be sufficient


Bavli, Yerushalmi

Tanach, Sifri, Safra

Rabbah and Tanchuma

Mishnah and so much more


Seforim on each topic

Esoteric as they may seem

Rav Chaim’s great proficiency

On every Torah theme


From shortly after chatzos

For the churban he would cry

Then Zohar, Tehillim and Tanach

As hours passed him by


A district seder he would make

From Midnight until day

Only Malachai Hashem

I thought could learn that way


Mishnah Berurah, Rambam,

Then the Tur, Shulchan Aruch next

Bavli, Yerushalmi, Medrash

As the clock would tick toward netz


Kisvei Ari and then Ramchal

And then he would write Torah

Each night from after chatzos

Until the morning’s orah


All Torah on his fingertips

Nothing was above him

Kol “Siach” tadshei v’saria

Ad karnei chagavim


Zeraim, Taharos, tefillah

For any Rambam a mekor

Sugyos no one understood

He opened up the door


His own door forever open

To any Yid in need

Together with his rebbetzin

Every cry they’d heed


From every corner of the world

When pain struck anytime

Illness, pain, financial woes

“Please! Someone call Rav Chaim!”


Sefardim, Ashkenazim

Gedolim and ketanim

Every day, kabbolas kohol

Never bein hazemanim


Cheder yingelach, soccer kings

Some who hardly knew

Yet Rav Chaim was mekabel them

With his love for any Jew


Indeed, he never refused a plea

To anyone in pain

His words though few

Soothed every Jew

As they resounded with amein!


Mofsim! Awesome miracles

With Rav Chaim’s a vort

As thousands clamored for a glimpse

Into his holy court


Each year a siyum he did make

On kol haTorah kulah

The only words, Sar HaTorah

Depict the “Torah ruler”


The smile for a geshmake vort

The twinkle for a chiddush

Whether the speaker spoke Ivrit

French, English or Yiddish


Every Yid connected

A language universal

Toraseinu hakedoshah

Was his only dispersal


What can I say?

What can I write?

I do not know how we will go

In a world without Rav Chaim




Walking the Walk Have you ever had the experience of recognizing someone in the distance simply by the way they walk? I have, many times.

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