First hand details about the Alter of Slabodka

This building that might have been the
Yeshiva of Slabodka
“Knesses Yisrael”
(picture from here)

I almost had to make sure I wasn’t dreaming, when I download and started listening to the recording of an interview with former Slabodka talmid, and founder of Yeshiva Ner Israel, Rav Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman zt’l.

The recording of R Ruderman is available here, at a fantastic website called closetotorah.com.  The mp3 is a series of questions and answers about the Alter of Slabodka, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel conducted by students from Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim, prior to 1987 (when R Ruderman was niftar)

Topics discussed include:

  • Churmas/Being Machmir
  • Individuality
  • Limud haMussar in America
  • The Atler’s outlook
  • A personal story about the Alter’s reaction when R Ruderman bought a tallis katon
  • R Ruderman’s view of what needs the biggest tikun in America

Even if you are not so inclined to hear first hand memories about the Alter of Slabodka, it’s worth it to listen to this interview, so that you can hear and experience the love and kavod that a talmid has for his rebbe.

10 thoughts on “First hand details about the Alter of Slabodka

  1. micha

    I also appreciated getting the link. Thank you. But… When I posted that picture to Areivim I asked about how it was possible. We know how well built some other yeshivos of the period were in comparison to that structure. Compare the brickwork of Lublin with what looks like a bungalo colony’s common building. Was that really the home of Gadlus haAdam, the students showing up dressed to the hilt in an effort to feel the honor of being a ben Torah?

    Someone replied that when he went on a trip of the area with R Dr Shneiur Leiman, he showed them the site of the yeshiva, but the building had been Toran down. That building was replaced, but WW2 and the Communists interrupted before they ever had a chance to use it.

    That picture was not accurately labeled, according to what R’ Leiman said.

    -micha

    Reply
  2. ShimonK

    I might be able to resolve the issue. I visited Slabodka last year with R.Moshe Shapiro. He told me that the building you indicated was the actual Yeshiva offices and the home of R.Grodzensky. R.Elchonon was staying there when he was taken to the nearby 9th fort. I think he said his room was on the 2nd floor. Search on google maps for 12 kernaves gatve, Kaunas, Lietuva. You can tell it from above by the two structures on the 2nd floor which your picture shows.
    He told me that the beis medrash was a block away at (search for 16 kernaves gatve, Kaunas, Lietuva), on the corner, but it no longer stands. In its place is the smallish building with a white roof.
    You both were right – there were two buildings.

    Reply
  3. shana wishnik

    do you know where i can find the recorded interview? I just tried your link but the website seems to be no longer up

    Reply

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