Baltimore, MD - June 6, 2023 - If  you were one of the privileged attendees at the fifth grade Gadol Fair on Sunday, June 4th at Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim Talmudical Academy then you will know exactly what I mean when I say that it was something that even the Gedolim who were presented would be proud of. To see the boys standing before their exhibit, glowing with pride as they presented the Gadol they had chosen to learn about, was a heartening testament to a true display of Kavod HaTorah  

Each boy picked a Gadol to research when and where he lived, some stories that happened, and the seforim he wrote.  The choices were varied and rich in historical period, geography, and diversity.

Some of the gedolim profiled included the Taz, Rashi, Ramchal, Noda B’Yehuda, Chofetz Chayim, the Rema, Rav Ovadia Yosef, the Baba Sali, Klausenberger Rebbe, Dayan Ehrentreu, Rav Chaim Kanievsky, Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel, Rav Ruderman, Rav Naftoli Neuberger, Rav Felder,  and Yblc”t, Rabbi Nosson Nussbaum and Rabban Gamliel Rabinovitz.

Walking around the large gym, one felt the positive energy of the boys and the attendees as we learned so much about these Gedolim,  and as the boys explained docent-like their choice in the Gadol.   It was clear to see that the boys formed some sort of kesher with their Gadol as evidenced by their excitement and in reading what they learned from that Gadol.  Some picked their Gadol for the Yichus they had in the family and included a family tree on the poster. One grandmother was happy that her grandson chose his great-uncle as this gave him the opportunity to learn more about family! Another boy chose the Ramchal, and although not named for him, he shares the same initials as this Gadol and this project educated him about this Tzadik.

An interesting thing happened when I chanced upon two boys who were sharing the table and their Gedolim were side by side; The Klausenberger Rebbe and Dayan Ehrentreu.

I had given this boy, who is in my carpool, a copy of a picture featuring the Klausenberger Rebbe learning with a group of bochurim - all survivors of Churban Europa. My father was in this picture   The other boy (also in my carpool) who profiled Dayan Ehrentreu had a sefer on display that the Dayan wrote.  I picked the sefer up and “randomly” flipped it open to a page that had a vort from the Klausenberger Rebbe about VaYidom Aharon and how that applied to the Holocaust survivors.

This boy is also an einekele of survivors and while there are many messages that I internalized  on a personal level,  I could not help but think how proud our parents and grandparents and these Gedolim  would be that Torah continues to flourish today.

How apt  that the song this very same grade sang at their Hascholas Gemara program from the words of Dovid Hamelech, was an apparent carry over at Sunday’s  Gadol Fair. Tehillim 119:92-93, “Were Your Torah not my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.  I will never forget Your ordinances because You have given me life through them.”