Rabbi Shapiro’s mentor was R’ Yaakov Kamenetsky. He was his role model. Rabbi Shapiro did not make a move in the school without first consulting with him. So ultimately the credit goes to him. R’ Yaakov was the true prototype of a Gadol B’Yisroel. If all religious school prinicipals would see him as their role model, there would be a lot more Arie Crowns, I think.
As I said earlier, I attended the naming of my new granddaughter. Her name is Baila. She was named for my mother, who passed away just over 5 years ago. My mother was a quiet woman who was completely devoted to her family. So much so that she practically had no ego. For her, everything was about her husband (my father), her son (me), and her 2 stepsons, my brothers, Jack and Barry.
She was a bit shy and not a particularly social person. Her model of behavior to my father was that of Ruth to Naomi. Wherever he would go, she would go. So that even difficult decisions about my religious education that caused me to be away from home beginning at age 8 (during weekdays – home only for Shabbos) were accepted by her with equanimity. Never a fight. Never a bad word. Just quiet loving acceptance. She trusted my father’s judgment in all important matters, even when his decisions were difficult to take. She was the classic Ezer K’Negdo.
In a world where everything is about me, me, me… where people are increasingly saying, ‘What’s in it for me?’ even in matters of religion, my mother stood alone. She was the epitome of self sacrifice and doing the will of God the best way she understood it. A Tzanua till the end in every sense of the word. When I think of the phrase Kavuda Bas Melech P’nima, I think of my mother. She was the quintessential ‘princess of internal honor.’ A woman who ran away from externals.
It was a very emotional moment for me to hear her name called out at the naming ceremony. My new granddaughter has a lot to live up to.
Moments after the ceremony I received a phone call. My daughter Sari gave birth to a brand new baby boy. What can I say? I am overwhelmed with joy. Ken Yirbu to all of Klal Yisroel.
Visit Emes Ve-Emunah . / Harry Maryles