The life and times of HaGaon Rabbi Yaakov Kamenetsky.
By Yonason Rosenblum
In his 95 years, the gaon Rabbi
Yaakov Kamenetsky combined many lives. He was a product of
Slabodka and one of the closest disciples of its legendary
“Alter,” the master molder of great people. He was a confidant and
advisor of leaders many years his senior. He was the leader of
kehillos in Europe and America. He was rosh yeshivah of Torah
Vodaath. He was the sage, guide, and counselor of American Torah
Jewry for half a century, the man his peers called “the wise man
of the generation.”
To every question and problem, he had the uncanny ability to
marshal the entire breadth of his encyclopedic Torah knowledge, an
unusually rich life experience, and a clarity of thought that cut
to the heart of the situation.
To revere Reb Yaakov was inevitable; to know him was impossible.
He was accessible to everyone -- young and old -- on his or her
own level, but there were so many layers to him that as soon as
someone thought he knew him, he discovered a new dimension of