By COLlive reporter
Bochurim returned on Sunday to a new school year at Yeshiva Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch in Lod, the veteran Mesivta founded in 5709 in the Center District of Israel.
One familiar face was absent: Rabbi Yitzchok Mendelson, the dorm counselor who served for 65 years since Yeshiva was located in a orange orchard near the train station.
With over 225 students learning in the Yeshiva, Rabbi Mendelson oversaw a staff of 6 counselors who worked hand-in-hand with the 27 maggidei shiurim and mashpiim.
Rabbi Mendelson just concluded his year of mourning after his wife, Mrs. Sarah Rivka Mendelson, who was known as the “dorm mother” of the Yeshiva and passed away after Rosh Hashana 5775.
Many students expressed their sorrow to the Mendelson family and were saddened that future generations of bochurim wouldn’t be guided by the caring attention of the rabbi and his wife.
Here is one illustrative story a student related this week about Rabbi Mendelson’s care:
It was around 20 years ago. I was a student in the Yeshiva and was excelling at learning. I put a lot of pressure of myself. I demanded a lot from myself and with the help of the dedicated teachers, I achieved great heights.
It was in the middle of Shiur Beis, around the time when tests were given. That and other things were giving me anxiety and I had no one to turn to. I was embarrassed to discuss it with my Mashpia and so a few days have passed with me being ‘eaten from within’.
And then I walked into the lunchroom and R’ Yitzchok with his heartfelt smile greets me.
Why do you look down? he asked with sincere care in his eyes.
I told me that things aren’t going smooth for me. I am under a lot of pressure and I don’t know what to do. I even allowed myself to shed a tear.
He put his hand on my shoulders and said, “Listen up! You are not feeling well. There is not feeling well physically and there’s not feeling well mentally. You need rest. Go to the Mashgiach and ask for to go home for 3 days. Tell him you’re not feeling weel but nothing more.”
He then added, “if there will be problems, come back to me and I’ll take care of it.”
I listened to his advice and went to the Mashgiach and he gave permission. After 3 days of rest at home, I returned like a new bochur. It gave me a boost of energy.
I am sure that R’ Yitzchok doesn’t remember this story because they occurred almost on a daily basis throughout his 65 years of dedicated work. I wish him long years to enjoy nachas from his thousands of spiritual children.