If Not for my Rebbi, I Wouldn’t Be Here Today
By Yisroel Besser, Mishpacha Magazine
He was the rebbi. He was the talmid.
Few figures lived both titles to their fullest as did the Kamenitzer Rosh Yeshivah, Reb Boruch Ber. His shiurim, masterpieces of depth and profundity, are still the surest path to lomdus, the introduction for many a hard-working bochur to the thrills of becoming a yeshivahman. Yet he maintained the reverence and awe of an eager young talmid for his own rebbi, Rav Chaim Brisker, even after he took his rightful place on the Eastern Wall of the Lithuanian Torah world.
He was a man of lekach (scholarship) and of libuv (heart), the very soul of the Torah. A man of tears and of song, of poetry and prayer.
And today, seven decades after his passing ushered in an era of unprecedented suffering for our people, a new world has risen in which those three words — “Reb Boruch Ber” — have again come to symbolize the totality that can be attained through toil and tearful supplication.
There are not many left who remember the great man, who heard him deliver the legendary shiur or sing heartfelt zmiros at his Shabbos table. Not many who saw the luminous face, crowned with the immense yarmulke, framed with the wild white peyos.
Rav Moshe Chaim Sapochkinsky doesn’t just remember: he carries those memories before him, in his heart and soul. For, as he puts it, ever so simply, “If not for my rebbi, I wouldn’t be here today. I owe him everything.”
Rabbi Sapochkinsky is a sprightly, vibrant man, bright blue eyes twinkling with vitality and gentle humor.
He is the rav of one of Montreal’s most historic shuls, the Nusach Ari shul (in Bais Rivka Girls Academy) founded by his late father-in-law with a group of Russian Yidden, and a respected shochet. And, perhaps unlikely for a Kamenitzer talmid, he is a distinguished Lubavitcher chassid. “That is where my rebbe sent me,” he says.
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This cover story will be of great interest to us- Rabbi C.M. Sopochinsky and my Father Reb Menachem Nochum Preger a”h ( a fellow Lithuanian ) were close friends for many yrs., experiencing being Tmimim in Vilna and Shanghai… and in later years becoming an Elter Zeida to our delicious Einikel. Wishing the Bubby and Zeidy much Nachas and Gezunt !!!
Zeide, it’s so cool that you made it to the cover of Mishpacha.
I love you and Bobbi tons,
They are worth a book, that couple, shkoich
bentzion ben yisorel
i used to eat by the sapochinskys in montreal. such an adorable couple. thanks for this glimpse
the sapo family is the best!
Whats with Mishpacha and Lubavitch love affair lately?
Rabbi & Mrs sapo are my Favorite older couple!! Ad Meah Veesrim with Gezunt & Nachass!!
the apple doesnt fall far from the tree…what a choshever rabbi
I just finished reading this beautiful article. Reb Boruch Ber must have been a very special person – he helped mold such a chassidishe yid as Rabbi Sapochinsky. Thank you Mishapacha magazine for printing this.
I know Rabbi Sapochkinsky very well and can attest to the fact that he is an emes’er yid, who does not have any ga’ava. He always mentions that Reb Boruch Ber saved his life, and thanks to him he is a
live today and he became a Lubavitcher Chossid. I can’t wait to read the whole article
Gorgeous article. Kudos to Mishpacha for consistently finding the bright spots in every Yid and kehilla and sharing them with yidden across the world
I used to daven in Nusach Hoari Shul. Yasher Koach for allowing us to look into your history. Unbelievable.
Yasher koach for link
A varmeh Yid and a dedicated rov, he never lost the litvishe touch so hes perfect, chasidishe bren litvishe sharfkeit.
I loved the article, I could see him saying every word.
hi zaidy this is tani capland i wanted to tell you that you are the most amazing grandfather and you are amazing and i have the honor to be named after you
I am honored and humbled to call Rabbi Sapo my Zeide. Zeide is charming, cordial and extremely knowledgeable. His warmth reaches out to all he encounters. He truly deserves this honor as he has continued to live his life in the most respectable and modest way.
We love you Zeide & Bobbi!
Penina Capland Raksin & Family
What a story, Kamenetz meets Chabad.
He’s is a amazing man incredible!!
Long over due, thank you Mishpacha..
we love you zeide [and bobbi]
Mishpacha Does It Again. Excellent.
Great man, I hope the piece does him justice.
From friends of the westlake sapo’s!!!