As a long and tedious week of routine took its course, students were delighted with a surprise appearance by the revered Rabbi Grossman of Migdal Haemek, Israel on Wednesday, December 7th of last week.
Rabbi Grossman, we would learn, is a man of immense kindness and chesed, infallible faith, and the possessor of a true heart. As many students were unfamiliar with Rabbi Grossman, he was initially introduced through a video showcasing the aid, shelter, and lavish meals he and his colleagues provided soldiers of the IDF fighting in the second Lebanon war.
As the video concluded, students stood in acknowledgment and recognition of the great honor of Rabbi Grossman, who assumed his position at the front of the room, microphone in hand, and began one of the most unforgettable speeches in Hebrew Academy’s history. Rabbi Grossman began with both a reminiscent and warm sentiment: “It’s amazing to see that this school has thrived for this long. When I visited here forty years ago, when Rabbi Gross was still here, he had a dream that has been reached.” Students were awestricken that Rabbi Grossman had visited Hebrew Academy in its preliminary days.
After having begun with such a sentiment, Rabbi Grossman spoke about the power of both our yetzer hara, or bad spirit, and our yetzer hatov, our good spirit. These spirits are denoted as a single spirit that has both a bad and good side. Both sides of the spirit posses power and can rule the life of an individual, but it is essentially up to us as individuals to try and overcome our yetzer hara. Rabbi Grossman recollected a song a longtime favorite of the Hebrew Academy, Mrs. Sharon Ciment, had shared with him regarding overcoming our yetzer hara. The verse “איזה הוא הגיבור? הכובש את יצרו” translates to “Who is the strong one? The one who can overcome his bad spirit.” Rabbi Grossman sang these words again and again, encouraging students to join him and internalize the message.
Students were inspired by the happiness and unwavering faith Rabbi Grossman possessed and shared with those around him.
“He is so cute and inspiring,” shared junior Michal Cohen. “What he does for the soldiers is so important and amazing. He does not judge any Jew, and we should all learn that from him.”
By: Raquel Zohar (10th grade)