The Jewish Eye
A Gadol's Sad Goodbye
R' Shneur Kotler, the Rosh Yeshivah of Lakewood, escaped Europe and managed to survived the Holocaust after experiencing great miracles. Eventually, he arrived in Eretz Yisrael, joining his grandfather R' Isser Zalman Meltzer with whom he shared a very close relationship. Once he was in Eretz Yisrael, news reached him that his kallah who he was engaged to before the war was still alive. However, she was unable to join him in Eretz Yisrael so R' Shneur made plans to travel to her to finally get married.
On the day of his departure R' Shneur went to his grandfather's house to part from him. R' Isser Zalman expressed his great joy on his grandson's upcoming marriage and began accompanying him down the stairs. Surprisingly, after descending only two steps from his second floor apartment he turned around and went home. Everybody present was shocked and puzzled by his behavior. Was this a fitting way for R' Isser Zalman to part from his dear grandson who he would probably never see again?
One of his students dared to ask him why he had not accompanied his grandson all the way down the stairs. R' Isser Zalman said, "As I was walking down the steps, I saw a vision of the thousands of Yidden who did not merit living long enough to marry. I returned home to join in their pain." (Source: Stories My Grandfather Told Me)
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