After losing his family, community and yeshiva in Ponovezh, Lithuania during the Holocaust, Rav Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman (1886-1969), the Ponovezh Rav, endeavored to rebuild what was lost in the Land of Israel. He was a dreamer who carried out his vision with a zeal and energy which seemed superhuman. His crowning achievement was rebuilding the beloved yeshiva he lost in his hometown, by establishing the Ponovezh Yeshiva on a dusty hill on the outskirts of the small settlement of Bnei Brak.
Today considered one of the key components of the flourishing postwar Torah world in Israel, the sprawling campus is a vibrant testimony to the Ponovezh Rav’s determination and perseverance. When it opened its doors at the end of 1943 with seven students, he dreamed of a building which would one day be home to hundreds of students. Rav Shmuel Rozovsky was hired as rosh yeshiva and Rav Avraham Abba Grossbard as mashgiach. The yeshiva soon expanded and Rav David Povarsky and later Rav Elazar Menachem Shach were added to the yeshiva faculty. The Ponovezh Rav felt that his energetic building campaigns were the expression of a living Holocaust memorial, as the Torah world of Lithuania would experience a rebirth in the Ponovezh Yeshiva, and its affiliate institutions.
Listen to a previous episode exploring the life and accomplishments of the Ponovezh Rav: https://jsoundbites.podbean.com/e/builder-dreamer-the-unstoppable-vision-of-the-ponevezher-rav/
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