To gaze into eyes that saw the Chofetz Chaim zt’l… To clasp the hand that shook the hand of HaRav Elchonon Wasserman hy”d… This was our zchus. HaRav Yaakov Zakheim zt’l Mara d'asra of Bais Hamedrash Hagadol of East Flatbush was a young bochur of thirteen when he left the security of his parent’s home. He was born in Volkovisk, a small Lithuanian shtetl. In his youth, the effects of secular Zionism were raging across eastern Europe. The Rav of the town, Harav Yitzchok Kosovsky zt"l, saw promise in this bright, talented and serious young boy and he urged his parents to send their ben yochid to the yeshiva in nearby Bialystok. There he formed a very close relationship with Rav Aryeh Shapiro, (the father of Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro), the rav of that town. Before long, young Yankele "Volkovisker” was traveling yet further from his home as he joined the famed Baranovich Yeshiva and forged a bond with Rav Elchonon Wasserman that would forever guide his life.
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