Rabbi Moshe Rubenstein
Rabbi Rubenstein: My name is Moshe Rubenstein. I came to Lakewood in 1960-61. I came from university in Detroit. The yeshiva then had 100 talmidim. We were a diverse group. Mesivtas weren’t so large in those days, so everybody came.
Rabbi Beane: What motivated you to come here?
Rabbi Rubenstein: I had come here to visit. I heard a shiur and I went up to the Rosh Yeshiva zt”l afterward, and he was mekarev me, so five years later, that drew me back. There were not too many places to choose from then. It was either Bais Medrash Elyon or Lakewood.
Rabbi Beane: That’s a typical theme that I’ve heard. Do you come from Detroit?
Rabbi Rubenstein: Yes. I learned by R’ Leib Bakst there.
When I came to Lakewood, I became part of a Kodshim chaburah. My chavrusa was Rabbi Yechiel Perr[MH2] . I listened to the shiurim and prepared for them, and if I walked away with any impression, it was certainly that Torah is fire, the picture of Aish HaTorah. Watching the Rosh Yeshiva zt”l say a shiur was to watch a fire.
His chessed was endless. I once went to him to ask if I could have reshus to go back to Detroit for Tishrei in order to make parnossa. My wife couldn’t come because she was teaching for the day school, and they had school on Sukkos. We were shanah rishonanikim. He told me that if she was moichel, I could go. But the next day, he called me in to tell me that I shouldn’t go. He said that for shana rishona, it wasn’t k’dai.
I was always impressed by that. That means that even though he had the yeshiva, the shiurim, Chinuch Atzmai, and Tashbar, he continued to think about me. He was always very good, very good to me.
It is from learning by him that I added a lumdishe derech to my learning. I added the derech of making sugyas fit together, making many diverse ideas fit together to make a binyan. I learned an appreciation of learning the Gaon and Shulchan Aruch. And I suppose it’s from him that I had the cheshek to stay in harbatzas HaTorah.
No Bittul Torah
Everything by him was a cheshbon in bittul Torah. Everything. He was our Mesader Kiddishun. He told my wife and me to get married on the second night of Lag B’omer because many bochurim would be in the city anyway because of shidduchim, so it would be less bittul Torah.
Rabbi Beane: That was his cheshbon always. Thank you very much.
Rabbi Rubenstein: Tizku l’mitzvos.