Did you ever hear a story about a gadol from long ago, and try to picture it? How did it happen? What exactly transpired?
No descriptions, however colorful, could ever portray the realities. The old time villages, the unpaved roads, the houses on the verge of collapse, the multicolored rainbow of personalities living in an era of once upon a time.
We will never truly understand the inner workings of their challenges as Yidden throughout the ages clung steadfast to the sheltered walls of Torah and Yiddishkeit.
Father to son, teacher to student, we hear stories of the lofty giants who walked these winding dirt paths, the shepherds of our People. The leaderships of these gedoim are stored in the vast collections of our history, both from their writings and from the records of their students. But their everyday behaviors, the mundane acts and travails, remain unknown.
Unlike the gedolim of today, no comprehensive biography was ever written describing the lives and legacies of these leaders. All we have are but snall vignettes, illuminated glimpses into their holy lives. These are safeguarded in the stories that are told and passed down from generation to generation.
The actions of tzaddikim serve as our signposts, pave a road of righteousness for us to follow. Their deeds illumine the heavenly spheres of Yiddishkeit and iluminate the way for us to this very day. It is by this light that we were educated and it is by this light that we continue to educate, passing the chain of our mesorah from one generation to the next.
In the "Our Guiding Light" series, we attempt to take a peek into the lives of some of the spiritual giants of yesteryear. And although we have no indication as to the real scope of tehir greatness, these artistic illustrations and stories provide a glimpse into their elevated lives and stories.
May we be zoche to follow in their footsteos.