One morning in the early 1980’s, I boarded the subway for an early morning ride into Manhattan’s Lower East Side. My destination target was a humble apartment which housed Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, one of the great luminaries of a previous generation. I was privileged to join him for Shacharis and speak with him afterwards.
Unfortunately, many people are procrastinators and never achieve many of their objectives because they put off for tomorrow what can be done today. I consider myself lucky that I spoke with many of the greats of yesteryear. I met, to name a few, Rav Gifter, Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky, Rav Ruderman, Rav Hutner, Rabbi Avigdor Miller and Rav Shmuel Birnbaum Zichronom LeVracha. I even attended an event at 770 Eastern Parkway to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe.
When I wanted to travel to tour Eretz Yisrael one summer, my Rosh Yeshiva asked why I wanted to go. When I replied that I wanted to visit the Gedolim, he chided me by saying “Become a Gadol yourself!” In any event, I was able to have an audience with Rav Schach and Rav Gustman, but was unable to see the Steipler Rav, and had to settle for attending his Levaya.
Aside from procrastination, another reason why people don’t take the time to see today’s greats is because they feel they don’t measure up to previous generation leaders. By the time they realize their mistake it is too late. Consider this post a gentle reminder to go today.