BJL: What was life like in the famous Lakewood Yeshiva atmosphere?
Rav Walkin: Well, learning in the Lakewood Yeshiva is a whole package deal. Their hashkafah (outlook) itself speaks volumes, even without verbal expression. The entire envi- ronment is conducive to student growth because the overar- ching approach is about living the life of a Ben Torah. Rather than mere intellectualism, the curriculum markedly molds the personality as well.
Another unique aspect was the high chance of meeting Torah luminaries from all over the world, at any given time. They could be spotted at Mincha, Maariv, or Shacharis, or visiting and giving a shiur or a schmooze. The Yeshiva is a central Torah nucleus, and always attracted the world’s Torah giants whenever they visited the States.
BJL: What closing message would you like to share with or readers?
Rav Walkin: I want your readers to understand that being invested in the Queens community enables me to give this wonderful experience back to the students I oversee in our Yeshiva. I want them to feel what it means to be part of the Olam haYeshivos. Our students have the same Torah her- itage and the same great potential as the students who call Beis Medrash Gevoha their home. This is what we are all about. Be’ezrat Hashem, this is what we will achieve here in Queens.