‘Shabbos Aufrof’. My grandfather’s Shabbos Aufrof was in the town of Pahust, where he was the Rav. Customarily dur- ing such an event, the important aliyah of Maftir is given to the Chosson (groom). As it turned out, my grandfather’s Aufrof coincided with a young boy’s in the town bar mitz- vah. In deference to custom, title and occasion, the gabay planned to give the Rav, my grandfather, the aliyah of Maftir; he planned to give the bar mitzvah boy a regular aliyah. However my grandfather refused and requested that the special maftir aliyah instead be given to the bar mitzvah boy. He explained, “Even though the Halacha may seem to imply that a chosson comes first, I have an upcoming wed- ding to look forward to with festivities and many good memories. If I take away this boy’s maftir, he won’t have much to take away from his bar mitzvah. I don’t want to take away from him the excitement of his bar mitzvah”. [The Lithuanian custom throughout Lita in those days was not to make large parties for the bar mitzvah. The boy would read the maftir, followed by a small kiddush]. My grandfather thus relinquished the aliya of maftir even though he was the chosson and Rav of the town.
HaRav Ahron Walkin: A certain well known Mirer talmid who suffered from a nervous breakdown during World War 2 used to regularly invite himself to my grandfather’s Shabbos table. Due to his mental state, this man would show up unexpectedly, unclean and totally disheveled. My grandfather always welcomed him warmly. He wanted this man to have a clean set of clothing and to feel that he was being given new clothing. So my grandfather would repack