When I first met the Rebbi I was 13 years old. He had the Kollel in Rabbi Haimoff’s Shul and he was giving a Gemara Shiur to the Ba’al Habatim. My father would attend the Shi- urim, and told me that since I’m home all summer, I should go pray with them and attend the Shiur with the Rebbi later on. This was my first time learning Gemara with Rashi and Tosafot. I came home knowing that I have learnt so much. When the Yeshiva then relocated to the Od Yosef Chai syno- gouge, every opportunity that I had to go to his Shiur, I grabbed it.
The way he spoke was so sweet and it penetrated my heart. He made me feel special. Every break that I had from school, I would make sure that I was going to Shul at 8am to pray and learn with the Rav. Some days I felt like sleep- ing in, but when I remembered that Rabbi Walkin (my Reb- bi) was giving the Shiur, how could I? There were days where I would stay in Shul from 8am until 12pm learning, not realizing what the time was and that I haven’t ate or drank anything.
After vacation, I would brag to every friend of mine about the “new Rabbi I met”, when I told my Rebbeim, they told me of how he and his father helped the Bukharian commu- nity to grow spiritually and how much of Great Rebbeim they were.
When Rebbi visited my school, it was the happiest moment I had that year. I had the opportunity to show my class who he was and they were startled. When he saw me, his face shined with happiness and Rebbi pointed me out and said in front of the entire high school “This is my boy, my boy is here, this is my boy” he made me feel special treated me as if I were his own.