Following the passing of a Tzaddik, we come to know about his true greatness and fine character. We hear stories about his selfless and charitable deeds and become inspired to emulate his ways.
While it is true that following the sudden passing of Harav Ahron Walkin, ZT’L, we hear many amazing stories about his life and we aught to know how fortunate we were to have such a Talmid Chacham and Baal Chessed in our gen- eration. However, even when Rav Walkin was alive, people who have come to know Harav Walkin, saw how such a special, beautiful Neshama he had.
Unfortunately, I did not have an opportunity to learn in-per- son by Rav Walkin, but I continuously listened to his inspir- ing recorded Torah lectures.
There was a particular lecture, which I remember very well. This lecture like many
others was a perfect re-
flection of Rav Walkin’s
selfless character. The
lecture was titled
“What is Love?” and it
was delivered shortly
after the brutal
shootout at the Jersey
City kosher grocery
store, where three of our dear Jewish brethren were killed. During the lecture, Rav Walkin asked “who was killed in Jersey?” and responded that “part of me was killed.” Rav Walkin had unprecedented love of every Yid. How does one develop such deep love?
Rav Walkin quoted a famous story in the Gemara of a con- vert coming to Hillel and asking to be taught the whole Torah while standing on one foot, to which Hillel responded famously, “Do not do unto others what you do not want others to do to you.”
Why didn’t Hillel state instead, to “Love your friend as you love yourself”? asked Rav Walkin. Quoting the Ramban, Rav Walkin explained that it is against human nature to love someone else as much as one loves himself. By nature, per-