Brief and Brilliant: “Notes” From the Mashgiach
He was known simply as “the Mashgiach.” As mashgiach ruchani of Bais Medrash Govoha, the Lakewood Yeshivah, for close to half a century, Rav Nosson Wachtfogel worked beside Rav Aharon Kotler, zt’l, helping to build the yeshivah and, indeed, to build Torah Jewry in America after the Holocaust. And, of course, to build young men, thousands and thousands of them, into Bnei Torah.
“When a person learns mussar, it should bring him to great simchah... If someone learns mussar and then becomes sad and depressed, it means that he learned it wrong!”
Leket Reshimos -- literally, Collected Notes -- are collections of short and brilliant nuggets of inspiration assembled by Rav Wachtfogel’s students, who heard them directly from Rav Wachtfogel himself. Leket Reshimos also include his students’ memories of the Mashgiach and his inspirational life and service of Hashem, as well as stories Rav Wachtfogel told them about his own illustrious rebbeim.
On Rosh Hashanah, even the smallest person can become a complete tzaddik. He can change his situation, he can change who he is, and truly become a complete tzaddik.
Rav Nosson Wachtfogel on Elul and Yamim Noraim is adapted from Leket Reshimos. Most of the “notes” are brief, some only a paragraph or two, yet they contain an infinite amount of wisdom and perception.
You’re just a pipeline — whatever Hashem sends you each moment, that’s all you have. This attitude saves a person from imagining he has anything and thinking highly of himself. It also gives him amazing hope for the future because it means that he’s standing right next to the Borei Olam.
So read a “note.” Think about it. Savor it. Discuss it. Think some more. And you will find that you have enriched this awe-filled time of year. And, yes, you’ve enriched your life as well.