Two incredibly disturbing stories in a Gadol book

    I was reading a book which was a biography of the Steipler Gaon and within the first 100 pages there were two stories which although they were presented as evidence of righteousness were what seemed to be signs of extreme dysfunction.

The first story is about R’ David Baharain. In this story he was offered a Rosh Yeshiva position. Apparently the board felt they had to make the offer, but didn’t really want him for the job. When they asked him he asked what the responsibilities were. They answered that one was to decide which kollel families had use of the apartment buildings when they had a reshuffling every three years. Hearing this he immediately took the job. When asked why he said, “Because now I can fulfil the Rambam which says that the first to get charity should be your relatives”. This story was brought to show R’ David’s devotion to halachah, not his corruption, but isn’t that what jumps out at you.

The second story is about the Steipler, apparently his wife was careful not to disturb him while learning, wonderful, however when someone asked him about his son who was sick with a moderately severe illness he had no idea what the person was talking about. Devotion to learning is one thing, but isn’t it a problem when one of the stories to show your greatness is your obliviousness to everything around you?

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