Rabbi Dovid and Rebbetzin Basya Bender - the bridge between the Yeshiva-Bais Yaakov worlds of pre-War Europe and post-War America
This is a panorama of a book, the story of worlds within worlds. It combines many slices of fascinating human interest and the history of Torah worlds. It invites us into the life of a family that will make us smile with admiration, marvel at its courage and accomplishment, and recognize the roots of our own lives.
Rabbi Dovid Bender was born in Slonim and came to America as a young child, Rebbetzin Basya Bender was born in Poland. When he was 20, he went overseas to learn in the Mirrer Yeshiva. She became one of the first students of the legendary Sarah Schenirer in Cracow. He became a talmid chacham in a greenhouse of Torah greatness. She became a teacher in sometimes hostile environments. They married shortly before the War, and managed to escape the carnage and settle in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Rabbi Bender became a master mechanech and a menahel in Yeshiva Torah Vodaath, and a role model for multitudes. She became one of the pioneers of the American Bais Yaakov movement and a surrogate mother to generations of students.
But this is more than the story of a human bridge from Europe to America and the history of institutions. Most of all it's the story of a couple that raised a beautiful family, a couple that was indescribably rich in everything but money, that was wealthy in everything that matters, that lived for everyone who needed them, without neglecting their own children. No wonder so many of their children and grandchildren are carrying on their legacy of creating people and molding neighborhoods and Torah institutions.
In writing this masterpiece Mrs.Devora Gliksman conducted myriad interviews, assembled never before published letters and documents, and obtained pictures that have never appeared in print. This is a book to treasure, savor, and pick up again and again. It's an unforgettable story with a soul, a history that makes us understand and appreciate the post-War Torah world that preserves the legacy of Mir and Cracow.
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