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Prayer Skills: Rav Elchonon Wasserman: Mamme Loshon

The 11th of Tammuz is the Yahrtzeit of Rav Elchonon Bunim Wasserman, author of Kovetz Shiurim, Kovetz Heorot, Kovetz Maamarim and Ikvesa D’Meshicha. Born in the town of Birz, Lithuania, he learned at Telshe under Rav Eliezer Gordon and Rav Shimon Shkop., then lived with and learned from R’ Chaim Soleveitchik from 1897 to 1899. He learned from the Chafetz Chaim 1907-10, becoming his closest disciple, then went to Brisk to be Rosh Yeshiva. Became Rosh Yeshiva of Brananovich after WW1 in 1920 and grew it from 60 to 500 bachurim. (1875-1941) (12 Tammuz, according to some)


I once heard the following story: Rav Elchonon carefully listened and watched as his holy Rebbi, the Chafetz Chaim prayed. He was certain that he heard the  Chafetz Chaim speaking in Yiddish during his prayer.

One of the greatest Rabbis of the generation spoke to his Rebbi as a young student speaks to his teacher, (which itself speaks volumes of Rav Elchonon), “Why does Rebbi speak in Yiddish and not Hebrew?”

The Chafetz Chaim responded, “When one speaks to God as his Parent, one speaks in Mamme Loshon!”

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