Rav Shimon Shkop: True Kedusha
In honor of the yahrtzeit, (the 9th of Cheshvan) of Rav Shimon Shkop of Grodno (1860-1939). Born in Turz, Poland, Rav Shimon studied in Mir at the age of 12, and then Volozhin at the age of 15, with Rabbi Chaim Soloveitchik. He was brought to Telshe in 1885 by his uncle, Rav Lazer Gordon. Rav Shimon’s brother-in-law, Rav Shlomo Zalman Abel, was one of the three founders of the Telshe Yeshiva. He taught at Telshe for 18 years. He succeeded Rav Alter Shmuelevicz as Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshiva Shaarei Torah in Grodno, from 1920 to 1939, transforming it into one of the finest yeshivos in Poland and beyond. In 1929, Rav Shimon Shkop came to America to raise funds for the yeshiva, and accepted R’ Dov (Bernard) Revel’s invitation to serve as rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan in New York. However, at the request of the Chafetz Chaim, Rav Shkop returned to Europe after six months. In 1939, the Soviet Red army marched into Grodno during the Asseres Yemei Teshuva. Most of the talmidim fled to Vilna,
but Rav Shimon Shkop was too old and sick to travel and remained behind with a few talmidim. He passed away a month later. Rav Shimon Shkop was the author of Shaarei Yosher.
True Kedusha – Sanctity – is that all our efforts and work should be for the entire congregation of Israel, and none of our focus should be on ourselves.
(Introduction to Sha’arei Yosher)