How does one of the best ball players on the Lower East Side become one of America’s most distinguished mechanchim, a man who taught, inspired and elevated thousands of talmidim and their families? It begins by dedicating himself to Torah study and to serving Hashem with joy, love and consistency – to living a life that was a declaration of “Ani Avdecha” – I am Your servant. That is what Rabbi Yosef Tendler, mechinah menahel of Yeshivah Ner Israel in Baltimore, did. Rabbi Tendler was one of the first American-born talmidim of Rav Aharon Kotler zt’l, at a time when “Lakewood” had only dozens of students, and there were fewer than 1,000 senior yeshiva bachurim in the entire world. Appointed “temporary” menahel of Ner Israel’s mechinah, he remained in that post for 47 years, a brilliant teacher and charismatic role model, utterly devoted to his talmidim, creating literally thousands of Bnei Torah. Together with the Rosh Yeshivah, Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchok Ruderman, and Rabbi Naftali Neuberger, Rabbi Tendler was instrumental in saving Iranian Jewry for Torah life during the dangerous years after the Shah’s downfall. This riveting book is part biography and part memoir, often told in the voices of Rabbi Tendler himself and those who knew him during his decades at the forefront of Torah Jewry. I am Your Servant is full of wonderful, warm, and poignant stories that give us a unique vision of a multi-faceted personality, while also painting a thrilling picture of the extraordinary growth and development of yeshivah and Torah life during the last three generations.
Publisher: Artscroll/Mesorah (December 1, 2013)