There is much being said in response to the tremendous loss that all Klal Yisrael suffered this week with the passing of Moreinu v'Rabbeinu HaRav Nachum Lamm ztz"l. There is really nothing I could possibly add as people who knew him better than me have already said that which had to be said. That still does not relinquish me from my responsibility to add some words of bereavement and consolation in this time of mourning. The reality is that I am deeply makir tov in that I had, albeit to a limited extent, a personal relationship with Rabbi Lamm for which I am and must be eternally grateful. This necessarily calls upon me to express some thoughts at this time. This is because he embodied the highest value of the personal within Torah.
I say this in regard to his scholarship and his relationship with others. His Torah was not just some body of knowledge which he possessed but it was the soul and spirit of his very being. When I spoke with him in learning or read any of his works, I felt taken into his world of committed passion for God and Torah. Each word that was his was the man that he was. This is also how he related to the world. He saw the other fully and conducted himself simply as one person relating to another. What really touched me was that this was not some positive objective standard of one human being relating to another but reflected the true reality of the subjective -- in my case, the personal Rabbi Lamm relating to the personal me. And this is how one hears he always was. You wanted to learn from and with him because he was this person. You wanted to relate to him because he was this person. I am so makir tov for having known him for he taught me so much about what it really means to be a honest Jew, unashamed of the love and longings that lead us with beating hearts and searching minds. The world is less one powerful light.
Rabbi Ben Hecht