To know Rabbi Dovid Trenk was to love him — because he loved you. Even if he’d just met you.
Dovid Trenk was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of person, and Just Love Them: The Life and Legacy of Rabbi Dovid Trenk byYisroel Besser, published in time for Rabbi Trenk’s first yahrzeit, is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of book.
Exuberant, empathetic, and almost unbelievably energetic, Rabbi Trenk overflowed with simchas ha’chaim, with the joy of living in Hashem’s world. As a rebbe and rosh yeshivah, first in Yeshivas Mir, then in the Adelphia Yeshivah he helped create, and finally in his own yeshivah, Yeshiva Moreshes Yehoshua, he saw the good, the potential, and, yes, the holy neshamah in every talmid, and he drew out what was best in each of them. With his powerful personality, his humor and understanding, and, of course, his infinite love for his talmidim and for Torah, he showed thousands of people of all ages just how good they could be.
When he found his students breaking into the yeshivah kitchen at night, he led them to his own house and cooked up a pot of pasta (the boys still remember how good it tasted). A simple question asked by a weak student became, in Rabbi Trenk’s words, a “bomb kushya,” good enough to ask of the Rosh Yeshivah — giving the student a much-needed and long-lasting boost of confidence and love for learning. The stories, and there are so many of them, beautifully illustrate his philosophy of chinuch, and of life: “Just go in and love them and teach them and listen to them and build them. That’s all you have to know!”
Written by master storyteller Yisroel Besser, Just Love Them is much more than an engrossing read and a great collection of stories (though it is that too!). In the hundreds of stories about him, each one as unique as Rabbi Trenk himself, we learn to dream big. To live big. And most of all, to love our children, our talmidim, our nation, and ourselves.
As Yisroel Besser says, “[This book] will change the way you look at everybody around you: Your wife, your children, your friends and neighbors. And the way you look at yourself.”