My Dad as a father, a husband, a scientist. My teachers in school,: Mr Smart the music teacher, my two Roshei Yeshiva, Reb Freifeld and Reb Shmuel Berenbaum.
I would like to go into detail about each one and what I learned from them. But this minute it is hard to do so because excellence is hard to describe. And what makes it different from mediocrity. Still, God willing I would like to go into detail perhaps in a future comment.
Each one had a great sense of balance and responsibility.
Each one was focused on what they could give to others-not what they could get from others.
I have described my Dad a little in this blog beforehand but he remains the greatest mystery to me.
His major principle was self sufficiency. Do it yourself. Many people have made it their way of life to collect charity from others and that would have been for my Dad the lowest of the low.
Mr Smart had an amazing sense when it came to music and how to instill appreciation of great music into his students. He got his amateur high school orchestra into a state of excellence. I have no idea how. It was just some kind of excitement about him when it came to music and conducting the orchestra.
Reb Shelomo Friefeld had a grasp of what Torah is supposed to be about and a way of instilling that into others.
And Reb Shmuel really needs to be understood together with his wife Rebitzin Berenbaum. As a team they made the Mir yeshiva in NY into the most phenomenal kind of place I have seen. The spirit of Torah just permeated the place.
But in the face of these really great people, I am at a loss to describe what it was that pushed them over the line from average into greatness.
Today it is hard to find good people, much less great people. But the main thing about each of the people I mentioned is they loved what they were doing, and they were extremely competent, and had a tremendous excitement about them in trying to instill this into others.
[Sadly enough I knew a great number of con men that acted the parts, but had no substance. It took me too much time and experience and suffering to realize this. To understand the world you live in it is no enough to have great teachers. You need to experience terrible people also in order appreciate the good ones. And book learning can complement this but it does not replace it.