Memory Lane: Rav Peretz Yogel
Last week, we profiled the Brooklyn Talmudical Academy, an outgrowth of Boro Park’s Yeshiva Etz Chaim.
For most of its tenure in Brooklyn, BTA was led by an outstanding Talmid Chacham and mechanech— a vestige of the European yeshiva world—Rav Peretz Yogel. He was the son of the legendary Rav Shabsai Yogel, the Rosh Yeshiva of Slonim (one of the prized talmidim of the Netziv of Volozyn), and he had yet served alongside his father in Slonim—after being fashioned and molded for many years (later 1920’s-early 1930’s) in the Mirer Yeshiva in Poland.
Rav Yaakov Kamentzky once remarked about Rav Peretz: “He is from the few remaining from my generation with whom I can still schmooze…he is indeed from the sh’yorei knesses hatorah of der heim who has merited to be meshameish so many of the Gedolei Torah from the previous generation.”
In 1932, he received exceptionally laudatory semichos from the Roshei Yeshiva and Rabbanim of the Mir, and that year became the son in law of Rav Elya Perelman, the son of the “Minsker Gadol.” He then assumed the Rabbinic position of his shver in a town near Poland. In those years leading up to the war, he was also extremely active in klal work—arousing the admiration of none of than the gadol hador, Rav Chaim Ozer Grodzensky.
He was fortunate to escape with the Mirer yeshiva to Shanghai, and made his way to Canada in 1943. But in 1945, he took the helm of the fledgling new yeshiva, simultaneously serving as the Rov of Anshei Slonim in Crown Heights.
In America, this potential came to fruition in BTA, Rav Peretz was the Rosh Yeshiva, the bochein, and the maggid shiur for the highest shiur—in which capacity he shaped hundreds of talmidim who remember him fondly and venerably.
Towards the end of his life, he would daven at the Gerer shtiebel in Flatbush. Upon his passing in 1987 he was mourned a large gamut of the olam hayeshivos in America and in Eretz Yisroel.