Friends and relatives of R' Avrohom Yeshaya Schtroks, OMB, have set up a website - zichronshayaschtroks.com - where people can share their personal memories, as well as contribute to a fund set up to help the family financially through this difficult time. Please take a moment to make a donation to the fund and help the Schtroks family.
One of R' Yeshaya's students in the Morristown cheder, Schneur Zalman Wilansky from Elizabeth, NJ, relates the following:
My name is Schneur Zalman Wilansky. I am 10 years old, and I am in 4th grade in Cheder Lubavich in Morristown. I would like to write about my beloved teacher, Rabbi Schtroks.
Before learning, he would tell us a chasideshe story; I loved that! Rabbi Schtroks always told us lots of stories and taught us many Nigunum. He was very Chassidish. He always told us what he heard from the Rebbe. In the afternoon before we started to learn, he would tell us the funniest stories!
One of the things I loved about Rabbi Shtroks is that he would give out blue and red raffle tickets for two raffles every week. We, I mean, I personally didn’t think this was a bribe to make us learn. We didn’t even need it because we loved his classes. And our davening was out of this world! This is because Rabbi Shtroks did Beur Tefilla and would explain it so well that we really had Kavana. He inspired us to Daven.
Every week, everyone in my class has jobs to do, like filling up the water pitcher, Tzadaka, someone would pick who gets to say the Pesukim, Prize Putter, someone would pick out who wins and a lot more!!.
In our classroom, if someone’s not there, the Shamesh he would take his place and when Rabbi Shtroks needed something, the Shamesh would do it. A few months ago, Rabbi Shtroks hurt his hand, and I was privileged to be the one to write for him!!
Chuf Ches Adar is Rabbi Strock’s birthday so we decided to make a surprise party!!! A few weeks before, we called each other to arrange the party. We bought him a present of 2 sefarim, a cake and nosh. On that day, we put streamers all over the classroom!!! We also made hochlotos tovois. It was the greatest party!!
The second to last day that I was with Rabbi Shtroks was Chuf Ches Nissan. The day began with Mishnoys Bal Peh. Since it was Chof Ches Nisan, we went to watch a video of the Rebbe saying the Sicha of Chuf Ches Nissan. After we came back to our classroom Rabbi Shtroks spoke to us strongly with all his emotions about what the Rebbe said. “I did everything I could to bring Moshiach. Now it’s up to you!” he told us. Then, he said something I will never forget. “I might not be here on Sunday. Just you do whatever you can to bring Moshiach.” He said it very strongly to us kids.
I think he is hidden Tzaddik because he had Ruach Hakodesh and maybe he didn’t even realize it!