R' Zelig Epstein Rosh Yeshiva of Shaar Torah and one of the few remaining Roshei Yeshiva who grew up and learned in pre-war Europe passed away yesterday.
While he is not the last, the number is dwindling and within 10 years there will be no one left who learned in pre-war Europe.
The question is how will this affect us? Until now, there has been a glorification/idealization of the Eastern European yeshivas and what they represented. The Yated Neeman goes so far as to call that generation the דור דעה. I wonder whether when they are all gone will this idealization of pre-war Europe get stronger or weaker?
Until now, the focus of the Torah world has been to replace what was lost from pre-war Europe by the Holocaust which has been a very big contributor to the Torah only hashkafa. Maybe with the passing of that generation we will be able to move forward and understand that it is time to move on and that the הוראת שעה has ended.