Shimon HaTzadik was from the remnant of the Men of the Great Assembly and he used to say: “On three things the world stands on Torah, Service (Avodah), and Acts of Kindliness (Gemilas Chassadim).” (Chapters of the Fathers)
If one followed the articles on Israeli Chareidi websites today, they were all about the passing of the Vishnitzer Rebbe zt'l. Checking out the home pages of those sites, the petirah of the Rebbe was the single most important item in the news.
This afternoon I attended a lecture in which the rabbi begin his opening thought with the words from Chapters of the Fathers quoted above. The rabbi said that the Vishnitzer Rebbe zt"l encapsulated all those three things. He was a great Torah scholar, was involved in various institutions of learning as well as in acts of kindness.
The rabbi went on to explain that we lost someone who was a pillar of the world. The loss of such an individaul makes the world shake as a pillar has been removed.
Those who didn't figuratively feel the earth shake upon the loss of such a tzaddik might have literally felt the earth shake as a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck off the northeastern coast of Japan today.
May the Rebbe be a Meilitz Yosher for those who are left behind, bereft of a leader.