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For the week ending 18 February 2012 / 24 Shevat 5772

Yochanan Betzalel Liebermann

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

North Carolina
UNC – Business Administration Major

Currently a student in the Mechina Program

Saddam Hussein did not build his palace to bring Jews closer to G-d, and yet, when Mr. Liebermann was serving in the US Army in Bagdad, that is where he found a minyan, and that is where he prayed to Him for the first time. As the Scroll of Estherteaches us, the unfolding of history reveals the Divine Plan and that everything — good and evil — ultimately serves to connect us back to the Creator.

Before Bagdad, the pressure to keep family traditions stopped him from asking the tough questions, but after busy bullets and singing shrapnel filled his ears, Liebermann had nothing to lose. His goal was to find — and to live — the Truth. Using all at his disposal he made his way into the Orthodox community. The historical accuracy and intellectual honesty of the Torah studies impressed him. Meanwhile, he married the wonderful Jewish lady he secretly always admired and soon they made aliyah together, hoping to grow their “Torah and Mitzvot family” with the roots of Holiness in Eretz Israel.

Ohr Somayach was waiting for him, and today, Yochanan’s passion for Torah shines infinitely brighter than the most luxurious chandelier in Saddam Hussein’s Palace ever did.

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