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For the week ending 4 May 2013 / 23 Iyyar 5773

Rabbi Dovid Hirsch

by Daniel Keebler
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Age: 54

Jerusalem

Universityof Florida– Major: History

Ohr Somayach: Zichron Yaakov & Jerusalem

Rabbi Dovid Hirsch was a cartoonist for his school newspaper and heading for a law degree before coming to Ohr Somayach in 1981. Since then, Rabbi Hirsch has combined his expertise in halacha with his artistic talents to produce the highly accessible illustrated Mishnah Berurah entitled “Pe’er Halacha.”

What began as sketchup drawings for his kollel colleagues turned into a booklet about etrogim that sold out its first printing of 1,500 copies. Under the support of his Rosh Kollel of 15 years, Rabbi Mordechai Freidlander, Rabbi Hirsch’s illustrations have expanded to cover the very technical areas of halachah such as the arba minim, tzitzit, safrut (how to write a Sefer Torah, mezuzah and the like), tefillin, and Chanukah. “A lot of safrut teachers come and buy 10 [copies] of ‘Mishnat Sofrim’ at a time,” says Rabbi Hirsch of his book. In the age of technology’s instant visual gratification, Rabbi Hirsch’s illustrations give an opening to those who find the technicalities of the text too difficult to follow. His next project is on the laws of the succah.

Following encouragement he received from Rabbi Mendel Weinbach, zatzal, Rabbi Hirsch regularly learns Torah with young students in Ohr Somayach. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife of 25 years and their wonderful children.

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