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For the week ending 9 November 2013 / 6 Kislev 5774

Pesach Feldman & Joseph Jacobson

by Shimon Jacobs
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Pesach Feldman

MIT – Computer Science
Shoresh Program

&

Joseph Jacobson

MIT – Physics
Shoresh Program

In the summer of 1989, two geniuses of MIT collided as roommates in Ohr Somayach. Pesach Feldman, while researching functional analysis abroad at Hebrew U, began to wonder how seemingly intelligent people could be religious - and Joseph Jacobson, while visiting family at the Blumenthal Orphanage, wanted to try learning while Rav Simcha Wasserman was teaching at Ohr Somayach. The depth and craft within the seemingly pointless and empty words of the Torah shined through, and when Pesach and Joseph went back to Boston to finish their studies the Boston kollel was a regular retreat. Pesach returned to Jerusalem to study in Meshech Chochma Kollel and then began working for the Iyun HaDaf Kollel. Joseph continued his studies in the Boston Kollel while becoming a professor at MIT in Synthetic Biology where his research created the E-Book technology. Today both are happily married with wonderful children.

The love they share for learning Torah has brought them back to Ohr Somayach’s campus some 20 years later to sweat over Gemara together. You can spot them quickly at lunch before they dig in back in the Beit Midrash for another marathon. True, Joseph’s visit cannot last forever, but the sparks from this meeting will.

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