Seasons of the Moon

For the week ending 20 April 2013 / 9 Iyyar 5773

Rabbi Zelig Mandel

by Daniel Keebler
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Passaic, New Jersey

Community Rabbi and Sofer

Ohr Lagolah Alumnus

More than 20 years after his Ohr Lagolah training, Rabbi Zelig Mandel proudly states “I still refer to my notes from Rabbi Zev Leff’s classes to this day!” Rabbi Mandel says his Ohr Lagolah training, only in its second year at the time, was critical to his success as a Jewish leader. For 18 years Rabbi Mandel led a community of ba’alei teshuva in Morristown, NJ. Most of the families were “drop-outs” of various groups who were in search of authentic Judaism. Rabbi Mandel stood up as captain of their ship, sailing them through the Jewish life cycles and holidays, answering questions, and organizing Torah programs. His mottos? “There’s no one that can’t become a ba’al teshuva,” and “Every ba’al teshuva means generations.” Rabbi Mandel continues to teach Torah as do his sons – four teach in yeshivot and one is in kollel.

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