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For the week ending 19 December 2020 / 4 Tevet 5781

An Introduction to The History of the Teshuva Movement - New Podcast w/ Rav Nota Schiller

by Rabbi Shlomo Simon
Library Library Library

Ohr Somayach is proud to announce a new series on the Ohr Somayach Podcast Network: “The History of the Baal Teshuva Movement” as told by Rabbi Nota Schiller, founder and Rosh HaYeshiva of Ohr Somayach.

From the Brooklyn streets of Brownsville and East Flatbush in the 1940’s, a 10-year-old public school boy immersed in stickball, basketball and with dreams of becoming a shortstop for his beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, enters a fledgling yeshiva katana eager for new students. While his generation is leaving Orthodoxy in droves, his loving rebbeim ignite a spark within him that grows in intensity as he progresses in his learning at Yeshivas Chaim Berlin under the tutelage of HaRav Yitzchok Hutner, and in Ner Yisroel Yeshiva under his rebbe, HaRav Yaakov Weinberg.

After his marriage, the young Rabbi Nota Schiller moves to Eretz Yisrael to continue his learning in Rav Mordechai Elefant’s Itri Yeshiva in Jerusalem. After an encounter with two secular, very bright young brothers (one a student at Harvard the other at Columbia), who are in Israel for a year on a secular Zionist study program, he and hischavrusa, Rabbi Noach Weinberg, make a decision that will change the history of the Jewish People. They will start a yeshiva for young Jewish men with limited or no background in traditional Jewish learning.

Despite a promising start and the strong encouragement of the Posek Hador, HaRav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv - they suffer a number of financial setbacks from a skeptical Orthodox Jewish society that has almost given up hope for a revival of halachic Jewry. This forces them to temporarily close. However, after a few years of indefatigable fundraising efforts they manage to convince a few visionary philanthropists to share their dream and initially fund their new enterprise.

With just a handful of eager students and a passionate, stellar rabbinic staff, they launch what will become the forerunner of Baalei Teshuva Yeshivot — which will sweep the Jewish World and change it forever.

Listen to this exciting new podcast now at: ohr.edu/ospodcast

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