Intensive Care Unit & Intensive Center Year
University of Witwatersrand, South Africa
Although he graduated from the same medical school in South Africa as Rabbi Dr. Akiva Tatz, Baruch Batzofin only encountered Rabbi Tatz’s life-changing writings while stationed as a doctor in the IDF. “I was keeping Shabbat and kosher in the army, but couldn’t learn Torah. I realized I needed to learn how to learn Torah,” recounts Baruch.
Baruch “thoroughly enjoyed” his year in the Center Program, especially building those Talmud skills and starting to study mussar (character development lessons). Baruch says he gained the ability to go out into the working world and yet also seriously integrate Torah learning into his regular life, “as opposed to remaining a guy who learns a bit of Chumash (weekly Torah portion),” explains Baruch.
Baruch specializes in anesthesiology and intensive care at a major Israeli hospital. He puts patients to sleep for surgeries and provides general care pre- and post-surgery. In addition to learning Chumash every week, Baruch studies the laws of Shabbat with his brother in-law, attends a mussar meeting with Rabbi Raskis from Center, and learns Talmud on his own. He recently made a siyum (completion) of tractate Megillah and is now starting tractate Berachot. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife and two children.