Today there are many people among the nations of the world who are drawn to the Jewish people and desire the sweetness of the Torah and its teachings. It has been difficult for non-Jewish people to find such teachings until now.
This groundbreaking book is a collection of essays on the weekly Torah portions and the holidays from twelve leading rabbis of Israel, written specifically to address the interests of a Christian audience. This is the world’s first book of Torah written by Orthodox rabbis especially (but not exclusively) with pro-Israel Christians in mind!
These Orthodox rabbis are enabling the fulfillment of the words of Zechariah “In those days it will happen that ten men, of all the [different] languages of the nations, will take hold, they will take hold of the corner of the garment of a Jewish man, saying, Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you!”
About the Authors of the Book
Rabbi David Aaron
Rabbi David Aaron (www.rabbidavidaaron.com) is a visionary and spiritual educator. He has taught and inspired thousands who are seeking meaning in their lives and a joyous connection to Judaism.
Rabbi Aaron is the Founder and Dean of Isralight and the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Orayta. He has authored several books including bestsellers Endless Light, Living a Joyous Life, The Secret Life of G-d, Inviting God In, The God Powered Life, Love is My Religion and Soul Powered Prayers. His books have attracted national media attention including Larry King Live and E! Entertainment. He lives in Jerusalem with his wife, Chana, and seven children.
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo
Rabbi Dr. Nathan Lopes Cardozo is the Founder and Dean of the David Cardozo Academy and the Bet Midrash of Avraham Avinu in Jerusalem. A sought-after lecturer on the international stage for both Jewish and non-Jewish audiences, Rabbi Cardozo is the author of 13 books and numerous articles in both English and Hebrew. Rabbi Cardozo heads a Think Tank focused on finding new Halachic and philosophical approaches to dealing with the crisis of religion and identity amongst Jews and the Jewish State of Israel. Hailing from the Netherlands, Rabbi Cardozo is known for his original and often fearlessly controversial insights into Judaism. His ideas are widely debated on an international level on social media, blogs, books and other forums. His new documentary, Lonely but Not Alone, will premiere this March in Jerusalem, and his autobiography of the same name is due out in late 2016. Rabbi Cardozo’s weekly Thoughts to Ponder, along with audio and video of many of his lectures, can be found on the David Cardozo Academy’s website: www.CardozoAcademy.org.
Levi Cooper, originally from Melbourne, Australia, is the spiritual leader of Kehillat HaTzur VeHaTzohar in Zur Hadassa, a mixed religious and secular neighbourhood outside Jerusalem. Since 1998, Levi has taught at the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies, Jerusalem (www.pardes.org.il). He holds an LL.B., LL.M., and Ph.D. from the Law Faculty of Bar-Ilan University, and is a member of the Israel Bar Association. Levi is is currently an adjunct professor in the Law Faculty of Bar-Ilan University and post-doctoral fellow in the Law Faculty of Tel Aviv University. Levi served in the IDF’s Golani Brigade and continues to do Reserve Duty as a commander in an infantry unit. He is a member of the Tzohar rabbis organization, an educational advisor to the Jewish community of Istanbul, Turkey and an educator with Heritage Seminars. He serves on the Readers’ Association of the National Library of Israel and is the rabbi of the Lavi primary school. Levi publishes a regular column in the Jerusalem Post on Hasidism. Since 2003 Levi is a contributing editor for Jewish Educational Leadership, the journal of Bar-Ilan University’s Lookstein Center (www.lookstein.org). His doctoral dissertation explores the interaction between Hasidism and Halakha, and his current research focuses on the evolution and normatisation of Hasidic lore. His first book, Relics for the Present: Contemporary Reflections on the Talmud was published by Koren/Maggid in 2012. In Relics, Levi explores the contemporary relevance of talmudic passages from the tractate Berakhot. Levi is married to Sarah and they have 6 children.
Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman
Rabbi Yehoshua Friedman was born in 1948 in Cleveland, USA, about half a year after the establishment of the State of Israel. He grew up in a liberal suburban Jewish environment and graduated from the local public high school. He studied the Great Books curriculum at St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, leaving with a BA degree and realized that some of the smartest people in the world are not Jewish. Four years of reading, analyzing and discussing the great works of Western philosophy, literature and science left him thinking that civilization today is composed of Greek thought and the Jewish and Christian Scriptures and what followed from them. In the wake of the watershed of the 1967 Six-Day War in Israel he felt the need to address the Jewish roots which were not sufficiently discussed in general society. He was not alone, as a small movement of searching out Jewish sources was growing and leading other Jews to Israel. From 1970 to date, Rabbi Yehoshua has learned and taught Torah; raised a large family; been a part of founding the community of Kochav Hashachar in the Binyamin area north-east of Jerusalem; worked for a time as a computer programmer, and participated in various activities involved with what he calls the “spiritual foreign policy” of the Jewish people.
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith
Rabbi Moshe Goldsmith was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at BTA Yeshiva High School and completed a Bachelor’s degree in Biology at Brooklyn College. From a very young age he felt a calling to go and settle down in the Land of Israel. Shortly after graduating college, he married his wife Leah and they made aliyah (immigrated) with the intention of joining hands with the nucleus of pioneers and establish a new community in Israel’s heartland. Rabbi Goldsmith’s love for Torah motivated him to join a rabbinical program in nearby Elon Moreh where he studied for thirteen years and received his smicha (Rabbinic ordination) from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and a teaching degree. He has been very active in the community and was Itamar’s mayor for over eight years.
Rabbi Goldsmith is a strong believer in the universal role that the people of Israel must play in being a light to the nations. He is an experienced lecturer on a wide range of topics and gives classes on a regular basis to Jews and non-Jews alike. At this vital time, he wants to raise awareness and support for Itamar by bringing the community’s important message to the world. He believes this essential mission is vital for the future of Itamar and other communities in Judea, Samaria and Israel. This, he believes, will be done by bridging the gap between Jews and non-Jews—an important component of Tikkun Olam (rectifying the world).
Rabbi Moshe D. Lichtman
Rabbi Moshe D. Lichtman was born and raised in Elizabeth, N.J. He studied at several Yeshivot in Israel. He received his rabbinic ordination (semichah) from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and Rabbi Isaac Elchanan of the Theological Seminary of Yeshiva University. He also holds an MS in Jewish Education from Yeshiva University’s Azrieli Institute.
Rabbi Lichtman made aliyah in 1991 and has taught in several post high school programs in Israel ever since. He currently resides in Beit Shemesh with his wife and eight children.
His “claim to fame” is undoubtedly his literary contribution to the Jewish world. Thanks to his efforts the broader English speaking audience worldwide can now benefit from the teachings of major works such as Eim HaBanim Semeichah, An Angel Among Men, A Question of Redemption and Rise from the Dust. In addition, he has penned a highly popular original work entitled Eretz Yisrael in the Parashah, which demonstrates the centrality of Eretz Yisrael in the Torah. It is from this book that the articles in the current volume are taken.
The Mishnah in Pirkei Avot that teaches “Bimkom she’ayn anashim hishtadel le’hiyot ish” guides him in his writing almost exclusively about Eretz Yisrael and aliya. “When no one is filling a role, you must rise up and fill it,” he explains.
Lastly, R. Lichtman has lectured on several occasions to Jewish communities abroad, impressing upon them the importance of aliyah in our times. If you are interested in hosting R. Lichtman as a scholar in residence in your community, please contact him through his website: www.toratzion.com.
Rabbi Gedalia Meyer
Rabbi Gedalia Meyer is living in the town of Maale Adumim in Israel. He comes from California where he studied sciences before getting interested in his Jewish roots and pursuing a rabbinic career. He has served for many years as a rabbi at four synagogues in America and Israel, most recently in his home community in Israel. He has also taught at several Jewish schools and yeshivot.
Rabbi Meyer has helped his wife, Suri, raising seven children. His interests include all manners of Torah subjects, with a special focus on the spiritual side. His current research interests include the historical development of Jewish spirituality and the ways in which it can merge with the latest developments of modern science. He is open to hear both old and new ideas and eager to share his own insights, however meager they may be, with others.
Rabbi Meyer is a founding teacher at Root Source, where he teaches “God: the Jewish Image – Video Lessons on the Jewish Journey to Understand God”.
Rabbi Chanan Morrison
Rabbi Chanan Morrison grew up in Pennsylvania and graduated with a B.A. in Mathematics from Yeshiva University (New York). Pursuing advanced Talmudic studies in Jerusalem, he spent the next seven years studying in Jerusalem yeshivot, including the famed Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav, founded by Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook in 1924. He taught Jewish studies for several years in Harrisburg, PA, before returning to Israel, settling down in a small community in the Judean Desert.
Rabbi Morrison is frequently featured on the Torah section of the Israel National News website, and his work can be read on his own website at www.ravkooktorah.org. He has published three books on Rav Kook’s writings: Gold from the Land of Israel (2006), Silver from the Land of Israel (2010), and Sapphire from the Land of Israel (2013).
Rabbi Zelig Pliskin
Zelig Pliskin is an Orthodox Jewish rabbi, writer, lecturer, and author of more than 25 books, including Gateway to Happiness, Conversations With Yourself, Building Your Self-Image and the Self-Image of Others, and Life Is Now. He is known as Zaidy Zelig and has a grandfatherly attitude to bring out the best in others.
Rabbi Pliskin was born in 1946 in Baltimore, Maryland. As a young boy he attended Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim Talmudical Academy of Baltimore and later studied at the Telshe Yeshiva in Cleveland, Ohio. After his marriage to Raizel, they moved to Israel and he studied for five years at a Brisk yeshiva. He received his degree in Counseling Psychology at the State University of New York.
Rabbi Pliskin’s father had been a student of the Chofetz Chaim at the Raduń Yeshiva in Poland and had written a biography of him. In 1974, after writing an article for The Jewish Observer about the life of the Chofetz Chaim, “The Profile of an Oheiv Yisroel,” Zelig Pliskin was asked to write a book explaining the Chofetz Chaim’s teachings. The result was his first book, Guard Your Tongue.
Several years following Rabbi Pliskin’s move to Israel, the outreach organization Aish HaTorah asked him to speak on human emotions and relationships. Rabbi Pliskin now provides marriage counseling and works with individuals to encourage their personal growth and improvement. He remains closely affiliated with Aish HaTorah, and lectures both in Israel and in the United States.
Rabbi Pliskin lives in Jerusalem with his family.
Find Rabbi Pliskin’s books here: www.artscroll.com
See more lessons from Rabbi Pliskin at www.aish.com
Rabbi Chaim Richman
Rabbi Chaim Richman is a founding member of the Temple Institute of Jerusalem and has served as one of its directors of nearly thirty years. Rabbi Richman was active in Jewish education in the USA before making aliya in 1982. He proudly served in an IDF combat unit. He is the author and translator of over ten books in English about the Holy Temple, as well as several original works of Torah commentary. As the head of the International Department of the Temple Institute, he has addressed audiences throughout the world, and has been interviewed extensively by the international media. For decades he has also been one of Israel’s trailblazing rabbis in his outreach and teaching Torah to non-Jews who wish to draw close to the God of Israel.
Rabbi Richman reflects on his motivation in establishing the Temple Institute’s International Department: “The Torah testifies that the Holy Temple in Jerusalem was the spiritual center for all mankind. All of Israel’s prophets foretell that in the future, the Holy Temple will once again stand on Mount Moriah, and at that time all nations will worship there together.
In our time, there is a great spiritual awakening concerning the importance of the Temple. The Temple Institute views this awakening as Divinely-inspired, and actively seeks to share the desire and knowledge of the Temple with people around the world.” Towards this goal, the Temple Institute has established a unique International Department, whose purpose is to help bring the light of the Holy Temple to a world that is seeking the presence of G-d. The International Department exists in order to provide knowledge, inspiration and information to all those who share in this vision, and to provide the opportunity to support and actively participate in projects of the Temple Institute.
The International Department produces weekly Torah teachings by Rabbi Richman on internet video. They also arranges Torah-based tours and seminars in Israel with a unique focus on Jerusalem from an authentic Jewish standpoint. The Temple Institute’s English language website: www.templeinstitute.org. Rabbi Richman can be reached directly at email@example.com.
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin
Rabbi Shlomo Riskin is a noted teacher, author, speaker and visionary—and his contributions to Israel and world Jewry over the course of the past five decades have been instrumental in shaping today’s Modern Orthodox society.
As the founding rabbi of the Lincoln Square Synagogue in Manhattan, Rabbi Riskin created a focal point for an exciting approach to Orthodoxy. He served as a role model for religious social action, promoting the involvement of women in religious learning, living and leadership, and thus became a major spokesperson for Modern Orthodoxy.
In 1983, Rabbi Riskin moved to Israel to pioneer the settlement of Efrat, which now numbers close to 12,000 people. Efrat is considered the most thriving, vibrant and desirable bedroom community of Jerusalem.
Upon arriving in Israel, Rabbi Riskin founded a boys’ High School in Efrat, and started what would eventually become Ohr Torah Stone (www.ots.org.il): a network of groundbreaking educational institutions; women’s empowerment programs; innovative leadership training; bridge-building outreach initiatives; and proactive social action projects that today encompasses 3,000 students from Israel and the Diaspora. The range of students come from elementary school to post-graduate programs for men and women. Despite the different scope of ages, programs and locations, OTS institutions are all united in espousing the vision and philosophy of their founder. This includes a deep love for Israel, tolerance of one’s fellow man, knowledge and pride in Judaism and high level secular studies. Ohr Torah Stone is thus training a knowledgeable, caring and relevant leadership for the future.
Rabbi Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz
Rabbi Naphtali “Tuly” Weisz attended Yeshiva University (BA), Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (Rabbinic Ordination) and the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law (JD). He also served as the Rabbi of the Beth Jacob Congregation in Columbus, Ohio.
Upon making Aliyah, Rabbi Weisz founded Israel365 and is the publisher of Breaking Israel News. He is also the general editor of The Israel Bible. These innovative and popular websites serve to promote the Biblical significance of the Land of Israel to both Jewish and Christian Zionists all over the world. Rabbi Weisz is married and lives with his family in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
Britt Lode lives in Norway with her beautiful family of five. For more than fifteen years she has had a special interest in Israel, and especially in the mountains of Judea and Samaria. She is passionate about fostering peace between Christians and Jews and about making the information about their common heritage and common goal readily available. She is behind the books “The Mountains of Israel – A Taste of Heaven” and “The Light from Zion.”
Gidon Ariel is the co-publisher of The Light From Zion and the CEO of Root Source.
A visionary and pioneer in Jewish-Christian relations, Gidon made Aliyah to Israel when he was 14 and spent close to a decade in advanced Jewish studies institutes (Yeshivas) and the IDF.
Gidon serves in the IDF reserves as a Captain in the Military Spokesperson’s Office after spending over 20 years in the Armored (Tank) Corps. Raised an Orthodox Jew, he has kept Jewish traditions his entire life, and is a seasoned Hebrew and Judaism Instructor.
Gidon is the owner of several Web-based marketing businesses, and has been working with Christian organizations in Israel, the USA and internationally since 2005.
Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
The celebrated first Chief Rabbi of pre-state Israel, Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook (1865-1935) is recognized as being among the most important Jewish thinkers of all times. His writings reflect the mystic’s search for underlying unity in all aspects of life and the world, and his unique personality similarly united a rare combination of talents and gifts. Rav Kook was a prominent rabbinical authority and active public leader, but at the same time, a deeply religious mystic. He was both Talmudic scholar and poet, original thinker and saintly tzaddik.
“Besides the meaty content, this book truly breaks new ground as a prophecy book written jointly by Orthodox Israeli Jews and an evangelical Christian.”
“Here is a unique book produced by unique people, Orthodox Israeli Jews and an Evangelical Christian. Thanks to their work you will get answers to your many questions.”