Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

With Fire and Song

Refoel Pride

How can a shiur compete with the gadgets and thrills of secular society? How can a yeshivah build mentschen in a me-first world? Rav Shmuel Brazil, the renowned composer who is also rosh yeshivah of Zeev HaTorah in Jerusalem, shares a few of the chinuch secrets that he learned from his own rebbi, Rav Shlomo Freifeld ztz”l.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

rabbi brazil“This whole pond was built by the bochurim,” says Rav ShmuelBrazil. “From scratch.”

RavBrazilis gesturing toward a small pool, complete with burbling fountain and darting goldfish, constructed in a corner of the garden outside his yeshivah, Zeev HaTorah, inJerusalem’s Ramat Eshkol neighborhood. It seems almost impossibly idyllic on this pleasant spring day.

“Incredible, no? We want to instill the idea that the yeshivah is their place, and they should take pride in it. It’s a zchus for them. It turns the mirrors into windows. We want to turn them away from looking at themselves. But we want to keep the same glass.”

Since opening the yeshivah for Elul zman in 2009, Rav Brazil has been plying the trades he has honed over four decades: building bochurim from the inside out, and composing the haunting niggunim that grace Jewish homes around the globe. Rav Brazil is a living link in a chain of mesorah that winds back through his rebbi, Rav Shlomo Freifeld ztz”l, to Rav Freifeld’s rebbi, Rav Yitzchak Hutner ztz”l. At Yeshivas Rabbeinu Chaim Berlin, Rav Hutner transmitted his unique blend of the best of the chassidish and litvish worlds to Rav Freifeld, who built those teachings into the very foundations of his Yeshivas Sh’or Yoshuv in Far Rockaway. Rav Freifeld in turn appointed Rav Shmuel Brazil as a chief apprentice to help implement his groundbreaking program for baalei teshuvah called Tal Techiya.

Rav Brazilhas now been given the chance to bring this mesorah to a new generation. The name of his yeshivah, Zeev HaTorah, speaks volumes about his outlook: ziv means brilliance, radiance, or splendor, and his stated goal is to present to his talmidim the “wow” of Torah. His journey over the last 40 years has shown him that the approach pioneered by Rav Hutner, and carried on by Rav Freifeld, has never been timelier than right now.


 To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha. To sign up for a weekly subscription click here.

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Evolution vs. Revolution
Shoshana Friedman I call it the “what happened to my magazine?” response
Up, Up, and Away
Rabbi Moshe Grylak What a fraught subject Eretz Yisrael is, to this day
Where Do You Come From?
Yonoson Rosenblum Could they be IDF officers with no Jewish knowledge?
Heaven Help Us
Eytan Kobre Writing about anti-Semitism should rouse, not soothe
Work/Life Solutions with Chedva Kleinhandler
Moe Mernick “Failures are our compass to success”
An Un-Scientific Survey
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Are Jerusalemites unfriendly? Not necessarily
Out of Anger
Jacob L. Freedman How Angry Lawyer was finally able to calm down
5 Things You Didn’t Know about…Yitzy Bald
Riki Goldstein He composed his first melody at eight years old
When the Floodgates of Song Open, You’re Never Too Old
Riki Goldstein Chazzan Pinchas Wolf was unknown until three years ago
Who Helped Advance These Popular Entertainers?
Riki Goldstein Unsung deeds that boosted performers into the limelight
Your Task? Ask
Faigy Peritzman A tangible legacy I want to pass on to my children
Are You There?
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Emotional withdrawal makes others feel lonely, abandoned
A Peace of a Whole
Rebbetzin Debbie Greenblatt Love shalom more than you love being right
Seminary Applications
Rabbi Zecharya Greenwald, as told to Ariella Schiller It’s just as hard for seminaries to reject you