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Rav Dovid Cohen, rosh yeshivah of Yeshivas Chevron, molds and shapes thousands of talmidim by the force of his Torah and personality. What makes his seforim so widely sought across the globe? Who are the mentors that influenced his trademark blend of creativity and precision? And who positioned the relatively young rosh yeshivah on the eastern wall of the Torah landscape? Students, contemporaries, and admirers paint a picture of one of the brightest lights in Eretz Yisrael’s yeshivah world.
Malaria pills? Check. Vaccinations? Check. Empire frozen chickens? Check. Bug spray? Check. Flashlights? Check. Osem onion soup mix? Check.
Jeremy Langford is considered to be one of the world’s foremost glass artists. With a career that has spanned three continents and four decades, he’s created stunning projects at some of the Jewish People’s holiest sites. But that’s only served to humble him. “The most important people in history were here,” he says. “And now me?”
It’s unusual to develop such a personal relationship with a gadol, yet Rav Shlomo Machpud, one of the great shochtim of the generation and the av beit din of Badatz Yoreh Deah, has been a longtime ally of the irrepressible halachic adventure-seeking duo known to all as “Ari and Ari.” From archaeological excavations to giraffe innards, from soft matzah to gourmet grasshoppers — how did the American-born dentist and professor get the world-renowned Yemenite sage on board for their exploits?
Rav David Lau, the chief rabbi of Israel, resembles his famous father, dresses like him, and now even holds the same high position. But the challenges he faces are vastly different, and in some ways more daunting than those of Rav Yisrael Meir. In an age when the chief rabbinate must fight for its legitimacy from both corners of the religious spectrum, Rav David says he’s up for the task and energized by the mission.
Rabbi Mendel Freedman was an accomplished Bais Yaakov principal in suburban Maryland when he received the report that made his blood freeze: He needed a heart transplant. The news galvanized a slew of tests, anxious waiting, and prayers for a new heart he could live by. And after all that, a final test: to see his student through the same harrowing process.
Dr. Alan Bauer’s life was changed forever after a suicide bomber blew himself up nearby, sending screws through his arm and shrapnel through his seven-year-old son’s brain. That Pesach of 2002 was spent in the ICU; but while the wounds never totally heal, this year the Bauers and nine other families will sit down to the Seder knowing justice has prevailed.
What it’s like to practice medicine…when your patient is the gadol hador?
“Precocious.” “Gifted.” “Top of his class.” It seems that every Jewish parent can lay claim to a “wise son” or two. But parents of true prodigies — the kind who can play a piano backward, analyze the newspaper before their third birthday, or write sci-fi novels when their friends are just making sense of paragraphs — say that the gift of genius can be a bewildering burden.