Barack Mandela
Barack Mandela
American Soldier/Israeli Soldier

Studying @ Aish HaTorah Yeshiva in Jerusalem

Rabbi Noach Weinberg, my personal rabbi and founder of Aish HaTorah.

He walks towards me looking like kingly royalty. He looks like an archangel from heaven. He has a long white beard. He wears a black-on-black dress suit with a black hat. He looks like the Prophet Moses on Mount Sinai.

“My name is Rabbi Noach Weinberg. Welcome to Aish HaTorah,” he says while extending his right hand towards me.

“My name is Moshe Hillel Abramovitz,” I say to him giving him my Hebrew name. Rabbi Weinberg personally begins to teach me the laws of Shabbat.

At the grave site of my personal rabbi: Elazar Menachem Shach

Rabbi Noach Weinberg is a Torah giant like Rabbi Yosef Eliashiv and Rabbi Elazar Shach. It is an honor to meet with him one-on-one for instruction and guidance.

I am a convert to Judaism. I converted after meeting one on one with Grand Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson of Chabad Lubavitch during high school. I met Rabbi Schneerson at the 770 headquarters of Chabad.

While I study at Aish HaTorah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, Rabbi Noach Weinberg is my personal spiritual guide and rabbi. In case you are unaware, a “yeshiva” is a Jewish learning academy similar to a college or university.

“You must seek clarity in your life,” Rabbi Noach Weinberg says to me every day. “Be clear with yourself,” the rabbi states.

During the morning sessions, I learn to master the Hebrew language from the highly-talented Rabbi Chaim Gogec. The rabbi teaches me basic and advanced Hebrew. Rabbi Gogec makes certain that I speak fluent Modern Hebrew.

Rabbi Zelwig Pliskin teaches me to grow and develop as a mature human being. Rabbi Pliskin wrote a book filled with challenging questions. I use Rabbi Pliskin’s book to question myself and deepen my knowledge of Judaism.

Rabbi Motty Berger assists me in probing the philosophical ramifications of Torah and Judaism. Rabbi Berger is a modern-day prophet of the Jewish people. Rabbi Berger brilliantly uses the popular move “The Matrix” to teach about Judaism and the Jewish people.

Rabbi Eliyahu Ellis teaches me basic Talmud and Gemara. I learn to ask questions of Jewish sages and participate in ancient Jewish dialogues. Thanks to Rabbi Ellis, I have a sharp Jewish mind.

I remain at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem for six months. While at Aish HaTorah, I become an intern for Mayor of Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert. Mayor Olmert writes me a letter of recommendation so that I can join the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

I leave Aish HaTorah to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces. I eventually am accepted in the special forces known as Sayeret Golani. I also serve in the Israeli legal unit known as the Praklitut. Finally, I serve in the 7th brigade of the Armored Division; operating the famous Merkava battle tank.

Saluting in front of my “Merkava” tank which I nicknamed “Netanyahu”.

To this day, I regret not completing my rabbinical training at Aish HaTorah Jerusalem. I become an Israeli soldier and a Jewish fighter. However, I wish I had become a Jewish rabbi.

Being a rabbi would be the highest honor. Aish HaTorah is similar to Harvard University, Yale University, Oxford University, and Stanford University.

Aish HaTorah is to best learning academy in the world. Thank you, Rabbi Noach Weinberg!!!

About the Author
Licensed Attorney. I earned a Doctor of Law at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1997). I earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Riverside (1994). I was an international student at the University of Costa Rica Faculty of Law (1991-1992) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Faculty of Law (Summer 1996). I am a military veteran of both the United States Army and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). I am a laureate of the National Defense Service Medal from the Pentagon (2006). I am a financial donor to following: Harvard Law, Yale Law, Stanford Law, Berkeley Law, UC Hastings College of the Law, UC Davis Law, Columbine High School, Choate Rosemary Hall, Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School, Viewpoint School, Beverly Hills High School, Eton College in the United Kingdom, Special Olympics, Children's Defense Fund, Obama Foundation, Clinton Foundation, Barbra Streisand Foundation, and the British Red Cross. I am former special assistant and staff attorney to Governor Pete Wilson of California. I was public affairs assistant to US Senator Barbara Boxer and Mayor Ehud Olmert of Jerusalem and Jerusalem spokesperson Haggai Elias.
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