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For the week ending 24 December 2011 / 27 Kislev 5772

Rabbi Yonason Goldson

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

Los Angeles
University of California

Ohr Lagolah Graduate; author of Dawn to Destiny (Judaica Press), a philosophic overview of Tanach through the Talmudic era.

“I grew up in Los Angeleswith no bar mitzvah, no aleph-beit, and ate ham sandwiches on Passover and Yom Kippur.”

Then, in November ’83, with only a backpack and an English degree from the Universityof California, Yonason Goldson began hitchhiking across the USA and Europe. He arrived in Israelto pick oranges, but the kibbutzim were full and he was broke.

So he went to Ohr Somayach.

“Jeff Seidel sent me. It took Rabbi David Gottlieb two months to convince me that Torah was from Sinai,” says Rabbi Goldson.

Nine years after learning alef-beit, he completed Ohr Lagolah’s semicha program and moved with his wife and two kids to Budapest, Hungary for their “initiation by fire into the world of chinuch and kiruv”.

“Two generations of Soviet-style socialism had begotten a culture lacking any moral compass, much less a sensitivity to Torah and mitzvot. In contrast, the moral equivalence and political correctness in America has proven a less dramatic but far more subtle challenge.”

Today, Rabbi Goldson teaches at the Block Yeshiva High in Missouri.

“Rabbi Ephraim Oratz of Ohr Lagolah sparked in me a passion for teaching.”

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