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For the week ending 25 February 2012 / 1 Adar I 5772

Yosef Blalock

The Color of HeavenArtscroll

North Georgia

Agriculturist/Talmud Torah Teacher

“Satan” does not usually make people more religious, but the Blalocks are not most people.

Yosef, the eldest of his nine siblings, began life in the Church and on the farm. His father’s questions about his birth-religion made him an outcast and eventually the whole family as well. After a search, the Noachide Church satisfied the family’s desire for Truth for a time, but the lure of Shabbat and learning the Oral Torah drew Yosef Blalock into the process of conversion and then into the Beit Midrash of Ohr Somayach and marriage. He began with Aleph Beit and ended with a shidduch arranged by Rabbi Mordechai Perlman, shlita.

His brothers and father decided to come home as well, and at one point all five Blalock brothers were learning at Ohr Somayach together! He remembers how “they took us all in and gave us a family in Israel.” Today, Yosef, his four brothers, and their father all live in Yavna’el, teaching Torah and farming together. His three sisters and mother also converted and moved to Israel. The family’s connection to Ohr Somayach has only grown stronger over the years, planting roots in Israel and adding their efforts to build a greater Torah community in the Galillee.

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