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The Study of Guemara Changed My Life!

Published on Tuesday February 26th, 2019

Dr. Eli Beneliezer, a renowned researcher and educator, is responsible for selecting and training Israel’s most talented pupils. Each year, he is responsible for sorting out the two thousand gifted students who reach out to him, by hand-picking the two hundred brightest minds in the country. Afterward, they undergo a demanding training program, and only a handful has the opportunity to win the Nobel Prize. By the way, he teaches them Gemara.

He is a famous 65-year-old doctor who has been heading a prominent scientific and educational project in Israel.

The project, called “Science and Inventors of the Future”, is intended to ensure that the State of Israel keeps its most valuable resource: the brains of the future generation. This project helps to expose Israel’s youth to the forefront of the scientific world and win competitions. It aims to ensure that there are enough Israelis that can win the Nobel Prize in the next generation. Bearing this information in mind, we visited his home located in the heart of the city which never sleeps, and we were stunned.

Two shelves located in his living room were filled with 73 commented volumes of the Babylonian Talmud, contrasting strongly with the atmosphere of the surrounding area. We knew too well we were going to meet a man who became faithful and close to the study of the Gemara, but we were astonished nonetheless.

He said he remembers very well the day when, less than three years ago, he had entered the great synagogue of Kfar Chabad, and to his great amazement, discovered that the brochure from which he regularly studied the Gemara, could not be found on tables at the entrance.

"Each and everyone, at one point of his existence, has the feeling of arriving at the end of the road when you have nowhere else to go to. This is exactly what happened to me that morning when I entered the synagogue and searched for the brochure that I used to study every day. When I tried to ask the men of the synagogue where the brochure was, they told me that this week, it had not been published because of financial reasons. At that point, I felt my world fall apart. How was I going to study the Daf Yomi?”

These words, uttered by one of the most admired and sought-after scientists in Israel, are not obvious at all. But Ben-Eliezer is not interested in our astonishment. “I asked one of the followers where I could find the Daf Yomi, and he told me that I could simply buy a series of the Babylonian Talmud in any store in Bnei Brak or Jerusalem. I quickly went to Bnei Brak, entered a bookstore and bought all the volumes of the Shottenstein Shass at once. “Since then, I have to admit, my life has changed", he concludes.

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