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Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah

HaRav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz, the Quintessential Rabbi

By Rivkah Teitz Blau

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HaRav Mordechai Pinchas Teitz focused his brilliant mind and sparkling
personality, on one goal: teaching Torah. More hazardous to our people's vitality than any outside threat, he believed, is the danger of ignorance within. Only Torah knowledge can guarantee our future.
This account, told primarily in his own words, is as close to autobiography as a biography can be.
He transferred what he had learned from great scholars and schools in Europe to the United States, where he adapted modern culture to serve Torah. Marrying Basya Preil, they created a kehillah in Elizabeth, New Jersey, caring for everyone in the classic Jewish way.
To present their rich inheritance to all Jews he founded schools, and pioneered in teaching Talmud on the radio, records and audiotapes. The Elizabeth community became his partner in turning its Jewish Educational Center into a force for learning, loving and living Torah across the globe.
From the 1960's to the 1980's he made twenty-two trips to the USSR to sustain the three million Jews imprisoned there. He never spoke about what he did. Here, through interviews with the heroes who worked with him, is the first account of how they preserved the Jewish past and built the Jewish future.
"The Torah speaks the language of tomorrow," he said; current events reveal new meanings. Take from Rav Teitz hints on how to study the Torah yourself and claim your legacy.
Praise for Learn Torah, Love Torah, Live Torah
I would suggest that this book be used as a textbook in Jewish schools.
~ Rabbi Shmuel Kamenetsky
... the best 'musar sefer' I have read in years, a delightful account of the history of the Orthodox Jewish community
~ Sid Z. Leiman, Professor of Jewish History and Literature, Brooklyn College, and author of The Canonization of Scripture
Blau's engaging biography of her father, Rabbi Mordechai Pinchas Teitz (who was born in 1908 in Latvia), tells the story of a Torah and Talmud scholar who founded an Orthodox community in Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the late 1930s and continued developing it through the 1950s. Blau provides a short history of her family, covering the period from 1908 to 1924 in Latvia and Lithuania, and accounts for Teitz's time studying in a yeshiva in Lithuania. She writes about a variety of related subjects, including her father's friend Mordekhai Dubin, who was a member of the Latvian parliament and died in prison in 1956, and scholars with whom Teitz studied in Latvia for a year. Blau chronicles her father's trip across North America in 1933-34 and his marriage in 1935. But the bulk of the book focuses on the rabbi's life and work in Elizabeth. Blau's insightful biography is a loving tribute to a remarkable man.
~ George Cohen, Booklist

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