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A Cluster of Genius
From the Biography Series
5 Lectures

Item #: S347

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Item Description:

A genius, by definition, is a unique individual. If the genius is a child prodigy, it can make for some funny, yet awe-inspiring, stories. And when the genius becomes an adult, he reaches extraordinary heights. Rabbi Wein explores the biographies of five Torah geniuses – from their childhood pranks to their timeless contributions to Jewish thought.

Individual Lectures:

Rabbi Meir Simcha Ha Cohen,The Ohr Someyach - A scholar of note even as a bar mitzvah bochur, Rabbi Meir Simcha was destined for an extraordinary future. His famous works The Ohr Someyach and The Meshech Chachma were celebrated then as now, but with Rabbi Wein’s biography, we see the lesser-known side of this great genius: his dedication to keeping the peace.

Rabbi Zadok Ha Cohen - One of the deepest, most mystical of Chasidic thinkers, Reb Zadok Hakohen began life as an illui from a Misnagdishe family. The bizarre turn of events that brought him to the Izbitcher Rebbe is a riveting lesson in hashgacha pratis, but most incredible of all is how Reb Zadok composed his prolific and lyrical writings in near-isolation.

The Rogatchover Gaon - The Rogatchover Gaon was the Hasidic counterpart to the Ohr Someyach; both lived and led communities in the small town of Dvinsk. Sharp-tongued and uncompromising, the Rogatchover was a formidable rival to the older Rov. Rabbi Wein weaves the Rogatchover’s Halachic rulings together with more personal anecdotes, giving us a taste of the treasury of Torah he left behind.

Rabbi Meyer Yechiel Halshtuk - Some great rabbis are known for their Torah scholarship, and others gain a following for their piety, but it was the rare person who was known for both. But whether he was called “the Gaon of Ostrovozh” or the “Ostrovozher Rebbe,” Rabbi Meyer Yechiel Halshtuk led an extraordinary life. With stories good enough to grace your Shabbos table, Rabbi Wein captures the entire life of this tzaddik - from his amusing antics as a child prodigy to the resolute face-off that stopped a pogrom.

Rabbi Yechezkel Medini, The Sdei Chemed - The 12-volume Halachic encyclopedia The Sdei Chemed was so ambitious a work, it seems impossible that one man single-handedly undertook it, but in his small town in Crimea, that is precisely what Rabbi Yecheskel Medini did. Rabbi Wein describes the man, his scholarship, and his journeys through the Sephardic world that gave him the status of “holy man.”

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