Over the past few days, the community has been hearing a lot about ‘Oholei Torah Chai’. But where did it originate? What does it mean?
Chai means Life! Where did this life begin? Who started this life? Where did the vibrant chayos being celebrated all this week come from?
On Friday, we ate together. Eating sustains life.
On Shabbos, we farbrenged together. Farbrenging enhances life.
On Sunday, we danced together. Dancing celebrates life.
Per the directive of the Rebbe, Reb Michoel Teitelbaum A”H, together with his wife Rebbeztin Esther, founded Oholei Torah 63 years ago, in 5017/1957.
Today, 6 Adar, is Reb Michoel’s 15th yahrzeit. As an essential part of our weeklong OT Chai celebration, today we salute and pay tribute to Reb Michoel, life, founder, inspiration, and chayos of Oholei Torah.
Reb Michoel was a true Chassid and loyal soldier, the epitome of Chai. Whatever he did, was done with vibrant chayos and with complete mesiros nefesh. Upon arriving in America in 1952, Reb Michoel already had a history of mesiros nefesh, and a reputation of one who gets things done.
When the Rebbe spoke about the importance of Chinuch Al Taharas Hakodesh, education predicated upon and celebrating the pure holiness of pure Torah, Reb Michoel internalized it as his shlichus, his life’s mission to get it done.
The world said it couldn’t be done. A school in America whose very fiber embodied the Tents of Torah, the tents of Shem and Ever? Impossible! Against all odds and with otherworldly dedication, the life of Oholei Torah was born.
And, like life, with care and nurture, it grew and grew and grew into the dynamic institution, flagship school, and living empire of chinuch that it is today.
Everything Oholei Torah stands for is a living testimony that anything is possible if you believe, commit, and follow the Rebbe’s directive. This is the ethos and soul-conviction being celebrated throughout OT Chai Week in general, and on Reb Michoel’s yahrzeit in particular.
Rabbi Joseph Rosenfeld, executive director of Oholei Torah, worked hand-in-hand with Reb Michoel to build the mossad into what it is today. Please enjoy a video interview of Rabbi Rosenfeld paying tribute to the life and force behind Oholei Torah Chai, Reb Michoel Teitelbaum!
והחי יתן אל לבו, And the living shall take (and give!) to heart!