Harav Binyamin Kelmanson, Rosh Yeshiva
Harav Binyamin Kelmanson (known to his students as Harav Beni) learned at Yeshivat HaKotel under the tutelage of three rabbis: the rosh yeshiva, Harav Hadari, Harav Haggai Izirer (who presently sits on Israel's Supreme Rabbinical Court), and Harav ShaGaR of blessed memory. Rav Beni taught as a Ra"m in Yeshivat HaKotel and in the yeshivat hesder of Kiryat Shemonah. Later, together with Harav Ami Olami, HaYaD, and several students from Yeshivat HaKotel and the yeshiva in Kiryat Shemonah, he founded a kollel in the Otniel community. That kollel grew and developed into Yeshivat Beit HaVa'ad L'Torah - Yeshivat Otniel.
According to Harav Beni, the drama of the Shoah and birth of the modern state of Israel has made him exceptionally motivated by and concerned for everything connected to the existence of the Jewish people over the past three thousand years. He is currently completing a doctorate on the history of the Shoah and lectures on this subject at the Herzog College in Gush Etzion. He also serves as a member of the board of Yad Vashem and is a member of the pedagogical committee of the School for Teaching the Shoah. He has led thousands of teenagers and adults on educational tours of Poland.
Harav Beni's expertise both in the Academic world and the Yeshiva world, adds a special flavor to the beit midrash. In the yeshiva's quest for emet, Rav Beni teaches academic tools together with classic learning. His knowledge of Eastern European history includes the history of the different Hassiduyot. Not only does he teach Hassidut, but he lives it as well. Stories, nigunim and Hassidic philosophy are not only taught in the different lectures he gives, but also at his Shabbos table and during daily life.
Harav Re'em HaCohen, Rosh Yeshiva
Harav Re'em HaCohen was born in 1957 and grew up in Jerusalem's Sha'arei Hesed neighborhood. As a child, he lived near Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach and visited his home frequently. Harav Re'em's method of halachic decision-making has been greatly influenced by the Torah he learned from Rav Auerbach.
Rav Re'em studied under Rav Arieh Binah at Netiv Meir Yeshiva high school and continued his studies at Yeshivat Har Etzion, where he learned with his principal mentor and rabbi, Rav Aharon Lichtenstein. Rav Re'em received rabbinical ordination from Harav Lichtenstein and from Harav Eliezer Waldenberg (the Tzitz Eliezer). He served in the IDF as an officer in the armored corps.
Rav Re'em was a Ra"m in the Shevut Yisrael Yeshiva of Efrat and in Rav Haim Druckman's yeshiva, Or Etzion. In 1993, he joined Harav Beni Kelmanson to head Yeshivat Otniel. Since 1998, he has also served as Otniel's community rabbi.
Growing up on the laps of the G'dolim of Jerusalem had a great impact on Harav Re'em's personality. The stories he tells from his childhood are a great example of Torah that can be learned by "shimush talmidey chachamim" (serving the rabbis), a theme in which he is a great believer. Besides his numerous shiurim, he also writes a weekly column of halachic questions and answers and lectures at Herzog College. He has published a number of books, some of which are devoted to Talmudic studies, while others describe his world view in the realm of Jewish thought. According to Rav Re'em, the learning in the beit midrash must be connected to the outside world, as the inner parts of the Torah must be connected to the outer parts. For this reason, his teaching references many different sources ranging from academic and professional, to halachic and kabalistic sources.
Rav Dr. Yakov Nagen (Genack)
Rav Nagen studied Torah at a number of Israeli yeshivot including Yeshivat Sha'alvim, Yeshivat Har Etzion, and the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at Yeshiva University. He obtained his semicha from Yeshiva University alongside a B.A. and M.S. from Yeshiva University and Ph.D. in Jewish Philosophy from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem. Rav Nagan has published a number of books including Nishmat HaMishnah: Window to the Inner World of the Mishnah and Water, Creation and Divinity: Sukkot in the Philosophy of Halacha. He has also published numerous articles on the Gemara, the philosophy of halacha, and Jewish spirituality.
Rav Mayer Lichtenstein
Rav Mayer studied under his grandfather Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik zt"l at the Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) at Yeshiva University. He studied at Yeshivat Har Etzion for eight years and, through the hesder program, served in the IDF armored corps. Rav Mayer received his semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel, and has a B.A. in the History of the Jewish People and an M.A. in Talmud from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Rav Yehudah Glick
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