May 21, 2024
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Englewood & Teaneck Oleh Ziv Mendelsohn Publishes Sefer – ‘Melaim Ziv’

Ziv Mendelsohn

Ziv Mendelsohn in conversation with Rav Hershel Schachter.

Ziv Mendelsohn, second from right, with (l-r) his father Leslie and sons Gavriel, Ronen and Davey.

Ziv Mendelsohn, 47, formerly of Los Angeles, Englewood and Teaneck, hopes that the Torah directive that every man should write for himself a sefer Torah can be fulfilled through writing one’s own sefer of divrei Torah. The greatest zechut is being able to publish these divrei Torah from Eretz Yisrael, as expressed in the pasuk: “Ki Mitzion Tetze Torah.” With the recent publication of “Melaim Ziv,” which can be translated as “filled with radiance,” these two accomplishments have been fulfilled for Mendelsohn.

Over 20 years ago, when celebrating their honeymoon on Chanukah in Israel, Atara Ciment Mendelsohn gifted her groom with a hard-covered book with blank pages titled, “Sefer Chidushei Torah.” Hundreds of notecards and notebooks later, filled with thoughts always backed up by texts and sources, the idea for a sefer was hatched. After seven years in Teaneck and blessed with three sons and a daughter, the Mendelsohns made aliyah in 2009 and now reside in Ra’anana. Their oldest child Gavriel, 21, is a paratrooper in the IDF.

Over the years, Mendelsohn continued to fill his notebooks with the idea of eventually combining his thoughts into a sefer. Along the way, encounters with his revered rebbe, Rabbi Hershel Schachter, at public events and family simchas offered him words of encouragement in this enterprise. Throughout his sefer, Mendelsohn quotes Rav Shechter and his revered rebbe, Rav Yosef Soloveichik, z”l. One of the highlights of the publication is the haskamot of Rav Shechter and Rabbi Ephraim Greenblatt, z”l, of Memphis, whose handwritten haskama he cherishes.

In his notebooks Mendelsohn also jotted down topics he wanted to address. As he found sources that expounded on his ideas, he recorded them along with his own thoughts. His sources included primary texts, early Torah commentators and current Torah scholars. Having studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh, he included commentary by Rabbi Mordechai Greenberg. Rav Moshe Feinstein, the Lubavitcher Rebbe and the Slonimer Rebbe, are quoted often as well as contemporary rabbanim including Rabbi Shmuel Goldin, his rav in Englewood; Rabbi Mordechai Shapiro of Miami; and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, former chief rabbi of the UK.

“Melaim Ziv” opens with a personal introduction by the author in which he dedicates the sefer to his family, and provides a brief history of both his and his wife’s families and the inspiration they provided. He also thanked the Torah scholars who influenced him along the way. He urged others to follow his lead as the greatest joy is that of engaging in Torah and discovering new insights.

The sefer is divided into five sections and has a total of 50 essays in total. Each essay, which includes texts from the sources, is broken down into subheadings for easy accessibility and to make the sefer more user friendly.

The first section deals with specific mitzvot, including the laws of writing a sefer Torah and brit milah. The second explores topics in Halacha such as the status of B’nai Yisrael prior to Har Sinai and the laws of conversion. The third section deals with selected parshiot from the Torah portions. The fourth section discusses the chagim and the last section focuses on overarching ideas in Judaism and how the sources approach them.

The editing phase took five years, as the essays were re-written, re-organized and re-formatted. Under the capable editorship of Rav Yosef Carmel of Eretz Chemda, it was recently published. The sefer will be available in Israel at the Mendelsohn home in Ra’anana. Locally, the sefer will be available at Judaica House on Cedar Lane as well as on the store’s website. The Nayowitzes, owners of the Judaica House, have a close relationship with the Mendelsohns and are delighted to be distributing this new publication.

A portion of the proceeds from sales of the sefer will go to two tzedakahs in Israel supported by the Mendelsohns. Ten Gav helps people in dire financial straits and Keren Roi Lo Echsar provides school fees for children in local schools that enable them to participate in afterschool activities.

“Melaim Ziv” is available for purchase at Judaica House, 478 Cedar Lane in Teaneck and www.judaicahouse.net� or by calling the store at (201) 801-9001.

By Pearl Markovitz

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