Shlomo Freifeld

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Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld (1925–1990) was an influential personality in the world of Orthodox Judaism who established a vibrant outreach Yeshiva in the New York City area. He influenced thousands of students and was a key figure in the Baal Teshuva movement throughout the seventies and eighties.

Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld was born in 1925 in East New York. He was a student of Rabbi Isaac Hutner, and eventually served as the principal of the Yeshivas Rabbi Chaim Berlin High School, which was located in Far Rockaway, New York. After Chaim Berlin moved to Brooklyn, Rabbi Freifeld chose to remain in Far Rockaway and founded the Sh'or Yoshuv Yeshiva. The Yeshiva catered to individuals that did not necessarily fit into mold of what other contemporary Yeshivas expected in their students.

Rabbi Freifeld's unique approach to teaching Judaism attracted many students from a wide variety of Jewish backgrounds. Two notable protegees were Bob Dylan and Allen Ginsberg.[1][2] Dylan is said to have been so taken with Rabbi Freifeld that he considered buying property in Long Beach, NY, and attending the Yeshiva. He was quoted as saying, when visiting Rabbi Friefeld on a particularly cold New York's winter night, “It may be dark and snowy outside, but inside that house, it's so light.” [3]

Rabbi Freifeld was also a key figure in the establishment of the Peilim movement in Israel. His students include Rabbi Moshe Dov Stein, Rabbi Shmuel Brazil, and Rabbi Moshe Weinberger.[4]

Sources[edit]

Kayama Films, Profiles in Courage and Mesiras Nefesh, script manuscript

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