25 Av 5780 / Saturday, August 15, 2020 | Torah Reading: Re'eh
 
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“Chut Shel Chessed” Institutions  
 
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“Chut Shel Chessed” Institutions


 
“It’s ways are ways of peace” (Mishlei 3, 17)


Rabbi Shalom Arush established Chut Shel Chessed Institutions in 1985. The original yeshiva was housed in an abandoned building. Although the physical conditions were, to say the least, less than adequate (there were no chairs or tables, and everyone studied, ate and slept in one enormous room) the yeshiva attracted a wide variety of men – from successful businessmen, doctors and movie stars to wayward youths. The common factor was that they were all curious about their heritage and were drawn to the Breslev approach to Judaism.

Rabbi Arush spent his mornings teaching at the yeshiva, and his afternoons traveling around the country, demonstrating the beauty of Judaism through focusing on the teachings of Rebbe Nachman. In addition, the students at the Yeshiva distributed Rebbe Nachman’s books throughout Jerusalem.

Today, Chut Shel Chessed Institutions includes a Yeshiva, a number of different Kollels for married men which combined, learn around the clock 24/6, a boarding school for teenage boys, and a Talmud Torah for younger boys, in addition to schools from pre-school through post high school (seminary) for girls.

 

In addition, the Yeshiva publishes and distributes books and CDs of Rabbi Arush's teachings. The Yeshiva also manages Breslev.com, which distributes articles and videos about Judaism, Breslev, and Rabbi Arush's teachings in particular in six languages!

 

Chut shel Chessed also includes a large chessed wing, which provides food for hundreds of needy families for Shabbat and holidays, hot meals for children, a special "Kimcha D'Pischa" program for Kosher for Passover food for the holiday, and much more.

 

Recently, Chut shel Chessed also opened a Beit Din (Jewish court) for monetary issues called "Mishpat v'Chessed," run by Rabbi Elchanan Elgrod shlita.

 

The numbers are staggering: over 1,000 students of all ages, more than 7,000 hot meals and over 600 food baskets a month, almost 1,000 free classes and meetings around the country every month, including in jails and hospitals, 60,000 newsletters distributed every week, and much more! It's no wonder that Chut shel Chessed's yearly budget is more than $13 million dollars.




 


Many students are drawn to the yeshiva's unique atmosphere, combining love and joy with intensive study and self-growth. Since the overwhelming majority of the students at Chut Shel Chessed are from secular backgrounds, the classes are geared for their special needs. The teachers appreciation of their students' bravery in exploring their heritage results in a strong bond of mutual respect.

The central Kollel is a high-level learning program geared specifically for married men. Many well known rabbis teach in the Kollel, including Rabbi Yehoshua HaCohen, author of “Kerem Yehoshua.” Until his passing, Rabbi Yaakov Yosef zt"l, son of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, taught Jewish law.

Rabbi Shalom Arush and his wife provide both married and unmarried students, as well as their families, with support and assistance in overcoming the unique challenges that face the baalei teshuva – newcomers to Torah Judaism. Rabbi Arush constantly emphasizes that "Its [the Torah's] ways are of pleasantness and all its paths are peace."

Chut Shel Chessed is not just a center of Jewish studies; it is also a warm and supportive community. Every Shabbat, the entire community joins together to celebrate the holy day. The heartfelt singing (Breslev style), sincere prayers and Torah lessons combined with kiddush and communal seudah shlishit (third Shabbat meal) make Shabbat with Chut Shel Chessed into a unique, uplifting experience, one never to be forgotten. Hallel is an experience not to be missed, complete with a band, singing and dancing. During Sukkot, the Yeshiva hosts "Simchat Beit Hashoeva" for the community including dancing and meals. There is also an active Nshei for the Kollel wives directed by Rabbanit Arush, which includes classes and special outings.

One of the most difficult challenges facing returnees to Judaism is the lack of a close family support system. Chut Shel Chessed fills that gap through community trips and vacations, as well as mutual assistance in both family celebrations and sorrows.



Chut Shel Chessed's doors are open to everyone and we warmly welcome visitors. On your next visit to Israel, please stop in to see for yourself our thriving Breslev community. For more information, click here.

 






 
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