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Yeshivah Gedolah of Johannesburg was one of the first Yeshivahs established in South Africa [1]. Since its founding in 1973, it has played an important - though understated - role in the South African religious community [2]; see further under History of the Jews in South Africa. It is based in Observatory, Johannesburg.

It was established and headed by Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Azriel Goldfein until his passing in 2007, and is now headed by Rabbi Goldfein's sons Rabbi Avi and Rabbi David Goldfein. Rabbi Goldfein was a lifelong talmid muvhak (prominent student) of Rabbi Mordechai Gifter [3].

The Yeshivah follows the "Telshe" educational model, although accommodates students from across the spectrum of Orthodoxy. Rabbi Goldfein had a "love of and profound knowledge of" the writings of the Maharal of Prague [4] - and relatedly of Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner’s Pachad Yitzchak [5] - and this, additionally, influences the Yeshiva's Hashkafa (worldview, beliefs within orthodox Judaism).

“Yeshivah Gedolah” is known for its "uncomplicated approach to learning" [6] (consistent with the Maharal's approach to Torah study), and for its high standards [7] and thorough semichah (ordination) programme, requiring that graduates "be talmidei chachamim (scholars), and not just religious functionaries" [8].

The Yeshiva has trained dozens of South African Rabbis, including Chief Rabbi Dr. Warren Goldstein. More than 50 shuls, 20 communal organisations and virtually all of South Africa's day schools have been served by its talmidim [9]. The Hirsch Lyons Primary and High Schools are associated with the Yeshivah.

See also




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