Rabbi Eliezer Melamed
Rabbi Eliezer Melamed, שליט”א, was born in the Jewish year 5721 (1961) to his father Rabbi Zalman, and to his mother Shulamit. His father Rabbi Zalman Baruch Melamed, שליט”א, was one of the closest students of Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah HaKohen Kook זצ”ל. He learned in Yashlatz (Yeshiva Katana of Merkaz HaRav) and in the Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav.
Already in his early childhood, a special bond was created between Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Tzvi Yehudah HaKohen Kook זצ”ל, the Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav. Rabbi Eliezer succeeded to attend classes given by Rabbi Kook for five years, from the age of fifteen till the age of twenty, and like his father, considers Rabbi Kook to be his most significant Rabbi. The special connection with Rabbi Kook was also expressed in a dream that Rabbi Kook dreamt on the occasion of the birth of Rabbi Eliezer, as of a result of which Rabbi Melamed received his first name.
Rabbi Melamed taught Talmud and halakha in the Kollel of Rabbi Deutsch in Mea Shearim for half a year. The Kollel was headed by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburg, and thus, Rabbi Melamed merited learning as a chevruta with Rabbi Ginsburg and hearing many of his classes. Similarly, he taught Talmud, and particularly emuna, in the Yeshiva of Bet El for approximately twenty years, and four years in the Yeshiva of Kedumim. Rabbi Melamed edited a new edition of the book “Shnei Luchot HaBrit” (the Shelah), and also edited the first two volumes in the new edition of the series of books by Rabbi Tzadok HaKohen from Lublin. He also assisted in the completion of the entire series.
In the Jewish month of Menachem Av 5748 (August, 1988), Rabbi Melamed was elected as the Rabbi of the community Har Bracha.
In the month of Elul 5752 (September, 1992) Rabbi Melamed established the Yeshiva Har Bracha, of which he remains the head. In the Yeshiva, Rabbi Melamed teaches a daily class in halakha, gives classes in emunah, Jewish thought, and guidance in public and private matters.
In his vision, Rabbi Melamed seeks to establish halakha amongst the Jewish nation as a bridge between the morals of God and daily life, as a way of ‘tikun olam’ in the kingdom of God. Towards this purpose, Rabbi Melamed works to familiarize the religious community, in all its diversity, with the halakha, and to make it pleasurable for those who study it, through his short halakha broadcasts on Arutz 7 and his writing of the series “Peninei Halakha”, which in a clear and in-depth fashion comprehensively covers various subjects in halakha, interwoven with thoughts of emunah, in a language suitable for all.
The various undertakings of Rabbi Melamed, especially his tenure as the Rabbi of the community and the Dean of the Yeshiva, create a unique unification between the learning hall and daily life. This combination allows the development and improvement of the path of Torah and avodah, and places Har Bracha as an example of a Torah-based, idealistic community which is precise in its Torah study and fulfillment of mitzvoth, together with leading involvement in the national, social, economic, security and educational fields.
The inspiration generated between the community of Har Bracha and the Yeshiva produces a unique and rare mixture of devotion to the Torah and mitzvot combined with practical, daily life. The Yeshiva serves as a focal point for the deepening of the vision, development of ideas, and setting of the path, while producing Torah scholars who fuse with the challenges presented. The community of Har Bracha, the graduates of the Yeshiva, and the wider circle of disciples of Rabbi Melamed implement these ideals on a practical basis through questions and thriving connection with Rabbi Melamed and the Beit Midrash.
Although the majority of Rabbi Melamed’s time is dedicated to teaching and writing, he also is active in the public arena. Amongst his many activities can be listed:
- The establishment of the youth organization “Ariel” and its first chapter in Kiryat Moshe, Jerusalem.
- The establishment of the Rabbinical Council of Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Rabbi Melamed was the first secretary of the Council. He published 35 editions of the Council’s newsletters, which dealt with the clarification of crucial and relevant issues, and the clarification of fundamental public and national issues.
- Rabbi Melamed was a partner in the establishment of the radio station Arutz 7. His daily halakha broadcast gained high listener ratings, and brought the word of God to thousands of houses throughout Israel and to wide and diverse listening audience. These broadcasts served as the cornerstone for the first books in the series “Peninei Halakha”.
- Rabbi Melamed also took part in the establishment of the newspaper Basheva. From the beginning Rabbi Melamed has served as the newspapers’ spiritual driving force, and he writes a weekly column, “Revivim”, which has merited wide exposure and impact. The articles have been compiled into two books: the first deals with issues concerning marriage, society, family, and careers, while the second deals with the nation, land, and the army. Presently, the Yeshiva Har Bracha Institute of Publications is working on publishing the next volume of articles dealing with the lives and activities of great Rabbis.