Rav Yosef Ginsberg
Beit Shemesh, Israel
Rabbi and Co-Internship Director at Machon Maayan since 2018
What do you teach/what’s your job at Machon Maayan?
I am the director of internships, in addition to teaching Habits Anonymous, which is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Pirkei Avot, Kabbalah Vs. Philosophy, and Psalms With a Poetic License.
What is your favorite sefer in Tanach? Why?
My favorite sefer is Tehillim because it’s the only book in the world where you can learn and daven at the same time.
Do you have any Hashgacha Pratis stories?
Yes, buckle up. This past summer, I was in Poland with a group. It was my fifth time in Poland, but I had never been to the city of Lodz, the city where my grandmother had been for a large portion of the war. As I had not done too much research on her story, aside from general information, I decided to do quick research on the bus ride to the city. I came upon a document that listed not only that she was in the ghetto and when, but also where exactly she had lived (Street, Apartment number, etc.). When I showed it to my Polish guide, he said that’s exactly the street that we were getting off at. The original building was still standing there and the apartment she had stayed at was facing the bus.
As the day continued, we made our next stop at in the city at a place called Radegast, the place where Jews were deported to different work or death camps. On the walls of the memorial were listed names of all the transports that left from there, in order. On the last document, was listed my grandmother’s name, date of birth, and address in the ghetto.
I was in shock—I went to call my dad to tell him about what was occurring that day in Lodz. As I told him the story, he told me one thing: that day was her yahrtzeit, the day of her passing.
If you could pick one thing to change in the world, what would it be?
I would change the way in which people see themselves: that everyone sees themselves as the children of Hashem and therefore an extension of Him—a prince or princess.