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Shalom Arush (Hebrew: שלום ארוש‎) is an Israeli Breslov rabbi and founder of the Chut Shel Chessed Institutions.[1]  He spreads the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov among Sephardic and Ashkenazic baalei teshuva around the world through his books and speaking appearances. Arush is considered one of today's leading Hasidic spiritual guides, with a following of thousands.[2]

Early life

Arush was one of 9 children born to his parents in the town of Bnei Mallal, Morocco. His was a family of pious Jews who valued Torah scholars and visited the graves of tzaddikim. He learned in the local Jewish Alliance school and studied Hebrew in the evenings.[2] His eldest brother married and immigrated to Israel before the rest of the family;[2] Arush and his parents and other siblings moved to Israel when he was 13. [3]

The family settled in Petah Tikva, where his parents enrolled Arush in a mamlachti-dati (state-religious) school; he later attended a secular high school. In 1970 he joined the Israel Defense Force as an airborne combat medic, where he took part in many dangerous missions, including missions during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. During that time, five of his closest friends were killed in a helicopter crash while carrying out an army mission. This event was one of the catalysts for his personal teshuva. [2]

Following his army service, Arush studied economics and accounting at Tel Aviv University.

Introduction to Breslov

Arush's quest for spirituality led him to Rabbi Eliezer Berland, who introduced him to Breslov practices such as hitbodedut and hosted him for Shabbat meals.[2] Together with Rabbi Berland, Rabbi Arush learned with such Breslov giants as Rabbi Levi Yitzchok Bender and Rabbi Shmuel Shapiro.[4]

Arush next enrolled at Yeshivat Dvar Yerushalayim as he took on more and more mitzvot. Eventually he cut his long hair and became a practicing Torah Jew. He was introduced to his wife, Miriam,[5] on a shidduch, and the newlyweds moved to Moshav Chazon Yechezkel. Later he moved to Bnei Brak to join Rabbi Berland's new yeshiva there, and when the yeshiva moved to Jerusalem, he and his family followed. Upon the directive of Rabbi Berland, in 1985[1] Arush opened his own yeshiva with 15 students; a year later, he had 80 students and moved into his present quarters in the Musrara neighborhood of Jerusalem. [2]

Chut Shel Chessed Institutions

The Chut Shel Chessed Institutions includes a yeshiva, a kollel for married men, a boarding school for teenage boys, and a Talmud Torah for younger boys.[6] The organization specializes in nurturing youth at risk, and has graduated students who have gone on to become noted writers, actors and musicians.[5] Among Arush's celebrity students is Shuli Rand, star of the film "Ushpizin".[4]

In 1998 Arush opened a branch of Chut Shel Chesed in Ashdod, Israel, and appointed his student Rabbi Lazer Brody, another combat soldier-turned-baal teshuva, to head the rabbinical program. In 2006 this branch merged with the Jerusalem yeshiva and Brody became the mashpia (spiritual guide) for Arush's students and the translator of Arush's books into English.[4][7]
Bibliography

Arush has authored many works, which have been translated from Hebrew into English, Spanish, French, Russian, German, and Yiddish. Combined, they have sold more than a million copies.[7]

  • The Garden of Peace: A Marital Guide for Men Only ISBN 978-5495321069
  • Garden of Peace - Hebrew
  • The Garden of Emuna ISBN 978-1595266361
  • Garden of Emuna - Russian
  • Garden of Emuna - Spanish
  • Garden of Emuna - Hebrew
  • Garden of Emuna - German
  • Garden of Emuna - French
  • Women's Wisdom - English (Garden of Peace for women only)
  • Women Wisdom - Russian (Garden of Peace for women only)
  • Women's Wisdom - Hebrew (Garden of Peace for women only)
  • In Forest Fields: A Unique Guide to Personal Prayer
  • The Garden of Yearning: The Lost Princess
  • Garden of Joy
  • Be-Gan HaOsher - Hebrew
  • Likutei Moharan, Vol. 1

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