Born into the neighborhood of Kiryat Yam, known for pervasive crime, violence, and harsh living conditions, Mani Edri eventually became Rabbi Menachem Edri (may he be blessed with long life), a man of Torah who serves as the head of the Ben Ish Chai Yeshiva.
Rabbi Edri’s story is not that of an innocent child who worked hard at Torah study and invested all his time and effort in it, but rather, a complex figure who was involved in conflicts wherever they could be found, and then turned away from the world of crime in favor of the world of Torah.
“It’s all from Him, of Blessed Name, that I reached a stage where I came to a total stop and understood it’s all from our Creator,” the Rabbi says at every opportunity.
Rabbi Edri’s life trajectory is truly unbelievable. He was born and raised in Kiryat Yam but sent to a foster home. After getting involved with violent criminals, he flew to Belgium but found no rest there, having gotten himself somehow into a violent robbery situation in which he was shot and wounded.
From the world of crime to the world of Torah and closeness with G-d
From the world of crime
to the world of Torah
and closeness with G-d
As he lay bleeding, he seemed to see his body from the outside. His whole life ran before him like the proverbial film: all his actions, good and bad, flashed past him. Deeply upset, at that point he decided to repent, and made his way out of the criminal world to establish a home and mentor others from the world of crime towards closeness with Torah and G-d.
While imprisoned, he brought many others to repentance, gaining a group of followers. After completing his prison sentence, he established the Ben Ish Chai Yeshiva in Mea Shearim, and later also established a seminary for girls.
It’s an unbelievable story, one that shows the long path he took from the underworld into which he was born and raised, to the point of heading the Menachem Tziyon Kollel and the Ben Ish Chai Yeshiva in Jerusalem (may it be rebuilt in our times).
It’s the story of Rabbi Menachem Edri, who serves as a guiding light to his thousands of students, living proof that even from the darkest place, it’s always possible to reach the greatest light.
The teachings of kindness are on his tongue
As is fitting, the Talmud guides to decency and kindness. Rabbi Edri’s activities cover a wide range of areas, among them:
- Gemach – Community Sharing – providing food to needy families and families of Kollel students; supporting those steeped in Torah study; strengthening those who repent and assisting by providing what they lack.
- Religious scribe – writing Torah scrolls, Mezuzah and Tefillin parchments.
- Charity focused activities: Rabbi Edri conducts new home inauguration ceremonies, circumcision ceremonies, marriage ceremonies, Torah classes, couples and domestic harmony consulting.
- Q&A on faith and Jewish law.