This blog is intended to induce discussion around issues and topics that invade my head space. I worked by day as a professor of computer science in Melbourne, Australia for many years. I skylarked as the band leader/singer for the “Schnapps” band over decades. For some ten years I was Chazan for Yamim Noraim at Elwood Shule, where my Nusach was passively derived from years of listening to my teacher Chazan Avraham Adler z”l. That will never leave me, even though there are now Baruch Hashem people who can be Ba’alei Tefilla (albeit without the classical Elwood Nusach). מה אפשר לעשות.

My high school education was in Chabad after which I studied at Yeshivat Kerem B’Yavneh during the time when HaRav Goldvicht z”l was Rosh Yeshivah and Rav Efrati was the Rosh Kollel. I spent a number of years as ראש חינוך and a מדריך  at Bnei Akiva. Later in life, I was drawn to the Rav, Harav Yosef Dov HaLevi Soloveitchik z”l, after whom we named our youngest son. Others who have indirectly influenced me include Rav Kook z”l, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach z”l, and R’ Moshe Feinstein z”l. Locally, I was privileged to meaningfully interact with and learn from Rav Baruch Abaranok z”l, Rav Yitchok Dovid Groner z”l, and Rav Chaim Gutnick z”l. I don’t really “belong” to any group. For about 10 years I learned on some evenings at a Lakewood Kollel and learned Daf HaYomi at a Chabad Kollel. I also studied at Machon L’Hora’ah, Yeshivas Halichos Olam. There is a connection to Amshinov way back in time through my father’s side and a connection to Brisk through my mother’s side.

Isaac Balbin
אברהם יצחק בן ר’ שאול זעליג הכהן ז’ל בלבין

Disclaimer: This is a strictly private blog, and none of my articles should even be remotely construed as being associated with any entities with which I have an association.


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