Rabbi Gafne, similar to the thousands of talmidim that he has educated
and mentored, was not brought up as an observant Jew. He was born and raised in
Melbourne, Australia, and didn’t begin actively soul-searching for a deeper meaning
in life until he came in contact with the “bohemian” element while attending
university in Australia. He started getting answers to his deeper life questions
when he came in contact with certain religious (although not Chassidic) Jews, while
enlisted in a period of obligatory service in the Australian army. His search soon led
him to various warm-hearted Rabbis (two of them holocaust survivors), and
eventually to Lubavitcher Chassidim in Melbourne, and the connection to his new
mentor, the well-known “mashpia” Reb Zalman Serebryanski (A”H), and various
other leading Chassidic personalities, such as Reb Aba Pliskin (A”H), and Rabbi
Yitchok Groner (A”H). His path then led him to a connection with the Rebbe M’HM,
who guided and guarded Rav Gafne’s life from thereon. It was the Lubavitcher
Rebbe himself who handpicked Rabbi Gafne to establish and run Ohr Tmimim
Yeshivah, the English-speaking branch of Tomchei Tmimim Lubavitch Yeshiva
A word from Rabbi Gafne
Dear alumni, sheyichu,
Shalom ubracha, do hope this message finds you all well bgashmius ubruchnius, and progressing towards Moshiach, who is coming now bezeras Hashem!
For the moment, just a brief note to inform you that the Hashgacha Elyonah had it that I felt proper to retire in the light of the closing of the 45-year old Ohr Tmimim Yeshivah Tomchei Tmimim in Kfar Chabad summer of 2011.
As many of you doubtlessly know, I have moved to Tsfas ir Hakodesh, where I have been able to continue my shlichus in new ways in a special venue, with Hashem’s help. Various opportunities have appeared, including giving shiurim at the kollel of my son, Yosef Yitzchak, teaching evening chassidus classes at the Tzemach Tzedek Synagogue in the Old City of Tsfas, frequent fabrengens, and having hoshpo’o over new chevrei seeking advice and mentoring. (Moshiach should come immediately). I’m no longer as young as I used to be, but Hashem will doubtless grant koichos.
However, my connection with all of you, each and every one of you, is deeply essential to me. On my trip to America upon leaving Kfar Chabad, and especially during my stay by the Rebbe, I met many of you and was greatly pleased with what I could achieve to help, but likewise felt pained by what I had to leave untouched, e.g., hearing more details, reaching conclusions etc.
Hashem has given media like this website, private e-mails, cellular phones etc., which I now have more access to and am able to use. Additionally, some of the regular shiurim are appearing on the internet through this site and by e-mail, as many of you know, and the Skype shiur in Ayen Beis is ongoing.
What I mean briefly regarding the media availabilities is that I want very much that each of you should continue to feel free and comfortable to contact me and do it b’poiel. With Hashem’s help, I will do my best from my side. The kesher between us is rare and vital and Hashem gave us ways to preserve it and develop it. I’m looking forward to continued contact with you all. Please feel free to contact me via e-mail; firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Yours, with love and brachas,
Schneur Zalman Gafne
P.S. I hope you will understand that there was some financial support needed in the early stages of my relocation and there remains a need on a monthly basis, with Hashem’s help. My situation is such that I never had time or the opportunity to contemplate my financial future. I was always immersed totally in the Yeshivah, and since they have closed the Yeshivah, I can no longer rely on that sparse income. May Hashem bless you.