A life of Harbotzas Hatorah with Passion
Who would have believed that a young boy, born in suburban Chicago 69 years ago to a middle class Jewish/ American family, would end up influencing the lives of so many yidden; imbuing them with their life source , as he introduced them, encouraged them and taught them Gemara in a way that allowed them to gain the confidence to learn on their own?
Rabbi Nachman Morgan was born in Dolton, Illinois on Hoshana Rabbah of 1950. At the age of 17 he was introduced to the yeshiva world, having attended Beth Medrash L’Torah of Skokie for a summer program. Immediately he decided, and never looked back, that he wanted to become a full-fledged “yeshiva-man” and a disseminator of Torah to others.
Two years later, after being introduced for the first time to Gemara study at Skokie Yeshiva, Rabbi Morgan enrolled at the Mir Yeshiva in Eretz Yisroel. Upon completing the requisite Farher from Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz ZT”L, Reb Chaim said to his Son, Reb Rephoel, “Mir darf mekarev zein der bochur– we have to bring this bochur close!” While there, he joined the other seasoned bochurim in Reb Nochum’s Shiur, and soaked up the mussar and hashkafa of Reb Chaim Shmuelevitz, ZT”L. He became the quintessential Mirrer over the three years that he was there!
Subsequently, he joined Beth Medrash Govoha in Lakewood, becoming very close to the venerable mashgiach, Reb Nosson Wachtfogel, ZT”L. He imbibed from the mashgiach his unquenchable yearning for Mashiach, with the refrain, “Es is Mashiach’s tzeiten– it is the times of Mashiach” always on his lips.
He married the daughter of Reb Zorach Shapiro ZT”L of Monsey, New York and embarked on a 10 year career of intense Torah learning in Kollel, which included years learning by Reb Leib Bakst ZT”L in Detroit and years in the first Lakewood Kollel of Mexico City, founded by HaRav Avraham Baddouch, ZT”L. He was now ready to enter the world of chinuch and the calling of his life.
He began with giving the second level Gemara Shiur in Skokie, which he did for 4 years. When the editors of The Chicago Tribune were looking to do a bio for their human interest page featuring a Rabbi, upon seeing through the window of his classroom the energy and passion with which he was delivering the shiur, they instantly decided, “This is our man!”
Eventually he moved to Los Angeles, where after 33 years he became an integral part of the Los Angeles community. After a few years as a Rebbe in Toras Emes, impacting the young talmidim, many of whom still had a close relationship with him until today, married with children, he started his raison-d’etre with the founding of his organization, Ezra Latalmid!
As its name suggests, Ezra Latalmid was created to help the student who needed a foundation in Gemara learning be able to succeed on his own. Rabbi Morgan developed a unique style of giving over the Gemara in a way that even the most basic beginner could gain the tools necessary to read, translate and comprehend the intricacies of Gemara on their own. Word by Aramaic word, line by line, together with a special emphasis on mastering every step of the “shakla v’tarya”, he infused in his talmid the confidence that he could do this on his own, anywhere in Shas! With endless patience, unbounded love and a keen eye, Rabbi Morgan was successful in breathing into hundreds of his students the breath of life of Gemara learning. It made no difference to Rabbi Morgan what your background was, what affiliation you had, or what your abilities were, if you had a sincere desire to learn, Rabbi Morgan would enthusiastically take you under his wing, where you became a talmid for life!!
Unfortunately, on March 29th, Gimel Nissan, Rabbi Morgan was taken away from his Gemara, his family, his talmidim and his community in the middle of the day, as he succumbed to the Corona Virus. He leaves behind his almana, his faithful wife, Esther, who stood by his side and encouraged him every step of the way, his seven children and their families who are living in different communities throughout the world, and many talmidim who are left bereft of their Rebbe; their lifeblood!
May he be a Meilitz Yosher for them all! Yehi Zichro Baruch!
A Keren has been founded L’zecher Nishmaso, to help his Almana carry on without him. To donate, please click on the link below, and may the zechus of your tzedaka, L’iluy Nishmaso, protect you and your families, and bring nachas and yeshuos for Klal Yisrael!