With schools closing across the country, the education of thousands of students depends largely on their own self-motivation—and the available resources out there.
In the current climate of fear and panic, there are a few standout organizations and people that have been a beacon of calm to many. And as students are returning home from seminaries and yeshivos around the world, a valuable website gives us another reason for hope.
Torahrecordings.com is a free, easy-to-access library with thousands of recordings available on a wide range of topics: from Gemorah and Chumash to Rambam, Sichos, Daily Halacha, even the siddur.
Rabbi Chaim Wolosow, shliach in Sharon, MA, started amassing the materials for the site over 15 years ago. “I used to sit with my 11-year-old son and teach him the daily Chumash and Rashi,” Rabbi Wolosow explains. He recorded their lessons, and over the course of a few years compiled a complete library of Chumash audio classes. “My son is 23 now.”
Rabbi Wolosow, as a rosh yeshiva for over ten years, couldn’t help but notice how many students could go through the entire yeshiva system—and graduate without basic fundamentals of Jewish knowledge.
“I can speak for myself,” Rabbi Wolosow admits. “There I was: shliach, rabbi of a congregation, and I realized how little Torah knowledge I had accumulated over the years.” Of course, with such a vast topic such as “Torah,” where the seforim and skills are endless, can anyone honestly say they have learned “enough”? Rabbi Wolosow is adamant about the importance of being thoroughly educated: he says “we can spend a lifetime just covering the basics.”
Being an auditory learner meant that listening to something was an easy way for Wolosow to absorb information—and that soon became a basis for the site’s thousands of recordings. “I could listen to a Gemorah shiur in the car on my way to give a class, then get out and give the class,” he says.
Making the recordings available to share with others—for free—seemed like an obvious step. “I just want more people to benefit from the site,” says Rabbi Wolosow. “If people learn more Torah because of it, that will make 15 years of work worth it.”
Now, after so many schools have closed their doors, sites like Torahrecordings.com mean there’s no excuse for missing a daily study session.