For the past 22 years, Rabbi Sariel Kalish has been zocheh to spend his days within the halls of the beis midrash – a life path which started when he was a bochur in Yeshivas Toras Moshe.
A native of Lawrence, N.Y., Rabbi Kalish came to learn in Eretz Yisrael in the year 1999, and, the following year, joined Toras Moshe. From 2001 – 2005 he learned in the shiurim of Rav Abramowitz, Rav Twersky and the Rosh HaYeshiva, as well as from many of the other chashuve rebbeim. He enjoyed a close relationship with the Rosh HaYeshiva in particular, whom he describes as caring for him like a father for his son, and who was involved in many areas of his life, particularly his shidduchim. To this day, R’ Kalish feels fortunate to be able to turn to the Rosh HaYeshiva whenever he is faced with a consequential life decision.
Upon returning to the U.S., R’ Kalish joined Lakewood’s Beth Medrash Govoha – and never left. After his marriage to Rachel Thaler in 2009, the couple settled in Lakewood, where today they are raising their four children. Mrs. Rachel Kalish works as a physical therapist in Lakewood, while R’ Kalish learns and teaches in BMG’s kollel, where he has been fortunate to form a close connection with one of the Roshei Yeshiva, HaRav Dovid Schustal shlit”a.
R’ Kalish is a rosh chaburah of the Toras Moshe chaburah in BMG. While primarily for Toras Moshe alumni, his chaburahs and kollel attract many other bochurim and avreichim as well. . R’ Kalish credits his own years in Toras Moshe as having greatly influenced his life path, by connecting him to learning in a deep and meaningful way and by showing him that it was both realistic and practical to live a life dedicated to learning and Avodas Hashem. In addition, he says that it was there that he acquired many practical learning tools such as how to analyze a sugya or learn a rishon – tools which he uses in his learning on a daily basis.
Half a year ago, he deepened his connection to the yeshiva by becoming involved in a night kollel that Toras Moshe started in Lakewood for their alumni. Rav Naftali and Rav Eli Meiselman, on behalf of their father the Rosh HaYeshiva shlita, had reached out to him to brainstorm ways to enhance the Lakewood experience for Toras Moshe bochurim and yungeleit. The night kollel that they decided to create serves multiple purposes: To give the bochurim an opportunity to devote more time to their first seder limud, delving further into the learning in order to gain more clarity and depth; to provide a smaller, warmer environment for the bochurim in which connections can be forged both in learning and outside of it; and to give the bochurim and yungeleit a “home base” – an identity and sense of belonging to a group, which can often be challenging among the massive student body of BMG. To this end, the kollel is intentionally located in a small beis midrash within walking distance of BMG rather than in one of the BMG batei midrash. Having their own beis midrash facilitates a sense of cohesion and comradery.
R’ Kalish feels grateful for the zechus to teach Torah and help people deepen their connection to the Ribbono Shel Olam, and feels particularly privileged for the opportunity to teach the next generation of Toras Moshe bochurim.