TEL AVIV (Sep. 17)
Rabbis, heads of yeshivas and religious scholars are hailing an unusual event, the publication of an atlas that includes 2091 names of Jewish scholars during the 600 years that ended with the expulsion of Jews from Spain. The atlas also includes 70 maps that show the centers of Jewish learning through the 600 years, and indicates the line of relaying the Torah from father to son and from teacher to disciple.
What makes the event unusual is that the author is none other than Rabbi Raphael Halperin, who was once known worldwide as Mr. Israel, the wrestler who held the world championship title in the free-style wrestling division. Halperin was an ordained rabbi when he took to the wrestling circuit. He was acclaimed, in his various bouts, for his clean style and for eschewing the “dirty tricks” that other wrestlers used as their trademark.
Halperin was also involved in business activities but sold all his business holdings and returned to rabbinic studies at the Bnei Brak Yeshiva. The atlas was the result of his studies. The huge volume, described as an indispensable tool for anyone studying the evolution of Jewish learning through the ages, was printed by the Government Survey Department Printing Press, in view of the many maps and graphs it includes.