Rabbi Natan Slifkin
Born in Manchester, England, Natan Slifkin studied there at Yeshivas Shaarei Torah. He then moved to Israel, where he spent many years in study, at Yeshivas Midrash Shmuel and the Mir Yeshivah. He then taught Talmud and Jewish philosophy at Ohr Somayach Institutions, where he received ordination, and now teaches an extensive Zoo Torah course at Yeshivat Lev HaTorah and Midreshet Moriah Seminary for Women. Rabbi Slifkin has written extensively for the Daf Yomi Advancement Forum (Kollel Iyun HaDaf) and many newspapers, websites and journals. He has been invited as guest lecturer to Bar Ilan University and to numerous synagogues worldwide.
Several years ago, Rabbi Slifkin began teaching about the relationship between Judaism and the animal kingdom at the Jerusalem Biblical Zoo. He then developed the Zoo Torah program, which he has since successfully operated in New York, Detroit, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., Baltimore, St. Louis, Atlanta, Phoenix, Los Angeles, and San Diego. This program has led Rabbi Slifkin to be featured in television and radio shows as well as in countless newspapers and journals. Rabbi Slifkin has a lifelong fascination with wildlife and has kept a wide variety of exotic pets, including iguanas and tarantulas! His studies of wildlife have led him hiking extensively in Israel, scuba diving to coral reefs in Eilat, on safari in Kenya, whale-watching in California, and behind the scenes at numerous zoological facilities worldwide.
Rabbi Slifkin's wife Avital (Tali), formerly Tali Samson, holds a master's degree from Yeshiva University's Wurzweiler School of Social Work amd works as a community social worker for LeMaan Achai. The Slifkins live in Ramat Beit Shemesh, along with their daughter Tikvah Chavah and an assortment of iguanas, rabbits, guinea-pigs, cockatiels, parakeets, finches, quails, lobsters, and fish.
Rabbi Slifkin's published works include:
Lying for Truth : Understanding Yaakov's Deception of Yitzchak (Targum Press 1996)
Focus : Classical and Contemporary Issues through the Lens of the Weekly Parashah (Targum Press 1997)
Seasons of Life : The Reflection of the Jewish Year in the Natural World (Targum Press 1998)
Second Focus : Original and Stimulating Essays on Jewish Thought (Targum Press 1999)
In Noah's Footsteps : Biblical Perspectives on the Zoo (The Tisch Family Zoological Gardens 2000)
The Science of Torah : The Reflection of Torah in the Laws of Science, the Creation of the Universe, and the Development of Life (Targum Press 2001)
Nature's Song : An Elucidation of Perek Shirah, the Anceint Text that Lists the Philosophical and Ethical Lessons of the Natural World (Targum Press 2001)
Mysterious Creatures : Intriguing Torah Enigmas of Natural and Unnatural History (Targum Press 2003)
The Camel, The Hare, And The Hyrax : A Study of the Laws of Animals with One Kosher Sign in Light of Modern Zoology (Targum Press 2004)
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