The son of a New York City police lieutenant, Rabbi Chaim Willis grew up in a liberal Jewish home. He received a BA in Chinese from the University of Michigan and then went on to pursue his interests in world affairs and journalism, traveling to India, Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Iran, Syria, Jordan, and eventually Israel. While at the Western Wall, he was offered the opportunity to meet a truly wise man, Rabbi Noach Weinberg. Impacted by Rabbi Weinberg’s deep Jewish wisdom, Rabbi Willis chose to explore Jewish ideas at Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem, delving into the original sources of both Jewish thought and practice. It was there that he became an Orthodox Jew, received rabbinical ordination, and joined Aish HaTorah’s fight against assimilation in the Jewish world. In 1979, Rabbi Willis co-founded the first Aish HaTorah branch in the United States in Saint Louis, Missouri. He is currently the executive director of Aish South Africa in Johannesburg and has recently moved back to Israel.

He has written two books: Sages Online, about Pirkei Avos, and Living a Deeply Insightful Life, based on Rabbi Noach Weinberg’s “48 Ways to Wisdomshiurim.

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