Shagar Is Born Rabbi Shimon Gershon Rosenberg. Photo: Miriam Tsachi

November 13, 1949

Rabbi Shimon Gershon Rosenberg, known by the acronym Shagar, is born in Jerusalem to Reb Shalom Zelig and Sasi Rosenberg, both Holocaust survivors.

Shagar is recognized as a rabbi, a philosopher of modern Zionism and a community leader offering a religious response to postmodern trends. He helps create a new Orthodox approach that believes in breaking postmodern ideologies to reach an unprecedented level of individual, spiritual and mystical freedom. He studies Kabbalah and Hasidism critically in an effort to combine all aspects of Torah into an authentic, interdisciplinary approach.

Shagar goes to Netiv Meir Yeshiva High School and Kerem B’Yavneh Hesder Yeshiva and participates in a program combining advanced religious studies with military service. He serves in the Israel Defense Forces as a paratrooper and a tank crew member. During the Yom Kippur War in 1973, he is severely injured when his tank takes a direct hit. Upon recovering, Shagar continues his religious studies and is ordained in 1976.

As the head of the Siach Yitzhak Yeshiva, Shagar encourages his students to study a diverse curriculum. He understands the writings of Hasidic leaders as meaningful reflections of Jewish struggles with questions about the soul. He publishes at least 18 books, and his repertoire includes workshops about theater, creative writing and meditation. Hundreds of followers find that his teachings provide answers for the perceptible contradictions between Torah values and demands.

He dies of cancer in 2007 at age 57.