Rabbi Yankala (Yaakov) Shemesh is a founding father of Moshav Mevo Modiim, an intentional Jewish community started by Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach and his students in the foothills of the Judean mountains in Israel. During that time he served as Reb Shlomos' "shamash" (i.e. personal assistant) for 26 years, as well as playing over a thousand concerts with Reb Shlomo during that time.
Reb Yankala, received Rabbinic ordination through Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach as well HaRav Yakov Shimon of Mosdot Nachlat Tzvi Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He has led weekly Jewish meditation workshops for students at Hebrew University, toured as a representative of the Jewish Agency in South Africa, North America and Europe, has taught Jewish spiritual practices in Jewish as well as interfaith gatherings. He is a bridge for those seeking meditation techniques rooted in the Jewish tradition by someone deeply respectful and knowledgeable of other traditions and their sincere practitioners.
"Who is the wise man ,the one who learns from all men." ( Pirkei Avot: ).---- Reb Yankala in addition to his intimate connection to his Rebbe, Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, has learned from a colorful and diverse variety of great spiritual masters. His teachers have included such greats as, the Amshinover Rebbe "Zadie Kadisha" זצ"ל ,as well as the present Amshinover Rebbe, Reb Gedalia Kenig of Breslov זצ"ל , Reb Zalman Schachter-Shalomi (Zadie of Jewish Renewal), Rav Mordechai Gottleib (Admor ,teachings of the mystical tradition "Baal HaSulam"), HaRav Yaakov Shimon (Rosh Yeshiva, Musdot Nachalot Tzvi,-teachings of Rav Kook, talmid of Rav Mordechai Eliahu זצ"ל and the Halachic authority of Reb Yankala. ), the writings of Rabbi Aryae Kaplan, .... and many others.
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