Academy for Jewish Religion, California - Clergy & Alumni Association


Position: Senior Ecologist and Operations Manager

Rabbi Eliyahu is founding Rabbi of Zimrat Yah in Santa Barbara, California. He is a botanist and wildlife biologist working on habitat restoration. He is a student of the Torah of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov, the Rebbe of Piascesno and others. His work has been published by Jewish Lights, the Jewish Journal, the Santa Barbara Independent and other publications.


  • Baby Naming Ceremonies
  • Conversion Classes
  • Dedications & New Home Blessings
  • Funerals, Memorial Services & Unveilings
  • Public Speaking
  • Teaching/Education
  • Weddings
  • Writing/Editing


Thesis Title:

This thesis organizes Rebbe Nachman of Breslov’s teachings on Sukkot into four themes: 1) the sukkah as womb, 2) Sukkot as a tikkun (healing or spiritual alignment) for food, 3) the lulav and etrog, and 4) the joy of Sukkot. Each torah is presented as a direct quotation, followed by my reflections on the teaching, and in most cases, a meditation, prayer or poem that responds to the Rebbe’s teaching. This thesis is not academic in nature, for i am not arguing or proving a point. Rather, I am attempting to demonstrate a way of engaging with Rebbe Nachman’s teachings through an interior process of the conscious and subconscious mind.

In an attempt to understand Rebbe Nachman’s teachings on Sukkot, I have attempted to engage in the methods of hitbodedut (meditation), personally crying out of one’s prayers before god) and hishtap’khut hanefesh (outpouring of the soul) during my study of his teachings and throughout my days during the months-long process of writing this thesis. My intention was to allow his teachings to course through my conscious mind and subconscious mind in order to gain understanding and integration of his teachings into my soul. If it is possible to separate the conscious from the subconscious mind, the results of the conscious process are reflected in my reflections in this work; and the results of the subconscious mind process are reflected in the poems, meditations and prayers included herein.

Email: elihu.m.gevirtz@gmail.com