While most of his classmates in the graduating class of 1986 headed west, south and north to Ivy League universities throughout the USA, Rabbi Daniel Travis traveled East to the land of Israel to explore his heritage and eventually built his life and his family there.
After a number of years of graduate and postgraduate study, Rabbi Travis, who was an honors student and a member of the track team at Bronx High School of Science, received semicha from the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.
Shortly after the birth of his first child, Rabbi Travis had an experience that shook his life. He was crossing the street in Israel, and a young, newly licensed 17-year-old driver smashed into him. Rabbi Travis’ head went through the windshield of the car, he was thrown ten feet into the air and across the street landing headfirst on the concrete. A watermelon truck coming in the opposite direction came to within a fraction of an inch of running him over. The non-religious driver ripped the shirt off his back and used it to stop the rush of blood coming from his head.
To the amazement of the hospital’s medical staff, tests showed that Rabbi Travis had suffered no major physical or neurological damage. Aside from cuts, bruises and some broken bones, the doctors found nothing wrong. Everyone in the hospital agreed that the hand of G-d had definitely worked a miracle in his case.
Within a short time he had recovered completely and felt that such an experience was an indication that bigger things were expected of him. He decided to make use of the journalistic talents that he had cultivated in high school, where he had served as editor-in-chief of the school paper, Science Survey, and began to write inspiring articles on timely topics for newspapers in Israel and the US. These articles were latter published by Feldheim publishers under the title “Days of Majesty.” In addition, he has published six other books in Hebrew and English on a diverse range of topics.
Rabbi Travis’ articles have gained him popularity in the English-speaking community in Israel. In time, in another manifestation of the gratitude he felt for being alive and able to give to others, he opened his own institution of higher learning, which he called Toras Chaim, “The Teachings of Living.” The institution is growing quickly and has attracted a number of bright young Americans.
Until the age of 16 Rabbi Travis had almost no formal Jewish education and had to struggle to make up the lost years. With hard work he was able to catch up and make a name for himself in the Torah world. Although the learning in Toras Chaim is on a very high level, Rabbi Travis welcomes students who started with a weaker background, recognizing from his own experiences that a late start can give a person the momentum to achieve great heights. In fact many of the top students in Toras Chaim are themselves baalei teshuva.
Rabbi Travis will shortly be publishing his eighth work Shaylos U’Teshuvos Toras Chaim, responsa on modern day issues, many of which have not been touched by current authorities. In many ways it is a milestone work, and has already received approbations from many of the leading rabbis in Israel and America.
Rabbi Travis is seeking dedications for this work. The money will be used towards publication and distribution of Shaylos U’Teshuvos Toras Chaim. All contributions are tax deductible, and all of the revenue will be used solely to support the yeshiva in the upcoming year.
For more information about contributing towards the publication of this work, his other books and his lecturing schedule, contact the Toras Chaim office at dytravis@actcom or in Israel at 972-57-316-3111. Their website is at www.toraschaim.org. Rabbi Travis also writes classes on Jewish Integrity and Prayer on the website of torah.org