Emanuel ben Avraham is the foreign worker from the Philippines who has been in Israel for seventeen years. He merited caring for Maran HaRav Shach ZT”L as well as President of Ponevezh HaGaon HaRav Avraham Kahaneman ZT”L. His exposure to the inner world of such Gedolei Torah had an impact on him, bringing him closer to Yiddishkheit. He was interviewed by Yated Neeman, revealing his story and journey.
Just a short time ago, Emanuel was Emil Menita, prior to toiveling. He tells how he arrived in Israel 17 years ago and was employed to the care for the Gedolim mentioned. He was raised as a Christian in the Philippines and his exposure to religious rituals also included some Torah rituals. He decided to seek the truth while being in Israel, which he knew was the closed thing to what Moshe handed down at Mt. Sinai. He began searching to learn, to learn about mitzvos, davening and wearing tefilin.
He speaks of how he cared for Gedolei Yisrael in their weakened state, in the last years of their lives. He observed the care with which they performed mitzvos and the respect given to the Gedolim. He came to the realization that he wishes to become a part of this.
He recently has a bris and wanted the name Gavriel, but Rav Kaplan advised him to accept Emanuel ben Avraham.
At the end of the lengthy interview, R’ Emanuel has words of praise for HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky Shlita and HaGaon HaRav Nissim Karelitz Shlita for both welcoming him into the fold early in his journey as did HaGaon Rav Shlomo Kanievsky, Rosh Yeshiva Kiryat Melech along with a number of others who assisted in learning halacha and opening the world of Torah to him. He closes by stating he has a special connection with Tehillim, “The Sefer of Dovid HaMelech”.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)