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A Torah Career in South Korea

Rochel Burstyn

That means “Hello, and please come join us” in Korean! Change your dollars into Korean won (pronounced wahn) and buckle your seatbelts as we visit Rabbi Osher Litzman of South Korea.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Mishpacha Junior: Hi, Rabbi Litzman! Korea sounds so exotic, but all I know about it is that there is a North and South—and they’re two separate countries.

Rabbi Litzman: You’re right about Korea being divided. Before World War II, Korea was under Japanese rule, but after the war, Japan lost control and Korea was free to govern as they pleased. The South slowly became a Republic, similar to the United States. Skyscrapers began cropping up and the economy began doing well. In many ways, South Korea is like any other well-developed, modern country. It has a low crime rate, too, which is nice. In contrast, North Korea is one of the last communist countries in the world. It’s a poor country and many people there don’t have cars, computers, or even electricity! In 1950, the Korean War began. Both the North and South wanted its government to rule the entire country. The war lasted for three years, but nothing was resolved and the country remained divided. Things are looking up, though – in 2007, for the first time in 56 years, trains traveled between the two countries. This gave everyone hope that the country will one day be reunited.

 

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