Moris”Moishe”Hoch

I was born in a hospital located at 31 Phoenixstrasse, Wetzlar, Germany in the year 5708 (1948), to a Polish-Jewish refugee family in the American zone of Allied-occupied West Germany.  We were housed in the Föehrenwald Displaced Persons (DP) Camp.  In 1951, aided by the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC), our family started a new life in Minnesota.  I started to go to pre-school and my teacher, on the first day, asked me if I wanted to be called ‘Moses’ or ‘Morris’.  This early experience at the tender age of 4 years-old may be the root cause of my interest in understanding the divine names mentioned in the Torah.

Beginning at age six, I learned to read and write Hebrew at a local Hebrew school in St. Paul, Minnesota, The Saint Paul Hebrew Institute.  It was located across the street from Lafayette Elementary, my public school.  At the end of my public-school day, I’d cross the street and start my Hebrew school classes. This was my daily schedule, public school followed by Hebrew school, until I turned 15 years-old.  I attended Highland Park Senior High School and won a full-scholarship – $5000 was then a full-scholarship – and went on to attend the University of Minnesota.

My work to earn an undergraduate degree in ‘Philosophy’ and minor in ‘English’ from the University of Minnesota, did not satisfy my deeper yearnings to get at and understand the root of things; what was all this, the cosmos in which I found myself?  What was it for?  What was I for?  Years past.  I had studied existentialism, Zen Buddhism, Yoga, and then finally, I returned to my Jewish roots, and studied and lived by the Torah teachings of Chasidism and Kabbalah.

I finally realized that my spiritual aspirations for self-realization could never be satisfied in the USA; I moved to Israel and attended the Diaspora Yeshiva in Jerusalem.   Here finally I felt at home, spiritually and materially.  Always philosophical about life,  I worked as a ‘gabai tzdokah’, roughly translated as ‘charity collector’, collecting money for the yeshiva appealed to me as an act of ‘mezakeh ha’rabim’ or helping the public to acquire ‘zechut’, merit — and, according to tradition — I also shared in the spiritual reward of the Torah study of those scholars who were assisted by the collections.  I placed pushkes, charity boxes, in homes in Jerusalem, Bnei Brak, and Haifa.  When doors opened, I was greeted by smiles and even invited in for tea and refreshments.  Once a child opened the door and declared: ‘Momi, a mensch!’

I experienced the first Gulf War, 1990-1991.  At night, the sirens would suddenly screamed their warning to everyone to stop everything and return to their homes, as the missiles launched from Iraq sped on to their targets in Tel-Aviv.  After the war, a new spirit over came me and I returned to the United States, to Los Angeles, and then a few years later, I moved to Boston.

In Boston, I worked as a Hebrew teacher; I taught `Biblical Hebrew for Beginners’ at community education centers in Lexington and Brookline, Massachusetts.  Through my study of Kabbalah, I became interested in astrology and how Judaism and astrology are integrated in the Jewish lunar calendar with its signs of the zodiac for each month.

I began to study Western astrology and completed the course of study offered by the NCGR — Professional Astrologers Alliance and earned my Professional Research Astrologer certificate.  I am convinced that, although each individual is born with the power to freely choose or not choose to act, paradoxically, each individual journeys, even though they may not be conscious of choosing it, on a unique spiritual path identified with and correlated to planetary cycles, astrological themes and principles.  Self-realization is synonymous with realizing that one’s thoughts and deeds ultimately are inspired and supervised by the one divine being, creator of the cosmos.