The newest issue of the prestigious Ohr Yisroel journal contains a halachic responsa essay by the late mashpia and choizer Reb Yoel Kahn a”h. The teshuva is addressed to Harav Meir Tzvi Ginsburg, head of the Agudas Horabbonim of America.
By Anash.org writer
The newest issue of the prestigious Ohr Yisroel journal contains a halachic responsa essay by the late mashpia and choizer Reb Yoel Kahn a”h. The teshuva was written to Harav Meir Tzvi Ginsburg, head of the Agudas Horabbonim of America.
While Reb Yoel is most famous for his mastery of Chassidus and his clarity in that field, he was highly proficient in Nigleh as well. In fact, as a bochur in the Achei Temimim yeshiva in Tel Aviv, he learned as a chavrusa with R. Shlomo Berman (later a Rosh Yeshiva in Ponovizh), and the Rosh Yeshiva, R. Dovid Povarsky, said that Reb Yoel was the more advanced of the two.
After arriving in New York in 5710, he became the de facto choizer for the Rebbe. At the Rebbe’s encouragement, he began to dedicate himself to the study of Chassidus, and he became a mashpia at Tomchei Temimim for close to seven decades. Yet, R. Leibel Schapiro relates, the Rebbe once advised someone to learn Chassidus with a “baal nigleh,” and mentioned Reb Yoel as an example.
Over the years, Reb Yoel authored thousands of pages in esoteric topics of Chassidus and in Chassidic Hashkafa. This essay is one of the only halachic responsa written by him.
The teshuva is addressed to Harav Meir Tzvi Ginsburg, one of the leaders of Agudas Horabbonim. It seems that Reb Yoel spoke at a shul for tahalucha on Shavuos, and he shared words from the Rebbe on placing a mezuzah for protection. Harav Ginsburg was present, and he asked that sources indicate that this should not be one’s intention. When Reb Yoel found out later who he was, he decided to write him a teshuva outlining the Rebbe’s position and an explanation of the sources.
At the end of the teshuva, Reb Yoel asks for his response, however, we do not know whether Harav Ginsburg replied or not.
Our thanks to Harav Gedalya Oberlander, editor of the Ohr Yisroel journal, for sharing this item with us.
Photo credit: Moreshes Chachmei America
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