Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Finkel z”l


It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rabbi Avraham Yaakov Finkel z”l. He was 90 years old.

Born in 1926 in Basel, Switzerland, to his parents, Rabbi and Mrs. Yehoshua Matisyahu Finkel, he lived in The Hague, Netherlands, until 1942, when he was deported to Bergen-Belsen by the Nazis. He survived the Holocaust and the horrors of the concentration camps, ultimately immigrating to the United States, where he rebuilt his life. He resided in Brooklyn, New York.

Recently, Rabbi Finkel suffered from serious illness and was hospitalized at Jersey Shore Medical Center in Neptune, NJ. He passed away this morning.

Rabbi Finkel was a noted author of English Judaica literature. A master of his craft, his skills and talent in writing, editing and translating were remarkable considering that English was not his native tongue. He was a self-taught, self-driven individual, with broad historical knowledge, who utilized his acumen and abilities for the spreading of Torah.

Rabbi Finkel authored 19 seforim and books, including In My Flesh I See God: A Treasury of Rabbinic Insights About the Human, The Great Chasidic Masters, The Torah Revealed:

Reb Avraham Yaakov z"l with his nephew, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler.
Reb Avraham Yaakov z”l with his nephew, Rav Aryeh Malkiel Kotler.

Talmudic Masters Unveil the Secrets of the Bible, The Responsa Anthology, The Great Torah Commentators, Avos D’Rebbi Nosson, The Essence of the Holy Days: Insights from the Jewish Sages, Responsa Anthology, Rambam; Mishneh Torah; Yad Hachazakah; Ethical and Practical Halachos, Contemporary Sages: The Great Chasidic Masters of the Twentieth Century, Sefer Chassidim: The Book of the Pious, The Essential Maimonides: Translations of the Rambam, Kabbalah: Selections From Classic Kabbalistic Works From Raziel Hamalach, Rashi on the Torah: Selected Portions, Rambam Mishneh Torah: A Collection of Halachos From the Book of Service, Great Torah Commentators, Duties of the Heart: The Gates of Dedication of Purpose, Ramban: Selected Portions of Nachmanides’ Commentary on the Torah, Maharsha On Aggados, Pirkei D’Rebbi Eliezer Vol. II, Avos D’Rebbi Nosson Vol. II, Maharsha on Aggados Vol. II, Rambam Moreh Nevuchim: Maimonides’ Guide For The Perplexed Part I, Duties of the Heart – The Gate of Introspection, Rambam: Selected Letters Of Maimonides Letter To Yemen, Ein Yaakov: The Ethical and Inspirational Teachings of the Talmud, and Nefesh Hachaim: Rav Chaim of Volozhin’s Classic Exploration of the Fundamentals of Jewish belief.

Rabbi Finkel is survived by his siblings, Rabbi Yitzchok Finkel, former menahel of Yeshiva Torah Temimah; Rabbi Gavriel Finkel, senior dayan in Lakewood, NJ; Rebbetzin Leah Pirutinsky, Rebbetzin Rivka Tikotzky and Rebbetzin Shifra Rockove; and his children, Rabbi Chaim Finkel, Mrs. Sheva Weinberg and Mrs. Judy Klein, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren following his ways.

The levayah will take place at 9:45 a.m. at the Congregation Sons of Israel Memorial Chapel off of East 7th Street in Lakewood, NJ.

{Gavriel Sitrit – Matzav.com Newscenter / Photos: (c) Flash 87 Images}


  1. This is a great loss for world Jewry. Rabbi Finkel was one of the few in the world to translate many rare and esoteric seforim that English speaking Jews would not otherwise have been able to learn from. This is no light matter. Thanks to him, we had Tanna Dvei Eliyahu, the Ein Yaakov, Nefesh Hachaim, some of the Maharsha aggados and Sefer Chassidim, and more. For those who cannot translate and elucidate Hebrew, thanks to his lifetime of hard work and kindness, his level in Gan Eden is very great.


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