Rav Elchonon Halpern zt”l


elchonon-halpern-1It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Elchonon (Chuna) Halpern zt”l, rov of Bais Medrash Bais Shmuel and av bais din in Golders Green, London, and nosi of Hisachdus Kehillas Hachareidim. He was 93.

Rav Halpern was hospitalized in recent weeks at the Royal Hospital in London after suffering kidney failure. His condition then deteriorated.

Rav Halpern was born on the first night of Chanukah in 1922 in the town of Kosice, Czechoslovakia (now Slovakia), to his parents, Rav Dovid and Mindel Halpern. His father, Rav Dovid, who served as rov of Dovshitz, was a descendant of the Divrei Chaim of Sanz. His mother was a daughter of Rav Shmuel Engel.

He studied in his youth with grandfather, Rav Shmuel Engel, and Rav Yissochor Pardes. At age 14, he wrote a letter to the Rogatchover Gaon, who, in his reply, called Rav Chuna “harav hagaon.”

About 76 years ago, Rav Chuna arrived in London and became close to Rav Shalom Moskowitz of Shatz zt”l. He married a daughter of Rav Nachum Lidzerovsky zt”l, a noted Alexander chossid.

Rav Halpern ultimately opened his bais medrash, Bais Shmuel, in Golders Green, currently one of the largest shuls in the neighborhood. In 1960, he opened the Pardes yeshiva, named after his rebbi, Rav Yissochor Pardes. In 1984, after the passing of Rav Shlomo Schonfeld, he became nosi of the Hisachdus Kehillas Hachareidim.

Rav Halpern was very close to numerous admorim, including Rav Rav Avrohom Shalom Halberstam of Stropkov, the Sanzer Rebbe and the Satmar Rebbe Rav Yoel Teitelbaum. He considered himself a talmid of Rav Itzikel of Pshevorsk.

Rav Halpern was the mechaber of various seforim, including Sdeh Elchonon.

He is survived by a large family of rabbonim, marbitzei Torah and baalei chesed. They include his son-in-law, the Nadvorna Rebbe of Haifa; his son-in-law, the Makova Gaavad; his son-in-law, the Chernobyl Rebbe; his son, Rav Yitzchak Aryeh Leibish Halpern, rov of Ramot Gimmel; his son, Rav Yisroel Shmuel Dovid Nachum Halpern, rov in Hendon, London; his son, Rav Chaim Aharon Tzvi Halpern; his son, Rav Shalom Yosef Halpern, rov in New York; his son, Rav Moshe Yehuda Ber Halpern, rov of Bais Medrash Bais Shmuel in London founded by his father; his son-in-law, Rav Moshe Chaim Bransdorfer of London; and his son-in-law, Rav Yosef Moshe Schneerson, rosh yeshiva of Tchebin.

Yehi zichro boruch.

{Gavriel Sitrit-Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Boruch Dayan Emes

    8 GEDOLEI HADOR niftar in January in the mageifa of gedolim leaving us cause we don’t take their guidance %100

    4 GEDOLEI HADOR niftar in February already.

    when will this mageifa end? this could have ended long ago.

    There is no one to blame for this mourning Loss & Mageifa but OURSELVES r”l. how much longer it will take until this mageifa ends is up to US. may it happen very soon

    may all these tzaddikim neshamos have aliyahs

  2. Rav Shmuel Engel was known as Radomishle Rov. The Reinman’s in Lakewood (Reb Dovid & Yaakov Yosef) are also his descendants.

  3. Thanks for the translation.

    And how do you translate:

    “Royal Hospital in London”

    “one of the largest shuls in the neighborhood”

  4. He was 93, this is not a mageifa. As tragic as the loss of any godol is, no one can live forever. He achieved a lot in his life, but the last years were not fruitful and he stayed alive due to modern medicine. With another senior Rov in the area retiring now, many see this as an opportunity for the younger generation to put new vigour into improving many aspects of yiddishkeit here.

  5. “Royal Free Hospital” is correct name.

    Whilst lamentable having so many Gedolim passing away:-
    a) B’H we are blessed with so many Gedolim, and that many of them are here until very advanced age.
    b) The Gedolim passing away this week just steered away from major Halachic dilemma of when to observe their Yahrzeit in leap years

  6. Baruch Dayan HaEmes
    Vechol Beis Yisroel Yivcu Es HaSereifah Asher Saraph HaShem.
    Nafla Ateres Rosheinu
    #8 “b) The Gedolim passing away this week just steered away from major Halachic dilemma of when to observe their Yahrzeit in leap years” Why make light, there is no halachic dilema, the Sepharadim hold one way and the Ashkenazim hold the other.

  7. He dose not have a son in law brandsdofer. His kids are rav yitzchok halpern,rav Moshe halpern,rav Chaim halpern,rav David halpern,rav shalom yosef halpern. His sons in law are gavad makeover,Chernobyl rav bnei break,rosh yeshiva of tcherbine,and nadvorna haifa

  8. The Rov Zatzal wrote in his Tzavaah that he only wants “Moreh Moreinu Harav” as his titles on his Matzeivah as his grandfather, the MaHarash Engel said that he would someday be called that. He also wrote that the only thing to be written on the matzeivah is the fact that he used to go every Friday to Pardes House the test the talmidim as this will stand him in good stead in the olam haelyon


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