R’ Yosef Herman was a revolutionary. He saw. He acted. He did what needed to be done.
Torah as a way of life was a value R’ Herman absorbed from his youth. When R’ Herman was just 12 years old, his parents sent him away from home to learn in Yeshiva Torah Vadaas. He learned, absorbed, and grew. In Yeshiva, R’ Herman developed a deep appreciation for Torah and a tremendous degree of Emunas Chachomim. These values continued to define him throughout his whole life.
Upon his marriage, R’ Herman moved to Queens, where he developed a close kesher with Rav Yaakov Teitelbaum. Several years later R’ Herman moved to Monsey, NY, where he lived for most of his life. There he became a talmid of R’ Yaakov Kaminetzky ZT”L. R’ Herman did not make any major decisions without consulting with his Rov, Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky. He was mevatel his Daas to that of his Rebbe. If the Rav said something, so it was, even if he personally thought otherwise. Emunas Chachomin was his foundation.
For many years R’ Herman gave a Daf Yomi Shiur at work during his lunch break. After retiring, R’ Herman called in every day to give the Shiur over the phone. While R’ Herman prioritized family and devoted many hours to Project Chodosh, the family knew that he was not available during the Shiur. Torah was paramount.
While he lived in Monsey, R’ Herman began learning about the Mitzvah of Yoshon. In his simple and unassuming way, with the advice of Reb Yaakov Kaminetzky, R’ Herman set out to put the Mitzvah into practice. He bought a big freezer and stocked it with flour, Cheerios, and other wheat-based items. He accessed a file of date codes from Beis Shraga and then embarked on a mission to find the information needed to keep this important Mizvah. Slowly his knowledge grew. R’ Herman spoke to Rabbanim and people in the industry. He taught himself the ropes.
Interest in Project Chodosh grew. Other like-minded individuals expressed interest in this information. As he always did before making decisions, R’ Herman asked a Sheilas Chochom how to go about sharing his data. Reb Yaakov Kaminetsky advised him not to publicize the information but to make the information available only to those who requested it for their personal use. If you want to know, I am happy to share it, but I will not obligate anyone, in any way, to keep this mitzvah.
But R’ Herman did much more. Not only did he share what he knew, but he also used his knowledge to investigate products he never used, only to benefit and help other people. He went out of his way to answer questions. He invested hours of him time to help the Klal observe the laws of Yoshon. He cared about what was important to others, all the while never accepting any renumeration for his services.
R’ Herman could have contented himself with “just” stocking up on Cheerios and flour. Instead, he focused on helping Klal Yisroel. He published the guide. R’ Herman set up the hotline. He arranged for a fax service. R’ Herman initiated an email list and sent out periodic updates. He had endless patience for each question, even when disturbed late at night on his personal line. R’ Herman answered the same questions over and over with same care and respect as if it was the first time. Never did he belittle a question or put down a person. He was there for you.
About 8 years ago, my grandfather invited me to join him in working on the project. I was asked to help him organize information and update the Guide. I then began contacting companies and Mashgichim for information. R’ Herman was there to guide me every step of the way. And I called him. Constantly. I bothered him many times with many little questions. When I called, my grandmother would say the boss is calling! But R’ Herman never treated me as if I was a bother. If I asked him for help, he did it as soon as possible. If he could not, R’ Herman would apologize to me! When I made mistakes, which happened many times, he had endless patience helping me to correct them. Frequently, he took the blame upon himself. He took final responsibility for his work.
I saw the tremendous hours and effort R’ Herman put into the guide. I saw the hours and hours he spent answering the hotline. I saw how careful he was to make sure all the information was accurate. I saw how R’ Herman consulted Rabbi Avrohom Greenfeld each step of the way. I saw how he made a special trip to the post office to send the guide out in a timely manner. I saw, and I was in awe.
The guide is R’ Herman and R’ Herman is the guide. R’ Herman left a legacy of Emunas Chachomim and the gadlus of serving Hashem b`lev shaleim. He did not question if it can be done. He saw a lack, and without fanfare, did what needed to be accomplished.
Zaidy, look at what you accomplished. Look at the Mitzvah Klal Yisroel is keeping. We are united in observing this Mitzvah, your mitzvah.
R’ Herman was there for Project Chodosh and Project Chodosh was there for R’ Herman. After his Petira, R’ Yaakov Menkin contacted me and suggested we ask Project Chodosh subscribers to learn Mishnayos l’ilui nishmaso. He gave me access to a website he created for this purpose. A request was sent out to learn Shisha Sidrei Mishna in time for the Shloshim. Within 3 days, the entire Shisha Sidrei Mishna was reserved! R’ Menkin said that he had never seen such a quick response.
The family would like to thank each person who learned Mishnayos. Thank you:
Simcha Shabtai, Yitzhak Goodman, Nosson Kowall, Moshe Gindi, Yisroel M Shonek, Sam Cohen, Dan Abittan, Yaakov Langer, Feivel Schwartz, Boruch Tkatch, Raphael Tebele, Aaron Parnes, Mendy Stern, David Shabtai, Eliezer Sholmie Censor, Boruch Orbach, Eddie Kassin, Seth Mandel, Rabbi Gedalia Walls, Moshe Altman, Dovid Cohen, Yoseph Mandelbaum, Dovid Zomber, Zundel Glassner, Saul Guberman, Michael Cohen, Yechezkel Gottheim, Eric Amzaleg, Pinchas Juravel, Aharon Marcus, Y. moore, Yaakov Menken, Azaryah Schechter, Yossi Daitchman, Yaron Lebovitz, Avrohm Semmel, Moshe E Indik, Yaakov Bienstock, Joseph Goldberg, Benji Drory, Ephraim Niehaus, Yaakov Hecht, Shimon M Morgenstern, Max Mizrachi, Yakov Gruskin, Yitzchak Gross, Chaim Krause, Raphael Solomon, Jonathan Drory, Yitzhak C Zuckerman, Yaakov Rosskamm, Yehoshua Sova, Jeremy Schwarzbaum, and Rabbi Steinfeld.
At R’ Menkin’s urging, we decided to try to have people learn, and complete Shas, in time for the first Yortzeit! After a lot of effort from a lot of special people, Project Chodosh completed this major undertaking. Each individual effort combined into one beautiful whole. The entire Shas was finished in time for the first Yartzeit. The Herman family thanks each person who learned his portion of Shas. Thank you to:
Shimon Morgenstern, Yosef Nabatian, Mordechi Shaliesaboo, Avrohom Union, Moshe Indik, Yitzchok Basser, Elchonon Bibla, Rovvy Lepor, Yaakov Werblowsky, Meir Diskind, Noam Peikes, Michael Goldenberg, A. Kroll, Adam A., Naftali Rothstein, Yair Don Teitelbaum, Yitzie Saalkind, Trenk, E. Greenfeld , Daniel Edelstein, Nachum Tzvi Whiter, Chaim Yoel Herman, Abba Levitan, Elazar Grossman, Shlomo Katz, Shlomo Gliksman, Lawrence Teitelman, Solomon Gross, Shalom Nesanel Ehrman, Eliezer Goldsmith, Michoel Glassenberg, Shragy Katz, Shmuel Nadoff, Avrohom Menashe Siegal, Binyomin Katz, Shimon Dovid Bibla, Yisroel E Kaufman, Rabbi Avraham Greenfeld, Shlomo Jarcaig, David Botton, Gedalia Walls, C. Melber, Y. Silver, Moshe Kuber, Yosef Atlas, Joseph Jacobson, David Elbaz, Yehuda F., S. Keilson, Yechezkel Gottheim, Yedidya Ohayon, Michael Rauch, Cohen, Mehachem Resnicoff, Tzvi Black, Y. Goodman, Rabbi Zev Katz, Tzvi Shear, Jeff Geizhals, Binyamin Beiser, Michael Cohen and Yakov Epstein.
Thank you to those who learned Mishnayos and Shas but did not give their names.
This was the Shas that Klal Yisroel learned together, inspired by the man who was there for Klal Yisroel. Seeing the effort expended, by Project Chodosh, in the zechus of R’ Herman brought tremendous nechama to the greater Herman family.
Thank you to all who reached out to the family with many thoughtful words of chizuck after R’ Herman`s petirah. Thank you to all those who undertook various merits in R’ Herman’s zechus. Each one adds to the tower of Zechuyos that are accompanying R’ Herman up in Shamayim. May we be Zoche to continue to keep R’ Herman’s mitzvah together.
As I read through each email and letter that came in, I was moved to tears. During shiva, I told R’ Moshe Herman that I had received many, many emails in tribute to R’ Herman. Rabbi Moshe Herman asked me to print the messages. With a heavy heart, I sat down in R’ Herman’s office in his apartment in Queens and printed out each and every email. They were then given to Mrs. Herman. Each and every email was saved. The entire packet of emails was found carefully saved in an envelope after her petirah. Her children read through, and received nechama from the booklets of emails as well.
Now, I am sharing a sample of those letters and emails with you. I am sharing with you the letters written by Klal Yisroel. See The appreciation Klal Yisroel had for one simple, unassuming, man who changed the world. Read and be inspired.
Mrs. C. Rosskamm
The following emails were received during the Shiva for R’ Yosef Herman ZT”L
Our condolences to Rebbetzen Herman and the entire mishpacha on your loss. We are very grateful for all of the efforts the Rabbi worked so hard on to help Am Yisroel keep the mitzvah of yoshon. We wouldn’t have been able to keep it all these years without him. May his Neshama have an Aliya and may Hashem comfort your family. Dalia Esmaili
Dear Herman Family,
We were shocked and saddened to learn of the petirah of Rav Herman. Although we did not know him personally, we were zocheh to benefit from the enormous work he did in investigating and compiling the Guide to Chodosh over these many years. We can only imagine the zechusim he has accrued! May your memories keep you strong, and may you know only simchas from now on.
Hamakom yenachem eschem besoch shaar aveilei zion v’yerushalayim.
Adler Family, KGH
Dear Rebbetzin Herman and Choshuv Children,
We are so sorry and pained to hear about the petira of Rabbi Herman. Although, we did not know Rabbi Herman personally, we greatly benefitted from his Publication A Guide to Chodosh. We used the yearly publication as our source of information when we wanted to find out whether or not a particular brand or product was made out of kemach yoshon. Just a few days ago we needed information about a product, and we looked up the Guide to Chodosh in our email and got the information we needed. You were all blessed to have such a special person. It is a great loss for you and all of klal yisroel. May Hashem heal your pain. Hamakom yinachem eschem bsoch shaar aveiley tzion vyerushalayim.
Mayer and Chaya Pearlman
I used to get Rabbi Herman’s z”l Chodosh updates and was always impressed with the huge amount of work went into these updates, which we’re most likely not even aware of.
May all the great work he did for klal Yisrael will stand as a zchus for him, for his family and for klal Yisrael in shomoyim.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
I am heartbroken over the loss of a man whose devotion, diligence and discretion, all in the service of Hashem Yisboroch, were obvious year in and year out even to one who never met him. המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירשולים.
Dear Family of Rav Herman,
I was not zocheh to meet Rav Herman, but I was always impressed by the dedication he showed to Klal Yisroel through his work to help others be careful to eat yoshon. May he be a meilitz yoshor for all of you.
Hamakom yenachem eschem b’soch shar aveilei tzion v’yerushalayim.
Hanoch Slatin, Yerushalayim
Our deepest condolences on the passing of your husband. We used his guide for many years. How much effort and work was put in to it. We are eternally grateful. May H’ comfort you and may his actions that benefitted so many people give his neshama an Aliya and your family constant siyatta d’shmaya.
Great Neck, NY
Our world has lots of needs and issues are prioritized, not according to importance, rather according to caprices and ulterior motives. Yet Reb Yosef took a seemingly unpopular topic and turned it into a sugya, something that can be dealt with halachically and professionally. Nobody else cared about this, yet now our world is unthinkable without his tremendous job that he has done for us. I cannot fathom any motive other than כבוד שמים and דקדוק הדין and cannot imagine someone else taking over his place. Klal Yisroel owes an unparalleled debt to Reb Yosef and his life’s work.
In the 16 years I live in this country, I could eat comfortably during the winter only due to his responsible work, conscientious attitude, and attention to detail.
Additionally, his life was an announcement to the world as to the importance of each halacha and detail thereof. This is a mussar seder in its own right.
מי יתן לנו תמורתו
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים Moishe Royde
Although I never knew or spoke to the Niftar zt”l, He has a tremendous zechus of all the hundreds of thousands of people whom he helped, like me, keep the Mitzvah of Chodosh in Chutz L’Aretz. May this be an Aliyah for his Neshama, and a zechus for his Mishpacha. Yaakov Leff
Dear Herman family,
We are very sad to hear of Rabbi Herman’s passing. My husband and I were both shocked on hearing the news. We both felt that we lost someone special and who impacted our lives so greatly even though we have never met Rabbi Herman. Being of sefardic decent, Rabbi Herman was surely mezakeh us to allow us to follow sefardic Halacha in observing yoshon. Because of Rabbi Herman our family, extended family and friends were able to become a lot more educated about yoshon. We are so sorry for your loss and the loss for Klal Yisrael.
Hamakom yinachem etchem btoch shar Yerushalayim
From Ilana and Benji Drory
I would like to express my deep hakaras hatov to Rabbi Herman a”h. I have been married for over 2 years, and when I got engaged to my Sephardi chosson, I was nervous about taking on keeping yoshon (as I was born Ashkenazi). My chosson assured me that it would not be a big deal, “there’s a guide!”. As an engaged couple, we went “stocking up shopping” (we got married 2 weeks before Rosh Hashana), but I knew there was no way I would be able to anticipate everything I would need during the first 7 months of my marriage! Additionally, being from out of town, and living in Washington Heights, I was not necessarily accustomed to always buying the “kosher brands” (which were more likely to be yoshon), and there were certain things not available in the heimish brands.
Having the guide available, particularly during shana rishona, but every year has been incredibly helpful and and allowed us to not just keep yoshon in our house, but helpful to my family as well, who live out of town and is much harder for them to obtain specifically yoshon products. Without thinking twice, we can just “check the guide” for almost any product, and it will be there. I have no idea what I personally, along with my husband and my parents would have done without the incredible work of Rabbi Herman a”h.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים
Dear Rebbetzin Herman and Family,
I am sure that I am not the first, nor will I be the last, to tell you what a difference your husband and father zt”l made in the world of Yoshon observance.
For our family, living in Silver Spring, Maryland, keeping Yoshon has been a particular challenge. Yoshon products are far less available “out of town” than in the NY area. For this reason, Rabbi Herman’s guide has been indispensable. We wish to express our heartfelt Hakaras HaTov for the guidance he gave us over the years. It would not be even the slightest exaggeration to say that we could not have observed Yoshon without it.
May the zechusim that Rabbi Herman zt”l accumulated over his too-short life be a nechama to your family at this very difficult time.
I owe a deep hakaras hatov to Rabbi Herman and those who help him. When I returned from yeshiva in EY I started to keep yoshon, it was only through the guide that I was able to show parents and inlaws how straightforward it was. This was due to the hard work and clear organization of Rabbi herman. I had to stop for a bit when I moved out of town. Recently I restarted again (I live in Cleveland so it’s a bit easier) as my wife encouraged me to do so being that she had the guide to help her. We are trying to get the bagel store in town to go yoshon.
Any mitzvos that I have in this area are a credit to Rabbi Herman. May the mitzvah greet him as he enters gan eden and tip the scales. He had a share in many billions and trillions of these mitzvos. The fact that almost every major kosher bakery and the kashrus orgnizations care about yoshon is to his credit,
We were so saddened to hear of the petirah of Rabbi Herman. His name was a household name in our home. Without his expert guidance over the years, we would not have been able to keep yoshon. Am sure that in in the zechus of the many thousands of families keeping yoshon, his neshama will surely have an aliya and he will be a meilitz yashar for those in need.
Boruch Dayan Hoemes, it is a great loss to Klal Yisroel, but I am sure in shomayim all gates are open to him. He must have uncountable zechusim. He will be so missed. C. Ehrlich
Rabbi Herman and I had many email conversations and a few phone conversations trying to determine the outer limits of yoshon milling. He was always so appreciative when I was able to point out when the cutoff date in a particular mill was later than the generally accepted date. Although I never had the zechus to meet him in person, he will certainly be sorely missed in the kashrus world. יהי זכרו ברוך. Rabbi Moshe Berger
To Rebetzin Herman, Suri (from Agudah Midwest days) and the rest of the Herman family: Your husband and father has zechusim that are not possible to even count! What he did for the “yoshon” community was the biggest chessed ever. He made keeping Yoshon so much easier. He made a previously orphaned mitzvah so accessible to the masses. My father Z”L, Yitzchok Giffin, spoke to him many times as he was a mashgiach and part of the large contingency of “Yoshon” keepers in Chicago. This was years before it became more common. We relied on that Yoshon book for everything. His patience, his eidelkeit and his sense for Yashrus should give you a nechama. His ability to answer everyone’s questions despite his busy schedule is inspiring. May his Neshama continue to soar in Shamayim and be a melitz yosher for all of you.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Bassy (Giffin) Cohen
He was a tremendous mezakeh es harabim. We personally benefited so much from his heilige work, and feel truly indebted to him. May he be a meilitz Yosher for his entire family and all of Klal Yisroel whom he clearly loved very much. And may the entire family have a nechama besoch shar aveilei tziyon vi’yershalayim.
I want to say thank you Mr. Herman zt”l for helping the world keep yashan. For over 30 years, I was benefiting from the efforts Mr. Herman did with yashan in America. While I was a bachur in 1988 in Ner Yisrael in Baltimore, I along with the Persian bachurim were able to keep yashan there because of the codes of Mr. Herman. He was an example of how one person could affect the whole Klal Yisrael. He will be missed by all.
Yenuchamo Min Hashamyim.
When I started to be makpid on chodosh around 37 years ago it was difficult and not popular. I would often come home from weddings hungry. The guide to chodosh made things easier especially after we were married 36 years ago. Approximately 18 years ago I became involved in kashrus and again Rabbi Herman was indispensable. Although the recording said “I cannot return calls,” somehow, he always returned my calls and gave me the time I needed. R’ Herman was always very appreciative of any insights I had.
In summary Rav Yosef Herman will surely be missed.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים ובלי במות לנצח ומחה ה’ דמעה מעל כל פנים
אברהם וחנה גרפינקל
Lichvod the mishpacha of Rabbi Herman ע”ה,
כל מי שעוסקים בצרכי ציבור באמונה הקב”ה ישלם שכרם!
We cannot adequately express our appreciation to the niftar or to his family for helping us keep a מצוה דאורייתא. My parents, and our community are makpid about eating only kemach yoshon and the devotion of the Rav has made it so much easier!!
We have been quietly benefiting from all the efforts he put in (for years!!!!!) and would like to thank the mishpacha and his dedicated wife for everything he’s done for the klal!
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים.
Ellis and Judy Safdeye
When I would visit my brotherinlaw Naftoli Straus, I remember Mr. Herman sitting in the side room at Bais Tefilah where he had a seder in Chumash every morning. I understand that he also had a daf yomi shiur in the earlier part of the morning.
He called himself Mr. Herman.
Let me share with you a story I heard a number of years ago about R Shraga Feivel Mendlowitz. The Ponovizer Rav, Rav Kahanaman came to see R Shraga Feivel in Torah Vodaas. When he came in the building he asked a bochur where he can find Rabbi Mendlowitz. The bochur directed him to his office, but cautioned that he prefers to be addressed as Mr. Mendlowitz not Rabbi Mendlowitz. The Ponovizer Rov met with R Shraga Feivel. After his meeting he sought out that bochur and told him ‘you are mistaken he is not Mister Mendlowitz- he is Nistar (hidden) Mendlowitz’. What he did was not so obvious to everyone.
I carried on conversation with Mr. Herman by phone or email on yoshon/chodosh issues. He will be remembered as taking this chapter of halacha and bringing it to light in practical terms.
Y’hei Zichro Boruch
Rabbi Shimon Gutman
Thank you for the information. May your grandfather have an aliyas haneshama hatehora, and may the avodas hakodesh he performed for the tzibbur for so many years bring him to the highest of heights in Gan Eden next to the Kisei HaKavod.
Rabbi Moshe Berger
I was saddened to hear of the passing of your dear husband. He was one of the mainstays of the Monsey community for many decades and I am certain that his loss will be felt not only by his family but by the community at large. It is important that you yourself gather strength and continue to guide your wonderful family in the tradition of your family. May the Lord grant you health and satisfaction in your efforts. May you be comforted and consoled among all those others that yet mourn for for Zion and Jerusalem.
Dear Moishe and Suri and all the Mishpacha,
We are so saddened to hear of the Petirah of your father. Rabbi Herman was one of the few people who were zocheh to singlehandedly change the community’s awareness of shmirah of a certain Mitzvoh. Even greater than the accomplishment of the Guide to Chodosh is the personality that shines through the booklet (I remember when it was still a booklet- printed and stapled together). His strict following of the guidance of Rav Yaakov and Rav Moshe z”l and the scrupulous honesty and ehrelchkeit which radiates through his every word.
יהי זכרו ברוך
Shaya and Shani Greenwald
THE WORLD of kashrus was saddened by the sudden petirah of R’ Yosef Herman. This unassuming individual was a catalyst in spreading Yoshon information.
Many years ago, Rabbi Aaron Soloveitchik, zt”l planted the Yoshon seed; Rabbi Herman nurtured it and caused it to blossom. Prior to his involvement, just a few individuals observed this halacha.
However, due to Rabbi Harman’s dedication in disseminating Yoshon information many more people observed this mitzvah. He diligently investigated and researched the industry and he gladly shared his insights.
I was fortunate to be in contact with him and he was instrumental in furthering my knowledge about Yoshon.
I always admired his sincerity and devotion to this worthy project.
RABBI DAVID GORELIK
RC Yoshon, Cereals
Myself and my entire community send our condolences. Without rabbi Herman’s untiring efforts and working till no end and collecting data and finding out chodosh dates. Without him myself and many of my friends would never have been able to adhere to yashan. What is the address for the shiva wanted to send something to show my appreciation for all he has done as well as send my condolences. Thank you.
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B’soch Avalay Tziyon V’Yerushalayim.
What a terrible loss. I am one of many who benefitted so much from the Guide to Chodosh.
Rabbi Herman was mezakeh the rabim by enabling so many yidden to keep a mitzvah that was so neglected.
May he be a maylitz yosher for all yidden.
חבל על דאבדין ולא משתכחין
ווי לנו שאבדנו גברא רבא שהקים עולו של מצות חדש כמעט יובל שנים, ונהנו מפעולתו אלפים ורבבות. בוודאי תצא המצוה לקראתו ויתקבל בכבוד הגדול כצאת השמש בגבורתו הראוי לאוהב ישראל ומזכה את הרבים שלא חיפש כלום מכל טרחותיו לעצמו והתנהג בצניעות מרובה כל ימיו.
נסע למנוחות ועזב אותנו לאנחות וה’ הטוב ימלא חסרוננו וידאג שהמצוה היקרה תשמר באותה רמה כמו ששמרו אותה בימיו, והכל יתחשב לזכותו.
המקום ינחם את המשפחה היקרה בתוך אבלי ציון וירושלים
A גברא רבא who single handedly raised the awareness of Chodosh /Yoshon in America and enabled those wishing to be makpid, to do so
י’הי זכרו ברוך
Baruch Dayan Emes – I am so so sorry to hear this. What a special place Rabbi Herman has left. He is among the Yechidim who devote their entire being to a cause that is Mezakeh HaRabim. Please extend Nechama to his family.
Sincerely, Mrs. L. Orbach, Lakewood.
BARUCH DAYAN HAEMET he will greatly be missed what a special person I wouldn’t be able to keep yashan if it wasn’t for this great rabbi
A גברא רבא who single handedly raised the awareness of Chodosh /Yoshon in America and enabled those wishing to be makpid, to do so
י’הי זכרו ברוך
What a chesed he has been doing for all of us all of these years we are indebted to him
Baruch Dayan HaEmess. Rabbi Herman was mezakeh harabbim in a very great way. May he be a melitz yosher for his family and Klal Yisroel. Jacob Bechhofer
Rav Herman was, and certainly continues to be מזכה את הרבים in a very great way with the issue of Yoshon. The Chofetz Chaim said that a person who cherishes a mitzvah that many others may not (such as a lack of awareness) gets a great reward. No question even greater is the relatively recent widespread adoption of Yoshon which was very largely driven by Rav Herman for which it can be said with respect to him “שכרך הרבה מאוד”. His zechus will always continue to grow with his positive influence on this (and other) important matters. He has a share in the zechus of many thousands.
יהי זכרו ברוך
Baruch dayan haemes! Klal Yisroel has suffered a tremendous loss with his passing. We have benefited from his tireless loss as do so many others in helping make yoshon a doable mitzvah. He took it out of the geder of ” meis mitzvah” into one that is thriving. He will be missed. May the family be comforted amongst the mourners of Zion. Leah Pinck
Baruch dayan ha-emeth. Rabbi Herman was truly a great tzaddik who, single-handedly, renewed universal awareness of a “forgotten” mitzvah.
A saddened subscriber
Wow, I didn’t personally know Rabbi Herman but what he has done for the yiddin is incredible and it is a huge loss for all of klal yisorel.
Hamakom yenachem eschem bsoch shaar avlei tzion vyerushalayim.
Devorah Esther Roness
Rabbi Herman raised awareness on a לאו דאורייתא that unfortunately was disregarded. He was diligent and thorough in his research to make sure עם ישראל doesnt enter any חדש ספקות.
May he be מליץ יושר on עם ישראל, he will be greatly missed.
Dear Mrs. Herman & family, sheyichu
Although we do not know you, we would like to thank you for the bottom of our heart for Rabbi Hermans z”l work in helping us keep yoshon properly all these years with such great mesirus nefesh. Unfortunately, such selflessness is a rarity today and we felt it in the publications, emails, etc.
May the zchus of this mitzvah always protect your family and may only havesimchos in the future.
Hamkom yenachem eschem bsoch shaar aveili tzion veyurshalayim.
How very sad to hear that a Godol was taken from us. The work he has done all these years with his Chodosh project must surely take him straight to the Kiseh HaKovod with all the Tzidkei Yisroel who are already there now.
I come from London and have been using the Chodosh book since June 1985, when I got married and moved here. I have always blessed Rabbi Herman for making it so much easier to keep this Mitzvah, so much easier to know what to buy when shopping, and what not to buy.
May Rabbi Herman be a Meilitz Yoshor to all Klal Yisroel and may you all find Nichum at this time of great loss.
May he Daven for us and bring us all a Yeshuah together with Moshiach Tzidkeinu, Amen!
Kindest regards, always.
Rabbi Moshe and Sarah Lagnado & families.
Dear Herman family,
I was shocked, along with so many others in כלל ישראל to hear of the פטירה of such an important individual to כלל ישראל. I, like so many others, did not know Rav Herman personally at all, but because of what he has done for my family and all those who ask me yoshon questions, I feel a deep sense of indebtedness to him.
Even today, people make comments to me to the effect of, “The United States has such a a surplus, we never need to worry about Yoshon.” And I feel confident pointing out to them all of the real-world research that Rav Herman did. I regularly check the PDF of the Guide when I go shopping, and consult it whenever I am asked sheilos from others. He changed the Jewish world and his זכות is immeasurable.
I wish I had a personal story to share, but I do not. I am writing so that you can appreciate how far reaching his impact was.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון ירושלים.
יהא זכרו ברוך.
Etan Moshe Berman
My wife has been an ardent recipient of the “Guide” and its updates for decades and it has been of immeasurable value in promoting the shmirah of this mitzvah in our home and those of our children and friends. The Holy soil which he loved so deeply that he devoted his life to this mitzvah in order to keep it constantly in our minds and hearts, will certainly envelope him in its loving embrace and guide his path with a shining brilliance as his neshamah is olah lamarom.
Hamakom y’nachem eschem b’soch sh’or availay Tziyyon Vy’ru’sha’layim.
Avrohom Dovid Friedman/ Baltimore
There are no words to express our tzaar on the petira of R’ Yosef. He singlehandedly saved the mitzva of yoshon and was able to make it available to klal yisroel. I am positive that the malachim that came out to greet him in shamayim number in the millions comprised of all the mitzvos that he generated.
Hamakom yenachem eschem means that the place (mokom) that he is found will itself be a nechama. May you never see any more tzaar and may his zechus protect all his family amen .
L’chvod the family of R Herman: We so appreciate the countless hours that Rav Herman gave to klal yisrael. Before Rabbi Herman got involved in this for the tzibbur it was virtually impossible for people to find out what products were Chodosh or Yoshon. He provided this invaluable service without asking for money for it or any compensation. He is truly a role model for mesiras nefesh, and he enabled so many people who keep yoshon to follow the halachos. His petira leaves a void in klal yisrael, we cannot imagine who could replace him. May his neshama have an aliyah. Mitchell and Sharon First and family
What a great loss for Am Israel…
I’m so grateful for all his effort in the yoshon project, my family is able to easily keep yoshon because of him.
Very few tzadikim got to make an impact in the entire USA, he is one of them! His success is an incredible example to all of us!
I hope the family is console from heaven.
Min HaShamaim Tenuchamu…
Ary Djmal from Miami
Rabbi Herman was so patient and answered the same question from so many people even in a short span of time.
He enabled me to keep Yoshon and many others.
This lifelong dedication is no doubt a unique zechus of his beyond the thousands times thousands of other zechusin he no doubt has.
With much sadness for klal Yisroel’s loss and to his family.
R Danny Goldstein
Rochester New York
We were very saddened to hear of the passing of your Rosh Mishpachah. I don’t know you personally, but have benefitted from Rav Herman’s research in the area of Chodosh for close to thirty years. I feel that just as Rav Rosenberger revitalized the mitzvah of shaatnez, Rav Herman revitalized the mitzvah of Chodosh across the world, and thus he was a great tzaddik and matzdik harabim. May you be comforted knowing that the zechusim he, and by extension, your family have accrued for your support of his activities, have given him Gan Eden, ain l’shaer, and may the zechusim stand you and your family in good stead as you forge ahead. Hamakom yenachem eschem besoch shear evlei tzion v’yerushalayim.
The Salel Familly
Dear Rebbitzin Herman and family,
My wife and children and myself came to America from Eretz Yisrael about 15 years ago.
We’re both originally from the NY but were there for many years, B”H.
We came to Baltimore and among the many challenges of coming here was Chadash. Our first year, we had no idea about cut off dates and so after Pesach we stocked up like crazy. Finding Yashan then was not as popular as it is today.
That winter we discovered Rav Herman Zatzal and it made that part of our lives much more manageable.
I’m sure that the consciousness and popularity of Yashan today is due in great part to Rav Herman’s dedication to spreading knowledge of this presious Mitzvah.
We thank you and your family for making it possible for Rav Herman Zatzal to do this great Mitzvah and help so many Yiddin.
I’m sure that he will be a מיליץ ישר for your entire family and for all Klall Yisrael.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים ולא תוסיפו לדאבון עוד.
Sincerely, Leah & Menachem Pinck & family
To accomplish what he did is truly amazing. I tried before he started to do it, and gave up; it was too much for me. So I really understand what an undertaking it was. And how he kept with it year after year was to me a real Kiddush HaShem, a Jew doing it solely l’shem Shomayim without getting paid for all his work or even getting titles and honor.
May his memory be a b’rokho for all of us, and may HQBH send us other people like him.
Rabbi Dr. Seth Mandel
The Orthodox Union
Mrs. Herman and children,
The work R’ Herman did to promote and enable the revitalization of strict adherence to the issur of Chodosh has been a great zechus to klal Yisroel. On a personal level, our family has adopted this zehirus and our children walk around with a pride and a sense of kedushah that they are careful in this mitzvah.
One of our sons had a substitute that was discussing “a mitzvah that people used to keep in times of the bais hamikdash” when my son piped up and said, “We keep that, too. You can borrow our guide if you want.”
We appreciate the effort and dedication put into researching and producing “the Guide” and are sure that R’ Herman will continue to work on behalf of klal Yisroel as a mailitz yosher, in particular for his family and his “family” of subscribers.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים
Azaryah and Tova Schechter
We appreciate all that Mr.Herman a”h did for us Zichrono Baruch Hamokom yenachem eschem besoch availay tzion veyerushaloyim we should be zochau to the geulah shelaymah
The zman of Chdaish yamaynu kekedem. Chinn from Toronto
May Hashem comfort you for your loss of a husband and a father and grandfather who brought the awareness of Chodosh and went the extra step to build and maintain a network of keeping the laws of yashan .The merit that he has for making it available to all of klal yisrael should be a zechut for his neshama
This is a tragedy and tremendous loss for all of Klal Yisrael. Rabbi Herman zt”l single-handedly saved the mitzvah of chodosh in America – which until he worked tirelessly to rectify – was a Meis Mitzvah. I am certain that all of those zechusim will escort him to Gan Eden. Hamakom Yenachem Escheim Besoch Shaar Aveili Tzion V’Yerushalayim, Velo sosifu l’daava ode. Manish Spitz Miami Beach
Tenachamu min hashamayim is what we sepharadim say. We are so grateful and so lucky to have had such a person like Rav Herman in our midst. Words cannot describe how many people were able to benefit from all he has done with Yashon. My elderly parents call me constantly regarding the codes and everything that the Rav has put out. Who would ever thought that my elderly parents would be able to hold of such things? Only due to Rav Herman and his great efforts. We are forever grateful…
To Mrs. Herman and your family,
I wanted to let you know that if it wasn’t for Rabbi Herman I don’t think I would be keeping yashan. I got married into a family who they all keep it and I didn’t know where to start. I went by the Rabbi’s guide and would email him from time to time with questions where he responded back right away. I wanted to thank you for all of his hard work putting out the book/pamphlet/emails each year. This is a loss to the entire community.
Tnachamu min hashamayim.
הצטערתי מאד לשמוע על פטירתו בטרם עת של הרב הרמן אפילו שלא הכרתי אתו באופן אישי מתוך האימייל שהיה שולח בעניין של החדש נראה שהוא היה אדם מאוד מיוחד עם מסירות נפש גדולה לעם ישראל שדאג לתת כל פרט אפשרי בכדי שהאנשים שמקפידים על חדש ידעו ויהיו מעודכנים בכל הפרטים בכדי שלא יעברו על איסור חדש יהי רצון שתהי נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים ושהמקום ינחם אתכם בתוך אבלי ציון וירושלים אמן
Not having been in contact with Reb Yosef ע”ה for more than 50 years, I decided some months ago to contact him. We spoke and I mentioned that I babysat for him in the early 60’s. We reminisced for a short while. My memory of him of that time was that he was an ehrliche Yid who was serious about his Yiddishkeit as was evident from the way he davened. יהי זכרו ברוך. Yoinoson Israel
Formerly of Kew Gardens, NY
I can’t express how much Rabbi Herman has helped me. I started keeping Yoshon as an out-of-town yeshiva bachurin the early ‘90s, and would literally starve through the winter, losing 10-15 pounds each year. I cannot tell you how many times I called the hotline to ask for specific information, it was not for luxuries, but for basic food items I was desperate to have. Without Rabbi Herman it would have been literally impossible. People today in the NY/Monsey/Lakewood areas find it very easy to keep Yoshon, but it is due to the credit of Rabbi Herman that there is such an ease. Like Elkanah who saw a mitzva that nobody was performing and ‘adopted’ it, Rabbi Herman will be known forever as the ‘Mechadesh’ of Chodosh. His zechuyos should be a meilitz yosher for he and his family. יהי זכרו ברוך
We are both shocked and frightened!
Shocked, considering the suddenness ,and frightened, considering the fact that he was a רבים צריכים לו .
אולם זכור אותו האיש לטוב, דאלמלא הוא נשתכח תורת חדש / ישן מישראל.
May Hashem console the family as He only knows how, and may the family find solace in knowing how great his Zechuyos are .
והלך לפניך צדקיך, כבוד ה’ יאספיך.
מן השמים תנוחמו ולא תוסיפו לדאבה עוד.
I didn’t know Rabbi Herman but the thought of what the revived mitzva of yoshon right be accomplishing for him in the world of Truth brings tears to my eyes.
Chaim N. Wolf
I want to extend my sincerest condolences to The Herman family. I cannot express the amount of gratitude i have to Rabbi Herman. It is in his zechut that my family and my children’s families are able to keep the laws of Chodosh!! His commitment was exceptional and I will BH try to keep this mitzvah liluy nishmato!! Thank you again. Mrs. Suzan Haber Brooklyn New York
Although I never met Rabbi Herman, z”l, but I greatly appreciate his work in bringing the observance of Chodosh to the forefront. I am b”h not to eat Chodosh because he made this possible. he has saved countless Yidden from being nichshal in a possible issur d’oraysah, and that will definitely be a major zechus for him. Kol hamezakeh es harabbim.
hamakom yenachem eschem.
Dear Herman family,
I’m so sorry for your loss. Rabbi Herman was a selfless Jew who dedicated his life for klal yisrael. As such it’s a tremendous loss for the klal. His contributions to klal yisrael and helping people to keep yashan are everlasting zechus for his neshama. מי ייתן לנו תמורתו.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים.
Eli Hakakian from Baltimore MD
You should know that Rabbi Herman made a difference. He educated people
about chodosh and made it easier for them to find yoshon products. He
did this tedious work in a quiet, unassuming matter, not looking for
compensation. Arlene Mathes-Scharf
We are a family in Atlanta who has been able to keep the mitzvah of yoshon only because of Rabbi Herman’s extraordinary efforts in the endeavor. We have much hakaras hatov to Rabbi Herman and the entire mishpacha who supported his work. All of the zechusim that Rabbi Herman has surely proceeded him to Shamayim.
Hamkom Yinacheim Eschem b’soch Shaar Avlei Yerushalayim
Rabbi Menashe Goldberger and family
Rabbi Herman was an invaluable help to me over many years in my keeping the mitzvah of yoshon. He answered my questions when they arose with promptness and graciousness, and I always felt confident that the answers received were 100% reliable. This is a great loss for Klal Yisroel. His support was very much appreciated, and will be missed greatly. Ha Makom y’nacheim eschem besoch aveili Tzion v’Yerushalyim. Yaacov Britvan Southfield, Michigan
I, and many in my Kehilla, are able to keep Yoshon solely because of Rabbi Herman.
He made his list so easy to follow and was so humble in how he did such an amazing service for all of Klal Yisroel.
He should be a Meilitz Yosher for all of the Yidden whom he loved so dearly.
Hashem now has one if His loyal soldiers next to Him and we will miss this giant of a man!
Yehi Zichro Boruch!
Rabbi Yehoshua Sova
Rav-Shaare Ezra Sephardic Congregation
Mr. Herman was a great man who changed the world. He enters Shomayim to join the tsadikkim such as R Yoseph Rosenberger (who established the first shatnez lab) who saved an entire mitzvah from the Torah.
I made a bris for my son in 1975. At the time, there was not a single bakery in New York City which was makpid on chodosh chutz la’aretz. Thanks to the work of Mr Herman (who would not allow people to call him Rabbi Herman), from every corner of Boro Park, and throughout the US, pizza stores, bakeries and manufactured goods proudly proclaim na’aseh mikemach yoshon.
His zechuyos are forever, and his great work will BS”D stand forever for the c’lal Yisroel.
Tsvi Rogin, Guide user since 1974.
I love in Hollywood, Florida. I did not know Rabbi Herman personally at all. But, as I have been trying to keep yoshon down here, Rabbi Herman’s work has obviously been incredibly helpful. And his mesirus nefesh for this project has provided me with tremendous mussar and chizuk.
I am forever indebted and grateful. May Hashem provide nechama to the family and to Klal Yisroel, and may He provide everyone the chizuk to continue Rabbi Herman’s avodas hakodesh.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Raphael Stohl, Hollywood Community Kollel
Although I did not know Rabbi Herman personally, I express my hakarat hatov to him, and the family for his dedication and commitment to the CHODOSH project. He worked tirelessly and clearly-Leshaim shamayim-to ensure that Klal Yisrael would properly adhere to the laws of CHODOSH! With the GUIDE, hotline, and emails-he never stopped working for the cause.
It is abundantly clear that his humility and mesirus nefesh for this cause has created an awareness of the CHODOSH halachos that is unprecedented in our recent history. May Hashem give you a nechama, and may you be comforted amongst the mourners of Sion.
May we soon greet Mashiach Sidkenu, Bimheira Biyameinu.
Abraham Seruya and Family,
I would like to express my sincere nichumim to the family and our appreciation and hakaras hatov we’ve had to Harav Herman for his guidance in this special mitzvah of yashan/chadash. Rav Herman always went out of his way to answer each shailah personally without delay and we always felt his care and concern regarding each shailah individually.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים.
The loss is immense, for not only did we lose a great human being, but also the quality of a precious mitzvah, one six-hundred-thirteenth of the Torah. Every bite of Yoshon that Yidden worldwide eat as a result of the tireless and selfless work that he, did gives us a nourishment of purity to daven, learn, and do mitzvos. Therefore in a way, as we live, so will he and those that helped him. Hamokom Yenachem Eshchem B’Soch She’or Avelei Tziyon V’Yerusholayim. Tzvi Black Lakewood NJ.
Dear Herman Family,
Although I never had the zechus of meeting Rav Herman in person, you should know that through his maasim tovim he touched my life, and the lives of many others.
On a practical level he enabled me and so many people to keep the mitzvah of Yoshon properly. But more than that, the example he set of dedicating so much time and care so others can keep a mitzvah was awe inspiring. I’m sure he will be a meilitz yosher for your whole mishpacha and all of Klal Yisroel.
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem Bsoch Shaar Aveilei Tzion B’Yerushalayim
Dear Herman family,
I was so distressed to hear of the petira of Mr. Herman. He performed such a chesed for the community, without any fanfare but with so much sincerity, to ease the responsibilities of all who want to be medakdaik with yoshon. What a loss for the community and surely even more so for his family.
May the zuchuyos of his avodas hakodesh for all of the klal that he helped perform this mitzvah be source of nechama for you.
HaMakom yenachem eschem b’soch she’ar aveilei Zion V’Yerushalayim.
L’kavod the Herman Family,
I was never zoche to know Rabbi Herman personally — however his chesed and commitment to helping Klal Yisroel keep the mitzvah of Yoshon is something that I will be forever indebted to him for. I have been on his email list for at least the past 12 years (when I moved from Baltimore to Los Angeles — wondering how practical it would be to keep yoshon easily — which the Yoshon Guide facilitated perfectly), and I was always impressed with the hours of labor that must have gone into all the research each year to provide us with everything we needed to know. In the ever changing world of technology and the expanding Jewish universe, which would bring about new complications in chodosh dates and products every year, we could always count on Rabbi Herman to clarify everything according to Torah, halacha and the metzius of agriculture around the world; always in his humble and unassuming way.
May all of his efforts in the mitzvah of Yoshon be a great zchus for his neshama and the entire mishpacha.
He מזכה את הרבים with a מצוה few would have been able to keep without him. May he be zocha through that zechus to be עומד דורות ישרים. May he continue helping klal yisroel by being a ממליץ יושר to bring mosheach soon.
We see from “Mr”Herman what one “simple”Person can do AMAZING! Many years of thanks!
Dear Herman Family,
Even for those of us who knew Rabbi Herman ZTL only through the Yoshon Guide, it is hard to imagine a world without him. The caring emails, making sure that we were informed about every issue so that we could keep this mitzvah, made him part of our daily lives. What a tremendous zechus he had in enabling so many Yidden to be careful with this issue! There are many kashrus agencies, but I only ever knew of one “Yoshon Kashrus Agency”: Rabbi Herman ZT”L. How hard he worked, how responsible and dedicated he was!
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem btoch shaar evlei Tzion V’Yerushalayim, v’lo sosifu ledaava od.
My family and the entire Klal Yisroel owe tremendous hakoras hatov to R’ Yoseph, yehi zichro boruch, who made it possible for anyone who wanted to learn about, and be makpid on, chodosh in chutz la’aretz. All of this while not looking for even a drop of recognition or remuneration – avodas Hashem lishma mamish! The zechusin that he has amassed over the last 40+ years is simply unimaginable.
May he be a meilitz yosher for his mishpacha and all of Klal Yisroel. Hamakom yinachem eschem b’soch shaarei Tzion Virusholayim! Dovid Komet
It was painful to hear of Rabbi Herman’s passing. I will never forget seeing him drive to Chug Talmidei Reb Yaakov on Main Street every single Friday for many years and take out the garbage (and probably clean up inside, although I wasn’t inside to see).
I have a special appreciation to Rabbi Herman for enabling us to keep the mitzva of yashan because for us Sefaradim this mitzva is not optional. His guidance actually made it easy to keep. I expressed this appreciation to him in person and he was so gracious about it.
Whenever I met Rabbi Herman and greeted him, he responded as if I was an old friend, even though I was so much younger and he didn’t need me. This always made me feel good. He will be greatly missed. May he be a melitz yosher on behalf of his very beautiful family and may he have a lichtege Gan Eden. Yaakov Anteby
To the Herman Family,
We are Syrian Jews, and our Rabbi told us that for Sepharadim, keeping yashan even chutz laAretz is d’eoraita with no heterim for Sephardic Jews. Rabbi Yosef Herman to the rescue! We have been keeping yashan for over 25 years now and we don’t find it difficult at all- mostly because many food manufacturers and establishments have become yashan because there is such a demand for it now- only because of the ease in keeping the Mitzvah due to the incredible work of your husband and father. I teach ladies classes in the Syrian community and one of my courses, given almost every year- is Kashrut, with a very comprehensive class on the laws of chadash/ yashan- Hundreds and hundreds of families are now keeping the Mitzvah because I teach them how easy it is to keep- all to the credit of Rabbi Yosef Herman. We were shocked and SO SO saddened to hear of his passing. We will miss his voice on the hotline and his sincere, humble, caring humanity that always shone through in whatever he wrote or said. Tenuchamu min haShamayim. Our sincerest regrets. Bonnie and Abe Mansour
I had almost no experience with being careful with chodosh when I grew up in NY. After moving to Eretz Yisrael, our Rav told us that we should be makpid on yoshon when visiting the States, even if it was not so convenient for our parents who would be hosting us.
By getting the Chodosh Guide, we were able to know what we could eat and what to avoid, and we were able to e-mail it to family in advance of our arrival so they could plan accordingly.
We were recently contacted by a relative in Lakewood who found out late in the week that a Shabbos guest was makpid on yoshon. Thanks to our experience from the Chodosh Guide, we were able to help her.
We are very grateful for the incredible amount of time and effort that Rabbi Herman clearly must have devoted to researching what products are yoshon (although I’m sure we cannot even imagine how much that was).
This life’s work must have accrued him countless zechuyos.
HaMakom yenacheim eschem b’soch sha’ar aveilei Tzion v’Yerushalayim.
Yehi zichro baruch.
Beitar Illit, Israel
Mrs. Herman and family,
I am one of the many people who used the chodosh guide which Mr. Herman put out. His commitment to תורה and מצוות stands out as lesson to all of us. His undertaking shows the depth of his yirat shamayim and his desire to raise klal yisrael to a higher level of kiyum mitzvot. He is one of the few people who can be credited with reviving an almost “forgotten” mitzvah by both raising the awareness and by suppling the practical information needed by those who wished to be careful about chodosh in chutz la’aretz. יהי זכרו ברוך
Alon Shvut, Israel
Shavua Tov, please give this message to the family of Rabbi Herman. Thanks
I am a Rav in Miami and came to live here around six years ago. Living in Gibraltar part of Europe, we didn’t have problems of Yoshon. BH right away someone brought to my attention the beautiful work of Rabbi Herman on Yoshon here is America and it helped my family and Kehila tremendously. Especially since we are Sefaradim, Yoshon needs to be taken more seriously. His work was incredible, always monitoring all the dates, and making sure we all adhere to a higher standard of Kashrus. His Neshama should have a great Aliyah in the merit of the multitudes who found keeping Yoshon easier through the hard work he put in to his guide and BH we pray that they should continue his work Leiluy Nishmaso although very tedious job but this was his Ratzon. And Retzono zehu Kevodo. We were very saddened with the sudden tragic news. We hope all the family is consoled knowing the great legacy he left behind. We should be zoche to have the Mashiah speedily in our days.
Min Hashamayim Tenuhamu Velo Tosifu Ledaava Od. Hamakom Yenahem Eschem Besoch shar Aveile Tzion Birushalayim Amen.
I just want to share how today I was imagining the scales in shamayim, weighed down by sacks and sacks of yoshon flour…
Rav Herman provided a tremendous service for Klal Yisrael. Even while he was alive my husband always said how Yoshon in America is completely to his credit. Living in EY we always looked over his list as we enjoy purchasing American products here and we could do so with confidence, knowing until when to buy and which items we could purchase.
This past Chanukah we were in America and my husband was actually makpid to keep yoshon. So many more places make it available now than it ever used to be. As Rav Herman’s work spread more people were able to keep the mitzvah, more demand made more availability and compared to when I moved away in 2010 to when I went back now to the Five Towns area almost every establishment and grocery and caterer we frequented was offering Yoshon. I thought my husband would have to eat imported food from EY to make it through our trip but there was so much available.
Rav Herman did a tremendous service for all Americans, I wish I took the opportunity to thank him in his lifetime, but at least I can pass that hakaras hatov to the family. May HKBH be menachem you bisoch sha’ar aveilei tzion v’Yerushalayim vlo sosifu lidaava od.
Shoshana Malka Lamm
Likvod Ha’aveilim especially Moishy Herman,
I was so saddened to hear about the petirah of a mezakeh es harabbim in a way that few merit but even more so as someone who knew him personally for the prince of nobility that he was. A person the likes of which we don’t see anymore.
His combination of anivus and pashtus but unwavering emes and shtarkkeit for the Halacha and emes.
That was no doubt the force behind his striking bitul to gedolim and poskim which in turn reinforced and refined his character even more.
He was a special person and anyone that came in contact with him could recognize that.
He was extremely helpful on a personal level when I started being makpid on Yoshon and I have no doubt that the millions if not billions of malachim created from the mitzvah of yoshon with his involvement will come to greet him.
Avad chosid min ha’aretz
Hamakom yinachem eschem bsoch shar aveilei tziyon vyerushalayim!
Chaim Krause (from sylvan rd)
May you have Nechama, Harav Herman has been a pillar in the US Galut , helping thousands keep the words of Hakadush Baruch Hu.
Rabbi Herman is part of the very fabric of American Jewry. He has taught the entire Klal Yisroel what the koach of a yachid is. Whether one is makpid on chodosh or not, we all have so much to learn from Rabbi Herman.
(From Edison N.J.)
To the esteemed Herman family,
I’m certain that I’m one of hundreds or thousands of people who are writing similar emails, but I feel compelled to write nonetheless.
As an American living in Eretz Yisrael for nearly two decades, the mitzvah of Yoshon was of particular importance because it’s more stringent in Eretz Yisrael, but it was also difficult to fulfill because Americans are still used to imported products and need information regarding their Yoshon status.
I can honestly say that the numerous mitzvos that my family and I have fulfilled over the course of these years are completely attributable to Rabbi Herman zt”l, who so selflessly and devotedly not only researched and reported on products produced throughout the world, but added information for those of us in Eretz Yisrael who had to know what was being imported from which country and how to identify Yoshon information on those products.
As the Chofetz Chaim wrote, there are mitzvos that are “meis mitzvos” – the mitzvah itself is dead, so to speak, because of the dearth of people who fulfill it. The mitzvah of Yashan undoubtedly fit into that category until Rabbi Herman took it upon himself to educate and inform the public about it. May all the zechusim of countless of Yidden who kept this mitzvah because of him stand by your family, and may he be a meilitz yosher for you and all of Klal Yisrael.
Hamakom yenachem es’chem besoch she’ar aveilei Zion v’Yerushalayim,
There are no words to describe the magnitude of the loss of rabbi Herman.. he made our Mitzva an accessible one.. may hashem comfort his beautiful family in the way that only Hashem is capable of and may we hear only besorot tovot .. tinachamu minhashamayim.
The Bawabeh’s, Brooklyn, NY
We never meet Rabbi Herman but he has helped us for many years for chodosh . He will be missed by all. Mike Rafael
My emotions well up at the heartbreaking shock of this בשורה.
In addition to the tremendous benefit which I and my family have received from Rabbi Herman’s guide, I was זוכה to have had contact with Rabbi Herman a number of times over the years, and I was always struck by the uncompromising בקשת האמת which accompanied his tremendous undertakings on behalf of כלל ישראל, which extended (actually, which started) with בקשת האמת from himself, displayed in the remarkable מדת הענוה of being open to making significant changes in HIS Guide, just because someone else brought up that it may be beneficial to present things differently.
May ‘ה be משלם משכורתו שלימה, and may He give Mrs. Herman and the entire family the strength to be מקבל this difficult באהבה ,גזירה, and to continue serving ‘ה with גבורת הנפש.
.המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים
ישראל צבי פיירוורקר .
HaMokom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Saar Avelei Yerushalayim!
Few and far are individual Tzadikim who identify a neglected Mitzvah and make it their own calling. Rabbi Herman opened a world-wide awareness of Chodosh/Yoshon that will escort him to Olam haBa!
Yehei Zichro Boruch!
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
We are so sorry to hear the sad news of Mr Herman’s petirah. We’ve been benefiting from the Chodesh Guide and hotline for about 10 years. I can hear -in my head- Mr. Herman’s voice on the recording.
He will be sorely missed. Yehi Zichro Baruch.
Hamakom yenacheim eschem Besoch she’ar aveilei Tzion v’yerushalayim.
Lydia and Lyle Zuckier and family
To the Herman family, (עמוש)
We were very pained upon hearing of the passing of Rabbi Herman(זצל). Although we never met him in person, and he never knew us you can’t imagine the הכרת הטוב we have to him for guiding us in the מצוה of ישן! When we decided to keep ישן over 20 years ago the first thing we did was send away for the “guide to Chodosh”. I don’t know how we could have or would have managed without it! But it didn’t end there! We were completely awed by the fact that Rabbi Herman had a hotline whereby callers asked questions about ישן each day and Rabbi Herman patiently and conscientiously answered each and every answer! As the years passed he was always trying to perfect the system through emails and other means. What an unbelievable זכות he has! We are so grateful to you, his family, for enabling him to do חסד with so many people! Hashem should be with you and comfort you at this time as we await the day when Hashem will say ״ די לצרותינו״ with ביאת משיח במהרה בימנו אמן.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Eliyahu and Rosette Tobal
Dear Family of R’ Yosef Herman zt”l,
We were heartbroken to read the news of your husband and father’s passing.
We have never met R’ Herman zt”l but when we moved to the States from Eretz Yisroel and realized the problem we would have with keeping yoshon, our friends told us about R’ Herman zt”l and the guide he had published. We lived in Sunnyvale CA and now in Seattle, WA where we do not have a large amount of kosher products like in the East Coast. The yoshon guide has saved us and helped us throughout the years. Such zechuyos!
We are so thankful to R’ Herman Zt”l.
May Hashem comfort you all during this difficult time and may you know of no more tzara.
Rabbi Avraham and Mrs Maimon
The seforim hakedoshim speak about attaching oneself to a specific mitzva and excelling in it. Besides all the numerous mitzvos he surely did – his special mitzva will surely stand him in good stead in the next world. And not only did he literally help revive the mitzva of yoshon ( and issur of chodosh ) from almost being a meis mitzva (which is an unbelievable zchus) but it was a constant mitzva of bein adom l’chaveiro – all the multitude of people that he helped, and dealt with all of the requests. We can only imagine that it was not easy and he did it with such a willingness and lev tov.. Yehi zichro boruch.
Hamakom yenachem eschem b’soch sh’ar aveilei tzion v’yerushalayim.
The Goldbergs from Southfield Michigan. (Very long time beneficiaries of his chesed)
Aside from being mezakeh Kla Yisroel in the mitzvah of chodosh, Harav Herman truly exemplified d’rocheha darchei noam. He was always so patient with all of our questions and always tried to provide answers when possible. He immediately expressed gratitude for any small thing done for him, but never was willing to acknowledge the debt that we all owed him.
We truly share in your loss and hope that you will be sent a nechama b’soch shaar avilai Tziyon v’Yerushalayim.
To save a Mais Mitzva is so great that The Choen Godal does that mitzva rather than th Avodah On Yom Kippor!
The Chofetz Chaim points out that not only can a human being be a Meis Mitzva but a Mitzva itself can be one . Your holy husband,parent,friend was certinly met in Shomian by the Mitvah of Yosen itself.Besides the above his Anives was not to be believed .He was atrue Talmud o The Chazal and The Holy one Himself. H’makom yenachem aschem bsar avele TizionV’Yrusalaem
Rabbi Herman was a beacon of light for all of us in the Brooklyn Syrian community. A friend and I run a Yoshon group for about 200 women. Not to mention the families that each of them is feeding strictly yoshon food to. We basically look up whatever they need in the guide and provide them with the dates and codes that they need while shopping. Every morsel of information that we give over is to the Rabbi’s credit. Without him, we are truly sheep without a shepherd. We owe so much to the rabbi, more than we can even write into words. For years this mitzva has only been possible because of the Rabbi’s determination and hard work. He was truly mezakeh the Rabbim with his self-sacrifice, diligence and the countless hours put into this project. Rabbi y. Herman will NEVER be forgotten. Bh you should all have Nechama from Shamayim knowing how much of an impact the rabbi had on so many lives.
To the chashuv family of Rabbi Herman,
We have benefited from Rabbi Herman’s life work when we lived in Los Angeles 40 years ago, then in Baltimore and now in Lakewood. Rabbi Herman is traveling with boatloads of zechusim in helping so many people with shmiras hamitzvos.
May you be comforted among the mourners of Zion.
Rabbi and Mrs. Feitel Lerner
We live in Chicago and have been appreciative beneficiaries of Rabbi Herman’s hard and extensive work on behalf of klal yisroel for the last 20 years. He was the kind of person you always knew you could count on being there and getting the information needed and the job done. Some people seem larger than life, like they’d always be there. He was one of those kind of people. Although we never met him, we felt he was there for us and we will miss him. May his family be comforted in their memories of Rabbi Herman and they should only have nachas and simcha in their family going forward. May the efforts Rabbi Herman made on behalf of the klal stand with him and his family forever.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Shalom and Chaya Rivka Feldman
My husband and I were shocked, surprised, and saddened to hear the sudden news about Rabbi Herman. While neither have us have met Rabbi Herman, he has very much touched our lives and changed us for the better. Neither of our families keep yoshon, nor ever considered it something to consider. Three years ago, my husband heard of the importance of keeping yoshon. We were having difficulty having children and were looking for something to take upon us. When we heard there was a way to easily keep yoshon, we were eager to find out more. The book and emails Rabbi Herman invested so much time, energy, and money into has made keeping yoshon an achievable mitzvah. Without Rabbi Herman’s help, we would never have considered taking on this mitzvah in our home. As Rabbi Akiva famously told his talmidim regarding his wife Rochel, “My learning and your learning is all hers”. The same can be said for the mitzvah of yoshon and Rabbi Herman. Our mitzvah, and the mitzvos of all the people he has enable to keep yoshon are his.
May all the zechusim of the people keeping yoshon because of Rabbi Herman be an aliyah for his neshama. May Rabbi Herman be a meylitz Yosher for your family. May we only share in simchos with all of klal Yisroel.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים Uriel and Shifra Nashofer, Kew Gardens Hills, NY
Dearest Herman family-
Baruch Dayan Haeemet….
The loss is tremendous for Am yisrael. No words can express my gratitude for all that Rabbi Herman has done for myself, my family, my friends and the entire Sephardic community in Flatbush, Brooklyn. I can’t go shopping without the manual. Every zechut that I have made towards keeping yashan as well as personally teaching my students and friends are all of Rabbi Herman’s. We are all mourning his loss together with your family. The Rabbi was always so kind and helpful with every email I sent. For taking a met mitzvah and reviving it like he did, I have no doubt His neshama is so close to the shechina. Thank you for allowing and supporting the Rabbi to do what he did all these years.
Tenahamu min hashamayim. Tikva Gindi
To the Herman Family,
I never met Mr. Herman, but I and my extended family and friends have benefitted greatly from all of his herculean efforts to bring awareness to the klal about yoshon for over forty years. He managed to stay out of the limelight while illuminating the observance of this mitzvah to the point that every major city in the U.S. has at least one yoshon bakery.
Although I did not know him personally, I always admired his dedication and mesirus nefesh for this mitzvah as I would go through the booklet each year. I cannot help but wonder what kind of a welcome he received when he came to shamayim. It is amazing how one person could be mizakeh so many!!! Your family should have nechama knowing you had a husband and father who made such a tremendous impact on klal Yisroel.
May you be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.
תנוחמו מן השמים
To Mrs Herman and children,
As a user for many years I would like to express my Hakarat Hatov for your Husband/Fathers effort on behalf of klal yisroel. I feel were it not for Rabbi Herman the mitzvah of Yashan would almost be lost entirely, he did true תחית המתים on this mitzvah, not only making people aware of this mitzvah but actually making it easy for the people to keep. By way of finding out the Yashan status he actually made companies aware that people care about this mitzvah causing many to make their products Yashan. May it be His will that this special mitzvah stand for him as a merit for eternity. And may we be Zoche to see him בתחיית המתים ובביאת המשיח במהרה וימינו אמן.
המקום ימים אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים ולא תוסיפו לדאבה עוד אכי”ר
ממני שלמה דיין
This tragedy is not just your tragedy it’s the world of yoshon’s tragedy. Rabbi Herman became our Rabbi. He is a household name in our house. We have had so much help from Rabbi Herman z’l for all the tens of years we have kept yoshon. When we heard we were truly devastated. This was our loss; my married daughter was crying. Our soul felt so heavy. Rabbi Herman was truly a person who was a true eved Hashem. He took the responsibility of the yoshon world in his shoulders. We are truly worried how we will be able to keep yoshon so accurately any more. All I keep seeing are the hundred and hundreds of “yashan malachim” escorting Rabbi Herman z’l on his final journey. There are no words. May the knowledge of all his zechusim that the Rabbi has accumulated be a small measure of comfort and if this small email help comfort you a tiny tiny drop, I will feel a little comfort. Who will fill this one giant of a person’s void. May Hashem comfort us all.
Tenahamu min hashamyim.
Mrs Simone Shemueli
I didn’t know Rabbi Herman personally, but from hearing his voice on the Chodosh hotline and receiving the Chodosh email updates, I feel like I do. His יראת שמים and ehrlichkeit were so so apparent in everything – the way each email was written, each message was recorded, the way the entire Chodosh project was conducted. We feel the tremendous loss of such a great Yid.
May the entire mishpacha have a nechama, בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים.
To the Herman Family,
We have been keeping Yashan for many years now. The work of Rabbi Herman, Alav Hashalom, was indispensable. We appreciate his life’s dedication for the Klal to keep this special Mitzvah. May the Zikui Harabim stand for him and for the family.
Tenachamu Min Hashamayim.
The Mizrahi Family
Dear Mrs. Herman and children and esteemed family,
No words can express the feeling of sorrow and do justice to be Menachem you on the sudden passing of Rabbi Herman ZTZ”L who was Zoche because of his love of Chessed and Zikuy Harabim to almost single handedly spread awareness of the concept of “Chodosh” and make it much easier for those who so desire to keep that Mitzva. He definitely has plenty of Zekhuyot to accompany him to Shamayim.
Hamakom Yenahem Etkhem betokh shear Abelei Zion VIRushalayim
Rephael & Leah Attie
To the family of Rabbi Herman z”l,
My name is Jonathan Drory. I am currently learning in kollel at Yeshivas Rabbeinu Yitzchak Elchanan, YU, and live in Washington Heights. I have a lot of hakaras hatov for Rabbi Herman z”l. I took on bl”n to be makpid on yoshon as a bochur a number of years ago. I was able to be makpid thanks to the thorough guide. At YU there are a decent number of students who are makpid on yoshon. There are those who follow the mesorah of Rav Aharon Soloveitchik zt”l and other Rebbeim. There are also many sephardi students who are makpid. The YU cafeteria, which serves hundreds of students daily, is largely makpid and always has a mashgiach to let all these boys know which foods are and aren’t good. I know personally that the man running the cafeteria really depends on the guide. Without it I don’t know if those students wishing to take on this valuable hakpadah would’ve been able to. We are all grateful to Rabbi Herman z”l for making it so possible to properly be makpid.
When I got married my wife was b”H able to transition to being makpid for yoshon thanks to the guide. My in-laws as well are able to accommodate us with ease thanks to the guide.
Hamakom yenachem eschem b’soch sh’ar aveilei tziyon virushalaim.
R’ Yosef ztl avodas hakodesh with his anivus & gutskeit was a combination almost irreplaceable together with the rest of am yisroel we will miss Him a lot yhe zichro boruch & he should be a melitz yosher
I don’t know if our family would have been able to keep the halachos of Yoshon without Rabbi Herman’s unbelievable selfless work on behalf of Klal Yisroel. I am sure there are thousands of others who can say the same of themselves. Although I never met Rabbi Herman, I have always marveled at his dedication. The zechusim he has are beyond my comprehension. May this tzaddik be a mailitz yosher for the Herman family and for all of Klal Yisroel. המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים.
Yossi and Sora Atlas, Chicago.
I am forever indebted to R’ Yoseph ZTL for his tremendous mesirus nefesh for the mitzvah of chodosh, which I have tried to keep to the best of my ability only because of his devotion. I always respected his decision to not use the internet even though it made things much harder for us, because we knew he did this completely leshaim shomayim and never took anything – not even a drop of recognition – for himself.
Although I didn’t know him at all, I made sure to be at his levaya.
Yehi Zichro Boruch.
We owe great hakoras hatov to Rabbi Herman ztz”l. When we moved from Eretz Yisrael to America we chose to continue upholding the k’peida to keep yoshon. His guide was heaven-sent and it has helped us immensely to keep our standard here in Cleveland.
Thank you Rabbi Herman. May he enjoy a lichtige gan eden among other mezakei harabbim, and may he be a meilitz yosher for his family.
Avi Lebovits and family Cleveland, OH
We really appreciated all the hard work and effort that went into printing the guide. We would have never taken upon ourselves the chumra of yoshon without it and we cannot fathom the schar that he (and all of you) got from this.
Hamakom yenachem eschem bsoch shaar aveili tzion uviyerushalayim!
Shmuel and Ora Suslovich
I didn’t merit to know Rabbi Herman but he helped me a lot. I’m a rosh kollel in Yerushalayim and travel to the States two times in the winter. Without his yoshon guide it would have been very difficult to be careful of yoshon on these trips if not impossible. It helped so much when I stayed by people to let them know what I could or couldn’t eat. I feel a great debt of hakaras hatov towards him. This is great loss for Klal Yisroel.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים.
Rabbi Reuven Bloom
Rabbi Yosef Herman brought the Mitzvah of keeping Chodash to America. HaShem loves him and Klal Yisroel appreciates him. Yahai Zichro Baruch!
HaShem YaNachem eschem b’tuch shaar Yisoel
I was privileged to be at the levaya in Yerushalayim, where, I think a nephew, spoke about the thousands of American Jews who the niftar was mizakeh in the mitzva of chodosh.
I am ever grateful to R’ Herman, zt”l, as I am one of those thousands — for many years when we lived in Passaic, and now in EY.
He was a paradigm of how a Jew should live his life — b’pashtus, anivus, with concern for the mitzva observance of all; always with a gemara; A proper husband and father… very inspiring for all of us.
To the Herman family
Having benefited from the use of the yoshon book for so many years, We were saddened by the petira of Rabbi Herman. His tremendous work was a great חסד. He was מזכה את הרבים to keep this mitzvah.
May we all be זוכה to Nechama
with the ביאת גואל צדק.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
To Mrs Herman and family. I would like to express my deepest condolences to you on the lose of your husband and father.
A great tzadek he was. Not only was it possible for my family and I to keep Yashan the right way, but thousands and thousands were in his zechut!
I feel that Rabbi Herman saved a mitzvah. Godol Hame’aseh Yoser min Ha Oseh, and he will surely reap his deserved Heavenly reward. May this zechus stand for his family and all of Klal Yisroel.
HaMokom Yenachem Eschem Besoch She’ar Aveilei Zion V’Yerushalayim.
לכבוד משפחת הערמאן,
We were saddened to hear about the פטירה of Rabbi Herman.
We have only gotten to “know” him through our interest in obtaining Yoshon foods, yet have not ceased to be amazed by the extent of the research, effort & dedication he has expended into making these products accessible for the general public.
May his many זכותים accumulated through being a “מזכה הרבים” stand by him & his משפחה , and may he be a מליץ יושר for you & כלל ישראל.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים!
ממשפ’ נ. פראסט
Although we never got to meet Rabbi Herman in person, he was a big presence in our lives. We benefitted tremendously from the research and information he shared via the Guide to Chodosh. May you take comfort in the knowledge that he is surely in an exalted place from all the people that he helped keep the mitzvah of ‘yoshon’.
Michael and Cindy Ring
Although I just got married, I’ve already begun using R’ Herman’s Guide to Chodosh. I grew up with my mother using the book too to properly be Mekayem the mitzva of Yoshon. All of my family members feel the same Hakaras Hatov towards R’ Herman for all that he was Osek Btzorchei Tzibur.
May this be a meilitz Yosher for R’ Herman.
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem Bsoch Avlei Tzion Vyerushalayim
To the Herman Family,
We were all saddened to hear of the sudden passing of Rabbi Herman.
Rabbi Herman was a legend in the world, for being a trail blazer for hilchos kemach yoshon, long before people knew what kemach yoshon meant.
Twenty years ago when going into a bakery and asking if it was yoshon, the workers would all assure you that it was fresh, made that day, and in no way old. But now, it’s a standard question, and is a given in most bakeries in the tristate area.
Rabbi Herman’s constant dedication to the chodosh project, mesirus nefesh in spreading the awareness about chodosh news, and time and effort in the chessed of answering questions in this area, were truly an inspiration to all.
His untimely passing is a loss to all of klal yisrael. May Rabbi Herman be a mailitz yosher for his family and for all of klal yisrael. May Hashem comfort you, his family, amongst the mourners of Yerushalayim.
To the family of Rabbi Herman,
We have worked with Rabbi Herman for many years on Chodosh for our meals and products under the hashgocha of Rabbi Soloveichik. Rabbi Herman’s dedication was admirable as he was the source of information to food processors of how to proceed to assure only proper foods were made available to those adhering to this stringency.
He and all of you shall be in our prayers this week.
Our deepest sorrow and best hope for your family as you and the community grieve.
Mary Anne Jackson
To the Herman Family,
Hamakom Yinacheim Eschem Bsoch Shaor Aveilei Tzion BiYerushalayim. I’m sure you all know that Rabbi Herman was a tremendous Baal Chesed; working tirelessly to help the Klal in ensuring that we can all keep Yoshon properly. His chasadim done in such a discreet manner was remarkable. We benefited tremendously from his efforts. He will truly be missed. Yehei Zichro Baruch.
Mordechai and Chaya Schiff
I was one of the thousands who benefited greatly from the wonderful work in regards to yoshon That gevaldege zchus will definitely lead him to מקום מנוחתו בגן עדן ויה”ר שיהא מליץ יושר למשפחתו ולכל כלל ישראל, שהוא פעל כ”כ בעדם כאן, ובלע המות לנצח ומחה ה’ דמעה מעל כל פנים
As I opened the e-mail the other night I was so shocked and saddened by the Petirah of Rav Herman. About 24 years ago I attended a show in Atlanta and I stayed by a very nice family who only ate yashan (if I recall correctly), and I was very impressed. Many years prior I use to go over to my friend’s house where they had a separate fridge for items that they needed to be yashan, so they kept it in there to preserve the freshness, so I was a little familiar with the concept. Also, I am Syrian where we are suppose to be a little more stringent when it comes to yashan. In any event, this family had given me one of the pamphlets that the Rabbi made and I took it home with me and put it in my draw until that faithful day that My wife and I attempted to keep yashan. It was probably a year or two later. I think we have succeeded now to the best of our ability for the past 20 years, and due to his research and pamphlet so many products have become accessible to the public because of his work. His research and his constant work on behalf of Klal Yisrael made it that much easier for the person to take upon himself yashan. My wife knows more than I do as she is the one who shops, cooks etc… and she is an avid user of his research and has called and spoke to the Rabbi on occasion. Her friends call her up to find out what’s in the book and she almost knows it perfectly. I give her so much credit and it’s all due to Rabbi Herman. May he be a Melitz Yosher for the Rebbetzin, the children and all Klal Yisrael. Tenuhamu Min HaShamaim. Michael.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון בירושלים, זכות עבודתו בקיום תורה ומצות ה’, ובפרט הזכות של המסירת נפש של ההשתדלות, הטירחא והעבודה כל ימיו, לטובת חיזוק בני ישראל בהצלת איסור חדש בחו”ל בזה”ז, בוודאי יגן עליכם ועל כל בני ישראל, שנזכה כולנו לקבל פני משיח צדיקינו במהרה בימינו אמן.
Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum
Boruch Dayan HaEmes, what a loss to your family and to all of Klal Yisroel. What a wonderful person Rabbi Herman was. He gave of himself to the Klal, Yomom Va’Layla, without ever expecting anything in return. He was MeZakeh the Rabbim constantly and it is surely in his Zechus that thousands of Yidden are able to keep Yoshon. I am sure that great reward awaits him.
A special Yasher Koach to his choshuvah wife and family who enabled him to do this Avodas Hakodesh.
Hamokom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Sheor Aveilei Tzion V’Yerushalayim,
Mr. and Mrs.. Weber
Rabbi Herman zt”l enabled my family and so many others to keep the halachos of Chodosh. The reward is immeasurable.
Thank you Rabbi Herman and all those who assisted and continue to assist.
Hamakom Yenachem Eschem Bsoch Shaar Avelei Zion V’Yerushalayim
Judy Rosenbaum, CPA
For Mrs. Herman and Family LOY”T:
As I said over the phone —
We are all very grateful to Rav Herman ZT”L for his extraordinary accomplishment, done with exceptional ingenuity and effort over many years: insuring that we do not transgress the Issur DeOraisa of Chodosh.
Through his persistent efforts, he was able to achieve something that the Gedolei Yisrael for centuries had deemed impossible!
From his place in Gan Eden he should be a Meilitz Yosher for the Family and for all of Klal Yisrael.
HaMakom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Shear Aveilei Tzion VeYerushalaim.
Dear Herman Family,
No words can express our sense of loss. Rabbi Herman single-handedly transformed America. I grew up as a child with my parents keeping Yoshon and today my family continues that – all thanks to his efforts.
HaMakom Yenachem Eschem – May you find comfort in this great loss
I would like to express my sorrow on hearing the very sad bsurura.
Klal yisroel B’chall and my family b’frat beniffited greatly from the nitar’s mesiras nefesh for the mitzvah of Chodosh.
Hamokom Yinachem eschem B’soch sha’ar aveilei tzion v’yerushalaim.
We were so saddened to hear of the passing of Rabbi Herman AH, an indispensable resource for ALL of Klal Yisrael. Not only did he originally bring the Chodosh / Yashan issue into the general view of the Klal. With the ardent support of his wife and family, he kept on top of every detail, every day of every year, for SO many years, continually informing us of ongoing events that affect our Torah observance of this Met Mitzvah.
May his memory be blessed. May his children go in his ways, and may it be Hashem’s will that all of his children and grandchildren are brought to Torah Huppa uMaasim tovim, and see the coming of Mashiach, Amen.
May his family, and the rest of Klal Yisrael, be consoled from Heaven, among all of the mourners of Zion & Yerushalayim. Amen.
Mr & Mrs Moshe Gindi
Rabbi Herman tzl inspired and enabled so many (myself included) to be able perform the Mitzvah of Yoshon. His tremendous dedication, expertise, professionalism and integrity is greatly appreciated. His petirah leaves a tremendous void for me. May be a meilitiz yosher for his wife, his full partner in his noble endeavors, and his family.
Hamakom yenachem eschem bsoch shaar avalei tzion vyerushalayaim,
Moshe Chaim and Rivkah Schachnow
To the Herman Family, Sheyichyu
We were of the beneficiaries of Rabbi Herman’s special work in making it possible for yidden to keep Yoshon. We got the book through E-mail and sometimes called into the hotline. May this cheilek in Torah be a big zechus for him and lebodail lechayim tovim, the family. Hamokom Yenachem eschem bisoch shiur availai zion veyrushalayim.
Dovid and Basya Meyers
מי שעוסק בצרכי ציבור זכות הרבים תלויה בו ומי הוא שזיכה עולם ומלואו כהנפטר ע׳ה בענין איסור של חדש בודאי שישחק ליום אחרון . יהא זכותו מגן לכל משפחתו ולכל עם ישראל ויהא מליץ יושר לכל ישראל ויתפלל עלינו שיבוא גואל במהרה בימינו ומחה ה׳ דמעה מעל פני עמו אמן.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים אמן.
My name is Sivan. I am from Great Neck NY. Words cannot describe the value of what Rabbi Herman has done through his efforts for Yoshon. As a sefardi Jew it is quite accepted amongst almost all the poskim that Yoshon applies today. Coming from a more traditional family, it is not easy to be makpid on certain areas of halacha that they have not been exposed to in the past. When I discovered The Guide it not only gave me the opportunity to keep Yoshon, but also allowed for my Mother and Father to be more supportive to provide the proper needs. Baruch Hashem I have been able to send out the guide to friends and family who all try their best to keep Yoshon. We know that the gemara speaks of the value of watching what a person needs. Timtum Hanefesh is quite detrimental to a person’s Avodas Hashem. It is due to Rabbi Herman that I have been able to watch over my purity. It is due to Rabbi Herman that he has allowed for many people in Great Neck to be makpid on Yoshon. It is due to Rabbi Hernan that Yoshon has been saved in America and beyond.
His Neshama should have an Aliyah.
To The Herman Family,
When we decided to keep yashan about 15 years ago, The Guide was recommended to me.
I read it. I reread it. And I understood how to manage yashan in my everyday life.
I read again for many years.
Hakarat Hatov to Rabbi Herman for enabling us to fully keep this mitzvah.
Hakarat Hatov to the family for the support. The guide reflects many hours of research.
Victor and Selma Cameo
May you have only simchos in good health. We are shocked and saddened by the sudden petirah of Rav Yosef. His work and dedication to the keeping of yoshon has been invaluable to us. May all those zechuyos stand for him and for all the family.
HaMakom yenachem eschem besoch she’ar aveilei Tzion veYerushalayim
Dovid and Rose Srour
To the chashuve Herman family,
We were all so saddened and shocked to receive the besura of the petira of Rabbi Herman. What a loss! He was so patient, helpful, professional and humble in all his dealings with the chizuk of the mitzva of Chodosh. I came back from learning in Eretz Yisroel 22 years ago. I resolved to be makpid on Yoshon, and it would have been so inconvenient to do so had Reb Herman not given so much kochos in to this. He literally made this mitzva doable for those who wanted. It is scary to think what kind of stress it would have created in my household trying to calculate all the Yoshon issues had there not been Reb Herman. I am so מכיר טוב to him, and will miss him. His dedication to Klal Yisroel and the Torah is legendary.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבילי ציון וירישלים
Far Rockaway, NY
Rabbi Herman was and is VERY much appreciated by the Syrian Sephardic Community of Brooklyn NY. Being that for us Sepharadim, the issue of Yashan is much more complicated and a heter is practically non-existent, the guide was a an absolute life- saver. Without it, keeping Yashan is 20 times more complicated. And it can very well be said that without the guide, many would not be keeping Yashan. Please have the family know how much our community appreciated and still does appreciate the efforts of the Rabbi.
Dear Mrs. Herman and family, Hamakom yenachem eschem besoch shaar aveilei zion veyerushalayim. I and my wife have been keeping yoshon almost since we got married some 45 years ago in Chicago. Needless to say, this would have very difficult, if not for the pioneering work of Reb Yosef Herman, zecher tzaddik livracha. In those years, as you know, information was hard to come by. In Chicago, we were fortunate that Rav Aharon Soloveichik zt”l, arranged for one bakery to become fully yoshon. About 5 years later, we moved to the east, and, at that point we were on our own, as far as yoshon was concerned. We bought a big freezer to be able to stock up on items that we got before the chodosh season began. It wasn’t easy. Needless to say, without the yoshon booklet, all these years, keeping yoshon would have been very difficult. Eventually, we moved to Rockland County. I spoke to Mr. Herman a few times, and he very graciously gave me of his time. I feel extremely indebted to Mr. Herman for helping me keep this mitzva, which (according to many rishonim) is a mitzva d’oreisa. May Mr. Herman zt”l be a maylitz yosher for Mrs. Herman, the entire Herman family, and all of klal yisrael. Rabbi and Mrs. Yosef Shurin Monsey, NY
We were saddened to hear of your loss. Even though we did not know R. Herman personally we (as well as countless others) owe him much Hakarat Hatov for helping us keep this very
המקום ינחם אתכם בתול שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
May you have only Smachos
Gershon and Gila Snett
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
Being that I am not yet married, I never personally had to use the Yoshon book, emails, or hotline, but I have been, for quite awhile struck by the revolution made by one man. In the community which I am a part of, keeping this mitzvah has become more common that not, and it is done with such a small amount of stress. As far as I was told, before Rabbi Herman’s movement, this was not the case at all, and in fact it was almost impossible to find people who truly kept this mitzvah. It is a true inspiration to me as I imagine the piles upon piles of zchusim that are exponential as more and more people take upon this special mitzvah.
May your family be zoche to a true nechama.
Hamakom yenachem eschem bsoch shaar avlei tzion veyerushalayim
Rabbi Herman, in his selfless work for the kiyum of a Mitzvo, accomplished what few are ever zoche to.
We are all forever enriched by his lifework, and forever inspired by his sense if mission.
H’Mokom Yinachem Esschem bsoch shaar avelei tziyon vYerushalayim. David D. Kazarnovsky
HaMakom yenachem eschem bsoch shear aveili Tzion v’Yerushalayim.
Rabbi Herman’s yoshon guide was an invaluable resource to our family. Taking on Yoshon became something that was feasible for us because of the guide.
I have such tremendous hakaras hatov to Rav Herman who has enabled our family to keep Yoshon for these past 10 years since we moved from Eretz Yisroel. What an unbelievable zechus for so many of Klal Yisroel!
With heartfelt condolences and brochos,
R’ Adam Heavenrich and family (Waterbury, Connecticut)
The following letters were received during the Shiva for R’ Yosef Herman ZT”L
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
I was devastated when I heard the news but what I realized was that few around me understood the loss. I was at my daughters shabbos table and mentioned the loss to some of the guests around me. They looked confused. I asked them what they do when they want to know if something is yashan or not. One woman said – I just look in “the book”. I asked if she knew who put the book together and what goes into getting all the info. She didn’t. My husband is sefardi and belongs to a community where many young families are starting to keep yashan which the rabbanim tell them that for sefardim it is considered d’orayta. This is a new concept so we started a Yashan whats app group so people could ask questions and we could post updates. The chat eventually expanded to other areas of kashrut as well. Last year I gave a class for women on how to use the guide to chodosh. When I first moved to Los Angeles, my husband wanted to keep yashan but try as I might I just couldn’t. I just had no info to work with but now it is so possible and even those who aren’t makpid will call me for info from the guide before a chanukah party or when making mishloach manot so they can accommodate those who are. How will we do it now? My husband is involved in kashrus community wide and much has been done to make caterers and restaurants aware so if they want to accommodate clients they can.
I recently heard a story about a simple innkeeper who lived away from a Jewish community. Because he didn’t have the knowledge or exposure there were obviously things he did or didn’t do as he should. When he came to the kisei hakovod a defense malach starting piling loaves and loaves of bread on the “good” side of the scale explaining that despite any wrong the man might have done, he always opened his inn free of charge to Jewish travelers piling them with food for the way.
I was not privileged to ever meet Rav Herman personally but I have no doubt in his personal life he must have been as knowledgeable and careful as was obvious from his public life. Nevertheless, there is no doubt in my mind that “his scale” is weighed down on the “good” side by breads, cereals, bags of flour, barley and the like that Jews the world over are careful with because of the guide to chodosh.
HaMakom Yenachem Eschem Besoch Shear Avlei Tzion V’Yerushalaim.
To the Family of Rabbi Yosef Herman ZT”L,
It is rare (if ever) that I have found myself so pained by the loss of a person whom I had so little direct connection with.
I have had only a limited amount of direct personal contact with Rabbi Herman ZT”L over the years. But in my capacity as kashrus professional and a yoshon consumer, I have come across his work and writings many times.
I was (and am) in constant awe of his humility. His constant willingness to hear the thoughts and opinions of others, to question whether his approach is right for the current situation, and ultimately submission to the guidance of gedolim and poskim, is beyond what I have seen from anyone else.
He was the originator of any organized system of yoshon observance in America. He was the acknowledged expert, and he had consulted about it with gedolim that no-one living could compete with. All this would give most people a feeling of superiority and an attitude that they know best and a resulting inability to listen to others. He never displayed any such attitude. He shared what he knew and what he didn’t. He gave out unbiased information and was constantly looking to hear what others had to say and attain additional information.
He also never displayed any evidence of an interest in a profit motive or self-aggrandizing which so insidiously creeps up on so many innovators and campaign leaders.
That he made yoshon observance doable and done by so many people is an incredible accomplishment. The way he did it is in many ways even more impressive and is to me a constant source of inspiration.
May the incredible zchus of what he did and how he did it stand by him and his family and may
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Rabbi Elisha Rubin
I would just like to share a few of my feelings at this moment. When my wife and I received the email telling of the death of Harav Herman, we were both stunned and devastated. I began keeping Yoshon just 2 and a half years ago, and when I married my wife 2 years ago, she accepted it upon herself as well. The issue was – I didn’t fully know and understand what it meant to keep Yoshon, yet I was ‘throwing this’ obligation upon my wife, to make sure that we only ate Yoshon. So I sent her the email with the Yoshon guide, and together we educated ourselves. It was Rabbi Herman who enabled my wife and I to keep this beautiful and important Mitzva. We feel indebted to Rabbi Herman for allowing us to properly keep this Mitzva.
Further, we have taught so many of our friends about the Mitzva and told them how it is something that one can take upon themselves, that it is possible, and that “all you need is the Yoshon guide!” Others have seen us keep Yoshon and were inspired for themselves.
While this is my own, personal small story how Rabbi Herman influenced us and those around us, I felt the need to share it. I know that his influence was so much greater and widespread, and I am just one person who felt his impact.
So when we heard of his passing, it truly saddened us, as we feel that we have lost our lifeline to this precious Mitzva. We never met him, yet we view him as our hero.
When I saw my Rebbi (who has been keeping Yoshon for over 40 years now) and I shared my feelings with him, his response was beautiful. “While ourselves and the rest of the world are mourning this loss, keep in mind that Hashem has an extremely special spot next to his throne for the man who enabled everyone else to keep Yoshon.”
Hamakom Yinacheim Eschem Bisoch Shar Aveili Tziyon Biyirushalayim.
Eliezer and Ariela Feder
R’ Yosef Herman did an unbelievable service for all of klal Yisroel all over the world without asking for anything in return.
This is true קידוש שם שמים and he is certainly receiving his due reward in the עולם האמת especially because he took no return in this world!
I just wanted to share the following: Rabbi Herman probably never knew me although he responded to a few emails of mine over the years. This Friday night before Ma’ariv I said the following devar Torah.
In today’s political climate, you never find one of the 435 congressmen say that my vote doesn’t really count. Each one thinks that they are the vote that makes the difference.
Often in life, we feel that we can’t really contribute something, since in the end of the day, we aren’t that significant in the big scheme of things.
Rabbi Yosef Herman was a person who understood that that wasn’t the Jewish way. Almost everybody who can be makpid on yoshon today in the US and likely beyond, is all due to one man. He learned about and was moved to make a difference. One person who saw a need and started to slowly meet it.
When Moshe Rabbenu was born, he wouldn’t nurse from an Egyptian lady. Hazal teach that פה שעתיד לדבר עם השכינה – for a mouth that will one day speak with Hashem, it isn’t appropriate that he should nurse from a non-Jew who ate non-kosher. The Rama learns from here that if a woman needs to hire a non-Jewish nursemaid for her child, then she should insist on feeding that nursemaid only kosher food.
Rav Yaakov Kaminetsky pointed out that this doesn’t follow. Moshe Rabbenu was destined to talk to Hashem, which is why he had to be makpid. But that isn’t true of everybody else. He explained that we want to treat and teach each child that they have the potential to be like Moshe Rabbenu.
Each person has the ability to make a tremendous difference and we start relating to them in that way from the very beginning.
It’s a lesson that Rabbi Herman taught us all.
Rabbi David Shabtai, MD
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
You don’t know me, but I am one of the Mitzva beneficiaries of your family’s devotion to facilitating Yoshon. I can not fathom how many hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hours have been invested in phone call after phone call after phone call, typing, editing, and re-editing, and overcoming a myriad of logistical hurdles. This devotion has made a phenomenal difference to our lives. And not for material compensation but LiShem Shomayim!!
In my first years keeping Yoshon, I counted on your husband’s Guide. Recently, the year after year after year constancy of this project bore fruit even in just bringing a warm, very familiar element to my life as I returned to NY and could go and pick up the Yoshon guides at the same home at which I did more than a decade ago. A small thing, but every ounce of familiarity in a move from out of town to Brooklyn is so welcome.
Whether for nourishing my own family, for peace of mind when sending Mishloach Manos or food gifts to other makpid families, for hosting guests making them feel at ease or for educating my heimish mother in law so she could cook Yoshon food for her daughter’s large family before-and-now-during the kimpetur stage, your husband toiled and has a significant chelek!
(I still need to check for his hotline response to a question I asked recently when preparing food for that family.)
Thank you very much.
May Hashem send you such a Nechama every hour of every day.
HaMakom yinachem eschem bisoch shear avaylay Tzion ViYeryshalayim.
Ilana Leah Lesser
Dear Rebbetzin Herman,
I want to offer my sincerest condolences and prayers to you and to your whole family as well. Despite the fact of never having actually met him in person, I honestly feel like I have lost a family member. I can’t even begin to tell you how much the Rav influenced my life!
Several years ago, when I started a small website called “Yoshon.com” and asked his permission to offer downloads of the Guide and updates from the Guide online, he so graciously answered, “I can’t stop anyone from putting information on the internet.” After explaining his anti-internet p’sak he received, I always honored his simple request to state how the website had no connection to him.
This granting of permission changed my life forever. The site blossomed over the years into a very large site that helped many people access the Guide’s information that may not have normally been accessible. I credit it to Rabbi Herman, for even though he had nothing to do with creating or maintaining the website, he had everything to do with its existence. Indeed, the Rav gave me a purpose in life that cannot be matched or measured. I have come to believe that giving a person a “Life’s Purpose” in this world is one of the greatest gifts a person could ever give. I will always cherish his kind and wise advise that I sought over the past few years.
I can imagine that the Rav was likely working constantly on the thankless “behind the scenes” tasks that went into creating and updating the Guide. He made the world a better place, by making the mitzvah of keeping yoshon accessible to all who truly want to keep it. He inspired me so greatly with his selfless mission. Along these lines, thank you for sharing the Rav with Klal Yisroel. He was truly a great man.
May the mourners be comforted along with those who mourn for Zion and Jerusalem.
Chasya Katriela Eshkol
Rabbi Yosef Herman z”l was best known for his singular work on the matters of Chodosh
He taught two generations that Chodosh really matters, and that it is a Mitzva that can be kept,
Through his Guide he enabled and guided thousands in keeping this mitzva diligently.
Heaven alone knows how many individuals, families and communities benefited from his work.
It’s hard to even imagine how it would be possible to keep Yoshon were it not for him.
But between the lines shone an exemplary personality, who exemplified outstanding middos.
Rabbi Herman showed himself to be dedicated and devoted, to rare and exceptional extents
To the adherence to this mitzva, in all of its details, sparing no effort to clarify with accuracy,
And to his audience, responding to people’s queries, clearly, patiently, and with humility.
Rabbi Herman excelled in adhering to Daas Torah that he sought and received from Poskim
Knowing his place on the front lines of this work, while leaving Halachic decisions to the Gedolim
R’ Yosef Herman was indeed a most unusually selfless and tireless Eved HaShem,
As Sherimas HaLashon today is attributable to the saintly Chofetz Chaim
And Shatnez in America to Mr. Rosenberg, the original Shatnez tester,
Rabbi Herman revived Chodosh, and this Mitzva will be his forever.
May all those whom he was מזכה be an eternal זכות for him,
And may he always be a זכות for his family, and for all of Klal Yisrael.
Most respectfully, מרדכי שוחטוביץ, Baltimore MD
To the family of Rabbi Yosef Herman ל”זצוק:
I would like to write a few short words of הערכה and נחמה to the משפחה of Rabbi Herman.
Just like there is an ענין of a מצוה מת ,there is an ענין of a מצוה that is a מת מצוה .Years ago, the מצוה of חדש was such a מצוה .Very few people had heard of it, of those who had heard of it fewer could explain it, and almost none kept it. Rabbi Herman fought an uphill battle against about כלל ישראל educate first to שלא על מנת לקבל פרס attitudes prevailing this מצוה ,and to then make it easier for them to keep it.
When I was growing up in the 1970’s I had never heard of ישן .Today, due to his work I am זוכה to be able to keep this מצוה .I have no doubt that there are literally thousands of others like me.
He spent endless hours doing indefatigable research and inquiries and making that information easily available in the Chodosh Guide so that the consumer could have a stress-free way to keep this בהידור מצוה .He didn’t suffice with just disseminating the information available at the beginning of each season but would continue his research throughout the season issuing updates as necessary. And as if that wasn’t sufficient, he also created the Chodosh Hotline where people could call in questions and receive timely information to help them. To top it all off, he took no salary for this work. It was to him a labor of love.
I never met Rabbi Herman nor spoke with him directly, but was amazed every time I called the Hotline. Many questions posed to him were repetitious at the very least but he always without exception answered with ארץ דרך and כבוד .He must have been a very special מדות בעל and .עניו
In recent years he took upon himself to “raise the bar” with Kashrus Organizations to make it an accepted part of a Hashgocha as to whether an item was certified ישן or not. My sense is that this was not an easy battle but he persevered and was making much progress on this front. It’s a loss to ישראל כלל that he will not be able to continue that aspect of his crusade in person. My feeling is that this piece of his work was extremely important to him & he would have wanted it continued. I hope that it will be, together with all the rest of his הקדש עבודת.
His sudden פטירה was to me a personal shock and I’m sure much more so for his משפחה .You can be מנחם yourselves though in the knowledge that he was a true הרבים את מזכה .Without doubt, many of the people that started being מקפיד on ישן because of him have and will influence others to do the same. The זכות of all of their descendants who will continue in this way also accrues to Rabbi Herman.
May ה”הקב be מנחם the entire משפחה of the legendary Rabbi Herman בתוך .שאר אבילי ציון וירושלים בכבוד רב
Moshe Yosef Eckstein
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
I feel it necessary to add to the many letters that are, undoubtedly, being sent your way. I’m sure you are completely aware of the impact that Rav Herman z”l has made on ישראל כלל in America. But you might not be aware of how much this has spread to ישראל ארץ and just how significant it is. Here, in ירושלים ,I am somewhat known in the field of kashrus. In the various shiurim which I give, I incorporate the halachos of חדש and ישן as part of the program. As a result, I have been an address for clarification of the many products coming from לארץ חוץ to verify its ישן status. I have referred to ‘the guide’ to help ‘guide’ countless individuals. But this is not a חידוש ,as the guide is a one-of-its-kind, everywhere in the world.
However, what Rav Herman z”l has done for ישראל ארץ is somewhat more significant. Here, in י”א , keeping ישן is an undisputed דאורייתא חיוב .I’m not aware of any argument on it. Yet, somehow, the influx of חדש into the country is rampant and a terrible מכשול .Without the work of Rav Herman z”l, people would have two choices: stay away from all לארץ חוץ products or eat and ‘hope for the best’. Unfortunately, too many would opt for the latter.
It is his נפש מסירת ,together with the assistance of Mrs. Rosskamm (with whom I used to consult occasionally), that thousands have been protected from this severe איסור .
I’m certain that his הקודש עבודת will be perpetuated and I’m more than happy to be of any assistance, here in ישראל ארץ .
We all share in this great loss. May we soon see the days when חדש and ישן will be actuated with .במהרה בימינו – קרבנות the
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלם
לכבוד משפחת הצדיק הרב יוסף הרמן זצ”ל
The news of your father’s petira came as a tremendous shock, a tragedy for all of Klal Yisroel. For the past 20 years, whenever I would explain to a bochur in the yeshiva the כוחות that each individual has, the example I always used was your father. Your father taught us all that each person can make an impression, each person can affect the world. When you see how one individual could make a מהפכה as he did, affecting thousands of yidden worldwide, such a result can only be due to efforts made purely לכבוד כבוד שמים with tremendous humility. What your father זצ”ל accomplished, would be considered by most people as the impossible, but your father taught us all, there is no such thing as “it can’t be done”. We all must internalize the lesson that your father taught כלל ישראל, both in regard to our own development as a yiddin and in regard to what we can do for כלל ישראל – there is no such thing as “it can’t be done”.
In שולחן ערוך הלכות כבוד אב ואם the מחבר says לא יעמוד במקומו המיוחד לו… ולא ישב במקום המיוחד לו. My great grandfather זצ”ל used to say, during a parent’s lifetime לא ישב במקומו, but after a parent is niftar, then the children have to לישב במקומו, and continue the legacy that he left.
I have no doubt that the work that your father did for כלל ישראל will be continued, but I would like to suggest לעילוי נשמתו that his project be taken to a different level. We all know that one day, חדש in America will become like חלב ישראל. The awareness towards this has already been made by your father to thousands of בני תורה, but the time has come for this concept to be taken to a new level.
I have a had the zchus in the past years to have contact with your father זצ”ל over several חדש issues. The last e-mail he sent me expressing his concern of oats in a particular product, was sent just hours before his petira. I am certain that even after that point he dealt with numerous issues that lay on his shoulders. Through my experience with your father זצ”ל, I have learnt that the O-U is perhaps the only body of kashrus in America that is on top of the dates in which חדש grains enter the companies under their supervision. The time has come for kashrus organizations to print yoshon with their hecsher on products that are worthy of it. Once the O-U takes the initiative, there is no doubt the concept will, and should become as popular as חלב ישראל.
I am certain that during the shiva, choshuve representatives of the O-U will come to be מנחם. Perhaps, in the zchus of your great father, you can urge the O-U to consider launching such a project. Certainly, they will not say “it is impossible” at the shiva of a man who taught the world that there is no such thing as “it is impossible”. There are numerous ways of accomplishing this goal in a way that the companies will benefit, the O-U will benefit, and most importantly, it will bring a ריבוי כבוד שמים.
In the zchus of this great tzaddik, may we be zoche to רחמי שמים בכלל ובפרט and may the legacy and lessons that your father left all of us, be continued and enhanced עד ביאת הגואל במהרה בימינו. יהושע פרלמן
To the family of Rabbi Yosef Herman ZTL,
For the past (apx) 20 year I and my family have been benefiting from the work of your husband & father. We are a Sephardic family trying to keep Yoshon. I have never seen or spoken to this incredible person. I do not even know what he looks like. During Yoshon season on my weekly visit to the local food market I would frequently find myself in a panic calling up my wife to look up an item on the Yoshon guide. (I myself was scared to look things up…) she would tell me the code and I would look it up to see if the item was before or after the specified date.
What a Yireh Shamayim your husband/father must have been. To spend those hundreds of thousands of hours to help other Yidden to be nizhar about a prohibition that was almost forgotten about. What a tremendous zechus he must have generated in shamayim.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that he was niftar in the parsha of “החדש לכם ראש חדשים” – a little remez to this great Tzadik’s work.
I am a Ruv of a Sephardic shul here in Skokie, Illinois. We have been here for about ten years. People in our shul know about Yoshon because we try to be makpid at shul events.
I spoke about your husband/father in the drasha this past Shabbat morning. After the drasha an Israeli Baal Teshuva (who does not necessarily keep Yoshon) came over to me and said: “Rabbi I had goose bumps while listening to your speech this morning. You don’t know what happened. My wife and I, know very little about Yoshon. But when my wife woke up this morning she told me about the dream she had last night. She dreamt that she had two religious couples over and when it came time for dessert she was looking at the label of one of the foods. She noticed that the item was in fact “Yoshon” and she said, “Don’t worry, it is Yoshon”.”
I am sorry that I never thought to say thank you to your husband/father for all the benefit that I and my family and many, many, Yidden received. May the all the zechusim that your husband/ father accrued during his lifetime stand for you and the whole family and all of klal Yisrael עד ביאת גואל.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Shaoul Hamaoui – [email protected]
Persian Hebrew Congregation
7 Shevat, 5779
Dear Mrs. Herman and family,
My husband was in Yerushalayim when he received the news of Rabbi Herman’s petira. He was very reluctant to tell me right before Shabbos, because he knew how upset I would be, and he was right. I sat down and cried. Although I never had the privilege to meet Rabbi Herman, my husband and I felt a strong connection to him, as if he were “holding our hands” and guiding us through the performance of the mitzvah of yoshon. I heard his voice on the hotline as I recorded my questions and again to hear the answers. I looked forward to receiving his booklets with their vast information and detail that reflected such tremendous research and understanding of not only food retailing but also of the agricultural cycle. I learned so much from them!
Our Chodosh history goes back about 15 years, when we still lived in Philadelphia. My husband had learned about the halachos of Chodosh and their applicability outside of E”Y. He determined that there was a compelling reason for us to be observing these laws, and I was enthusiastically on board but uncertain about how to proceed. Fortunately, we became aware of Rabbi Herman’s booklets, and I became a regular subscriber. I remember negotiating with a local bakery to “import” yoshon flour from New York; there was little awareness at the time and no local supply. We did get by, b”H, with the help of Rabbi Herman’s codes. I brought the book with me to the supermarket, and I stood in front of the pasta and cereal isles reading codes, so glad to have them. My husband gave shiurim on Chodosh, trying to increase understanding of this mitzvah of which so many were unaware.
Ten years ago, we moved to Lakewood, and my husband soon after asked the proprietor of J2 Pizza if their pizza was yoshon. The answer was “If my pizza wasn’t yoshon, I wouldn’t be in business.” Clearly, Rabbi Herman’s work had not only made it possible to observe the laws of Chodosh for those already committed but surely increased the number of Chodosh-observant Jews in America significantly! Today, when I shop at any kosher supermarket in Lakewood, the vast majority of products are yoshon. During the “Chodosh season” at least one supermarket prepares a large area lined with yoshon products for the convenience of their customers, including those that are not so easily obtainable during the winter months.
In addition to benefiting to such a great extent from Rabbi Herman’s essential, selfless and tireless work in the area of Chodosh, we gained incredible mussar and chizuk from him about avodas Hashem in general. I was speaking to my einiklach over Shabbos about how Rabbi Herman revived a “mais mitzvah” in order to enable us to serve Hashem the best way possible. He never cut corners and told us exactly what we needed to do, because that’s the way we should perform mitzvos. Even when the agricultural situation changed, meaning that assumptions we previously made were no longer valid, Rabbi Herman just “rewrote the book,” informing us of the problem with the same meticulousness that he produced the original information. It must have been so difficult for him, but that’s just the way it has to be with mitzvos.
What an Aliyah we can attain if we only take Rabbi Herman’s attitude toward avodas Hashem to heart!
Our great thanks to you, Rabbi Herman’s family, for supporting his great life-work, and our deepest condolences on his petira.
May you be comforted among the mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim, and may all of the mitzvahs he made it possible to perform be an Aliyah for his neshama.
To the Herman family.
With shock and sadness I write to share my deepest sympathies.
I have been “with” Rabbi Herman z”l for over 35 years, through the guide to chodosh, which enabled me as a young mesivta bochur from Manhattan to start keeping yoshon. I, along with my family, owe him a tremendous debt of gratitude. His selfless dedication to an issue which was far from well-known, along with the endless time given over to the klal while on his holy mission, all done lesheim shamayim, veshelo al menas lekabeil pras, was and will continue to be an inspiration for me personally as well as the thousands he influenced, educated, and inspired.
I can only imagine the reception he got in shomayim, as the malach in charge of the issur of chodosh came out to personally escort him to the special place reserved for those who are mezakei harabbim through the revival of “forgotten” mitzvos. When he arrived there, I imagine that he was greeted by the sma”g (tzitzis), the chofetz chaim (loshon hora), the chazon ish (shemitta), along with all those gedolei yisroel who have done the same throughout history, making sure that no mitzva is ever totally forgotten. He was then shown the very special place reserved for only him.
May the zechus of the “techiyas hameisim” that he single-handedly accomplished with the issue of chodosh, stand strong for his family who no-doubt will miss him dearly, give him aliyah after aliyah in himmel, and be with him until we meet him again by his techiyas hameisim, when he arise to see that ma’lah ha’aretz dei’ah es Hashem.
Hamakom yenacheim eschem besoch she’ar aveilei tzion viyrushalayim.
Lakewood, New Jersey
שר גדול נפל היום בישראל
If we just think for a moment about the tremendous zchusim the niftar takes with him to the olam ha’emes –It really is not anything that we can begin to imagine!
The millions upon millions of malachim created by klal yisroel around the world who started keeping this long-forgotten mitzvah
In the last few decades the niftar almost singlehandedly turned an almost forgotten mitzvah in the Torah into a well-known mitzvah and easy for everyone to keep
I heard once many years ago from Rav Reuvain Feinstein Shlita that when he was growing up it was almost unheard of or almost impossible to be makpid on “yoshon”
and if I remember correctly he said that if someone wanted to be makpid he would have to basically eat matza from Sukkos until Pesach!
fast forward a few years – just a couple of years ago I was in Boro Park at a simcha and I asked someone if the rolls are yoshon and he told me he doesn’t know if there is single bakery in the area that sells Chodosh!
Look at what has changed in these few years – all in the zechus of the grossa niftar!
In the zechus of the ever growing list of the many who keep this mitzvah all in the zechus of the devotion and dedication of the grosa niftar for so many years
There is no doubt that these millions of malachamim have come to greet the niftar
and paved the way for him to be zoche to a very high place in gan eden – one that few people have been zoche to
I think we can apply the words of the mishna in Pirkei Avos
כָּל הַמְזַכֶּה אֶת הָרַבִּים, אֵין חֵטְא בָּא עַל יָדוֹ. משֶׁה זָכָה וְזִכָּה אֶת הָרַבִּים, זְכוּת הָרַבִּים תָּלוּי בּוֹ, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים לג) צִדְקַת ה’ עָשָׂה וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו עִם יִשְׂרָאֵל
It is hard to imagine someone who’s merits will just keep on growing more and more
When Rav Meir Shapiro instituted the Daf Hayomi – the Chofetz Chaim said that now these mesechtos that no one was learning will become live again
The mitzvah of yoshon was a forgotten mitzvah and in the zechus of the niftar it became alive
May he be a meilitz yosher for klal yisroel!!
My introduction to the concept of Yoshon and Chodosh was November 1973 when I met my husband. I was in NY at the time and had never heard of it. My husband, being a Mushmach of Rav Ahron Soloveichik in Chicago, gave me a glimpse of what I was getting into. Maybe it was easier then: I stocked up on whatever I thought I needed- after Sukkos of course, never ate at a Simcha, couldn’t go to friends for Shabbos unless they were ” Briskers” and my older children couldn’t eat at birthday parties or siyumim in school. And we won’t talk about all the food I had to give away before Pesach because I bought too much.
Then along came Rabbi Herman and the Guide to Chodosh which opened up a new world to us -as well as made “Yoshon shopping” a lot easier. Of course, the dates for the Midwest somehow kept getting earlier and earlier-but that made it all the more fun for a trip to NY where the date was later and you didn’t have to ask questions in the pizza store. As a side note, whenever we stayed at Ari and Yehudis Luria on Sylvan, we would tell our family that “Rabbi Herman lives on this block”.
I asked my son, Aharon Boruch , to represent not only us but also his wife’s family at the levaya in Shamgar. My daugther in law’s grandfather, Rabbi Victor Segal, was the first caterer in Chicago to keep affairs Yoshon in deference to Rav Ahron Soloveichik. When he was niftar and his sons, David and Meir, took over Goldman-Segal catering, they carried on that mesorah. Needless to say, I am sure that none of them would have been able to do this without the HOURS and MONTHS and YEARS of work put into this by Rabbi Herman ZL.
I have a friend whose son and family are makpid on Yoshon. Every year she emails me asking for guidelines for flour and other items. I go get the trusty “Guide to Chodosh” or check email updates to give her the information. How many times have I gotten calls from people who are having company and want to know if something is Yoshon. And what about when flying overseas-take a copy of those pages from European cities-maybe the hashgacha on the package will be listed in the Guide.
I personally wrote Rabbi Herman occasionally to get information and always received an answer, no matter how busy he must have been. In fact, this fall I was wondering why Ceresota flour needed a date code and Rabbi Herman told me he was working on it. But don’t worry-the Guide said that Gold Medal all purpose flour with the KC in date code is okay. Saved yet again by the Guide.
Rabbi Herman did all of this L’Shaim Mitzva; never asking for anything other than money to cover costs of mailing and printing. We are indepted to him and to his amazing family for enabling him to do this-what a tremendous zechus.
As Rabbi Herman’s neshama goes before Kisai HaKavod, there will be the Malachim of the millions of zechusim he generated through this one mitzva. No doubt, by making all of this information available he encouraged and enabled yidden to keep this not always easy mitzva. May he be a Meilitz Yosher for the family. Hamakom Yenachem Eschem B’soch Shear Aveilei Tzion V’yerushalayim. Shlomo and Chani Cherrick
To the Herman family,
I just want you to know that my family (and my children’s families) are among the many thousands who benefited from Rabbi Herman’s efforts, both in bringing awareness of the Chodosh issue and its many implications to the public consciousness, as well as in providing invaluable practical information through the Guides and updates throughout the year.
And he did it in such a humble and unassuming way, without ever seeking anything for himself.
I was especially impressed by the yashrus he demonstrated the time a few years ago when he had to raise the price of the guide, I think it was from $15 to $20, due to increasing costs. Then, when he realized that the additional cost was less that had been expected, he changed it to $18, and refunded the difference to those who had paid $20. Nobody would have minded had he used the extra few dollars to invest in the Guide, or for any other purpose. But he wouldn’t do that.
He also wouldn’t budge from the standards he had set in terms of how to use technology, even though it surely made the job harder for him.
An exceptional, special yid, who contributed much to the betterment of Klal Yisroel. He will be sorely missed.
Yehi Zichro Baruch!
HaMakom Yenachem eschem b’soch she’ar Aveilei Tzion V’Yerushalayim.
לכבוד משפחת הרמן ובפרט האלמנה החשובה שתחי’
“כל המזכה את הרבים, אין חטא בא על ידו. וכל המחטיא את הרבים, אין מספיקין בידו לעשות תשובה. משה זכה וזיכה את הרבים, זכות הרבים תלוי בו!”
There are no more appropriate words then those of חז”ל to describe your husband & father. While I was never זוכה to personally meet him I have had the זכות of using his Chodosh guide for the last 30+ years. Besides the tremendous effort that was obviously involved in producing and updating the guide even more obvious was his humility. Always an apology, even when none was needed (after all this was all done at no expense to the consumer), if there was a correction, answering questions and apologizing for any delays. Even more amazing in a world that is enamored with everything new he kept it simple no glossy books to add to costs or fancy websites (that need constant upkeep). Just what was needed. What I must add is the not so obvious, the amount of support that he must have received from those around him i.e. his wife and family to be so heavily involved in such a time consuming and painstaking undertaking.
The משנה gives an example of מזכה את הרבים who? משה רבינו what was his particular מעלה we are told that he was a “טוב עין הוא יבורך”. What is a “טוב עין” someone who is happy to see another person’s success, in this case in mitzvos, the whole Chodosh project was a shining example of a “טוב עין” may the זכות of this tremendous niftar stand by you and your whole family!
“המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים ולא תוסיפו לדאבה עוד”
יחזקאל משה טופורוביץ
It is with great sorrow that we heard the shocking and sad news of the פטירה of Rabbi Herman. As soon as we told our children, they all recognized who we meant; the one who knows, arranges and answers all the yoshon questions on the hotline. Rabbi Herman did a huge chessed to klal yisroel in חוץ לארץ; he brought back this mitzva of not eating chodosh. It was really abandoned, a true מת מצוה . He made it possible and even easy to keep it. Additionally, we know many others that would otherwise not be makpid on eating only yoshon but because the yoshon status on so many products and establishments were made so easily available they started to keep this mitzva. So many are aware of yoshon that by now, most bakeries, schools, caterers and establishments, in the tri-state area, are all yoshon where previously they didn’t even know what yoshon meant. All these inspirations and awareness of the yoshon issue are due to Rabbi Herman. What a zechus! There is clearly much that went on behind the scenes, effort invested to speak to each company, verifying all facts and compiling them into an easy-to-read guide, constantly updating information and offering daily support in the form of answering ANY questions that the public has; always calmly, (even when multiple callers asked the same question).
Also, his research regarding chometz after pesach helped us so much, as well.
In addition to this, Rabbi Herman was the first one to let klal yisroel know about the dangers of the internet. Way before it was common to use it and be familiar with all that can be obtained on the internet, he wrote, in the Jewish Observer, to make us aware and warn us all.
These stands that he took to enable us to serve Hashem properly are great examples of this איש חשוב.
המקום ינחם אתכם בתוך שאר אבלי ציון וירושלים
Rabbi and Mrs. Elchonon Ribiat