Rav Yoel Kahan zt”l

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It is with great sadness that Matzav.com reports the passing of Rav Yoel Kahan zt”l. He was 91 years old.

Born in the Soviet Union on 16 Shevat, 5690/February 14, 1930, Reb Yoel’s father, Reb Refoel Nachman Kahan, studied in the original Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim in the town of Lubavitch and authored multiple sefarim.

At a young age, Reb Yoel emigrated to Eretz Yisroel together with his family and studied in Yeshiva Achai Temimim in Tel Aviv under Rav Chaim Shaul Brook. During his teen years, he also learned privately with Rav Moshe Gourarie.

In 1950, Reb Yoel traveled to New York to continue his studies at Yeshiva Tomchei Temimim at 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights. Reb Yoel became a chossid of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, later serving as his main choizer for many years. He transcribed the rebbe’s talks for years, using his remarkable memory to do so.

Reb Yoel was a brilliant talmid chochom with an encyclopedic grasp of Shas and other sifrei kodesh.

He authored a number of works including Biurim U’Pninim on Tanya, Sefer Ha’Erchim, Nos’im BaChassidus, Mahusam Shel Yisroel, Shiurim BeToras Chabad, HaModaim B’Chassidus, Sugyos B’Chassidus, Shiurim Al Sha’ar Yichud V’Ha’Emuna, Nos’im BaYahadus, and Machsheves HaChassidus.

While not having children of his own, he raised generations of Chassidim who follow the ways of Torah and Chassidus.

He is survived by his wife, Rebbetzin Leah Kahan.

The levaya will be held on Friday passing by 770 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights en route to the Old Montefiore Cemetery in Queens.

Yehi zichro boruch.



  1. BD”E he was the sweetest yid, anyone who came in contact with him felt the biggest אהבת ישראל, emulating from him

    • Some things that I can surmise from your post:
      1) You are nothing more than a troll.
      2) Neither your learning, nor your ahavas yisroel, comes anywhere close to Reb Yoel’s O’H.
      3) While it is true that he made a short-term mistake in the days immediate prior to, and following, the histalkus of the Rebbe zy”a, he made a public apology for that. If you have any doubt, just ask the Yellow Flager’s that hated him for that.

      He was a gifted teacher, who lived only ruchnius, and had no time or space in his life for anything else. The world has lost an emeser gadol.

  2. Terrible loss for kllal yisroel
    A Gadol of Torah stature found once in a millennium!
    Oy mi yitein lanu temuraso.

    • Not to take away from Rav Yoel, z”l, but once in a millennium?
      Was he, then, greater than the Rambam, the Baal haTanya, and the Rebbe himself?

  3. BD”H a giant of a man beyond our understanding א הימעל מענטש

    Interesting first connection with the Rebbe. As he lived in Israel, a 20 year old Bochur. He came to the USA to meet the Previous Rebbe, arriving shortly after the histalkus of the Rebbe (then 1950). He wanted to go back to Israel. He asked the present Rebbe what to do. The Rebbe told him…. As my father-in-law told you to come here, knowing you will arrive after the histalkus, stay and learn in 770 yeshiva. A Bochur alone here. The Rebbe favored him and watched over him.

    He had nothing in life beside the Rebbe. Nebech he had no children. His life his breath, every moment every day was Torah and Chassidus. His larger then life photographic memory was beyond understanding. Gashmiyus was immaterial to him. For 71 years was filled with limud and rucniyus.
    א הימעל מענטש for those that met learnt or knew him. We’ve lost an absolute giant.

  4. As someone that learned in Litvish Yeshivos, and was zoche to hear his fascinating shiurim when he came to Boro Park, he was something out of the ordinary. Totally immersed in the deepest concepts of kabalah and chasidus and at the same time an ish pashut and anav beyond anything. His clarity and power of explanation was unreal. May his harbatzas hatorah be a tremendous zechus for him in Gan Eiden.

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