Leading roshei yeshivos in the United States led the
levaya for HaRav Nesanel HaKohen Quinn zt"l,
the menahel ruchani of Yeshivas Torah Vodaas for over
HaRav Quinn was born in the United States to parents who
immigrated from Dvinsk, Lithuania, where they had been
neighbors of the Rogochover Rav and regular visitors in his
home. Upon arriving in the United States, they found a land
where the vast majority of Jewish immigrants had turned their
backs on Torah, Rachmono litzlan. In order to avoid
cholov akum and chilul Shabbos they set up a
private dairy and were pioneers in founding an observant
After his father was killed by a runaway horse, Nesanel's
mother hired a private tutor to teach him Torah. Later she
sent him to the newly-founded Yeshivas Torah Vodaas, at a
time when very few Jews sent their boys to study in yeshiva.
There he learned night and day, becoming one of the yeshiva's
first three students to receive semichoh.
After marrying he joined the first kollel in the U.S.
Later he began giving shiurim at Yeshivas R' Yaakov
Yosef (RJJ) until HaRav Mendelowitz asked him to serve as
menahel ruchani at Yeshivas Torah Vodaas, where he
remained until the very end of his life.
For over fifty years he helped oversee the yeshiva and teach
students, many of whom now serve in Torah halls in the U.S.
and Israel. He set an example for his talmidim with
his lofty conduct and, as he himself attested, was never
drawn into a dispute over any matter.
Out of concern for the well-being of the yeshiva world he
founded the Ohr Shraga Summer Camp to provide yeshiva
students an opportunity to grow in Torah alongside gedolei
Yisroel such as HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky and,
ylct"a, HaRav Zelig Epstein. Although he delivered a
shiur at the camp he always made a point of paying for
his lodging and meals. Out of his veneration for Torah he
would repair broken shtenders himself and would sweep
the floor of the beis knesses.
Even when he had reached an advanced age he would stand
throughout Shemoneh Esrei without leaning against the
shtender. Last Yom Kippur he refused to sleep,
although the rest of the year he needed to nap during the day
as well. On Shabbos, a special kedushoh was
discernible in him from candlelighting through Melave
He spent his final days in the hospital attached to a
respirator, but he continued to murmur divrei Torah
with a clear mind and a radiant expression on his face. He
passed away early Monday morning during the week of parshas
Mishpotim (28 Shvat) at the age of 95.
HaRav Nesanel HaKohen Quinn zt"l is survived by his
son, HaRav Zalman Pinchos, a ram at Yeshivas Torah
Vodaas, and his son-in-law HaRav Moshe Hershowitz, a
ram at Yeshivas Derech Chaim, as well as grandchildren
gracing the yeshiva halls and talmidim engaged in
harbotzas Torah for many years.