Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

7 Adar I 5765 - February 16, 2005 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly









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HaRav Nesanel HaKohen Quinn, zt"l

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

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 50 years.

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 kehilloh.

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 Malkoh.

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.


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