Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Chareidi World

17 Shevat 5766 - February 15, 2006 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly










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Shema Yisrael Torah Network











HaRav Eliezer HaKohen Kahn zt"l

by Y. Ariel

Numerous Tzfat residents laid to rest HaRav Eliezer HaKohen Kahn, a respected member of the city's chareidi community who passed away suddenly at the age of 50. An outstanding avreich at the height of his achievement in Torah, he served as an example of hardworking dedication to Torah and elevated middos.

Eliezer Kahn was born in America on 20 Shevat 5715 (1955) to the late Rav Shlomo Yehuda Kahn, a talmid of HaRav Ehrenfeld, and to his mother Hentshe tlc"a. He studied at the yeshiva ketanoh run by the Viennese kehilloh in Williamsburg, and then went on to Yeshivas Telz and Yeshivas Lakewood. He married the daughter of HaRav Yerachmiel Gradman, who had close ties with HaRav Yaakov Kamenetsky. When they married, the couple made their home near HaRav Kamenetsky and the young avreich cleaved to him wholeheartedly.

He receive semichoh from HaRav Tuvioh Goldstein, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Emek Halochoh. Years later, on the advice of HaRav Kamenetsky, he moved to Eretz Yisroel with his family, settling in Tzfas after finding that its inexpensive housing would allow him to continue his Torah learning without financial worries.

In Tzfas he joined Kollel Nachalas Naftoli, run by HaRav Avigdor Feivelson ylct"a. He was known for his careful adherence to the laws of shemiras haloshon, and gave a shiur based on Chofetz Chaim, to instill the importance of shemiras haloshon in others. His family members recall his exceptional hasmodoh and his devoted tefillos.

Feeling ill a few weeks ago he was taken to the hospital, where at first the doctors thought that he was merely suffering from dehydration. But his condition deteriorated within a matter of hours until he returned his soul to his Maker on 23 Teves.

The levaya set out late that night from the central beis medrash in Kiryat Meor Chaim, where he made his home. Despite the late hour, hundreds of Tzfat residents gathered to take part in the levaya.

The neighborhood rov, HaRav A. Ernster, delivered a eulogy lamenting the loss. "The City of Tzfat has lost the Chofetz Chaim dwelling in it," he declared, calling on listeners to emulate the deceased's ways of ahavoh ve'achvoh and to lend a hand to support the surviving family members, left like a boat torpedoed out at sea.

He was followed by HaRav Yisroel Meir Weiss, rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Nachalas Halevi'im, where one of the deceased's sons is a top student. The Rosh Yeshiva spoke of the chinuch he passed on to his children and the great love of Torah he instilled in them. A brief hesped was also given by the deceased's brother-in-law, HaRav Moshe Breines, and then his son-in-law and his oldest son offered words of parting, noting his hasmodoh and uncommon middos.

He was buried in the middle of the night as the family and community members stood dumbfounded, unable to believe the great tragedy that had suddenly descended on them. HaRav Eliezer HaKohen Kahn zt"l is survived by his wife and ten children, of which only two are married.

Based on instructions by rabbonim, a fund has been set up for the family by Vaad HaRabbonim LeInyonei Tzedokoh Be'eretz Hakodesh. The public is being called on to contribute to the fund by calling 1-800-223-636 and noting the contribution is intended for the Kahn Family Fund ("Keren Mishpachat Kahn"), Fund No. 2460 or by direct deposit to Acct. 105- 465194 at Bank Pagi, Branch 185 (Geulah).


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