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Brooklyn, NY - Tribute to Rav Yehoshua Heschel Wolhendler Z'l

Published on: January 3, 2012 09:47 AM
By: VIN News Rabbi Yisroel Weiss
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Rabbi Wolhendler was nifter Shabbas Kodesh Parshas Toldos of this year at the age of 58. (1953-2011)Brooklyn, NY - Rashi (Bereishis 28:10) states that when a tzaadik leaves a city, pana hodah, pana zivah, pana hadarah, its magnificence departs, its luster departs, and its grandeur departs. What are these diverse attributes? How can we differentiate between these different facets of a tzaadik’s presence that Rashi says are sure to be missed when the tzaadik departs?
Harav Hagaon R’ Moshe Feinstein ztvk”l writes that each adjective describes a different level of righteousness that a person can attain, and they reflect differing amounts of influence that one is capable of having upon the people around him.

Ziv, luster, refers to something which shines forth; it is like the rays of the sun, that warm you when you are in their presence. This speaks to the effect a tzaadik has upon those who are in his direct presence. This level of influence, however, is limited in that it only has an influence when one is physically in the presence of the tzaadik. The influence of a rebbe who only possesses the level of ziv, is limited because when the talmid or rebbe leaves the influence ceases.

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A true rebbe must also possess hod, magnificence. Hod is an attribute that could be transferred from one person to another. Once a talmid receives hod from his rebbe, it becomes his own; a part that will remain with the talmid even when he is no longer in the presence of his rebbe.  When Hashem promoted Yehoshuah to be the next leader of Klal Yisroel, the pasuk tells us that He transferred hod from Moshe, the Rebbe, to Yehoshuah, the beloved talmid.

What is the nature of this magnificence that contains the power to continue to affect the recipient even when he is no longer in the presence of the one who transmitted it? How can we define it? Why is it so important? I was fortunate to gain an experiential understanding of this phenomenon through the relationship I was zocha to form with Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l.

Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel Wolhendler, z”l, had such magnificence that he radiated an intensity, the likes of which I personally have not seen or experienced in any contemporary American gedolim.  My first interaction with H’rav Wohlhendler took place after I had just brokered a very difficult marital settlement agreement that I hoped would bring an end to a very difficult case involving a Get. As is usually the case, however, the devil was in the details. I knew that in order for this agreement to hold up, the details would have to be written up by a true pike’ach, someone who could with delicacy write that which had to be written in order to protect both sides, and yet not derail the agreement with unnecessary or inflammatory additions from either side’s perspective. My search for such a pike’ach led me to H’rav Wohlhendler. I called him with trepidation. I had heard that he was indeed a chacham, but that he was not one to simply do one’s bidding. “Harav Yehoshua Heschel has a mind of his own,” I was advised. To be honest, that is not really what I was looking for at the time; after all, I thought, the last thing I needed was a voice with new ideas to come and scuttle the deal that had taken a long time to work out with the parties.

Moreover, all of my interactions up to that point with anyone involved in the unfortunately murky world of contemporary batei din had thoroughly jaded me. I had come to expect those with attitudes, seeking to make a quick profit from another hapless person going through a life crisis and not at all seeking to help both sides resolve their differences. Thus predisposed, I called Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l and sought his help. I remember exactly where I was standing when I made the phone call, and I thank Hashem Yisborach for leading me in the path that began a relationship I will always cherish.

Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l indeed had his own mind. He asked how he could help me and quickly noted that he hoped I understood he could not possibly become involved in the case to help the parties without a thorough understanding of all the issues involved.  He then asked probing questions and debated with me key points of my understanding of the overall issues. It quickly became apparent that he was an ish emes, someone willing to help fellow yidin in need, but only if emes was on their side.

Finally, convinced that he fully appreciated the nuances of the complex case, he suggested that we meet in order to discuss the details of the proposed settlement. At this point, I asked him: “How much should the parties expect to pay for your services?” After a moment of silence, Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l responded, to the effect: “you called me for help, my taking money is not giving help.” When we ultimately did meet, it became clear to me that Harav Yehoshua Heschel had spent a considerable amount of time thinking and analyzing the case. He thoroughly analyzed the proposed deal, and exposed several fatal flaws in the proposal that might have led to disaster for the parties had they been overlooked. Over the following months, he was always available to lend his ear, his astute advice, and his support. His council was always based first on halachah, and then on what was best for the long-term well-being of the parties. He was never driven by a need to tell someone what they wanted to hear. He was never swayed by the potential for earning money by feeding people’s egos and fueling machlokes. His principal goals were to resolve the issues at hand in accordance with halachah, to make decisions based on emes, and to conclude the matter at hand in the best way for the parties involved.

How did Harav Yehoshua Heschel accomplish so much where others could not.  The foundation that anchored Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l and the reason he never fell into the trap of getting drawn into machlokes for the sake of kavod or profit was clearly his tremendous Yiras Shomayim. Because his fear of Heaven was so profound, his fear of man was non-existent. The Pasuk tells us that it was the Yiras Shamayim of Yocheved and Miriam that allowed them to defy Pharaoh’s decree to kill all the newborn Jewish male children. When one has true fear of Heaven, there is no room for fear of man. So it was with H’rav Yehoshua Heschel z”l. He was a Gadol who despised machlokes and those who created or furthered it. His Yiras Shomayim drove him to be mevakesh es hanirdaf, to help those who were being wrongly oppressed on whatever side of a dispute, despite whatever pressures might be brought to bear against him. I once commented to him in regard to a specific situation – after he was already not well: “You know that taking this position might bring a lot of pressure against you.” What was his response? “Do they have anything other than a basar v’dam to pressure me with? Not to take this position might chas v’shalom cause the Borei Olam to pressure me!”

Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l was also a true anav. His anivus was anchored in the same foundation that allowed his fear of men to be non-existent – his tremendous Yiras Shomayim. We were once embroiled in a particular case where a disputant questioned Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l’s qualifications stating that he was not a rabbi at an official congregation. I was frustrated and prepared a lengthy, impassioned letter to those involved, in which I praised Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l as a Talmid Chochom and Yorei Shomayim. Before I sent it, I showed it to Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l for his approval. This took place during the aseres y’mei teshuva, the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l instructed me not to send my letter. He stated, “Please do not write such things about me. Tell them that they are indeed right. I am currently not qualified, but in a few days it will be Yom HaKodosh, Yom Kippur. Certainly Hashem will accept my teshuva and forgive me, and then I will be worthy. We will work on this case after Yom Kippur!” 

I tearfully recall how refreshing it was to speak with him. In a time when everyone is afraid to take a position, lest it be met with public ridicule, where the twin avodah zorahs of the “almighty dollar” and “toeing the party line” rule with a heavy hand, how refreshing it was to speak to a Gadol and Talmid Chacham whose guiding principles were Yiras Shomayim, Torah, and Emes! How we shall all miss him!

Above all, Dovid HaMelech tells us, in order for one not to be swayed by life’s deceptions, the very essence of one’s being must be “Toras Hashem cheftzo”, namely, the driving force of one’s existence must be Toras Hashem. This is a most apt description of Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l. He was aware that as a talmid of HaRav Reuven Feinstein shlit”a, I had the ability to inquire as to the underlying reasoning of various teshuvos of Rav Moshe Feinstein ztvk”l. He would call me – sometimes late at night – trying to get new insight into something Rav Moshe wrote in one of the teshuvos. He once told me that he wrote more than one hundred fifty pages of Torah while researching a particular teshuvah of Rav Moshe ztvk”l. Harav Yehoshua Heschel, z”l, was not merely curious about Torah; this was not simply research into a subject matter in which he was involved. He lived and breathed these teshuvos!  His compelling desire was to seek out the emes of the halachah. The fire of Torah burned so strongly within him that at times he could not sleep without first coming to a conclusion in the matter he was working on at that moment.

There is so much more to say, so much more to mourn our loss. Harav Yehosuha Heschel, z”l, fulfilled the pasuk of lo suchal l’hisaleim (i.e., one may not overlook an injustice) in every sense. He never looked away from the plight of another – whatever the situation might be. He also fulfilled the pasuk of lo saguru mipnei ish (i.e, not to be afraid of anyone from doing or saying what is right), as in defense of Torah and emes he feared no one and nothing.  It is well known that he was an illustrious Talmid Chochom, who was m’chaber sefarim to the delight of Talmidei Chachomim bechol asar v’asar. He was a pike’ach who could be trusted to give advice grounded in Torah and yiras Hashem. But, first and foremost, he was a friend to whom you could turn to discuss any problem. This was the essence of Harav Yehosua Heschel Wohlhendler z”l. Woe for us for what we have lost.

Turning back to our question of how one can attain hod, when a person has this much to give, when one lifts himself above the superficiality of this world to the extent where he has so much tochen, then he becomes imbued with hod. He becomes imbued with a magnificence that effects positive changes in all those who are exposed to it. When you are zocheh to form a relationship with such a person, you are forced to think. When the human tendency to measure yourself against another person eventually surfaces, you must grow as a result. Certainly, when you see someone who lives for so much and who gives of himself to such a degree, you cannot help but question your own priorities in life, your foibles and your pettiness. If one thinks about and internalizes these lessons, they remain with them even when they are no longer in the presence of the tzaadik. Indeed, the life-changing lessons remain even when one is no longer able to be in the presence of a deceased tzaadik.

The light that Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l brought into this world no longer burns in the form of his physical presence; yet it clearly has not been extinguished.  The hod of Harav Yehoshua Heschel z”l remains with those of us who knew him, despite the fact that, sadly, he is no longer with us.
Harav Hagaon R’ Mordechai Gifter z”l once asked a question in regard to the mitzvah of sippur yetzias mitzrayim. He asked, “Why limit the mitzvah of sippur to a discussion based upon the text of the Haggadah? Why not rent a theater and put on a play featuring all the main characters of the geulah?” With today’s technology of computer generated animation we could produce a movie with the ten makkos illustrated in accordance with all applicable midrashim, and have a sippur yetzias mitzrayim l’mehadrin min hamehadrin!

R’ Gifter answered that Chazal understood human nature better than we do, and they understood that such productions would have the opposite effect. When one is subjected to intense visual presentation of an idea, he no longer uses his intellect to process what he has seen. His mind is content with the sensory experience to which he has been exposed; he no longer finds it necessary to actually think about what he is being shown. As a result, the lesson he has been taught will always remain superficial and will never truly penetrate his soul. Why? Because it is only through intense thought, through intellectual work and involvement that lessons are truly internalized.

The same is true of Chanukah licht. Why a simple flame and not six- foot- tall inflatable dreidels or toy Greek soldiers marching back and forth on our front lawns? Surely the more affluent among us could have flashing lights and large-screen video presentations placed for all to see. [Sadly, some of these distinctly non-Torah based ideas have indeed begun to creep into our neighborhoods!] But why not do these things?

Because that candle is by no means the desired end-result. The Chanukah licht are but a reminder of what we must think about. It is a light that is intended to inspire us to seek the true light of Torah and its timeless lessons.  And if we take these lessons to heart – if we really think about them and dwell on them – then m’at min haor docheh harbei min hachoshech, a small amount of light is capable of driving away much darkness.

The ability of a small candle to drive away much darkness is true in the context of human beings as well. The light that was Harav Yehosua Heschel z”l, unfortunately, no longer burns among us. However, if those of us who knew him do what our achrayus demands of us, if we internalize and reflect upon the lessons of the midos by which he lived—emes , yiras Shomayim, ahavas haTorah, and being nosei b’ol im chaveiro – then his light will continue to drive away the darkness that unfortunately surrounds us.  Yehi zichro boruch.   

Rabbi Wolhendler was nifter Shabbas Kodesh Parshas Toldos of this year at the age of 58. (1953-2011). Author of the acclaimed Seforim Gufei Halachos on Hilchos Nidah, Meir Enei Chachomim on Seder Haget and Seder Chalitza, and many volumes of T’eshuvos that have yet to be published

Rabbi Yisroel Weiss is a Dayan U’moreh Tzedek in Edison, N.J., and a Marbitz Torah in Yeshiva of Staten Island (Rabbi Feinstein).



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Read Comments (24)  —  Post Yours »

1

 Jan 03, 2012 at 10:38 AM KolelLearner Says:

Ty to VIN for posting. I hope you could post such articles in th future of Gedolim in midos and in learning who are still alive so that we could learn from them.

I did not know Rav Yehosua Heschel personally, but as Kolel yungerman in Williamsburg I used to seem him daven on Rodney Street almost every morning. He used to sit through a few minyanim and my own father told me a few times to go see how this yis says ahavah raba. While learning hilchos nidah in kolel I also learned his sefer and feel i know him personally through his sefer. Everyone that wants to have a little understanding of the breath and depth of reb Yehosua Heschels gadlis in Torah only has to learn one shtickel Biur Halacha in his sefer Gufie Halachos and understand what a giant he was in learning and hasmadah.

Yehie Zichro Boruch!

2

 Jan 03, 2012 at 10:33 AM bklyn Says:

So true! Great article, thanx VIN

3

 Jan 03, 2012 at 10:54 AM heshy Says:

Moirdeke piece on a special man, thanks for sharing the story of a true unassuming godol with us, ZYA

4

 Jan 03, 2012 at 11:03 AM bestseven Says:

No words are enough to describe such a great person. Honestly, I sat at the shiva and heard the most inspiring things. There is probably enough material to write some sort of a book. But for anybody who knew him this tribute is inspiring and a great read and all too true.

5

 Jan 03, 2012 at 11:07 AM PowerUp Says:

he was a brain!!!!

7

 Jan 03, 2012 at 11:53 AM ShalomUbracha Says:

Over the past few years, I came to know Rabbi Wolhendler very well. Being that I was unfourtenetly involved in many cases of so called OTD boys and girls in the communities of Williamsburg and Boro Park, I came across many instances where difficult halacha questions in the subjects of kedushen and gitin must have been dealt with. At one such case, I first went to one of the leading diyanim in one of our communities but he had no understanding of the complexity of the matter. After running around to other diyanim, I was referred to Rabbi Wolhendler by a few of the diyanim.
The first time I called him, I was actually shocked as to how much he knew. He right away was able to tell me all sides of halacha and his psak halacha. However, he was not done yet; he told me he wants to help the people involved and not just give his opinon in halacha.
I can't go in to more details because of the sensitivity of the matter. I can only add this, he did so much for Klal Yisroel that this article merely does not do justice for him. He will surely be missed by me and all of the others that he helped over the years.
May he be a miletz yosher for klal yisroel and to his family.

8

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:24 PM FlatbushJew Says:

Rabbi Wolhendler, z"l, was a giant among the Rabbanim. He helped me personally and was able to use Halacha appropriately to protect my children. The Ribbono Shel Olam permitted Rabbi Wolhendler to be the Shliach to right a wrong and protect innocent children from ill-intentioned relatives, who were trying to use a NYS law to hurt us. Indeed, two other Rabbonim had submitted affidavits to the Court that revealed their complete lack of understanding of Hilchos Gittin. Rabbi Wolhendler's rebuttal affidavit was respectful and demonstrated the proper appllication of Halacha. The court agreed with Rabbi Wolhendler's position. The Rav had a heart of gold and did not seek compensation for his time, energy and effort. In return, I always stood ready, willing and able to help the Rav without charge so that others could likewise be protected and helped. Rabbi Wolhendler was a Tzaddik, the likes of which I fear we will never see again. May his Neshama be a Mailetz Yosher for all of Klal Yisroel, and especially for all those he helped and cared for. May his dear family get some Nechama from the statements of those of us who stood in awe of such a Talmid Chacham, Pikeach and real Mentsh.

9

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:25 PM YJay1 Says:

Wow, I never heard of him while he was alive, but he seems to have been a very choshuve Yid. It's so tragic that he passed away at his prime.

Yehi Zichro Boruch.

10

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:30 PM AAARealtyLLC Says:

Let me just say this. If not Rabbi Wolhendler I would still be in court battling child custody issues etc. I started off with the most prominent bet din in Williamsburg, which I will not name here, but you can all figure it out yourselves. They had zero interest in resolving my case quickly, and made everything sound complicated in order to justify their exuberant fees. After 9 months and several thousand dollars later I was referred to Rabbi Wolhendler. Interestingly, my wife’s side who had little trust in me or in anyone working on my behalf, found Rabbi Wolhendler to be fair and impartial. And they felt comfortable to continue settling our differences through his Bet Din. Our case was resolved in just six weeks. I married within the year and I am forever thankful to Rabbi Wolhendler for his help and support. His honesty and dedication is what earned his trust. Just by talking to him, you knew you can trust this person. May his memory be blessed forever, and may he be a mailitz yosher for us all.

11

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:32 PM Halaivy Says:

Great man, and real pride for cheredi community and for Satmar chasidim

12

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:36 PM Ina Says:

Rabbi Wolhendler was a prince of a man who, out of a deep sense of caring, sought people out to see how he could be of help when situations were brought to him. Where to we find today people like him?!

13

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:56 PM LakewoodInternet Says:

The author writes “Moreover, all of my interactions up to that point with anyone involved in the unfortunately murky world of contemporary batei din had thoroughly jaded me.” Rabbi Weiss, great article on a great Rav Byisroel, but Murky is an extremely soft understatement. Some of the “so called” batie denim and toanim are purely corrupt and criminal. I am a yeshivisha person in Lakewood and when I was recommended to Rav Wolhendler by a chasidisher yungerman in Lakewood I has similar questions to yours. Will he understand me as I am from a very different culture and the issues are very different. Understand he did! And his door was open for me day and night as if I was a family member. He never wanted to take a cent and I had to literally push the money into his hands. He once wrote a letter to the attorney of my ex-wife and the attorney could not believe that a rov in Williamsburg wrote such a good legal letter. He later formed a good relationship with that attorney and we all together b’h’ resolved all the issues like torahdig yidden should. The “shalom” that I have with my ex-wife now almost 5 years later is only thanks to Rabbi Wolhendler. May he be a Meilitz Yosher for his fam

14

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:57 PM LakewoodInternet (Cont) Says:

family and all of klal Yisroel.

Btw, who is Rav Weiss? I know the Yeshiva of Staten Island and may know him by face. He seems to be a torahdik person and ish emes as well if he had such a strong relationship with rav Wolhendler. I wish him more success in his endeavors. Maybe VIN could consider inviting him to write more such articles.

15

 Jan 03, 2012 at 02:19 PM chusidfromtheshtetl Says:

Chaval al deovdin!

I used to bring all my halacha and general life questions to him. He was truly a “Yuchid” in his knowledge of and dedication to torah and halucha. I also attended a chalitza that he made in Williamsburg in the spinka hall. Even though he was so knowledgeable, he was a true anav as Rabbi Weiss writes. He loved to teach others and always spent time explaining his reasoning in halucha to me and even explained all about the chalitza to me even though I am a working balabos.

To commenter #1. Great comment about his ahava raba and davening in general. He was a fixture and unique person in Rodney beis medrash. I think that with the years the oilem in Williamsburg will only begin to feel what a great person we all lost.

I usually always say that everyone is replaceable but I believe reb shia heshil is absolutely not replaceable.

May we all have the true nechama with bias goel tzedek!

16

 Jan 03, 2012 at 03:01 PM CSLMoish Says:

Kudos to VIN for printing such a fitting article and Rabbi Weiss for writing it.
What an amazing person who truly did not use Torah as a “shovel to dig with”. Unfortunately today many crave the limelight and are not willing to be moser themselves to the tzibur without some sort of restitution. Rav Shiya Heshil was unlike anyone else in this regard who would sometimes stay involved in cases for many months and even years without any expectations of payment.
He did not worry himself what others would think about his Psak Halacha, for if it was the right thing to do then that is what he did without any fear of marginalizing himself. As Rabbi Weiss said he had Yirei Shemayim and that was it! He was not beholden to any particular institution, donors, boards, or batei dinim. He worked for Torah and kvod Shemayim and had time for anybody and everybody. If we can all learn a little bit from Rabbi Wolhendler Z’L it will certainly be a great zchus for his neshama and for ours.

17

 Jan 03, 2012 at 04:38 PM KlalAsken Says:

Its a shame that we only find out now what a great person he was...I know so many people who could of used his advice and torah experience would he be know to us..
May he be a myletz yosher for his children and klal yisroel because we need many many Rabbi Wolhandlers...I know of his brother Reb Yitzchok Yide from Roebling street who is also a very big talmid chuchim and one of the most knowledgable chasidishe yidden in Braid deseases.....

18

 Jan 03, 2012 at 04:30 PM Anonymous Says:

Rav Wolhendlerzt"l published his sefer Gufe Halochos v1 in 1980 and v2 in1983. He was then all of 28 and 30 years old, and profuced awork that vies with the greatest. He also faced fierce (and in my humble opinion - disgusting - ) criticism because of the subtitle that he chose, but was not daunted at all. I wonder if those critics ever bothered to appologise for attempting to stifle a young talmid chochom who would one day outshine them all?

19

 Jan 03, 2012 at 06:06 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #14  
LakewoodInternet (Cont) Says:

family and all of klal Yisroel.

Btw, who is Rav Weiss? I know the Yeshiva of Staten Island and may know him by face. He seems to be a torahdik person and ish emes as well if he had such a strong relationship with rav Wolhendler. I wish him more success in his endeavors. Maybe VIN could consider inviting him to write more such articles.

I did not know Rabbi Wolhendler, and unfortunately so, but I know Rabbi Yisroel Weiss well. Rabbi Weiss is not a rov who would just shower others with accolades. If Rabbi Weiss wrote such an article and that “tears come to his eyes”, Rabbi Wolhendler truly must have been an amazing gadol. Additionally, a picture is worth a thousand words. What a true hadras ponim Rabbi wolhendler had–A truly distinguished while also compassionate countenance. May he be a good beter for all of klal yisroel and his family.

20

 Jan 03, 2012 at 10:06 PM Sol-Sol Says:

Rabbi Wollhendler zl' was a true Tzadik and Talmud Chochem Miflig he didn't brag about his Torah knowledge even he had the right to. We can learn lots from this man!!
Thanks to VIN for posting such a nice article about such a special man. May his family know of no more Tzar!

21

 Jan 03, 2012 at 11:36 PM JohnDoe Says:

Rabbi Wolhendler was well known around the world as a leading posek in all the complex gitin and nidah shalus. I have known him for many years now, sometimes,I had the honor that he shared with me the most difficult shalus he got from places such as, Tunisia, Yemen, Mexico and especially Isreal. He often stayed up whole nights researching halachus on such complex matters.
One specific story comes to my mind about a shalah involving the leading Sephardic poskim in Israel including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. It was a case about a large extended Yemenite family that were sufek mamzirim. Somehow, Rabbi Wolhendler was contacted for his halachik opion on the case. However , from there on further, Rabbi Wolhendler was the leading force in the case. He stayed up for whole nights doing research on the family and ended traveling twice to Yemen and Israel.
To make a long story short, Rabbi Wolhenlder ended up writing a lengthy tsuvah on the matter and his psak din was accepted by all of the leading halachik scholars in Israel, including Rabbi Yosef. He didn’t do this all for money or koved. All he had in mind was that he is doing the work for hashem and taking on issues that others feared.
I know that Rabbi Wolhendelr once went to visit Rabbi Yosef. As he walked in Rabbi Yosef Stud up for him and pulled out the safer that Rabbi Wolhendler authored on hilchus tuharus, and told him that this is the safer he uses as a reference when having hilchus tiharus shalus.
May he be a miletz yosher for us all.

22

 Jan 03, 2012 at 12:38 PM Erlich Says:

I have often wondered why the prestigious New York Times - the newspaper of record - publishes scores of obituaries of prominent secular Jews - including today of an Israeli singer - yet I never see obituaries of distinguished Roshei Yeshivos, Admorim, Rebbes. The past several months, several outstanding Rabbonim were Niftar and not a word in the Times.

23

 Jan 04, 2012 at 01:15 AM maysways18 Says:

im a willi guy and happened to be living in his area
i can tell you he was a great great tsadik his personality and his chesed that he did to all of needed advice
we always saw him with other people walking home or on the phone trying to solve the most hardest issues what other rabbonim didnt wanto make their hands dirty
byt rabbi shia hashel ment lshem shomayim so he did what he had to do in his position
unfortanaly with his passing away i pray to god that there should be 1 who should be able to take care of all the complicated issues that matter klal yisroel at least half of the issues
i hope the rabbonim will pull up their socks and try to follow his footsteps bderech emes
should he be a melits yoisher for all of us and for his dear rebetsen and entire family

24

 Jan 05, 2012 at 04:56 PM CSLMoish Says:

Reply to #21  
JohnDoe Says:

Rabbi Wolhendler was well known around the world as a leading posek in all the complex gitin and nidah shalus. I have known him for many years now, sometimes,I had the honor that he shared with me the most difficult shalus he got from places such as, Tunisia, Yemen, Mexico and especially Isreal. He often stayed up whole nights researching halachus on such complex matters.
One specific story comes to my mind about a shalah involving the leading Sephardic poskim in Israel including Rabbi Ovadia Yosef. It was a case about a large extended Yemenite family that were sufek mamzirim. Somehow, Rabbi Wolhendler was contacted for his halachik opion on the case. However , from there on further, Rabbi Wolhendler was the leading force in the case. He stayed up for whole nights doing research on the family and ended traveling twice to Yemen and Israel.
To make a long story short, Rabbi Wolhenlder ended up writing a lengthy tsuvah on the matter and his psak din was accepted by all of the leading halachik scholars in Israel, including Rabbi Yosef. He didn’t do this all for money or koved. All he had in mind was that he is doing the work for hashem and taking on issues that others feared.
I know that Rabbi Wolhendelr once went to visit Rabbi Yosef. As he walked in Rabbi Yosef Stud up for him and pulled out the safer that Rabbi Wolhendler authored on hilchus tuharus, and told him that this is the safer he uses as a reference when having hilchus tiharus shalus.
May he be a miletz yosher for us all.

that's a very interesting fact that R' Ovadia Yosef stood up for him and thank you for sharing. As well, the kashau dayan would stand up for him when he was all but 30 years old1

25

 Nov 11, 2012 at 01:49 PM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #23  
maysways18 Says:

im a willi guy and happened to be living in his area
i can tell you he was a great great tsadik his personality and his chesed that he did to all of needed advice
we always saw him with other people walking home or on the phone trying to solve the most hardest issues what other rabbonim didnt wanto make their hands dirty
byt rabbi shia hashel ment lshem shomayim so he did what he had to do in his position
unfortanaly with his passing away i pray to god that there should be 1 who should be able to take care of all the complicated issues that matter klal yisroel at least half of the issues
i hope the rabbonim will pull up their socks and try to follow his footsteps bderech emes
should he be a melits yoisher for all of us and for his dear rebetsen and entire family

The Rav is big tsadik! If you dont know he did the giur also...... He did this for me without to ask any money......He was my spiritual gide and always he answerd at all my questions. Rabbi changed my life with Hashem's help.....I am from Europe and I was comming to NY to his family for the gyur. I was like in my own family....I knew rabbi only by Internet and I was teling him that I want to do the gyur. One year he was gading me and taching me online at any moment. He gived to me the advises. And now when I am reading all this letter from another people I understand that Hashem and only Hashem was making the conection betwen me and rabbi! He was my father.......After few years when I get married rav Joshua come to Europe with his family rebetzin and 2 children to continui to do only gogod things for me and my family. It was he who caled me and told me that is the time to do the gyur for my doughter......I coudnt ask this from him to come to Europe but he said its my responsability because teh chid should go to school......I was already married happy and had a second child......It was a dream......I was reading a book for all this.Rabbi told me to do it after my gyur;Great Tzadik

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