Chanoch Dov Padwa

Chanoch Dov Padwa

Chanoch Dov Padwa

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Rabbi Chanoch Dov Padwa (17 August 1908–16 August 2000) was a world-renowned Orthodox Jewish posek, Talmudist and rabbinic leader.

Early years

Chanoch Dov Padwa was born on 17 August 1908 (20 Av 5668 in the Hebrew calendar) in Busk, a small town in Galicia (now Ukraine). His father, Eliezer Wolf, named him after the rabbi of nearby Alesk. At five years old, he moved with his family to Vienna to escape the First World War.

From an early age, Chanoch Dov was known as an "ilui" (Talmudic prodigy), studying at the yeshiva of Tzelem, Hungary and in the Belzer Shtiebel in Cracow, Poland. A lifelong Belzer Chasid, he travelled to Belz from Cracow in 1926, to participate in the funeral of the Belzer Rebbe, Rabbi Yissochor Dov Rokeach.

Besides studying in Vienna under Rabbi Chaim Pinter of Bukovsk, his primary teacher, Chanoch Dov was close to the Tchebiner Rov and the Rabbi of Teplik. With growing recognition as a highly gifted scholar, he married Chana Gittel, the daughter of Naphtoli Gottesman, secretary to the Hasidic master Rabbi Aharon of Belz (date unknown). His first employment was as the rabbi of synagogue in Vienna but he was arrested as an alien and imprisoned when Austria was annexed by Nazi Germany in the Anschluss of 1938.

Rabbi Henoch, as he became affectionately known, was released just in time to escape WWII Europe by catching the very last ship bound for the British Mandate of Palestine. Accompanied by his wife and children he arrived at the port...
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