The Jerusalem Post
Rabbi Yoel Kahn, transcriber of Lubavitcher Rebbe’s speeches, teachings, dies age 91
Rabbi Yoel Kahn, whose job was to memorize and transcribe the extemporaneous talks by the Lubavitcher rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, died on July 15.
Kahn was known for transcribing Schneerson’s talks, speeches and teachings, and making them available to communities around the world for over 70 years, according to Chabad.org.
Kahn was born in the Soviet Union in 1930 to Refoel Nachman and Rivkah Kahn, members of the Chabad Chassidim. His father was imprisoned for maintaining a connection with the sixth
Lubavitcher Rebbe for the first three year’s of Kahn’s life.
The Kahns managed to escape Russia in 1935, traveling through Poland and Austria, eventually ending up in Mandatory Palestine, where Yoel studied in the Chabad yeshiva in Tel Aviv.
Kahn traveled to the US in 1950, shortly after Schneerson’s father-in-law, Rabbi Yosef Y. Schneersohn, the Sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, passed away.
After Menachem Mendel entered the role of Lubavitcher Rebbe, Kahn quickly began transcribing the Rebbe’s talks and teachings, producing Likkutei Sichot, the 39-volume set of the Rebbe’s edited talks, the six-volume Maamarim Melukatim containing the Rebbe’s edited discourses and the Torat Menachem, a work in progress which currently numbers 118 volumes of Hebrew translations of the Rebbe’s complete and unedited farbrengens, a type of hasidic gathering where the Rebbe spoke and sang.
Kahn would also lead the singing during the Rebbe’s farbrengens which were held at 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY.
Kahn was also known as an educator who managed to translate complex, transcendental ideas into more accessible, clear and logical arguments, according to Chabad. org. Kahn was also tasked by Schneerson with compiling Sefer Ha’Arachim, a scholarly encyclopedia of Hassidic concepts, which he worked on until his last days.
Kahn is survived by his wife, Leah. He had no children.