Shlomo Nosson Kotler

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Shlomo Nosson Kotler (1856 – c. 1920) was a distinguished Orthodox rabbi and Rosh yeshiva, and an acclaimed Talmudic scholar, Torah author and Posek (Halachic decisor).

Born in Kovno, Lithuania, Kotler studied in the world-renowned Telz yeshiva under the eminent Rabbi Eliezer Gordon, as well as under Rabbi Jacob Joseph and later in the yeshiva of Rabbi Yaakov Charif, who became his foremost teacher. He received semicha from many great rabbis, among them Rabbi Yitzchak Elchanan Spektor. At the young age of twenty, having already served as a Talmudic lecturer in the Łomża yeshiva, he became one of the first teachers in the famed Knesses Yisroel yeshiva in Slobodke. A few years later, he accepted the position of Av Beth Din in the city of Uzhvent, near Kovno.

In 1893, Kotler's ailing former teacher Joseph, then the chief rabbi of New York, invited him to serve as his associate. Heeding the request, Kotler served as rabbi of Congregation Tiferes Jerusalem in New York in Joseph's stead for the next three years. In 1896, he joined the newly founded Rabbi Isaac Elchanan Theological Seminary as a Rosh yeshiva.

Unsatisfied in an America weak in Orthodox Jewish life and practice, Kotler returned to Europe to serve as rabbi in the cities of Kurshan and Luknik. After World War I, Kotler returned to America, settling for seven years in Detroit.

Towards the end of his life, Kotler emigrated to Israel, where, following the death of his first wife, he remarried the daughter of the leading Talmudic scholar Rabbi Yaakov Moshe Charlop, who was a close disciple of Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook. Following Kotler's death, his father-in-law renamed his Jerusalem yeshiva in his memory.

Torah Works[edit]

Kotler authored numerous Torah articles which were published in the various Torah journals of his time, as well as many sefarim, including the two-volumed responsa Kerem Shlomo (Jerusalem, 1936) and the original work Beis Shlomo (St. Louis, 1927). Many of Kotler's unpublished Torah manuscripts and insights have been lost.