Gedaliah Nadel

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Rabbi Gedaliah Nadel (1923–2004) is known as one of the heads of Kollel Chazon Ish and was the leading decider of Jewish Law in the Chazon Ish neighborhood of Bene Barak. Rabbi Nadel is celebrated as an expert in all facets of Torah and Talmudic knowledge.


Gedaliah Nadel was born in Šiauliai, Lithuania to Rabbi Reuven Keshel. In 1936, his family immigrated to Palestine and settled in the Balfouria Colony in what is now Northern Israel. After briefly studying in Yeshiva in Tel Aviv, he switched to the Lomzha Yeshiva in Petach Tikvah. There, he studied under Rabbi Elazar Menachem Shach. As a child, Gedaliah was known for his diligence and devotion to studying Torah, reportedly studying for up to eighteen hours consecutively.[1] Afterwards Gedaliah studied under Rabbi Avrohom Yeshaya Karelitz, known as Chazon Ish, who molded him into his principal student. Rabbi Nadel said that the Chazon Ish garnered knowledge in medical science by reading medical journals.[2]

Rabbi Nadel married the daughter of Rabbi Eliyahu Weiner, a student of the Chofetz Chaim. Following the wedding, they lived in Jerusalem for a short while, before moving to Bene Barak. There he lived an ascetic life. When the Chazon Ish realized his dream of establish a special community of religious devotees, he chose Rabbi Gedaliah Nadel to lead the community. As leader of the community, such leaders as Rabbi Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, and his son Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, turned to Rabbi Nadel for decisions. Rabbi Nadel's house was used as a gathering place for the Rabbinic personalities of his day, such as Rabbi Shach and Rabbi Y.Y. Kanievsky. Rabbi Nadel also briefly served as the Rosh Yeshiva of the Vishnitz Hasidic yeshiva. Rabbi Nadel would learn Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed immediately after praying Shacharis vattikin.[3]

Rabbi Nadel asserted that certain concepts mentioned in the Torah and Talmud that were not of a legalistic nature were not necessarily to be taken literally.[4] His writings were analyzed and taken into account during the Slifkin affair. Rabbi Natan Slifkin himself subscribes to views espoused by Rabbi Nadel, including acceptance of evolution and belief "that the world was billions of years old."[5] Rabbi Nadel maintained that it is acceptable to believe that the Zohar was not written by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and that it had a late authorship.[6]

Rabbi Nadel's teachings have continued to exert influence on Hareidi leaders.[7]


Many of Rabbi Nadel's lectures were collected by his various students and two volumes were published under the title "Shiurei Reb Gedaliah."[8] "B'Torato Shel Rav Gedaliah," a compilation of Rav Gedaliah's teachings prepared from audio recordings,[9] was published by Rabbi Yitzchak Shilat, one of Rabbi Nadel's main students,[10] and at the personal request of Rabbi Nadel.[11] In 5772, Rabbi Shilat published a new edition of the book.


  1. ^ Dei'ah Vedibur, June 9, 2004, HaRav Gedaliah Nadel, zt"l
  2. ^
  3. ^ B'Torato Shel Rav Gedaliah, p. ו (Hebrew).
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ An Analysis of the Authenticity of the Zohar (2005), p. 39, with "Rav E" and "Rav G" later identified by the author as Rabbi Eliyahu Dessler and Rabbi Gedaliah Nadel, respectively (Rabbi Dr. Marc Shapiro in Milin Havivin Volume 5 [2011], Is there an obligation to believe that Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai wrote the Zohar?, p. יב [PDF page 133]): "Rav G [Gedaliah Nadel] told me that he was still unsure as to the origin and status of the Zohar, but told me it was my absolute right to draw any conclusions I saw fit regarding both the Zohar and the Ari."
  7. ^
  8. ^ See B'Torato Shel Rav Gedaliah, p. ט (Hebrew).
  9. ^ B'Torato Shel Rav Gedaliah, p. ז (Hebrew).
  10. ^
  11. ^ B'Torato Shel Rav Gedaliah, p. ט (Hebrew).

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