Talk:Israel Meir Kagan

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The sin of Loshon Hora, evel talk, is transgressed according to the Torah whenever one speaks truth that can cause harm, embarrassment or other damage to the subject. According to Kabbalistic sources, Rabbi Mendel Kessin states, the sins of the speaker, subject and listener are all revealed to the heavenly court at the time of the evil talk. Each word of Loshon Hora comprises 31 seperate sins for the speaker.

And therefore...? JFW | T@lk 07:31, 24 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yisrael Meir Kagan[edit]

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan was one of the most important rabbis of the Musar movement. He was not Just an Eastern European rabbi etc...That is why I added it in the opening statement. Jan 17, 2012. mada100 — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mada100 (talkcontribs) 09:02, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Sha'ar HaTziyyun[edit]

The work referred to in the article as Sha'ar HaTzion (Translated in the article as "Gate of Zion/Excellence") is actually Sha'ar HaTziyyun. Sha'ar HaTzion would be translated as "Gate of Zion," but could not be translated as "Gate of Excellence." Sha'ar HaTziyyun could theoretically be translated as "Gate of Excellence," but that translation is inappropriate in context. The work serves primarily to document sources for laws and customs quoted in the Mishnah Berurah. The name Sha'ar HaTziyyun derives from the phrase Sh'arim m'tzuyanim ba'halacha, translated as "gateways distinguished in (or marked in) Jewish Law," referring to the Torah study and scholarship that would distinguish Jewish homes. Rabbi Kagan chose the title as a double entendre, hinting at the distinguishment of scholarship referenced in his work, but primarily referring to the function of Sha'ar HaTziyyun in documenting (marking) sources. HKT 22:27, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

  • Hey HKT: Feel free to put some of these observations into the article itself, they sound very learned and informative. IZAK 22:51, 8 May 2005 (UTC)

Picture's authenticity[edit]

"The picture is really his shammash" or "the picture is really his shochet" are two popular rumors that have been circulating for quite a while. I've personally seen a few photos of the Chafetz Chaim in a recently published book, and, in my opinion, there is no mistaking that the likeness in this ubiquitous picture is him. HKT 02:20, 13 July 2005 (UTC)


It is a known fact that the picture in the article is NOT of any rabbi, much less yisrael meir kagan. There is no extant photograph of Yisrael Meir Kagan. The picture is in fact one of a butcher in the town in which R. Kagan lived, who looked similar to him. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Gregor Jones (talkcontribs) 13:36, July 19, 2005.

If you had just stated this here it would have been fine. But your edit on the page (by changing the image caption) is trolling. Go away. JFW | T@lk 19:55, 19 July 2005 (UTC)


I heard from the Chafetz Chaim's great-ganddaughter, who head from hear grnadmother (the Chafetz Chaim's daughter) that this is not a picture of the Chafetz Chaim.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 16:35, December 30, 2005.

Yeah, and that it was the shochet. Very nice. Perhaps that granddaughter could also tell us which image is accurate. In the meantime, the image commonly thought to represent him may grace this page. JFW | T@lk 07:11, 1 January 2006 (UTC)
The Artscroll biography of the Chofetz Chaim has a a few real pictures of him. --רח"ק | Talk 23:11, 12 May 2006 (UTC)

Here's an actual picture of the Choffetz chaim....since you people feel so strongly about it, I will not change the photo...I don't have time to quibble....the purported picture of hte chofetz chaim may or may not be the choffetz chaim. Furthermore, there are pictures that unquestionably are the choffetz chaim...why not use those? Whether its his SHamash or his shochet does not really matter. Nor whether he looked LIKE this or not. What matters is that you are uncluding controversial information.

For those that care...please change it.


I agree the factoid that his legal surname was Poupko should be scrapped. He had a son called Tzvi Hirsh Poupko. But I have never seen the Chofetz Chaim himself referred to by that name, and his letterhead (in the Yosher biography) calls him Rabin Kagan; as a Rosh Yeshiva he would have used his legal surname on papers meant for official/governmental purposes. JFW | T@lk 09:13, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Agreed. I've heard the “Poupko” rumor before, but without serious documentation it shouldn't even be given credence in the article, which is why I removed it. -- Avi 17:32, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

My neighbor is a great-grandson of the Chofetz Chaim. Here is the information he told me, which is verified in a published family tree that is circulating within the Zaks family:

  1. The Chofetz Chaim's name and his father's name was Kagan.
  2. The Chofetz Chaim had four children by his first wife, Frida Miriam Epstein: Gittel, Aryeh Leib, Avraham, and Sara. Sara married Tzvi Hirsh Levinson, which is where JFW might have gotten that name. Avraham died at the age of 25, never having married.
  3. For some reason, only Aryeh Leib called himself Poupko. He had many children, but most of them died leaving no progeny (there is one elderly woman alive today who comes from his line, but otherwise, the line died out).
  4. Rabbi Eliezer Poupko is no relation to this family. (The nearest name that comes close is Aryeh Leib's son, Eliyahu.)
  5. The Chofetz Chaim's second wife was Miriam Frida Schindler. They had one daughter, who married Menachem Mendel Zaks and from whom the majority of living descendants of the Chofetz Chaim come. Yoninah 21:58, 10 June 2006 (UTC)
Y'yasher Kochaych, Yoninah. -- Avi 02:58, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

I have seen "Encyclopedia Judaica, Volume 9, column 1068" quoted as a source for his name to be Poupko. This is not the 1901-1906 Jewish Encyclopedia. I have not actually seen it. Ratzd'mishukribo 20:13, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Aryeh Leib Poupko, Chofetz Chaim firstborn, had five children: Sonya, Eli, Gittel, Ben-Zion and Shoshana. Sonya, Shoshana and Ben-Zion (my grandfather) still have living descendents. Ben-Zion, his wife Clara and their firstborn daughter Miriam were killed in the holocaust in Auschwitz. Their two sons (Daniel and Raphael) survived and have children and grandchildren living in Israel, still carrying the name Poupko. --Ouri 19:28, 18 February 2007 (UTC)

As mentioned before, when the mother of the Chofetz re-married it was to Halevi Epstein and not to Poupko as mentioned in the article: "Kagan's mother later re-married (Poupko) and moved to Raduń". Kaplan13 (talk) 06:30, 19 July 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kaplan13 (talkcontribs) 06:23, 19 July 2010 (UTC)


The article contains no information at all on the life of the Chofetz Chaim at all. We read which books he wrote and what's named after him. But when did he found his yeshiva? When did his shop (or his wife's shop) open and close? He was a contemporary of Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, and I recall them working together in Vilna. Etc etc. JFW | T@lk 16:56, 4 September 2006 (UTC)

This article it so bland it could almost have been written by Artscroll or the Chofets Chaim Heritage Foundation. The Chofets Chaim despite his crusade against loshen horo was not averse to politicking and machinations in the appointment of rabbis. Surely there must be material at least for reference if not content for a more wholesome biographical entry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Freespeech22 (talkcontribs) 18:24, 8 May 2011 (UTC)


i heard that that some say that chofetz chaim made predictions abou the second world war. have anybody heard of that or some sources? thx in advance--Baruch ben Alexander - ☠☢☣ 15:49, 14 March 2008 (UTC)

Rabbi Shimon Schwab wrote about his visit with the Chofetz Chaim in the 20's shortly before his death. In the story, the Chofetz Chaim made some statments which Schwab (writing many years later) interpreted as a prediction of the Holocaust. The story was published in an article printed in the Jewish Observer several years ago. I do not know which edition - but I beleive the whole magazine was dedicated to Loshon Horo and the Chofetz Chaim. You might want to contact the Jewish Observer for more information.Guedalia D'Montenegro (talk) 01:51, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Recent edits[edit]

A recent edit removed some language from the article because of concerns about "implied loshon horo". This, in my opinion is an innapropriate reason to remove the language. Even in an article about the Chofetz Chaim. I have no objection to the removal of the "offensive" sentance however, since I do not think it detracts from the article. All we need to know is that the business failed and therefor Kagan became an educator full time. I would just like to remind contributors to this article to make edits within wikipedia policy and not because of personal religious assumptions.Guedalia D'Montenegro (talk) 01:51, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

"All we need to know is that the business failed" - yet his NYT obituary states that he closed the business because he didn't think it proper to profit from his reputation at the expense of his competitorsPedantrician (talk) 00:18, 2 September 2010 (UTC)


Should be Israel Meir Kagan according to this. יחסיות האמת (talk) 04:32, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Excellent point - his own stationery gives his first initial as "I", rather than "Y". I know that changing titles of an article is not trivial. Can someone pick up this ball, please? --Keeves (talk) 12:40, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
The roman alphabet on that page is Polish, not English. -- Avi (talk) 12:44, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
True, but both "I" and "Y" exist in the Polish alphabet. Therefore, if he chose the "I", we should use it too. --Keeves (talk) 15:13, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
But the article title here is English, not Polish. -- Avi (talk) 23:30, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I guess I didn't explain myself well enough. My point is that if Polish did not have the letter "Y", then his choice of "I" would not teach us anything. But he did have a choice whether to spell his name in Polish with an I or with a Y, and he did choose the I. It seems reasonable to me, therefore, that if he were to write his name in English, he would choose I in this case also. Do you have any reason to think that he would write his name in English with a Y? --Keeves (talk) 15:50, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Because the name is actually Hebrew (ישראל מאיר), and transliterated, the "י" is a "Y". The name is pronounced "Yisrael". -- Avi (talk) 16:09, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
I am not going to concede to your view. But I am going to give up convincing you of mine. --Keeves (talk) 22:07, 23 February 2009 (UTC)
The Polish 'y' is actually a vowel sound, which is related to the Russian 'u', from the Greek upsilon. This means that that Polish "Israel" is due to a lack of a true consonantal 'y', which the Polish 'i' approximates anyway. ypnypn (talk) 18:48, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

The Chofetz Chaim's expectation of the immediate redemption was so strong that he would always carry special garments to change into once the redemption begins.[edit]

This is very likely an untrue rumour considering the fact that he probably couldn't even afford to own a second pair clothes. i think a lot these rumours are disclaimed in his sons biography. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:56, 15 August 2012 (UTC)

Requested Move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: Not moved Mike Cline (talk) 15:17, 14 September 2012 (UTC)

Yisrael Meir KaganChofetz Chaim – In accordance with WP:COMMONNAME, I propose using the name Chofetz Chaim, which everyone on this talk page has already been using. A Google Books search for Chofetz Chaim gave about 14,000 results; forYisrael Meir Kagan listed just 338 results. While in his lifetime few people, if any, referred to him as the Chofetz Chaim, the fact is that naming must reflect current usage, as explained by the second to last paragraph of WP:COMMONNAME. ypnypn (talk) 02:10, 4 September 2012 (UTC)

FWIW Hebrew wp has the secular/scholarly bio name he:ישראל מאיר הכהן while Yiddish wp follows devotional/popular/Yeshiva practice by giving the author as yi:חפץ חיים the name of the book. In ictu oculi (talk) 02:45, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Might be a common name but it was the name of his first book, not his actual name. This is something we may need to discuss on WT:JEW for consistency, but currently I would be against moving the article. JFW | T@lk 21:57, 4 September 2012 (UTC)
  • I personally think it would be more appropriate for one page to redirect to the other. Chofetz Chaim doesn't give any information that wouldn't be appropriate in Yisrael Meir Kagan. Ba name ba (talk) 02:12, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
@Ba name ba, Hi, but Chofetz Chaim is a substantial book stub, also linking to a more complete book entry in he.wp, we wouldn't normally merge a substantial/notable book into an author who wrote other books. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:11, 5 September 2012 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.