Discovery: Unpublished Letter from HaGaon Rav Chuna Halpern zt’l

Hadras Ponim Zokon

Discovery: Unpublished Letter from HaGaon Rav Chuna Halpern zt'l
in conjunction with
The 30th Yahrzeit of HaGaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l

In conjunction with the 30th yahrzeit of HaGaon Rav Moshe Feinstein zt'l (13th of Adar II, 5746) -

Please click here to access the original Hebrew text of a newly discovered, unpublished letter written by the renowned and beloved Rov, HaGaon Rav Elchonon (Chuna) Halpern zt'l* of London*.

Following is a translation of the letter:

"May the mouths of those who speak falsehood be shut"
(יסכר פי דוברי שקר)

Halpern, Elchonon Photo

189, Golders Green Road,
London, N.W.11.
Phone:  01-455 6298

אלחנן בהר"ר דוד ז"ל היילפרין
רב ור"מ בלונדון נ.וו.
נשיא הכבוד דהתאחדות קהלות החרדים

Free Translation
15 Kislev, 5764

I call out to you, esteemed men, about an issue that has been raised numerous times in the past. The issue concerns a great failing that has taken root even among Torah scholars, namely, to shave their beards with electric shavers.

One who peruses the sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon, authored by Rabbi Moshe Wiener of New York and published over twenty years ago, will see, recognize, and understand that doing so entails biblical prohibitions.

It is untrue what has been repeated in the name of one or more gedolim [ושקר ענו בנו בשם גדול או גדולים ] that there are certain shavers that may be used; may the mouths of those who speak falsehood be shut [יסכר פי דוברי שקר ]!

I therefore request of you to please have mercy upon yourselves and discontinue using any shaver that removes all the hairs of the beard.

I am also turning to the righteous women to come to Hashem's assistance with might-the might of Torah, by influencing their husbands to rectify this shocking breach.

May we see the fulfillment of the possuk in Shir Hashirim, "Show me your appearance, let me hear your voice, because your voice is sweet and your appearance is beautiful." This means that the acceptance of our prayers on High is dependent on our appearance. Your favorable reward will be complete from Hashem. May it be pleasant for those who will heed to the above, and may blessings of good come upon you.

Along with them are all those who fear the word of Hashem, pious individuals and men of stature, wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men, who follow and heed the directions of the wise and intelligent. They let their beards grow, in contrast to those who destroy it. [The beard is rooted in and draws down blessings from] the thirteen Pathways of Mercy, displaying a radiant, pleasing countenance, and the mercy of Heaven is upon them. May Hashem be with them as he was with their fathers, and may he never leave them or forsake them. May we merit all together to greet our righteous Moshiach speedily, Amen!

(Rav) *Elchonon Halpern

*HaGaon Rav Elchonon (Chuna) Halpern was the Rov of Golders Green in London and Nosi (President) of Hisachdus Kehillas Hachareidim (Union of Orthodox Hebrew Congregations) in England. He was one of the most respected and beloved Rabbonim in Europe and beyond. He passed away 29 Shevat 5775 at age 93. Born in Czechoslovakia (today Slovakia), he was a descendant of the Sanzer Rebbe, the Divrei Chaim. At the age of 14, he wrote to the Rogatchover Gaon, Rabbi Yosef Rosen, who in return titled him "HaRav HaGaon." Rav Halpern was the mechaber of various Seforim, including Sadeh Elchonon.

Rabbi Moshe Wiener


For a comprehensive treatment of this subject, see:
Sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon / by Rabbi Moshe Wiener / The Cutting and Growth of the Beard in Halachic Perspective / Featuring the endorsements of the leading Halachic authorities of our times / 1,024 pages (in enlarged third edition).

Sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon may be purchased at your local sefarim store and on-line at:
To order sefer Hadras Ponim Zokon (Hebrew) on-line: Kehot
To order The Beard in Jewish Law (English) on-line: Kehot | Amazon | Judaica World | AbeBooks