Nesivos Chen by Rabbi Alter Noach HaKohen Michalensky, London 1899

00002 netivot chen_0001Rabbi Michalensky was born in 1852 in Neschitz, near Kovel.  He was the first Chassidic Rebbe to settle in London, and according to Rabbi Harry Rabinowicz in his book “A World Apart” (the only source that I have found for information about him) was a colourful, fighting, enigmatic and erratic personality.  In 1870 he travelled to the Holy Land, where he spent five years studying Cabbala under the guidance of the great Cabbalist, Rabbi Mordecai Abadi (who died in 1923).  In 1879, in collaboration with Mordecai Abadi he published a book, Chen Mordecai – Darchei Chen.  He was a controversial rabbi in several towns, including Remet, near Sighet, Jassy in Roumania, and Yardanov near Cracow. In January 1895 he came to London where he lived first at 27 Sidney Square, and then at 37 Tredegar Square, Bow.

The Jewish Chronicle describes him: “He was a great Talmudist, and still greater Cabbalist; he prayed much, wore two sets of phylacteries at the same time….”
“The Rav… is somewhat under 40, has a fine powerful face – good features – clear grey eyes, long Peot and flowing black beard of patriarchal dimensions and a tendency to curl. he wore a gown of thick black corded silk reaching to his feet, confined about the waist be a handsome girdle. On his head he wore a high sable hat with velvet crown.”

He stayed in London for seven years, became a British citizen and changed his name from Michalensky to Kaizer.  He died in Jerusalem in 1920.

The book starts with a letter from his mentor, Rabbi Mordecai Abadi:

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This is followed by an introduction from the publisher:

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Finally, here is the first short chapter of Nesivos Chen:

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