AUDIO: Prof. Sorkin Used ‘Igros Kodesh’ Of Lubavitcher Rebbe To Decide To Treat Rav Shteinman Or Vishnitzer Rebbe


As YWN has been reporting, the doctor treating Maran Harav Shteinman is Chief of ICU Medicine Prof. Eliyahu Sorkin of Mayanei Yeshua Hospital in Bnei Brak. Additionally, as YWN has been reporting, the Vishnitzer Rebbe of Monsey is on a respirator in Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, and was scheduled to undergo a critical procedure on Wednesday. Before the procedure would be done, the family of the Rebbe wanted a second opinion, and decided to reach out to Prof. Sorkin to have him fly to NY.

Prof. Sorkin has treated many of Israel’s great rabbonim, which is the case, due to his position and wealth of experience and expertise.

It was agreed that he would fly out on Wednesday evening – but suddenly, the condition of Maran HaRav Shteinman deteriorated, and Sorkin faced a dilemma of what to do. Should he travel to NY to treat the Vishnitzer Rebbe, or stay in Bnei Brak and treat Maran Rav Shteinman?

Being that the professor is a Lubavitcher Chabad, the professor turned to the “Igros Kodesh” for his answer. For those that are unaware, the “Igros Kodesh” is a collection of correspondence and responses (32 Seforim) of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rav Menachem Mendel Schneerson ZT”L.

The answer he received was quite clear. The Rebbe wrote “Do not become involved with Rabbonim abroad” and it appears he followed by remaining and caring for Rav Shteinman. The Igros Kodesh Teshuva is attached below.

The Professor then gave a radio interview explaining the details of the story. Listen below:

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. Any other doctor would have made the same decision…you don’ leave the bedside of your primary patient who is in critical condition in the ICU to fly off to render a “second opinion'” to another rav who is being treated in a hospital whose medical staff is among the top-rated in the world. Not even a close call and the answer would have been the same for any top doc anywhere, whether Chabad or Litvish….the fact that he could find some guidance in the rebbe’s writings is interesting but not determinative

  2. I congratulate him for the decision, as I would assume he was passing up a very nice amount of money. I am, however, troubled that he resorted to magic rather than a posek to help him decide what to do. Even it weren’t Rav Shteinman, and the take care of local Rabbonnim magic wouldn’t have applied, surely there were other critically ill people in the Ma’ayanei HaYeshua ICU. What’s the hava amina that the key doctor in a small hospital’s ICU could abandon his post to leave for several days to give an opinion in a hospital that already has a team of world-class intensivists — and in a city (NY0 full of world-class intensivists?
    Not only do I not understand what the hava amina would be in terms of halacha, I don’t understand why he would not lose his medical license in Israel for professional malpractice.

  3. To #2, I think getting a psak halacha from a tshuva of a chacham is more determinative than seeing what “any other doctor would have” decided, or taking the word of an anonymous YWN commenter about what you do or don’t do.