BDE: Israeli Mekubal “The Chalban” (Milkman) Is Niftar


Mekubal Rav Chaim Cohen-Farhiya known as the (The Chalban) Milkman passed away after being recently hospitalized in Tel Hashomer Hospital. Rabbi Cohen was brought to the hospital in serious condition while he was intubated and sedated after having suffered severe medical complications. He was 84-years-old.

His medical condition severely deteriorated on Tuesday afternoon. He was surrounded by his students and family members when he was niftar.

Rabbi Chaim had a custom of not growing a beard or wearing a suit. He did wear a cap and worked for a living in a dairy plant in Givatayim. Many people used to come from all over to receive brachos from him.

The Levaya was held at 7:30PM Israel time and he was buried in the Sanhedria cemetery in Jerusalem.

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  1. Very unusual. What were his achievements such that he was considered a “mekubal” and some came to him for brachos? Was he a talmid chacham who also worked at a regular blue collar job? Was there some reason he rejected the style of lvush we typically associate with a frum Rav? All of these are interesting questions which the article teased about but never addressed. There is obviously more to his life story that many of us would like to know about.

  2. Just to give some background here:
    The Chalban was a very very learned man. I personally attended a shiur of his while I was learning in Israel about 4 years ago. He was definitely an expert in nigleh and nistar. He also published many seforim called “Talelei Chaim” on various topics, look them up at any major seforim store or online, they are very deep. I don’t know much about his personal life and it seems very few people did. Even if you ask people that know of him or have learned his seforim/attended shiurim, he was very much a simple man who kept to himself. He was very humble and dressed as any common man while earning his living. My rosh yeshiva spoke very highly of him as well. May he remembered for his greatness and may his inspiration live on to those who learned from him.