Dear Family Worldwide,

We are deeply pained to share with you the tragic news of the untimely passing of our very own Rabbi Yehoshua Binyamin Gordon, Torah teacher par excellence.

As many of you know, Rabbi Gordon’s knowledge, clarity, humor and down-to-earth sensibility made learning with him edifying, enlightening and enjoyable. It’s no wonder that within two short years of allowing his daily Torah classes to be streamed live on (in mid-2009), he gained the unique and historic distinction of teacher to the largest classroom of daily Torah study in the world!

Rabbi Gordon rose daily at 4 a.m. to prepare for his classes, giving his all to his students across the globe.

Less known, however, to his worldwide family of students were the immense responsibilities he undertook in caring for the San Fernando Valley’s 250,000 Jews.

When Rabbi Gordon and his wife, Deborah moved to the Valley in 1973, the Rebbe, Rabbi Menachem M. Schneerson, of righteous memory, blessed them with immense success to accomplish their mission: to help every single Jew in the Valley achieve his or her Jewish potential. In so doing, Rabbi Gordon recruited 35 additional emissary couples, and established some 26 Chabad-Lubavitch centers, to serve area Jews.

Shouldering a great deal of responsibility for the successful joint Valley operations, including an at times crushing fundraising load, Rabbi Gordon also counseled couples and individuals and made himself available to fellow shluchim around the world who sought his advice, all the while raising a wonderful family with his wife. He did his utmost to maximize every moment.

Yet his Torah-teaching—to his community and to the family worldwide—held a special place in his heart. It meant a great deal to him that on his travels around the globe for Chabad, he would encounter people from all walks of life, who told him: “Rabbi, I learn with you daily”; “You’re my personal teacher”; and so much more.

Rabbi Gordon lived the knowledge that rabbinic, organizational and budgetary responsibilities notwithstanding, the very first responsibility of a shliachan emissary of the Lubavitcher Rebbe—was to impart the Torah’s wisdom to others.

And he felt fortunate to have each of you worldwide as his students, no less fortunate than each of us felt to have him as a teacher. He had a unique intimacy to him that came across the screen, helping each of us to feel as if we were in the room with him and he was speaking with us directly.


While Rabbi Gordon was always ready to put himself out for others, he did not want others to be inconvenienced by him. It was this steadfast principle that caused him to prohibit us at from informing anyone of his illness upon its discovery more than a year ago. He could not bear the thought of so many people walking around pained in any way because of him. With the heaviest of hearts, we obliged. And for as long as he possibly could he went about his business as usual, including teaching his daily classes.

When his energy waned and he suffered great pain, Rabbi Gordon derived daily strength and satisfaction from the knowledge that he was continuing to help us all learn Torah, through the filmed archive of his classes, which we will forever air daily on

The soul of HaRav Yehoshua Binyamin ben HaRav Shalom Dov Ber has ascended on high, but he has left us a strong and lasting beautiful legacy of Torah scholarship permeated with Chassidic warmth, which will remain with us forever.

We know from discussions we had with him that it would bring him the greatest nachas, the greatest joy and satisfaction, if in his memory we would each:

1.Rededicate ourselves to the Rebbe’s daily learning programs of Rambam, Chumash, Tanya, and Tehillim to which Rabbi Gordon gave his all; and

2. Inspire at least one more friend who does not yet participate in these classes to begin learning with Rabbi Gordon daily.


To ensure that we all remember our teacher and friend, and to give his wife and children an inkling of what he meant to so many of us, we encourage you to post your memories and condolences below. (You may also choose the option of sending your message privately to Rabbi Gordon’s family. To do so, please indicate in your comment that you do not want your message posted online.)

May G‑d bless Rabbi Gordon’s family, including all of us around the world, to be comforted with the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, with the coming of Moshiach speedily in our days.

— The Team

An obituary of Rabbi Yehoshua B. Gordon appears here.