Friends and students knew him only as "Mr. Chouchani" (pronounced "Shoushani"). He would sometimes call himself "Prof. Chouchani," but that was apparently only one of the names he used. He spent his life traveling in East Europe, France, the United States, British Mandatory Palestine, North Africa and South America. A solitary, eternal wanderer, he always wore pauper's clothes and sought food and lodging among friends. He zealously concealed his past, yet wherever he went, he left behind many admirers who were astounded by the scope of his knowledge - in both Jewish and general fields - and his skill at integrating various realms to produce stunning innovations. Yair Sheleg, 2003His real name and nationality remain uncertain. The reasons for his wandering unknown.
His privacy was obsessive, he had some sort of contamination fear, he was angry and dismissive - a "cruel teacher" Levinas called him, though he voluntary engaged Chouchani as his master. More about this fascinating character here and here.