Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

Pillars of the Past
5 Lectures

Item #: S331

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Item Description:

Many of the current issues and problems that face us have their antecedents in the nineteenth century religious and cultural upheavals of Eastern European Jewry. This series explores those issues through the lives of some of the greats of that era. How many of us can connect the dots of influence and inspiration that link our past with more recent events? Rabbi Wein, with his wisdom, wit and insight, paints a picture of the past and these great personalities. He illuminates our understanding of current events.

Individual lectures:

The Rebbe of Ruzhin - In an era which pitted secular Jews against the religious while the Czar loomed threateningly over both, the Ruzhiner Rebbe reigned, beloved not only by his Chassidim, but by secularists and even non-Jewish peasants. The Czar, however, considered him a threat and went so far as to kidnap him. This harrowing tale, the Providential rescue, and the treacherous politics of 19th century Europe make for a spellbinding chapter in Eastern European history.

Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Reines - The Land of Israel has a curious way of both uniting and dividing the Jewish people. When the movements to resettle the Land arose, both religious and political divisions threatened all progress. Into the mix came Rabbi Reines, Torah scholar and pragmatic public leader, whose Mizrachi movement united the conflicting strains. Rabbi Wein presents early Zionist history in all its complexity, showing us a man who earned the respect of many - even his opponents.

Rabbi Aryeh Leib Yellin - Though his name is largely unknown today, Rabbi Aryeh Leib Yellin nevertheless made his mark on modern Talmud study. His encyclopedic Yefei Eynayim reconciles the Babylonian Talmud with the Yerushalmi – a work of staggering genius. Equally impressive is the sheer number of imitations it inspired, proving that fame and influence are not necessarily synonymous.

Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever - Rabbi Shmuel Mohilever’s role as leader and founder of Chovevei Tzion is a well known fact of history, but his early career in the rabbinate is just as fascinating. Rabbi Wein captures all sides of this exceptional visionary – his Torah scholarship, his battle with the haskala, and above all, his self-sacrifice and love of Israel.

Rabbi Yosef D. Soloveitchik - As a youth, the Bais Ha Levy was mischievous and sharp-tongued but a defender of the less fortunate. In adulthood, those same qualities propelled him to greatness. With the story of the din Torah over Volozhiner Yeshiva, Rabbi Wein gives us more than the origins of Brisk; he treats us to a picture of how righteousness in one generation brings a happy ending for the next.

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