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The Gaon of Vilna
History Series / Part 2

Item #: 0053

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The city of Vilna was known as "the Jerusalem of Lithuania" - all because of Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna. Keeping a superhuman schedule of Torah learning in which he very seldom slept, the Gaon was not only a giant in Torah and Talmud but deduced from the Holy Writings knowledge of science, mathematics, and music. Called "the father of the yeshiva movement," higher Jewish education still bears the stamp of his ideas and influence.

• Lithuanian Jewry - crowning scholarship amid abject poverty
• the Gaon's influence on the yeshiva and mussar movements
• his prime student, Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin
• his opposition to Chassidus - why did he see it as a danger?
• his views on Kabbala, philosophy, and secular knowledge

For more on the yeshiva movement, please see our series "Yeshivas of Eastern Europe" and "The Fruits of Volozhin."

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