Get The Gaon of Vilna: The Man and His Image PDF

By Immanuel Etkes, Jeffrey Green

ISBN-10: 0520223942

ISBN-13: 9780520223943

ISBN-10: 0585441154

ISBN-13: 9780585441153

A mythical determine in his personal lifetime, Rabbi Eliahu ben Shlomo Zalman (1720-1797) used to be referred to as the "Gaon of Vilna." He was once the stated grasp of Talmudic reviews within the brilliant highbrow middle of Vilna, respected all through japanese Europe for his studying and his skill to traverse comfortably likely hostile domain names of concept and task. After his demise, the parable that have been woven round him grew to become much more strong and used to be expressed in a number of public photos. The formation of those photos used to be motivated as a lot via the desires and desires of these who clung to and relied on them as by means of the particular determine of the Gaon. during this penetrating examine, Immanuel Etkes sheds mild on features of the Vilna Gaon's "real" personality and lines a number of public photographs of him as they've got built and unfold from the early 19th century until eventually the present.

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A mythical determine in his personal lifetime, Rabbi Eliahu ben Shlomo Zalman (1720-1797) was once referred to as the "Gaon of Vilna. " He used to be the stated grasp of Talmudic reports within the vivid highbrow heart of Vilna, respected all through jap Europe for his studying and his skill to traverse conveniently possible adverse domain names of proposal and task.

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One of the Gaon’s virtues, according to Levine, was his familiarity with secular knowledge: “When he was twelve years old, there was no science too difficult for him. . 8 Further confirmation of the Gaon’s amazing proficiency in the secular sciences could be derived—so claimed Levine—from the “enemy camp” itself. Aliyot Eliyahu includes two episodes concerned with scientists’ impressions of the Gaon. The first episode relates that when the Gaon paid a visit to Berlin, he was approached by a German professor, the vilna gaon and haskalah 43 head of three celebrated universities, who presented the Gaon with a complicated problem that he and his colleagues had been unable to solve.

And he revised them with evidence as clear as the sun; only two grave things in the mysteries of the Torah of the Zohar were questionable for him. . 32 This is the essence of what Rabbi Israel heard from his colleague Rabbi Menahem Mendel about the ceremony that the Gaon held when he finished his interpretation of the Song of Songs. I use the word ceremony because from the testimony presented here it appears that the Gaon did indeed initiate an event of exceptional character. The invitation of his son’s father-in-law and his son to join him and his disciple, and the instruction he gave to close the windows and light candles in full daylight, and of course the words he said to those present—all of this indicates his intention to make the conclusion of his commentary on the Song of Songs into an event of ceremonial character.

And, in addition to teaching 40 the vilna gaon and haskalah himself the whole theory of grammar and language, and all the theoretical sciences, he urged wise men versed in languages to translate into the holy tongue books of secular knowledge by Gentile scholars. As further proof of the Gaon’s favorable attitude to the goals of Haskalah, Fin cites the testimony of the great rabbi’s sons regarding their father’s ideal curriculum: First of all he cautioned . . to be expert in all twenty-four books [of the Bible,] with their vocalization and cantilation.

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The Gaon of Vilna: The Man and His Image by Immanuel Etkes, Jeffrey Green


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