Ha-Gaon He-Hasid: In His Own Time and for Succeeding Generations

Immanuel Etkes

in The Gaon of Vilna

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2002 | ISBN: 9780520223943
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520925076 | DOI:
Ha-Gaon He-Hasid: In His Own Time and for Succeeding Generations

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)


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This chapter describes the unusual distinction of the Gaon of Vilna's achievements as a Torah scholar, a distinction that made him a symbol and model of greatness in Torah scholarship in the eyes of his disciples and in the eyes of many others. It attempts to reconstruct the figure of the Gaon as it was conceived and interpreted by those few who saw his face based on the introductions written by the Gaon's two sons and a few of his students to his posthumously published works. The analysis reveals that in various ways the Gaon's disciples and sons expressed their conviction that before them was a person of superhuman dimensions and that the sum of his writings represented merely a drop of the sea of his wisdom.

Keywords: Gaon of Vilna; Torah scholarship; model of greatness; superhuman dimensions; posthumously published works

Chapter.  11004 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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