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Rabbi Naftoli Trop

Rabbi Naftoli Trop (1871– September 24, 1928) was the Rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Raduń, Poland. He was a renowned Talmudist and Talmid Chacham.

 Early years

He was born in Grodno, where he studied with his father, Rabbi Moshe Trop, who was Rosh yeshiva of a local yeshiva. At 14, he left to learn in Kelm, where his study partner for ten years was Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz, who went on to become mashgiach of the Mir yeshiva. Rabbi Trop proceeded to briefly study in Slabodka and Telz, where he became close to Rabbi Eliezer Gordon . He learned for a short time in the Novardok yeshiva in Slonim, where he formed a close relationship with the Alter, Rabbi Yosef Yoizel Horowitz. In 1889, Rabbi Trop returned to Slabodka, when Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak (Itzele) Rabinowitz was appointed Rosh yeshiva. He became a close pupil of the latter.

At the age of twenty-one, Rabbi Trop became engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel. However, she died a few months before the wedding. In 1895, Rabbi Trop married Pesya Leah, the daughter of the well-known Rabbi Eliezer Yaakov Chavas of Yanishok. Shortly after the wedding, he returned to Kelm where he joined a large group of outstanding young married scholars. He was greatly influenced by the mussar approach he chiefly absorbed in Kelm, but also in Slobodka and by means of his contact with Rabbi Horowitz in Slonim. After four years of studying in Kelm, Rabbi Trop was appointed rosh yeshiva of the Or HaChaim yeshiva in Slabodka, by its founder Rabbi Tzvi (Hirshel) Levitan.


In 1903, by invitation of the Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Trop replaced Rabbi Moshe Landinski as Rosh yeshiva in Raduń, where he remained for the rest of his life and had a major impact. Among his students in Radin were Rabbis Dovid Leibowitz, Yechezkel Sarna and Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman. Rabbi Kahaneman studied under Rabbi Trop for over five years in Radin and was effusive in his teacher's praises.


Rabbi Trop's wife Pesya Leah contracted typhus and died in 1920. His oldest son Avraham also served as a Rosh yeshiva in Radin until the outbreak of World War II. He immigrated to the United States, where he became Rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in New York, and was later Rosh yeshiva of Karlin-Stolin. He settled in Israel a year before he died in 1978.

Rabbi Trop's second son Reuven immigrated to Palestine with the group of Slobodka students who founded the Knesses Yisroel yeshiva in Chevron and later headed the yishuv yeshiva. Rabbi Trop's oldest daughter Toiba married Rabbi Yehoshua Eizek Kaminetsky, one of Radin's finest students, also known as "Eizekel Kobriner". He and his family were murdered by the Nazis.

His second daughter married the brilliant Rabbi Boruch Yosef Feivelson, who succeeded Rabbi Trop as Rosh yeshiva of Radin, but died only four years after his appointment.

• Chiddushei haGranat, a series of responsa published in 1989
• In 1942, Rabbi Trop's lectures on Nedarim were published, having been exactingly prepared by Rabbi C. M. Luban in the United States. In 1985, Rabbi Moshe Drayen of Jerusalem published additional methodical editions of Rabbi Trop's discourses; Rabbi Trop's works are now mainstays in yeshivas worldwide.

Eilat Gordin Levitan