Volozhin, also known as Valozhyn, Volozhy'N, Wolozyn, Volozine, Wolozine
Volozhin, Oshmiany uezd, Vilna gubernia, Latitude: 54¼05' Longitude: 26¼32'
Click on Photos to Enlarge
Family Portraits (originated predominantly in the Vilna region)
Abramowicz | Abramson | Adler | Albin | Alperovitz | Alter | Altshuler | Anisfeld | Appelfeld | Arotzker | Astrinsky | Avnaim | Axelrod | Bader | Baksht | Barbakov | Barmatz | Basok | Behr_Ber | Bekker | Belkind | Bendet Ben Tovim | Bengis | Berger | Berkman | Berkovitz | Berlin | Berman | Bernstein | Berzon | Bloch | Blumenfrucht | Blumenkrantz | Bobrowicz | Bogin | Botwinik | Bozparozbany | Brezner | Brin | Bronitsky | Bronstein | Brudner | Brudno | Budgor | Budovnitz | Bumstein | Bunimovitz | Cahanovitz | Chabas | Chadash | Chagall | Chait | Charad/Harat | Chayklin | Chedekel | Cheres | Chevlin | Chodes (Hodesh) | Chomsky | Chosid | Codosh | Costrell | Cugell | Cymer | Danishevski | Dardak | Davidson| Deitch | Demsky | Deutsch | Dikenstein | Dimenstein | Dinnerstein | Diskin | Dlot | Dokshitzki | Dolgow | Dorfan | Drechinski | Drenger | Druyanov | Dubin | Dudman | Dunkelblum | Durmashkin | Dworzecki | Ehrlich | Eidelman | Eishiski | Ekman | Elkes | Elyashiv | Epstein | Erenburg | Etkind | Evans | Falk | Farberman | Feigel | Feigelman | Feingold | Ferber | Fertig | Feygelson | Fidler | Finder | Finkel | Fischhab | Flant | Fragman | Frankfurt | Friedman | Furman | Futerfas | Garber | Garfinkel | Garnun | Gdud | Gelman | Gershovitz | Gershwin | Gerstein | Ginsburg | Gitelzon | Gitlin | Gitlitz | Gold | Goldman | Goldstoff | Golob | Gordin | Gordon | Gornitzky | Gorodesky | Goron | Greenholtz | Greenhouse| Greenstein | Grosbein | Gross | Grundfest | Gumplowicz | Gurevitz | Gurfein | Gutman | Gutwirth | Halperin Galperin | Harkavy | Harmach | Harris | Hayutin | Heifetz | Helberg | Herzog | Highstein | Hillman | Hochstein | Hofenberg | Hoffman | Hollander | Ichlov | Ikholov | Isaacson | Israelit | Iwjan | Jackan | Jaffe | Kafkafi | Kagan | Kaganovich | Kahan | Kalish | Kalka | Kamenetsky | Kanterovitz | Kantor | Kapit | Kaplan | Kaswan | Katz | Katznelson | Katzowitz | Kazalovski | Kisber | |Kivilovitz | Klaczko | Klausner | Kline | Klingberg | Knoblauch | Kopilovitz | Korngold | Kosovsky | Kotler | Kowarski | Kramnik | Krechmer | Kreines | Kremer | Kriger | Krivitsky | Kugel | Kulbak | Kunin | Kunstler | Kuperstock | Kur | Kushner | Kuzenitz | Landau | Lane | Laskov | Laufer | Lavit | Leibmann | Lemberger | Lemkin | Lemlich | Levin | Levitan | Lieberman | Liff | Lifshitz | Limon | Lipetz | Lipson | Lunin | Luntz | Luria | Macht | Madeisker Madesker | Magid | Maisel | Malbin | Malishkevitz | Malkin | Mandel | Matusov | Meirovitz | Meitin | Melamed | Meltzer | Mer | Merovich | Milchan | Milikowsky | Mon | Mordehowicz | Mosberg | Mushkin | Norman | Oshri | Pablovsky | Palevsky | Papkin | Parlov | Patchornik | Pauker | Pearlman | Pelavin | Penski | Perlin | Persky | Peschkowsky | Pines | Pintov | Pistonovich_Pistenowicz | Pliskin | Podberesky| Pokempner | Pont | Popel | Popky | Poremba | Potashnik| Ptalis | Pupkin | Rabin | Rabinovitz| Rabunski | Raichel | Rakower | Reitshtein | Reznik | Riar | Ritov | Rogovin | Rogozin | Rolnik | Romm | Rosen | Rosenberg | Rosenblum | Rosenson | Rubin | Rubinson | Rubinstein | Ruderman | Rutkowski | Sacks | Saliternik | Sandler | Schlesinger | Schneerson | Schreibman | Segal | Shapiro | Sharett | Sheinhous | Shenker | Shepsenwohl | Shereshevsky | Sherman | Shertok | Sheskin | Shiff | Shimshelvitz | Shiniyuk | Shmukler | Shochat | Shoolman | Shorr | Shperber | Shpringer | Shrebnick | Shriro | Shubitz | Shulkin | Shulman | Shuster | Silberfeld | Simon | Sklut | Skolnick | Skuk | Slifkin/Slivkin | Slonimsky | Slutsky | Smorgonski | Sobol | Solonowitz | Soloveichik | Sosensky | Sparber | Spektor | Spilka | Spreiregen | Srebnik | Strashun | Streisand | Strunsky | Stupel | Sud | Sudowicz | Sutzkever | Swirsky | Szewach | Szyszko | Tabachovitz | Taibel | Tarant | Tarshish | Tauger | Teitz | Todres | Turov | Twersky | Vaksmakher | Vand Polak | Viniar | Virovich | Vishniak | Volansky | Volcani | Vorfman | Wachstock | Wainer | Wasserman | Weinberg | Weindling | Weinschel | Weisbord | Wilbushevitz | Wilder | Wilkanski | Wolfowich | Wouk | Wulkan | Yalovker | Yafe | Yakimovsky | Yatzkan | Yudelowitz | Zafransky | Zaltzman | Zandman | Zavodnick | Zecharia | Zeidlin Zeldin | Zelmanovich | Zimbal | Zimmerman | Ziskind | Zonabend Sonnabend | Zuckerman | Zusman
| Hello Eilat,
I hope that everything is alright with you.
TOWN IN SOUTHERN MOLODECHNO OBLAST, BELORUSSIA.
IN POLAND BEFORE 1793 AND BETWEEN 1921 AND 1945.
JEWS WERE LIVING IN VOLOZHIN IN THE 16TH CENTURY. THEY NUMBERED 383 IN
1766, 2,452 IN 1892, AND 1,434 IN 1921; OUT OF 5,600 INHABITANTS IN 1931,
THE LARGE MAJORITY WERE JEWS. THEY WERE LARGELY OCCUPIED IN SMALL-SCALE
COMMERCE, FOREST INDUSTRIES, FLOUR MILLING, TANNING, BRICKMAKING, AND
CRAFTS FOR THE REQUIREMENTS OF THE AGRICULTURAL LOCALITY. IN WORLD WAR II,
ON THE EVE OF THE HOLOCAUST, ACCORDING TO ESTIMATES BY SURVIVORS, THERE
WERE APPROXIMATELY 3,000 JEWS IN VOLOZHIN. THEY WERE "LIQUIDATED" IN
THREE AKTIONEN, THE FIRST FOLLOWING THE GERMAN OCCUPATION OF THE TOWN,
THE SECOND ON MAY 10, 1942, AND THE THIRD IN SEPTEMBER 1942.
VOLOZHIN ACQUIRED IMPORTANCE IN JEWISH LIFE IN LITHUANIA AND RUSSIA IN THE
19TH CENTURY FROM ITS YESHIVAH FOUNDED BY CHAYYIM VOLOZHINER, CALLED
ETZ CHAYYIM. IT WAS MAINLY ESTABLISHED TO SERVE AS A BARRIER TO
THE SPREAD OF CHASIDISM, ESPECIALLY AMONG THE YOUTH WHEN IT BECAME CLEAR
THAT THE STRONG OPPOSITION TO CHASIDISM HAD BEEN UNABLE TO HALT ITS
ADVANCE. R. CHAYYIM CONSIDERED THAT IT WAS THE PILPUL METHOD OF YESHIVAH
TEACHING, DIVORCING STUDY OF THE TALMUD FROM ITS HALAKHIC FOUNDATIONS, THAT
WAS THE REASON FOR THE DISSATISFACTION AMONG THE YOUTH AND THAT PUSHED
MANY OF THEM INTO THE ARMS OF CHASIDISM BECAUSE OF THE RELIGIOUS STIMULUS
AND INSPIRATION IT OFFERED. TWO YESHIVOT ALREADY EXISTED IN VILNA WHEN R.
CHAYYIM DECIDED TO ESTABLISH THE YESHIVAH IN VOLOZHIN. R. CHAYYIM'S
ENDEAVORS PREVENTED THE YESHIVAH FROM BECOMING A MERELY LOCAL INSTITUTION,
AND MADE IT INTO A FOUNDATION SUPPORTED BY THE WHOLE OF JEWRY; IT THUS
BECAME A PROTOTYPE FOR THE LITHUANIAN YESHIVOT FOUNDED SUBSEQUENTLY.
TEACHING IN THE YESHIVAH BEGAN WITH ONLY TEN STUDENTS, BUT IT RAPIDLY
ACQUIRED A NAME AMONG THE JEWISH PUBLIC. IT BECAME SO HIGHLY ESTEEMED
THAT THE MILITARY GOVERNOR OF LITHUANIA IN 1813, DURING THE NAPOLEONIC
WARS, ISSUED A DOCUMENT OF PROTECTION TO R. CHAYYIM INSTRUCTING ALL
MILITARY UNITS "TO SAFEGUARD THE CHIEF RABBI OF VOLOZHIN, CHAYYIM BEN
ISAAC, HIS SCHOOLS AND EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS... AND TO EXTEND TO THE
ABOVE-MENTIONED CHIEF RABBI EVERY ASSISTANCE AND PROTECTION". THE
NUMBER OF STUDENTS HAD ALREADY RISEN TO 100. AFTER R. CHAYYIM'S DEATH IN
1821 HIS SON R. ISAAC SERVED AS PRINCIPAL OF THE YESHIVAH. AROUND
THIS TIME (1824) THE RUSSIAN AUTHORITIES DECIDED TO CLOSE THE YESHIVAH
FOR REASONS THAT ARE NOT CLEAR. DESPITE THE OFFICIAL ORDER PROHIBITING
ITS EXISTENCE, THE YESHIVAH CONTINUED TO FUNCTION AND EXPAND. THE NUMBER OF
STUDENTS ROSE TO 200 AND ITS BUILDINGS WERE ENLARGED. THE HEAD OF VOLOZHIN
YESHIVAH WAS CONSIDERED AT THE TIME TO BE AMONG THE LEADERS OF RUSSIAN
JEWRY, EVEN BY THE AUTHORITIES, AND WHEN IN 1843 THE GOVERNMENT DECIDED, IN
LINE WITH THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF ITS "JEWISH COMMITTEE", TO CONVENE A
CONFERENCE OF RABBIS TO DISCUSS PROBLEMS OF JEWISH EDUCATION, R.
ISAAC WAS INVITED TO ATTEND. A CONTROVERSY HAD ALREADY BEGUN IN THE YESHIVAH,
BECAUSE, IN CONTRADICTION TO THE TRADITION LAID DOWN BY ITS FOUNDER, R.
ELIEZER ISAAC INCLINED TO FAVOR PILPUL, AND HAD A FOLLOWING AMONG THE
STUDENTS. AFTER THE DEATH OF RABBI ISAAC IN 1849, R. ELIEZER FRIED WAS
APPOINTED PRINCIPAL OF THE YESHIVAH AND R. NAPHTALI TZEVI JUDAH BERLIN
THE VICE-PRINCIPAL. R. ELIEZER ISAAC DID NOT LIVE MUCH LONGER, AND AFTER
HIS DEATH IN 1854, WHEN BOTH R. BERLIN AND R. CHAYYIM'S GRANDSON, R.
JOSEPH BAER SOLOVEICHIK, WERE BOTH APPOINTED PRINCIPALS, A SEVERE
DISAGREEMENT BROKE OUT OVER THE METHOD OF INSTRUCTION, IN WHICH R. JOSEPH
BAER FAVORED THE PILPUL METHOD, AND HAD MANY SUPPORTERS AMONG THE YESHIVAH
STUDENTS. WHEN THE CONTROVERSY THREATENED TO ENDANGER THE EXISTENCE OF THE
YESHIVAH, A DELEGATION OF PROMINENT LITHUANIAN RABBIS WENT TO VOLOZHIN IN
ORDER TO SETTLE THE CONTROVERSY. THE COMMITTEE RULED THAT R. BERLIN SHOULD BE
THE PRINCIPAL OF THE YESHIVAH WHILE R. JOSEPH BAER SHOULD SERVE AS HIS
DEPUTY. IN 1865 R. JOSEPH BAER LEFT THE YESHIVAH TO SERVE AS RABBI OF
BREST-LITOVSK (BRISK). R. RAPHAEL SHAPIRA, SON-IN-LAW OF R. BERLIN, WAS
APPOINTED IN HIS PLACE, SERVING IN THIS POSITION UNTIL 1881. HIS SUCCESSOR
WAS R. CHAYYIM SOLOVEICHIK, SON OF JOSEPH BAER AND GRANDSON OF R. BERLIN.
AT THE END OF THE 1850S THE GOVERNMENT RENEWED THE CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE
CHADARIM AND YESHIVOT. IT WAS HELPED BY A NUMBER OF THE MASKILIM WHO SENT
MEMORANDA TO THE STATE- APPOINTED "JEWISH COMMITTEE" REQUESTING THAT THE
YESHIVOT SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN AS "NURSERIES OF FANATICAL RABBIS".
IN APRIL 1858 THE YESHIVAH WAS CLOSED DOWN BY ORDER OF THE AUTHORITIES ON
THE GROUND THAT THE SYLLABUS HAD NOT BEEN SUBMITTED FOR APPROVAL TO THE
MINISTRY OF EDUCATION.
PROMINENT JEWS IN VILNA AND MINSK SENT A REQUEST TO THE AUTHORITIES TO
PERMIT THE YESHIVAH TO REMAIN OPEN. DESPITE ALL THE EFFORTS ON THE PART OF
THE JEWS, THE AUTHORITIES DID NOT RESCIND THEIR DECISION. HOWEVER, LIKE
THE ORDER OF CLOSURE OF 1824, IT DID NOT HAVE NOTICEABLE PRACTICAL
EFFECTS. THE NUMBER OF PUPILS CONTINUED TO GROW, REACHING 300 AT THE END
OF THE 1870S AND 400 AT THE END OF THE 1880S, BY THEN ALSO ATTRACTING
STUDENTS FROM OUTSIDE RUSSIA, FROM ENGLAND, GERMANY, AUSTRIA, AND EVEN
AMERICA. A DAILY PROGRAM WAS ESTABLISHED FOR THE STUDENTS. PRAYERS WERE
HELD AT 8 A.M., AND THEY THEN TOOK BREAKFAST. AFTERWARD THE WEEKLY
PORTION WAS READ AND EXPLAINED BY THE PRINCIPAL OF THE YESHIVAH. STUDY
PROCEEDED FROM 10 A.M. TO 1 P.M., DURING WHICH THE SUPERVISOR ENSURED
THAT NONE OF THE STUDENTS MISSED STUDY. THERE FOLLOWED THE LECTURE
(DELIVERED IN THE 1880S BY R. CHAYYIM SOLOVEICHIK, SON OF R. JOSEPH BAER,
IN THE FIRST PART OF THE WEEK, AND BY R. BERLIN IN THE SECOND). THE MIDDAY
MEAL FOLLOWED. THE STUDENTS RETURNED TO THE YESHIVAH AT 4 P.M., HELD
MINCHAH, AND STUDIED UNTIL 10 P.M. EVENING PRAYERS WERE THEN HELD, PRECEDING
SUPPER. MANY WOULD RETURN TO THE YESHIVAH AND STUDY UNTIL MIDNIGHT. THEY
WOULD SLEEP UNTIL 3 A.M. AND RETURN TO STUDY UNTIL THE MORNING.
IN THE 1860S OPPOSITION BEGAN TO BE VOICED IN THE JEWISH PRESS TO THE
YESHIVOT. THE EXTREME MASKILIM DEMANDED THAT THEY SHOULD BE CLOSED DOWN;
OTHERS CRITICIZED THEIR SYSTEM OF STUDY AND ITS CONTENTS AND WISHED TO
INTRODUCE GENERAL SUBJECTS, AS HAD BEEN INSTITUTED IN THE
RABBINICAL SEMINARIES IN GERMANY AND IN WESTERN COUNTRIES. R. BERLIN
ADAMANTLY OPPOSED ANY CHANGES OF THIS NATURE. A NUMBER OF JEWISH COMMUNAL
LEADERS REGARDED IT NECESSARY TO DEMONSTRATE TO THE AUTHORITIES THAT THE JEWS
WERE READY TO MAKE CHANGES. ON PRESSURE FROM THEM IN 1887 A NUMBER OF
PROMINENT RABBIS, INCLUDING ISAAC ELCHANAN SPEKTOR, JOSEPH BAER
SOLOVEICHIK, AND R. BERLIN, CONVENED IN ST. PETERSBURG, AND AT THIS
MEETING IT WAS DECIDED ON THE APPOINTMENT OF A SPECIAL TEACHER TO
INSTRUCT THE YESHIVAH STUDENTS IN RUSSIAN AND ARITHMETIC, PROVIDED THAT
THESE STUDIES WOULD NOT BE CONDUCTED WITHIN THE YESHIVAH, BUT
OUTSIDE IT. VOLOZHIN YESHIVAH REFRAINED FROM TRANSLATING THIS DECISION
EXTERNAL INFLUENCES BEGAN TO INFILTRATE THE YESHIVAH. AT FIRST THE
INFLUENCE OF THE MUSAR MOVEMENT HAD BEGUN TO BE FELT. THE IDEAS OF
HASKALAH ALSO SPREAD IN THE YESHIVAH. IN THE 1880S THE CHOVEVEI ZION ALSO
ATTRACTED MANY STUDENTS, AND R. BERLIN'S SYMPATHY WITH THE MOVEMENT HELPED
ITS SPREAD IN THE YESHIVAH. A GROWING NUMBER OF STUDENTS READ HASKALAH
LITERATURE IN HEBREW AND OTHER LANGUAGES. MASKILIM BEGAN TO DEMAND CHANGES
IN THE YESHIVAH'S REGIME, WHICH FINALLY BROUGHT INTERVENTION BY THE
RUSSIAN EDUCATIONAL AUTHORITIES. ON DEC. 22, 1891, THE RUSSIAN MINISTER
OF EDUCATION PUBLISHED THE "REGULATIONS CONCERNING VOLOZHIN YESHIVAH",
WHICH DEFINED THE YESHIVAH AS A PRIVATE OPEN EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION, AND
ITS PUPILS WERE REQUIRED TO STUDY GENERAL SUBJECTS TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
STANDARD. R. BERLIN DID NOT AGREE TO THE REGULATIONS, AND ON JAN.
22, 1892, THE AUTHORITIES ANNOUNCED THE CLOSURE OF THE YESHIVAH. R. BERLIN
AND THE STUDENTS WERE EXPELLED FROM VOLOZHIN.
A FEW YEARS LATER THE YESHIVAH WAS REOPENED. IN 1895 THE GOVERNMENT
PERMITTED USE OF THE YESHIVAH BUILDING AS A PLACE OF PRAYER. THE STUDENTS
REASSEMBLED AND LAID THE FOUNDATION FOR REVIVING THE YESHIVAH. IT
CONTINUED TO EXPAND AND DEVELOP UNTIL WORLD WAR I. WHEN THE BATTLE ZONE
REACHED THE VICINITY OF VILNA, THE HEADS OF THE YESHIVAH LEFT VOLOZHIN
WITH THE REST OF THE JEWISH REFUGEES FOR THE RUSSIAN INTERIOR
(MINSK). THE YESHIVAH DID NOT RESUME ACTIVITY UNTIL 1921. IT EXISTED, THOUGH
WITH REDUCED NUMBERS AND INFLUENCE, UNTIL THE LIQUIDATION OF THE LAST 64
STUDENTS IN THE HOLOCAUST. THE LAST TO HEAD THE YESHIVAH WERE R.
JACOB SHAPIRA (D. 1936) AND HIS SON-IN-LAW CHAYYIM WULKIN, WHO PERISHED
IN THE HOLOCAUST. MANY OF THE STUDENTS OF VOLOZHIN YESHIVAH DISTINGUISHED
THEMSELVES IN HEBREW LTERATURE AND PUBLIC LEADERSHIP, INCLUDING CH. N.
BIALIK, WHO LEFT AN ENDURING MONUMENT TO THE YESHIVAH IN HIS POEM
"HA-MATMID", AND M. J. BERDYCZEWSKI.
BETH HATEFUTSOTH - FAMILY NAMES AND COMMUNITIES DATABASE
|(Pol., Wolozyn), town in the Novogrudok district of the Belorussian SSR, which in the interwar period was part of Poland. In September 1939, when Volozhin was annexed to the Soviet Union, it had a Jewish population of thirty - five hundred. Volozhin was famous for its yeshiva (rabbinical academy).The German Occupation and the First Aktion. The Germans entered Volozhin on June 25, 1941, and in August established a ghetto. In the first Aktion, on October 28, 300 Jews were seized for "work" and killed. The Germans also extracted a payment from the Jews. At the beginning of May 1942 they demanded that the Judenrat chairman surrender 100 Jews to them, and when he refused he was shot dead publicly. On May 9 the Germans hitched the town rabbi, Hershel Rudensky, and several other Jews to a carriage loaded with policemen and made them pull it along and sing "Katiusha" (a Russian song) en route, with local residents looking on and mocking.The Aktion of May 1942. Another Aktion was launched on May 10, 1942, this one lasting for a whole week. With an SS - Untersturmfuhrer by the name of Grabe in charge, the Aktion was carried out by Belorussian, Ukrainian, and Lithuanian policemen. When the Jews arrived at the assembly points, some of them wearing prayer shawls and phylacteries, groups of youngsters ridiculed them. One group of Jews, during a stop on the way, had filled their pockets with sand and when the Germans approached, they threw sand in their eyes, making it possible for some to escape. About 1,700 Jews were assembled next to the bathhouse. They were all shot to death and their bodies cremated; babies were thrown alive into the flames. Another 800 Jews were assembled in the blacksmith's shop. Rabbi Reuben Hodosh of Olshan, who was among them, urged the Jews to dismantle the forges and attack the SS men with iron bars, bricks, and stones and try to make their escape. Rabbi Israel Lunin, a member of the Judenrat, objected on the ground that even a short span of life was worth living and must not be put at risk. When the Germans began shooting, the Jews tried to get away, and some succeeded.The Third Aktion and Jewish Response to It. A third Aktion took place on August 29, in the course of which the last of the ghetto's Jews were murdered. About eighty Jews escaped; some of them later fought in the ranks of the Staritski partisan unit of the Tchkalov Brigade, and others joined the "Stalin, " "Bielski, " and other partisan units.Liberation and Aftermath. Volozhin was liberated in mid - July 1944. Several dozen Jews returned to the town from the forests to which they had fled. Courtesy of: "Encyclopedia of the Holocaust" ©1990 Macmillan Publishing Company New York, NY 10022|
Execution of Jews in Volozhyn
|Do you know these people?|
September 19, 2006
Mr Dorn, president IRO, Ms. Eilat Gordin Levitan,
I was very glad to read that some people (not Volozhiner's, there are
After the infamous "Kulinaria" sign was removed some positive acts had
A memorial three language plaque was installed and replaced the
Reconditioning the Yeshiva interior,
This work is necessary to preserve the memory of the East European
As for the exposition:
The exposed Holocaust list is printed in very small not visible
If it's not possible, let me know and I will reprint it and plate the
It would be much better if we engraved the names on metal plates, but
And as for the translations I gave you last July a) translation of two
What has been done with it? May I continue to translate more articles
Do you think worthwhile translating to Russian the exponents'
And what happened to the other exponents I gave you in July:
The martyrs list scroll in Hebrew
The Volozhin original Yizkor Book in Hebrew
The Volozhin Yizkor Book â€“partly translated to English
Have a nice New Year
Ms Eilat, let me know your opinion, Many thanks.
The above English version (translated from Russian) of my message I'm
By : Herman Rosenthal Julius Gottlieb Jewish Encyclopedia, Year; 1906
Russian town in the government of Wilna; at the present time (1905) it belongs to Prince Tishkewitz. As in most other Lithuanian towns, the Jews constitute the greater part of the population. Jews settled there about the middle of the sixteenth century. Volozhin is celebrated for the rabbinical school which existed there until 1892. This school, or yeshiva, which was founded in 1803 by á¸¤ayyim b. Solomon, a pupil of the renowned Elijah, Gaon of Wilna, was in direct opposition to the á¸¤asidic movement that spread through Lithuania in the second half of the eighteenth century. At the head of this conservative opposition, the members of which were styled "Mitnaggedim" (opponents), stood the Gaon of Wilna. He recognized that, in order to combat successfully the á¸¤asidic movement, the love of Talmudic study must be aroused and strengthened. One way of doing this was to establish a great Talmudic academy, where the letter of the Law would be studied systematically. Death, however, removed him before his cherished plan could be carried out, and the task was left to his pupil á¸¤ayyim b. Solomon.
Wilna already had two yeshivot, and there was no room for a third; so Volozhin was chosen, where had lived a number of such men as the author of "Sha'agat Aryeh" and Zalman Volozhiner. In order to attract scholars to the institution two wise rules were laid down: (1) only those should be admitted who had distinguished themselves in Talmudic study, and (2) the medieval custom of assigning yeshivah students each day to a different family, in which they received their meals free, should be abolished; the students to be either self-supporting, or maintained by the institution. Thus scholars, both rich and poor, flocked to Volozhin from all parts of Russia and the rest of Europe. For nearly a century it held its reputation as a place of the highest Talmudic learning, until finally, in 1892, to the regret of all lovers of Judaism, the doors of the school were shut by order of the Russian government.
The very spirit in which the institution was founded was the cause of its downfall. It was, as stated before, ultraconservative, tolerating nothing that looked like an innovation, and strongly opposing all exoteric studies. For a long time it withstood the great wave of progress that swept over Russia in the middle of the nineteenth century. In 1887 Count Pahlen, who devoted a great deal of his time to the Jewish question, called together thirteen representative Jewish scholars of Russia in order to confer with them about the yeshivot. The conference drew up a set of regulations for the management of such institutions, the most important of which were: that each day not less than three hours should be devoted to the teaching of the Russian language and literature and to other secular studies; that the teachers in these branches should be appointed with the sanction of the government; that not more than twelve hours each day should be consumed in study; and that the chief rabbi should be responsible for the conduct of his pupils.
The chiefs of the yeshivot, fearing that secular studies would "poison the minds of the students and turn them away from the study of the Talmud," stubbornly refused to introduce these innovations; they feared also that Orthodox Jews would withhold their contributions from the school. In 1891 Count Delianov, then minister of education, submitted a similar plan to the authorities of the school in Volozhin; but, seeing that his instructions were not carried out, he closed its doors on Jan. 22, 1892.
Bibliography: Ha-Kerem and Ha-Meliáº“, 1892;
|Further to all the emails on Volozhin from April 2007 -please see the
article in this week's Forward on the Volozhin Yeshiva
Here is the latest on Volozhin:
As you will recall - a few months ago government officials demanded
Beyond this "emergency" stage, no further investment will be made in
There has also been discussion with UJRC of having and RFP or "tender"
Anyone who wants to contribute to the current phase of work can send a
The address is:
I stand here today moved and appreciative of the trust you have placed
I shall be committed to nurture unceasingly those fine threads of
You, here in the Knesset, will continue to maintain the existential
In my heart, today, there dwell together joy, facing the challenge you
I am leaving this house - the beating heart of Israeli democracy,
I loved its deafening volume, the great debates, the soul reaching
I know that I am now moving from the executive arm to the unifying
I arrived in Israel as a young man and I was greatly privileged to
Fifteen years ago I went to Vishniova, near Volozhyn, my birthplace,
My grandfather studied in the Volozin Yeshiva together with Chaim
He played sad Jewish songs on the violin. On the Day of Atonement he
From Vishniova I continued to Volozin to see the building of the
I stood silently and shaken opposite these childhood stones. The
It seemed to me as if I heard a scream from the mouths of my
When I came to Israel, I studied agriculture in Ben Shemen. My public
In 1947, a year before the War of Independence, I was enlisted by
From him I learnt that from great destitution there is decreed great
I did not know why Ben-Gurion chose me. But I knew what he expects of
It was difficult to envision then that from 650,000 inhabitants we
It was difficult then to envision that we would have to fight for our
We revived our ancient language, we established advanced social cells,
Even Israel's staunchest critics will not succeed in hiding her
Almost sixty years of the State. And my heart is proud of what we have
But it was a heavy price: Those who fell in battle, the bereaved
Also, on this festive occasion, I mourn in my heart the murder of
I did not dream of becoming president. My dream as a boy was to be a
I know that the president is not a governor, is not a judge, is not a
There is nothing prohibiting the president from performing good deeds.
The president must courageously view the entire picture and see that a
Israel's literary achievements are no less than its scientific
It is the duty of the president to remind the generation, which is
In fact, wisdom does not regress, and responsibility must not age.
I see the need to encourage the young generation to enter political
There is no place for depression. In fact, it is the Jewish people,
The 169 words of the 10 Commandments are, even today, the basis of the
Yes. I believe in enlightening the world, in raising light for both
Einstein said that our motto was "chutzpah" (audacity). The "chutzpah"
I am aware that there are norms. The President has to be state like.
He must encourage peace processes. Within the house. With our
Israel must, not only be an asset but a value. A moral, cultural and
The President must call on the religious and secular public to find,
On the future map of Israel four priorities must be marked: Jerusalem,
Jerusalem is yearning for momentum and is thirsty for renewal. To be
To be a universal center for science and an intellectual challenge to
The Negev has begun to awaken. It must never be allowed to sleep
The Negev enables us to harness the sun's energy and to create clean
The Galilee: its charm is renowned. It possesses overwhelming beauty.
The Valley of Peace extends along the border between us, the Hashemite
I believe that politics deals with borders and the economy in
The Valley of Peace is a challenge which is likely to create
I intend to devote myself to promoting the relations between Israel
Within us there are hidden enormous creative powers in the spiritual,
And deep in us is the obligation to attend to human distress in every
My friends, members of the Knesset, dear guests: I was a youth and
My years place me at an observation point from which the scene of our
Permit me to remain an optimist. Permit me to be a dreamer of his
And, in conclusion, I want to express my thanks and my love to my two
Dear friends, I say to you today both "shalom" and see you soon. My
I thank the Creator of the Universe, my people and you for giving me
Shalom to you, and again, see you soon.
Long live the Israel Defense Forces and the State of Israel.
Three different groups of LIFSHITZ family members have learned
We have posted the structure of 'our' Lifshitz family at
Please take a look at the extended tree on the web and see if you can
We would love to add you to the guest list for the event in NY.
Harris; grandson of Sarah Lifshitz Tarr, daughter of Hoshea Lifshitz and Sore
Camp on Wheels in Minsk, Belarus
Now in its sixth year, Camp on Wheels attracted approximately 100 participants (students and young adults) from all over Belarus this past July. Camp of Wheels is run jointly by the Jewish Agency and Hillel. This August, a pilot based on Camp on Wheels was held in Moldova.
Large memorial tombstone of R. Chaim Volozhiner
Tree of Life Tombstone with the branches cut off
The Jewish cemetery in Volozhin before the Camp on Wheels participants' hard work and renovation.