Jerusalem Report

Feet of clay

One looks in vain for any evidence of the Vilna Gaon’s alleged scientific genius in Eliyahu Stern’s new book.

The Genius Elijah of Vilna and the Making of Modern Judaism
Photo by: Courtesy
Elijah Kremer, universally known as the Vilna Gaon, was without a doubt the most important figure in the evolution of Orthodox Judaism in Eastern Europe over the past 400 years.

His voluminous commentaries, organized and published after his death, have shaped Orthodox Jewish studies of the Torah, Mishnah and Talmud ever since. He wrote 30 commentaries on the Zohar. His monomaniacal obsession with the totality of Torah study led directly to the creation of the Volozhin Yeshiva by his greatest disciple, Hayyim of Volozhin.

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