Saturday, June 21, 2014

Vilna Gaon

This  lovely, wooded Jewish cemetery remains in use.
At the entrance, a stone marks the 50 m radius mass grave for the victims of the Vilna Ghetto.
Many of the stones have faces reproduced on them. Regina's father's job was to make those pictures.

The mausoleum pictured here is the biggest, it marks the  grave of the famous Vilna Gaon (genius).

Below is a link for more about the genius, who had the equivalent of seven PhDs, expert in many fields, who chose to spend his days annotating the margins on the Talmud and arguing with the Chassidim whether scholarship or spirit was more important.  The Talmud interpretations of the Vilna Gaon and Rabbi Mendolsohn, his contemporary, remain authoritative and are forebears to many subsequent leading scholars.

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