Lithuanian Yeshivas of the Nineteenth Century

Creating a Tradition of Learning

By Shaul Stampfer

Contributions by: Lindsey Taylor-Guthartz

The Jewish world of Eastern Europe responded to the challenges of modernity in the 19th century by changing the system for educating young men so as to better transmit the talmudic underpinnings of the traditional Jewish way of life. The yeshivas, established at that time in Lithuania, became models for an educational system that has persisted to this day. To understand how that system works, one needs to go back to the institutions they are patterned on: why they were established, how they were organized, and how they operated. This book - now available in paperback - is the first properly documented, systematic study of the Lithuanian yeshiva as it existed from 1802 to 1914. It uses documents, articles from the press, and memoirs to present the yeshiva in its social and cultural context. Pride of place is given to the yeshiva of Volozhin, which in its total independence from the local community was the model for everything that followed. Attention is also given to the yeshiva of Slobodka, famed for introducing the study of musar (ethics); the yeshiva of Telz, with its structural and organizational innovations; and the kolel system, introduced so as to provide a framework where men could continue their education after marriage. This English edition is based on the second Hebrew edition, which was revised to include information that became available with the opening of archives in Eastern Europe after the fall of communism. *** "Professor Stampfer suggests that one of the most striking legacies of these yeshivas and perhaps most noteworthy for today's educators of all types is the faith in the supreme value of education, a faith which enabled them to triumph over external challenges and their own human imperfections." - VCU Menorah Review, Summer/Fall 2014 *** "Those with an interest in modern Talmudic study will find the book, as I did, a spellbinding overview of the development of the modern yeshiva. Stampfer's impeccable research changes the way one will look at the reasons for the creation of and the development of these yeshivas in Lithuania. The book is like a riveting documentary, full of fascinating insights." - Ben Rothke, The Times of Israel, August 2015 [Subject: 19th-Century Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Religious Studies, Education, European Studies]~~

Publication Date: 7/31/2014
Format: Paper
ISBN: 9781906764609