Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Orthodox Judaism: Yeshiva


The new trends in the spiritual life of the Jews of Russia found an echo among the youth in the yeshivot. In many places the masters endeavored to keep the students from any contact with secular literature, and in Slobodka in particular there was strict supervision. The movement toward acquiring general culture did not touch the ?asidic yeshivot at all, perhaps since most of them were in small towns far from the cities. Money for their maintenance was collected by emissaries who were at the same time wandering preachers. Apart from the large yeshivot there existed in several localities small yeshivot for the local youth supported by the community and the neighborhood. Since married students were not accepted in the yeshivot and the codes were not studied in them, those married students of the Talmud who wanted to become ordained for the rabbinate would unite inkolelim . Such kolelim existed in Volozhin (in a branch of the yeshiva), in Eishishok, Minsk, Vilna, and other places. An exceptionally high standard was attained by the Perushim kolel in Kovno headed by Isaac Elhanan Spektor (d. 1897), which in the 1890s had more than 200 students. Both the members of these kolelim, whose studies lasted from three to four years, and their families, were adequately supported.

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