A report on Lithuanian Jews and Misnagdim

Map showing percentage of Jews in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire c. 1905.
An anathema against the Hasidim, signed by the Gaon of Vilna and other community officials. August 1781.
Portrait of Lithuanian yeshiva students
The Vilna Gaon
LITVISH. An Atlas of Northeastern Yiddish by Dovid Katz. Cartography by Giedre Beconyte
Litvishe yeshiva students in Israel

The Misnagdim were particularly concentrated in Lithuania, where Vilnius served as the bastion of the movement, but anti-Hasidic activity was undertaken by the establishment in many locales.

- Misnagdim

However, following the dispute between the Hasidim and the Misnagdim, in which the Lithuanian academies were the heartland of opposition to Hasidism, "Lithuanian" came to have the connotation of Misnagdic (non-Hasidic) Judaism generally, and to be used for all Jews who follow the traditions of the great Lithuanian yeshivot, whether or not their ancestors actually came from Lithuania.

- Lithuanian Jews
Map showing percentage of Jews in the Pale of Settlement in the Russian Empire c. 1905.

3 related topics with Alpha

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Vilna Gaon

Vilna Gaon

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Vilna Gaon
Vilna Gaon (Zalkind, Ber)
Elijah Ben Solomon, the Vilna Gaon
The Vilna Gaon monument at the site of the Great Synagogue of Vilna
The Vilna Gaon synagogue in Sha'arei Hesed, Jerusalem

Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, (ר' אליהו בן שלמה זלמן Rabbi Eliyahu ben Shlomo Zalman) known as the Vilna Gaon (דער װילנער גאון, Gaon z Wilna, Vilniaus Gaonas) or Elijah of Vilna, or by his Hebrew acronym HaGra ("HaGaon Rabbenu Eliyahu": "The sage, our teacher, Elijah") or Elijah Ben Solomon Zalman (Sialiec, April 23, 1720 – Vilnius October 9, 1797), was a Talmudist, halakhist, kabbalist, and the foremost leader of misnagdic (non-hasidic) Jewry of the past few centuries.

However, the teachings and traditions of the Vilna Gaon have been passed down most directly to the Litvaks in Israel.

Haredi Jewish men during a Torah reading.

Haredi Judaism

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Haredi Judaism (יהדות חֲרֵדִית , ; also spelled Charedi in English; plural Haredim or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions, in opposition to modern values and practices.

Haredi Judaism (יהדות חֲרֵדִית , ; also spelled Charedi in English; plural Haredim or Charedim) consists of groups within Orthodox Judaism that are characterized by their strict adherence to halakha (Jewish law) and traditions, in opposition to modern values and practices.

Haredi Jewish men during a Torah reading.
Young Haredi Jews in Jerusalem, 2005
Hasidic boys in Łódź, 1910
Haredi Jews from Galicia at the in Vienna's second district, Leopoldstadt, 1915
Haredi Jewish women and girls in Mea Shearim, Jerusalem, 2013
Styles of Haredi dress
Typical Haredi dress for men and women
Gender-separate beach in Israel. To accommodate Haredi and other Orthodox Jews, many coastal resorts in Israel have a designated area for sex-separate bathing.
The Bais Yaakov graduating class of 1934 in Łódź, Poland
Tziporah Heller, a weekly columnist for Hamodia
photograph of the Warsaw Ghetto
Members of Neturei Karta protest against Israel (Washington, 2005)
Haredi demonstration against the conscription of yeshiva pupils
Hasidim walk to the synagogue, Rehovot, Israel.
Haredi Rabbis and students writing a Torah scroll (Haredi settlement of Beitar Illit, Gush Etzion)
Hasidic family on the street in Borough Park, Brooklyn
Students of Telshe yeshiva, 1936

It was dominated by the Hasidic rebbes and Lithuanian rabbis and roshei yeshiva (deans).

1) The vast majority of Hasidic and Litvak communities were destroyed during the Holocaust. Although Hasidic customs have largely been preserved, the customs of Lithuanian Jewry, including its unique Hebrew pronunciation, have been almost lost. Litvish customs are still preserved primarily by the few older Jews who were born in Lithuania prior to the Holocaust. In the decade or so after 1945, there was a strong drive to revive and maintain these lifestyles by some notable Haredi leaders.

Top Row, proto-Maskilim: Raphael Levi Hannover • Solomon Dubno • Tobias Cohn • Marcus Elieser Bloch
2nd Row, Berlin Haskalah: Salomon Jacob Cohen • David Friedländer • Naphtali Hirz Wessely • Moses Mendelssohn
3rd Row, Austria and Galicia: Judah Löb Mieses • Solomon Judah Loeb Rapoport • Joseph Perl • Baruch Jeitteles
Bottom Row, Russia: Avrom Ber Gotlober • Abraham Mapu • Samuel Joseph Fuenn • Isaac Baer Levinsohn

Haskalah

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Intellectual movement among the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, with certain influence on those in Western Europe and the Muslim world.

Intellectual movement among the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, with certain influence on those in Western Europe and the Muslim world.

Top Row, proto-Maskilim: Raphael Levi Hannover • Solomon Dubno • Tobias Cohn • Marcus Elieser Bloch
2nd Row, Berlin Haskalah: Salomon Jacob Cohen • David Friedländer • Naphtali Hirz Wessely • Moses Mendelssohn
3rd Row, Austria and Galicia: Judah Löb Mieses • Solomon Judah Loeb Rapoport • Joseph Perl • Baruch Jeitteles
Bottom Row, Russia: Avrom Ber Gotlober • Abraham Mapu • Samuel Joseph Fuenn • Isaac Baer Levinsohn

Poland–Lithuania was the heartland of Rabbinic Judaism, with its two streams of Misnagdic Talmudism centred in Lithuania and other regions, and Hasidic mysticism popular in Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and Russia.