Diaslogian Of Rabbinic Classicalism: The Goan Of Vilna

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Individuals of Jewish descent have a history of being affected by exile from their homeland. The Israelites claimed Jerusalem during the period of King David, however; beginning in 587 B.C.E. the Babylonians began to exile the Jews. Approximately fifty years later, the Persians allowed the Jews to return to their homeland; however, it was not long before they would be affected again. In 70 CE, the Romans destroyed the 2nd temple and exiled the Jews for the second time. Throughout these times and still today many Jews have lived in Diaspora and thus have lived scattered around the world. The ¬¬¬constant displacement and anguish Jews experienced caused them to flee their homeland and relocate to different parts of the world. Therefore, it is …show more content…
The Goan of Vilna was born in 1720 in Lithuania and died in 1797. By the age of six R. Elijah was enrolled in rabbinic school. He wrote 70 books that incorporated the two different types of criticism: low textural criticism and high textual criticism. The concept of low textual criticism explained the grammatical errors in the Torah and attributed them to the copywriter. Most of the errors the Goan of Vilna highlighted referred to grammatical and stylistic errors such as writing in the plural form, doublets, and inconsistencies with time. Goan de Vilna went on to explain his high textual criticism of rabbinic interpretations. He streamlined these interpretations and conveyed that the interpretations were in consensus. Gaon of Vilna was a strong traditionalist who maintained the mitzvahs in the Torah and followed them extensively. Gaon de Vilna desired to fully devote himself to God. He intensely resisted the outside culture by boarding up his windows, living by candlelight, not going outside, and not keeping a clock. In addition, Gaon de Vilna only slept two hours a day in 30-minute increments. He faithfully believed that by doing the above one could avoid acculturation to the European culture and way of life. By examining Gaon of Vilna’s work, it can be inferred that he strongly held the following beliefs: Judaism was not compatible with the outside culture of Europe, the Torah should not be decentralized, and Jews should resist acculturation from the outside

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