Wednesday, July 3, 2019

History Lesson From Reb Yaakov Lipschutz -secretary of Reb Yitzchak Elchanan

The story of  the closing of the Volozhiner Yeshiva, as told by many:
 .
"The Russian government insisted that the Yeshiva introduce secular studies.
The Netziv decided, rather than to do so, he will close the Yeshiva." (end of story)

The whole story. parts many are not aware of:

After Eighty years in existence,  the Volozhiner Yeshiva, was finally recognized by the Russian
Government as an official school. Originally  the authorities didn't demand any changes in the
curriculum. Eventually they insisted on, secular studies to be taught by certified teachers.

The Roshei Yeshiva had no problem with studying the Russian language. 

They realized the importance for Yeshiva Bachurim to speak the language of the land.



The only problem they had was hiring certified teachers. The certified Jewish teachers ( Maskilim)  were unacceptable. The Hanhala had no trust in them. They preferred   Christian teachers whom they hired.

This angered the Jewish teachers (Maskilim). They were very upset. They  constantly kept
trying to undermine the Yeshiva.

Secular studies were taught in the Volozhiner Yeshiva for two years. During that time,
the Netziv aged and was too weak to run the Yeshiva. His son Reb Chaim Berlin was
brought in as the Rosh Yeshiva.

With the change of a new Hanhalah  came along Machlokes .Some Talmidim opposed the appointment of R Chaim Berlin, as  Rosh Hayeshiva.

The Maskilim took this opportune time to undermine the Yeshiva.They managed to convince the authorities to come up with new rules.

 The new law required 

a) Secular Studies  must be taught from 9.00am to 3.00pm

 b)  Limudei Kodesh must end and the Yeshiva building must be locked up at 7.00pm.


 c)  The Roshei Yeshiva and Magidei Shiur must be certified with a diploma.


 The Netziv said,If he was to follow their demands  the Yeshiva will turn
into a  regular Public School. He decided to ignore, all their new demands.
It didn't take long and the Yeshiva was closed down by the authorities.

The Netziv and the rest of the Hanhala, were forced to leave Volozhin.

Based on,Sefer Zichron Yackov- R. Yackov Lipschutz (3 p144)
 R. Y. Lipschutz was the secretary of R. Yitzchok Elchonon.
both.were very much  involved in the Yeshiva.)

 & Sefer Mekor Baruch- R. Baruch Epstein (3 p 2025)

And now you know......The rest of the story 

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