By Gil S. Perl
The paintings of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, the Neziv, ranks among the main frequently learn rabbinic literature of the 19th century. His breadth of studying, unabashed creativity, and penchant for jogging opposed to the circulation of the rabbinic commentarial institution has made his commentaries a favourite among rabbinic students and students of rabbinics alike. but, up to now, there was no accomplished and systematic try and position his highbrow oeuvre into its ancient context—until now.
In the Pillar of Volozhin, Gil Perl strains the affects which helped mildew and form the Neziv's considering whereas additionally starting new doorways into the realm of early 19th century Lithuanian Torah scholarship, a space heretofore nearly thoroughly untouched by means of educational examine.
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Extra info for The Pillar of Volozhin: Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin and the World of Nineteenth-Century Lithuanian Torah Scholarship
After we have confirmed ‘Emek ha-Neẓiv because the earliest made from Neẓiv’s prolific pen, and feature proven that almost all of its content material dates to the 1830s and 1840s, we'll then continue to put the statement within the context of early nineteenth-century midrash learn. we are going to first describe 3 generations of interconnected Lithuanian Torah students for whom the research and explication of midrashic texts used to be of paramount value. Our exploration of this highbrow coterie and Neẓiv’s position therein will carry into concentration an exciting highbrow milieu on the very center of conventional Jewish society, which was once characterised via the unapologetic use of a extensive array of literary assets, a willing sensitivity to textual mistakes and variation readings, and a wish to current just a shut and easy analyzing of rabbinic texts. The younger Neẓiv and the paintings he produced, we will argue, are without delay hooked up to that international. we are going to additional display that the cultural parts which gave upward push to this highbrow milieu, particularly the effect of the Vilna Ga’on, the position of the Lithuanian Maggid, and the increase of Hebrew print, are sincerely occur within the pages of ‘Emek ha-Neẓiv. Armed with an figuring out of Neẓiv’s earliest highbrow endeavors, we'll then learn his later paintings opposed to the backdrop of ‘Emek ha-Neẓiv. Doing so will reveal that a lot of Neẓiv’s later commentarial endeavors are normal outgrowths of his early paintings and his forma— 23 — ———————————————————— Preface ———————————————————— tive reports on the earth of early nineteenth-century midrash research. while, we are going to show that atmosphere his later paintings opposed to his previous endeavors is helping to focus on restricted, but serious, issues the place Neẓiv’s Ha‘amek Davar diverges considerably from the exegetical course he took in ‘Emek ha-Neẓiv. a lot of this divergence could be attributed to the influence of a Jewish society which had enormously replaced over the process Neẓiv’s existence. particular cognizance may be given to the increase of the Haskalah and the rabbinic response thereto, in addition to to the expansion of the ideology of Torah learn which Neẓiv, after 4 many years within the examine corridor of Volozhin, turns out to have authorized. those alterations in society faced the Lithuanian rabbinic institution with an altered set of norms, expectancies, and fears, lots of that are mirrored in Neẓiv’s Ha‘amek Davar. therefore our exploration of Neẓiv’s later paintings deals vital perception into the highbrow and spiritual improvement of Neẓiv, in addition to into the background of nineteenth-century Jewish Lithuania as a complete. the several elements of this learn require the employment of differing equipment of historic research. A source-critical examine of ‘Emek ha-Neẓiv and Birkat ha-Neẓiv (Neẓiv’s Mekhilta’ observation) finds facts of a number of recensions within the revealed textual content of either commentaries. I depend upon historic references chanced on inside of those texts, in addition to references to their composition in different writings of Neẓiv, to set up approximate dates of composition in their middle texts.