Blog for the Lost Ten Tribers Awakening to their New Reality
It was in the year of 1720 that a young prodigy and genius was born. The Gaon (Hebrew for “genius”), Rabbi Elijah ben Shlomo Zalman was to become the most influential Jewish leader in modern history. He would be known as the most renowned Ashkenazi Torah authority in the past thousand years. His vast skills in memorization, his extraordinary talents, great wisdom and his comprehension of all branches of Torah and secular knowledge were early recognized.
By the age of seven, he gave his first public discourse on the Torah demonstrating an intellect that was fully developed to abstract thinking as an adult. By the age of ten years, his wisdom in the understanding of the Torah was so renowned for he no longer could find a teacher with the command of the Torah as he. Known as “The Gra”, this prodigious Torah giant set the standard of Torah study, absolute devotion to G-d and a character perfection emulated by centuries of later students of his manuscripts and books.
According to the enlightening article in the Jewish Virtual Library called the“Vilna Gaon – Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna”we read that at a very young age, the young rabbi went into a self-imposed “galus” or exile where he wandered from community to community as a beggar and sage. For forty years, he studied in isolation.
To the Gaon, the Torah was paramount and primary to all other studies. According to the Gaon’s son’s testimony, his father did not sleep more than two hours in a twenty four hour period for over fifty years. His memory and biblical knowledge was legendary, for he had no peers equal among the sages for the breadth for this knowledge included both revealed and hidden Torah knowledge. Yet he was also knowledgeable in secular sciences including authoring books on grammar and mathematics. His yeshiva, (academy of Torah study) was the premier yeshiva of the world for over 100 years and recognized as the model of all subsequent seminaries of Torah studies.
After forty years of studying in isolation, he finally settled in the town of Vilna. Living a quiet life, his fame as a Tzaddik (righteous man) and Torah scholar soon spread all over the land. In spite of a life of poverty, he gave 20% of all his income to charity and even would limit his own personal needs so he could marry an orphan girl or redeem a captive. Though in constant study, his ear was also kept to the needs of the local population. He began a local yeshiva, accepting students from the renown Torah scholars of that ere and from the writings of these students, scholars today are given a glimpse of the rare breadth of intellect that the Gra upheld.
Today, the Grand Rabbi Moshe Shturnbuch is the great grandson of the Gaon of Vilna osb’m and is a Edah Charedit, an Ultra-Orthodox Haredi Jew. Today Rabbi Shturnbuch (Sternbuk) is the Raavad or the Vice-President of the Rabbinic Court and eligible to become the Chief Rabbi (Gaavad) if the present Chief Rabbi Yitzchok Tuvia Weiss were to decease or could not fulfill his responsibilities of the Haredi Rabbinic Court.
As reported by Rabbi Lazer Brody with Lazer Beams in late March, 2014, titled, “Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch: We Hear the Footsteps of Moshiach”, we read;
Rabbi Lazer Brody – “Rav Shternbuch received a closely guarded secret that came to him from Rabbi Yitzchak Chever zatza”l, who received it from Rabbi Chaim of Volozhyn zatza”l, who received it from the Gaon of Vilna himself, who revealed it shortly before his death:
“When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city
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