The Vilna Gaon Exhibition at Yeshivat Har Etzion Library
From Vilna to Har Etzion
Revelations of Eliyahu in Torah and Redemption
This exhibit was made possible through the generous loan of many special items from the private collection of Mr. Yeshayahu Vinograd of Yerushalayim. Mr. Vinograd is a well known bibliographer and collector, and is also a descendant of students of the GR"A who came to live in Eretz Yisrael in the early 19th century.
As advertised, the exhibition was officially opened on the evening of the 18th of Sivan, 20.6.11. The event was well attended, with over 120 participants, from the Gush Etzion area and beyond. We were very honored that our Rosh Yeshiva, Harav Aharon Lichtenstein shlit"a was able to participate too, as were many of the Ramim. There was also a nice group of alumni who added to the excitement, by making the effort to be with us for this special event.
The event opened with a detailed tour of the exhibit led by Aharon Bejell, chief librarian and curator of the exhibit, and Mr. Vinograd.
Through the diverse items found in the different display cases, which are predominantly bibliographic, it becomes clear that the Gaon was not only focused on the entirety of Torah literature, but was also excitedly intent on using his abilities to prepare the way for redemption.
The excitement of the opening event was crowned with a most unique item, the Gaon's very own Talmud Yerushalmi Zeraim with his handwritten comments and corrections. This volume was made available to us by the Maatikei haShmuah Institute from Yerushalayim, headed by Rav Yedidia Halevi Frankel. Rav Frankel was also one of our guest lecturers at the second part of the evening. This item has been returned to the institute, but all our visitors can view full size color photographs of assorted pages which are still part of the exhibit.
The second part of the program took place in the Yeshiva's auditorium. We were honored to hear a series of three short lectures concerning the GR"A's heritage of Torah and Geula and its relevancy to us today.
The first speaker was our very own Rav Elyakim Krumbein, who is our local GR"A expert, focusing on Rav Chaim Volozhin and his way of implementing the GR"A's teachings, as expressed in his well known work, Nefesh Ha Chaim. He was followed by Rav Yedidia Frankel's presentation of the manuscript of the Gaon's comments and corrections on the Yerushalmi Zeraim, and the methodology of his Institute's scholars in analyzing and publishing them today. The third lecture was given by the renowned historian Dr. Aryeh Morgenstern, who has intensely researched the period of the Vilna Gaon and his students, and has published much about their Messianic drive and their scheme for the natural path towards redemption. His lecture focused on the Vilna Gaon's attempt to make Aliyah to Eretz Yisrael.
We have received much positive feedback concerning the event and have had many visitors since. All who view the exhibit end up sharing in the excitement of the Gaon's legacy of Torah and Geula, and seeing how that legacy is part of the educational foundations of Yeshivat Har Etzion.
The exhibit will be available through Elul, and we hope that many of you and your families will be able to join us here for a special tour. You are welcome to coordinate a visit through the Yeshiva's office at 02-9937300.
Read a review of the exhibit by Efrat resident and News Reporter Sharon Katz
(Join Sharon on her private tour of the Har Etzion Library Exhibit:
Voices TV invites you to join us to learn about the Gaon and his legacy:
Voices TV invites you on its tour of the Har Etzion Exhibit itself: