Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, also known as Ha-Gra, was the foremost scholar-sage of Lithuanian Jewry in the eighteenth-century, and has become the spiritual forefather for much of the non-Chassidic yeshiva world. Known for his greatness in Talmudic and Kabbalistic study, he likewise mastered astronomy, mathematics and music. His system of Talmudic study focused on trying to find the true meaning intended by the sages in the text.
fierce opposition to Chassidut, which was initiated in 1736 by the Baal
Shem Tov, he and his followers in this anti-Chassidic Movement were
known as "Mitnagdim," or opponents. Their opposition was based
on the beliefs, vigorously denied by Chassidic leaders, that Chassidut
took liberties with the Oral Law, that it substituted emotion for
intellect in the Study of Torah, that its form of prayer departed too far
from the traditional form of prayer, etc.
M.G. and P.F.
The above graphic includes photographs that were provided by VERAfilm archives.