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Eliyahu, Gaon of Vilna
(179 words)

[German Version]

(Seletz near Horadna, April 1720 – Vilna, April 1797) was the most important halakhic authority (Halakhah) in East European Judaism in the last third of the 18th century, the leader of Lithuanian Jewry, and the leader of the opposition (mitnaggedim) to the emerging Hasidic movement (Hasidism). He was called “gaon” (“highness,” the title of the leader in a high Rabbinic school), in recognition of his position of leadership in talmudic studies. He wrote several kabbalistic treatises (Kabbalah). Though recognized as a supreme legal authority, he did not hold…

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Dan, Joseph, “Eliyahu, Gaon of Vilna”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 04 March 2021 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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