Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim

Eliyahu David Rabinowitz-Teomim

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Elijah David Rabinowitz-Teomim (1845—1905), also known by his acronym ADeReT, was a Lithuanian rabbi
Lithuanian Jews
Lithuanian Jews or Litvaks are Jews with roots in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania:...

 in the 19th century who served as the leader of the Jewish community of Panevėžys
Panevėžys see also other names, is the fifth largest city in Lithuania. As of 2008, it occupied 50 square kilometers with 113,653 inhabitants. The largest multifunctional arena in Panevėžys is the Cido Arena...

, as the Rosh Yeshiva of Mir, led the Ashkenazi
Ashkenazi Jews
Ashkenazi Jews, also known as Ashkenazic Jews or Ashkenazim , are the Jews descended from the medieval Jewish communities along the Rhine in Germany from Alsace in the south to the Rhineland in the north. Ashkenaz is the medieval Hebrew name for this region and thus for Germany...

 community in Jerusalem, and published many brilliant original arguments in Torah jurisprudence.


Rabinowitz-Teomim was born 11 June 1845 in the town of in Pikeln
Pikeliai is a town in Telšiai County, Lithuania. According to the 2001 census, the town has a population of 520 people....

. At the age of five his mother died and from then on, his father, Rabbi Benjamin Rabinowitz, raised him and his brother, Tzvi-Yehudah, alone. He studied Talmud
The Talmud is a central text of mainstream Judaism. It takes the form of a record of rabbinic discussions pertaining to Jewish law, ethics, philosophy, customs and history....

 and rabbinics under the tutelage of his father and by the age of fifteen he had acquired a substantial knowledge of Talmudic and rabbinic literature. In 1875 he was invited to serve the rabbinate of the town of Panevėžys
Panevėžys see also other names, is the fifth largest city in Lithuania. As of 2008, it occupied 50 square kilometers with 113,653 inhabitants. The largest multifunctional arena in Panevėžys is the Cido Arena...


In 1893, he was appointed as the Rosh Yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva
Rosh yeshiva, , , is the title given to the dean of a Talmudical academy . It is made up of the Hebrew words rosh — meaning head, and yeshiva — a school of religious Jewish education...

 of Mir, where he served from until 1899. He then emigrated to Jerusalem and in 1901 was appointed as assistant to the aging Rabbi Shmuel Salant, who was the chief rabbi of the Ashkenazi Perushim
The Perushim were disciples of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who left Lithuania at the beginning of the 19th century to settle in the Land of Israel, then under Ottoman rule...

 community in Jerusalem. Rabinowitz-Teomim was married to Feige Minna, with who he had seven children. His daughter Batsheva married Rabbi Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook
Abraham Isaac Kook was the first Ashkenazi chief rabbi of the British Mandate for Palestine, the founder of the Religious Zionist Yeshiva Merkaz HaRav, Jewish thinker, Halachist, Kabbalist and a renowned Torah scholar...

 in 1886, however she died a few years later, whereupon Rabinowitz Teomim encouraged Rabbi Kook to marry his niece (the daughter of his brother Tzvi-Yehudah). Eventually he encouraged Rabbi Kook to become the Chief Rabbi of Jaffa
Jaffa is an ancient port city believed to be one of the oldest in the world. Jaffa was incorporated with Tel Aviv creating the city of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Israel. Jaffa is famous for its association with the biblical story of the prophet Jonah.-Etymology:...


He died on the 3rd of Adar, 5665 (10 March 1905).


Rabinowitz-Teomim was a prolific writer and penned over 120 books. His work includes original insights on Maimonides
Moses ben-Maimon, called Maimonides and also known as Mūsā ibn Maymūn in Arabic, or Rambam , was a preeminent medieval Jewish philosopher and one of the greatest Torah scholars and physicians of the Middle Ages...

' Mishneh Torah
Mishneh Torah
The Mishneh Torah subtitled Sefer Yad ha-Hazaka is a code of Jewish religious law authored by Maimonides , one of history's foremost rabbis...

, as well as on the Talmud in his works, "Ha-Tebunah," "Kebod ha-Lebanon," "Ha-Ẓofeh," "Ha-Maggid," "Keneset Ḥakme Yisrael," "'Iṭṭur Soferim," and "Keneset ha-Gedolah." Much of his work has also been disseminated alongside the works of others to whom he gave his approbation. Recently several publishing houses have decided to print his works, thereby spurring renewed interest in his thought. Some of these texts include, “Seder Eliyahu” an autobiography, “Teffilat David” an explication of the meaning of the Siddur
A siddur is a Jewish prayer book, containing a set order of daily prayers. This article discusses how some of these prayers evolved, and how the siddur, as it is known today has developed...

, “Cheshbonos Shel Mitzvah” an exposition on the 613 biblical commandments, “Seder Parshios” a commentary on the weekly portion of the Torah, “Zecher Lemikdash” a work concerning rabbinic precepts intended to be observed as a remembrance of the Temple
Second Temple
The Jewish Second Temple was an important shrine which stood on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem between 516 BCE and 70 CE. It replaced the First Temple which was destroyed in 586 BCE, when the Jewish nation was exiled to Babylon...

, and many others.


Several centers of Torah education throughout Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

 are named after Rabinowitz-Teomim. These include, Yeshivat Aderet Eliyahu
Yeshivat Aderet Eliyahu
Yeshivat Aderet Eliyahu , commonly referred to as "Zilberman's," is a Haredi, Lithuanian educational facility located between the Jewish and Muslim quarters of the Old City of Jerusalem....

 which is a Hareidi yeshiva
Yeshiva is a Jewish educational institution that focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, primarily the Talmud and Torah study. Study is usually done through daily shiurim and in study pairs called chavrutas...

 in the Old City of Jerusalem and the yeshiva high school in the city of Bat Yam by the name of Yeshivat Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva
Bnei Akiva is the largest religious Zionist youth movement in the world, with over 125,000 members in 37 countries. It was established in Mandate Palestine in 1929.-History:...


External links