I have heard from numerous people this prediction of the Vilna Gaon that America would be the last exile/galus but I have no idea where this actually comes from. I just wanted to know if anyone could validate this for me or provide the source of this.


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    I heard it was R Chaim Volozhin :) and that he cried profusely. Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:27
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    Here quoted from R. Chaim Soloveitchik (by R. Pinchas Hirschprung) books.google.com/…
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:40
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    And here quoted from R. Chaim Halberstam (the Divrei Chaim) books.google.com/…
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:45
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    And here (n. 86) cited in the name of R. Chaim of Volozhin traditionarchive.org/news/converted/Volume%2030/No.%204/…
    – wfb
    Commented Apr 30, 2017 at 14:54
  • Another place that attributes it to R. Chaim of Volozhin is here, citing the book "אבי הישיבות: תולדות חייו ומשנתו של ר' חיים מוולוז'ין" as it's source.
    – Tamir Evan
    Commented May 1, 2017 at 20:20

3 Answers 3


Zev Eleff wrote an article about this story, here. In it he writes:

It is not possible to verify the historicity of the legend. Rabbi Hayim did not record it, nor is the account mentioned by his disciples in the first decades of the nineteenth century. Jews in Eastern Europe were vaguely aware of the American Revolution but had little contact with the fledging American Jewish communities and the one thousand women and men who inhabited them. European Jewry’s awareness of their American counterparts significantly increased in the second half of the nineteenth century, long after Rabbi Hayim may or may not have predicted America as an eventual destination for Jewish life and Torah study.

However, he goes on to describe the source as provided by R. Aharon Soloveichik: According to R. Aharon, R. Chaim Volozhiner said this in the presence of his son, R. Itzele, who transmitted it to his son-in-law, the Netziv, who then repeated it at the bar mitzvah of his great grandson, R. Moshe Soloveitchik, father of R. Aharon.


Approximately, 200 years ago, Rav Chaim Volozhin told Reb Dovid the following:

“…You should know, my son, that the day will come when the pillars of European Jewry will topple, when the yeshivos will be destroyed and uprooted. However, they will be reborn in the exile of America, the final stop of the Jewish people before the arrival of Moshiach. The American exile will be the tenth and final exile of Torah, following those of Babylon, North Africa, Egypt, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Poland and Lithuania”

[see Daring to Dream by Agudath Israel of America, page 128 and Exile].


Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin (1749-1821), the prime disciple of the Vilna Gaon who famously authored the Kabbalistic work Nefesh HaChaim said this:

"The last stanza [way station] to which Torah will be exiled before the advent of Mashiach is America."

Quotation taken from this book.

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    So what's their source? Commented May 1, 2017 at 3:47

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