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10

It's apparently an oral tradition relating to one of the students of the Vilna Gaon, Rabbi Yisrael of Shklov. The more complete story is recounted here in Hebrew. It begins like this: הגאון רבי ישראל משקלוב מספר, על תלמיד מתלמידי הגר"א, שבא לקבל פני רבו בחול המועד סוכות, וביקש מרבו כי יעמידו במבחן על כל מסכתא דסוכה על פה. היה זה אחר שקודם החג עורר הגאון ...


8

This sounds very similar to the story with R' Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev, but that story is about Tzedakah, not immigration. (Which makes sense, because I don't think there was a restriction against immigrating to Sedom. After all, Lot did it, and was even appointed judge there). Here's the story (Sippurei Chassidim link. I copied it from here) When Reb ...


5

In my Mikraos Gedolos, I see the following quote (it's in his commentary to I:1:4): שם נטל חלק שליש במזרחי והוא אפריקי. וחם ויפת חלקו המערבי לשנים: חם נטל חלק הדרומי והוא אזיע, ויפת הצפוני והוא איראפיא. וכל השמות שנכתבו כאן הוא שם מדינות: גומר נטל קרוב לקוטב הצפוני, ומגוג אחריו, וכן כולם. וכוש קרוב לקוטב הדרומי, ומצרים אחריו... Nowhere does he say that ...


4

The source (AFAIK) for this quote is from the famed [short-timed] disciple of the Vilna Gaon, R. Yisroel of Shklov in his intro to Pe’at HaShulchan (pg. 5, last third of left column). Since the language isn’t unequivocal (IMO, at least) I won’t translate and only quote the relevant text: כה אמר, כל החכמות נצרכים לתורתינו הק׳ וכלולים בה וידעם כולם לתכליתם ...


2

There are numerous siddurim out there (e.g. "Siddur Ezor Eliyahu") which follow the minhagim and nusach of the Gra as laid out in his hagaos, but the Gra himself never compiled a siddur.


2

First, it is surprising that someone would give a lecture based on the book you mentioned given the many inaccuracies in that book, as enumerated here and here. For more accurate information about the Vilna Gaon, it would be better to look at Aliyot Eliyahu or R. Betzalel Landau's Ha-Gaon He-Chasid mi-Vilna. Immanuel Etkes' book, while not a full biography, ...


1

I really liked Artscroll's "The Vilna Gaon: The Life and Teachings of Rabbi Eliyahu the Gaon of Vilna" by Betzalel Landau. "The Vilna Gaon: The Story of Rabbi Eliyahu Kramer" by Yaacov Dovid Shulman is another solid option (although I preferred the Artscroll biography).


1

Perhaps these two quotes from Mavo Hatalmud (33) could provide some insight. Perhaps the Yerushalmi is an older version. נשאר אצלנו לבאר ולדבר מענין חתימת המשנה והתלמוד, וכבר ידענו דסדר המשנה היה עוד קודם רבינו הקדוש ואמרו (שבת קכ״א ע״א) משנה זו בימי נחמי׳ בן חכליה נשנית, ראינו דכל המשניות בפ״ק דביצה, יבאו אלינו עוד מזמן נחמי׳ בן חכליה בתחלת בית שני ...


1

To quote Rabbi Avigdor Miller on this question: The Vilna Gaon, zichrono livracha, was a follower in the footsteps of his great teachers. He lived by the ideals of the Gemara and the Rishonim in whose footsteps he walked. And he wasn’t interested in making any novelties. And the Ba’al Shem Tov, zichrono livracha, in general also did that. Of course, in ...


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