Manasseh (Porat), ben-Joseph of Ilya

   Unorthodox Lithuanian talmudist. Manasseh was a brilliant talmudist who came under the influence of rationalism and was led to question some interpretations of the Mishnah given by RAS HI and even by the Talmud. He wanted poor Jews trained as artisans, and encouraged the study of mathematics and the sciences. He was persecuted for his views by the Orthodox, who prevented many of his books from being printed and burned one publicly in Vilna. He resigned from his position as rabbi of Smorgon rather than refrain from castigating community leaders who delivered young children into the hands of Czar NICHOLAS l’s recruiting officers.

Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament. . 2012.

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  • MANASSEH BEN (Porat) JOSEPH OF ILYA — (1767–1831), one of the forerunners of the haskalah in Lithuania and Russia. He was born in Smorgon, Lithuania, and was renowned as a child for his remarkable memory and intellectual precocity. He received a talmudic education in the home of his… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • PLUNGIAN (Plungiansky), MORDECAI — (1814–1883), Hebrew writer. Born in Plunge, Lithuania, he became learned in talmudic and rabbinical literature; later, he was attracted to the Haskalah and studied foreign languages. In his biography of R. manasseh b. Joseph of Ilya, Ben Porat… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

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