Wanda Rutkiewicz

Gaon of Vilna

Theodor Herzl

Theodor Herzl

Elia (Eliyahu) ben Shlomo Zalman also known as Gaon of Vilna, was born in 1720 in Sialiec and he was one of the most revered and influential rabbinical figures in Europe. However, he was never a rabbi, but a promotor of natural sciences.
Gaon of Vilna was considered a man of great intellect and since he was a child he was labelled as prodigious. It is said that by the age of four, he already knew by heart the Torah and other Jewish scripts.
He conducted a private and reserved life, spending most of his life alone with his books and taking distance from people, even from his family. Gaon of Vilna is also known for his opposition to Hasidism, the movement of Judaism that criticized strict religious asceticism. He died in Vilnius (Lithuania) in 1797.

Theodor Hertzl, born on May 2, 1860, in Budapest (Hungary), is considered the founder of the political form of Zionism, which consisted of a movement aimed at creating the Jewish homeland. Hertzl wrote a pamphlet titled ‘The Jewish State’ in 1896, where he stated that the Jewish situation needed to be considered a political issue to be solved by a World Council of Nations. For this reason, he organized a World Congress of Zionists who met in Switzerland in 1897. Hertzl became the first President of the World Zionist organization. Theodor Hertzl died in Vienna at the age of 44. His remains were moved to Jerusalem in 1949, after the creation of the Jewish State.

Author: KEW – Poland
Topic: Gaon of Vilna
Duration: 00:29:40

Topic: Gaon of Vilna – Theodor Herzl
Duration: 00:15:25

Author: NARA – Lithuania
Topic: Gaon of Vilna
Duration: 00:31:50