Žemaitija Tourism Information Center

Visit to the Telšiai yeshiva


Before the opening of the exposition, we offer:

  1. Visiting the Telšiai yeshiva when the exhibition is not in operation (per person) – 2 Eur.
  2. 1 hour duration service in Lithuanian, English, Russian (group up to 25 persons) - 20 EUR.

Since the 19th century p. II. The yeshivas of Kaunas (Viljampole), Telšiai and Panevėžys were famous throughout the Jewish diaspora
names. Unlike traditional Jewish study houses - beit midrash, which contained religious writings
studied independently, yeshivas became equivalent to formal Jewish educational institutions
for high schools. To study at these spiritual rabbinical seminaries operating in Lithuania
Jews came from all over the world. Each yeshiva had its own specifics of teaching or
as they called "spirit" at that time, formed a unique network of Lithuanian Jewish yeshiva. All three yeshivas
during the war, they were restored in Israel and America, where they continue their activities to this day. Yeshiva of Telsi
in 1942 under the same name, it was revived in the USA, in Cleveland, where the one formed in Telšiai continues
Teaching system.
The Telšiai yeshiva was founded in 1875. Its success is attributed to Rabbi Elizier Gordon (1841-1910),
a student of the famous rabbi Israel Lipkin Salanteris. After becoming the head of the yeshiva in 1884, he was the first
Modern teaching methods were applied in Lithuania: students had to take entrance exams, after
which were divided into groups according to the level of knowledge. Until then, the practice of beit midrash continued in the yeshiva, when
each chose a part of the Talmud to be read at will, Gordon changed the new order. From
until now, students divided into groups read and analyzed the same Talmud throughout the semester
fragment. In the Telšiai yeshiva, a permanent procedure for checking knowledge was also applied, which until then
was not practiced in other yeshivas. In a short time, the Telšiai yeshiva became one of the most significant
center of Jewish education in Eastern Europe.
After Rabbi Gordon's death in 1910 Rabbi Josef Leib took over the position of head of the yeshiva
Bloch, who was able to continue to ensure the prestige of this institution. During the leadership years of JL Bloch
student committees were introduced to take care of all material, social and
spiritual needs. JL Bloch's name is also associated with the beginning of mussar studies in the Telšiai yeshiva. From
initially resisted by the yeshiva community, mussar studies eventually became integral
part of Telšiai yeshiva education, and JL Bloch distinguished himself as a genius scholar of mussar. 1930
His son Rabbi Abraham Isak Bloch became the head of the yeshiva, who headed the yeshiva until its closure
in 1940 in the summer when the Soviet Union occupied Lithuania and closed the yeshiva.
In the yeshiva network, the postulate was established that everyone who wants to receive fundamental training in the Torah
studies, must learn in Telšiai.
The Telšiai yeshiva consisted of many beginnings, and its study methodology was influenced by many factors. These
the basics of the methodology - delving into primary sources, efforts to understand the early Jews
the thought preserved in the texts of the sages, analysis of texts based on strong logic, religious philosophy with
with a special shade of musara typical of Telšias.
Each yeshiva had its own specific atmosphere, the so-called spirit. For example, he used to say:
"Spirit of Telšia", "Spirit of Vilijampole", etc. Everyone immediately felt very accurately and
understood what it meant. "Spirit of Telšia" was associated with insightful studies and subtlety
understanding of morality and psychology.
Thus the Telshis were filled with excellent Torah scholars, intelligent men and diligent students. Day and night yeshiva
raged like a stormy sea. The voices of the students echoed not only from the synagogue, but also from the dormitory
places, they were even heard in the streets. The whole city, almost every street in Telšiai has turned into a yeshiva
part of