The Volozhin Yeshiva known as Etz Chaim Yeshiva, was a prestigious Lithuanian yeshiva located in the town of Volozhin, Russia. It was founded by Rabbi Chaim Volozhin, a student of the famed Vilna Gaon, trained several generations of scholars and leaders. Completed in 1806, it was the first modern yeshiva to be established and became known as the "mother of all yeshivas," it serving as a model for all yeshivas which opened in Lithuania; the institution reached its zenith under the leadership of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, who became the rosh yeshiva in 1854. In 1892, demands of the Russian authorities to increase secular studies forced the yeshiva to close, it functioned until 1939 when World War II broke out. During the war German soldiers used the building as a stable and it was subsequently converted into a canteen and deli; the site was returned to the Jewish community of Belarus in 1989. The building is considered a cultural and architectural landmark and in 1998, the Volozhin Yeshiva was registered on the State List of Historical and Cultural Monuments of the Republic of Belarus.
The yeshiva was founded in 1802 by Rabbi Chaim Volozhin. After his death in 1821, he was succeeded as head of the yeshiva by Isaac; when Isaac died in 1849, Rabbi Eliezer Fried was appointed head of the yeshiva, with Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin as his assistant. Rabbi Fried died soon after, in 1854, whereupon Rabbi Berlin became the new head along with Rabbi Joseph Ber Soloveichik, Reb Chaim Volozhin's great-grandson, the assistant rosh yeshiva. In 1865, Soloveichik left to become a rabbi in Slutsk. From 1886 through 1991, alumni of this yeshiva and their descendants ran a synagogue on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York that carried the name of this yeshiva; the Volozhin yeshiva closed in 1892. The reason for the closure was the Russian government's demand for a dramatic increase in the amount of time spent teaching certain secular studies, it is to note that it is documented in the biography of R Chaim Soleveitchik that there were secular studies taught for a short period some nights that were attended.
However these were concessions mandated that the rosh hayeshivas felt were neccesarry rather shut down the yeshiva. When the government impossed extreme guidlines Rabbi Berlin refused to comply and allowed the government to close the yeshiva.: "All teachers of all subjects must have college diplomas... no Judaic subjects may be taught between 9 AM and 3 PM... no night classes are allowed... total hours of study per day may not exceed ten." Others, such as historian Shaul Stampfer, say the root of the problem was Rabbi Berlin's attempt to install his son as Rosh Yeshiva in the face of opposition. Russian government documents that have come to light seem to indicate that this was a consideration in the yeshiva's closure. Rabbi Refael Shapiro, the son-in-law of Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, reopened the yeshiva in 1899, albeit on a smaller scale, it remained open until World War II, was reestablished on a small scale, in Israel after the war. In 2000, the Valozhyn authorities returned the building to the Jewish Religious Union of Belarus, an Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization.
In 2007, the government of Belarus threatened to repossess the building unless the community raised $20,000 in order to renovate it. The Jewish community in America took Agudath Israel raised money to restore the site; the yeshiva building is presently undergoing restoration through the partnership of Yad Yisroel and the Union of Religious Congregations of the Republic of Belarus. Volozhin yeshiva Shaul Stampfer, Lithuanian Yeshivas of the Nineteenth Century E. Leoni, Wolozyn.
Jurbarkas is a city in Tauragė County, in Samogitia, Lithuania. It is on the right-hand shore of the Neman at its confluence with the tributaries Imsre; the town became an important road junction after a bridge was built over the Neman in 1978. The name Jurbarkas is derived from the Ordensburg castle, built in the 13th century. Jurbarkas has been known by many derivate spellings in various languages throughout its history; the most notable non-Lithuanian names for the city include: in Samogitian Jorbarks, in German Georgenburg and Eurburg, in Polish, in Yiddish יורבורג. Although Jurbarkas is said to have been a seat of Lithuanian princes from the Palemonids legend, it was first documented in 1259 as the Teutonic Knights' Ordensburg castle of Georgenburg on the Neman; this castle was constructed 3 km west of the current town on a hill now known as Bispiliukai, while the Lithuanians built a castle on Bispulis hill by the Imsre. Although the German crusaders were at war with the Lithuanians, King of Lithuania, did not oppose Georgenburg's construction after his conversion to Christianity.
The castle of Georgenburg was abandoned by the Teutonic Knights after their defeat in the Battle of Grunwald in 1410. The region was included within Lithuania in the Treaty of Melno in 1422, the current site of Jurbarkas began to develop as a border town and customs point, growing through the exporting of lumber on the Neman to Ducal Prussia. In 1586 famous chronicler Maciej Stryjkowski became a church provost in Jurbarkas. King Sigismund III Vasa granted Jurbarkas its Magdeburg rights in 1611. In 1795 Jurbarkas was annexed by the Russian Empire during the third partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and was part of Vilna Governorate a part of Kovno Governorate, its growth stagnated during the 19th century as traffic on the Neman decreased because of the rise of railways. The town was liberated from the occupying Russian forces by the insurgents during the November Uprising in 1831; because of its riverside location, Jubarkas suffered from floods. 120 houses burned down from a fire in 1906.
Jurbarkas was for centuries a multi-ethnic community. During the 17th century some of the town's Jewish population were employed as tax collectors for the Lithuanian government. By 1714 Jubarkas had 2,333 Jews. By 1790 the town had one of the oldest in the region. In 1862 there were 2,550 Jews. In 1843 Emperor Nicholas I ordered that Jews living within 50 km of the Empire's western border should relocate eastward, but Jurbarkas was one of 19 towns which disobeyed the order; the Jewish Enlightenment prospered in Jurbarkas. Many of the town's citizens left during World War I, it became part of Raseiniai County in the independent Lithuania created after the war. The population decreased from 7,391 in 1897 to 4,409 in 1923; the Jewish population decreased over the same period from 2,350 to 1,887, though that represented an increase from 32% to 43%. A government census in Jurbarkas in 1931 indicated that Jews owned 69 of 75 business and 18 of 19 light industries. While Jurbarkas had been for generations a town of tolerance, during the nationalist climate of the 1930s Jews suffered from persecution such as suppression of their commerce, physical attacks, burning of their property.
The Soviet Union occupied the town in 1940 during World War II and nationalized many of the Jewish-owned companies. Jewish cultural organizations were suppressed. Jurbarkas was invaded by Nazi Germany on 22 June 1941, the first day of Operation Barbarossa. Among other persecutions, Lithuanian collaborators forced the Jews to destroy the wooden synagogue; the Jewish population of Jurbarkas was systematically killed in 1941. A few dozen Jews from the town and escapees from the Kaunas Ghetto formed a partisan group to attack Nazi forces, although the majority were killed. A monument at the mass graves was constructed after the war to honor the Holocaust victims. Few of Yurburg’s Jewish citizens survived World War II. Of those that did, some remained in Vilnius or Kaunas after the War, while most emigrated to Palestine, the US, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, or other nations – in some cases joining family and friends who had left Lithuania before the War. Former residents, their descendants, scholars have chronicled Jewish life in Yurburg before and after the War through memoirs, websites and a memorial.
The Memorial Book of the Jewish Community of Yurburg, Lithuania was published in Hebrew in 1991, was updated and translated into English in 2003. More information on the Jewish community of Yurburg is available; the completed Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin commemorates the Krelitz Family of Yurburg in the ‘Family Fates’ room of the Memorial’s Information Center located under the Memorial. The Jewish cemetery at Yurburg stands as a lone sentinel of its once thriving and vibrant community, one of the best preserved in a small town of Lithuania. Over 300 headstones, some dating as early as the 1700s, are visible. In recent years and government officials have made significant strides to repair and archive the headstones at the cemetery. Restoration and maintenance work at the cemetery is ongoing, represents collaborative efforts by numerous volunteer and government organizations and individuals, including former Yurburg residents, their descendants around the world and non-Jewish individuals and gro
Reform Judaism is a major Jewish denomination that emphasizes the evolving nature of the faith, the superiority of its ethical aspects to the ceremonial ones, a belief in a continuous revelation intertwined with human reason and intellect, not centered on the theophany at Mount Sinai. A liberal strand of Judaism, it is characterized by a lesser stress on ritual and personal observance, regarding Jewish Law as non-binding and the individual Jew as autonomous, openness to external influences and progressive values; the origins of Reform Judaism lay in 19th-century Germany, where its early principles were formulated by Rabbi Abraham Geiger and his associates. It is identified with progressive political and social agendas under the traditional Jewish rubric Tikkun Olam, or "Repairing of the World". Tikkun Olam is a central motto of Reform Judaism, action for its sake is one of the main channels for adherents to express their affiliation; the movement's greatest center today is in North America.
The various regional branches sharing these beliefs, including the American Union for Reform Judaism, the Movement for Reform Judaism and Liberal Judaism in Britain, the Israel Movement for Reform and Progressive Judaism, are all united within the international World Union for Progressive Judaism. Founded in 1926, the WUPJ estimates it represents at least 1.8 million people in 50 countries: close to a million registered adult congregants, as well as numerous unaffiliated individuals who identify with it. This makes it the second-largest Jewish denomination worldwide, its inherent pluralism and great importance placed on individual autonomy impede any simplistic definition of Reform Judaism. They warrant and obligate further modification and reject any fixed, permanent set of beliefs, laws or practices. A clear description became challenging since the turn toward a policy favouring inclusiveness over a coherent theology in the 1970s; this overlapped with what researchers termed as the transition from "Classical" to "New" Reform in America, paralleled in the other, smaller branches across the world.
The movement ceased stressing principles and core beliefs, focusing more on the personal spiritual experience and communal participation. This shift was not accompanied by a distinct new doctrine or by the abandonment of the former, but rather with ambiguity; the leadership allowed and encouraged a wide variety of positions, from selective adoption of halakhic observance to elements approaching religious humanism. The declining importance of the theoretical foundation, in favour of pluralism and equivocalness, did draw large crowds of newcomers, it diversified Reform to a degree that made it hard to formulate a clear definition of it. Early and "Classical" Reform were characterized by a move away from traditional forms of Judaism combined with a coherent theology. Critics, like Rabbi Dana Evan Kaplan, warned that Reform became more of a Jewish activities club, a means to demonstrate some affinity to one's heritage in which rabbinical students do not have to believe in any specific theology or engage in any particular practice, rather than a defined belief system.
In regard to God, while some voices among the spiritual leadership approached religious and secular humanism – a tendency that grew from the mid-20th century, both among clergy and constituents, leading to broader, dimmer definitions of the concept – the movement had always maintained a theistic stance, affirming the belief in a personal God. Early Reform thinkers in Germany clung to this precept; the God-Idea as taught in our sacred Scripture" as consecrating the Jewish people to be its priests. It was grounded on a wholly theistic understanding, although the term "God-idea" was excoriated by outside critics. So was the 1937 Columbus Declaration of Principles, which spoke of "One, living God who rules the world"; the 1976 San Francisco Centenary Perspective, drafted at a time of great discord among Reform theologians, upheld "the affirmation of God... Challenges of modern culture have made steady belief difficult for some. We ground our lives and communally, on God's reality." The 1999 Pittsburgh Statement of Principles declared the "reality and oneness of God".
British Liberal Judaism affirms the "Jewish conception of God: One and indivisible and immanent, Creator and Sustainer". The basic tenet of Reform theology is a belief in a continuous, or progressive, occurring continuously and not limited to the theophany at Sinai, the defining event in traditional interpretation. According to this view, all holy scripture of Judaism, including the Pentateuch, were authored by human beings who, although under divine inspiration, inserted their understanding and reflected the spirit of their consecutive ages. All the People Israel are a further link in the chain of revelation, capable of reaching new insights: religion can be renewed without being dependent on past conventions; the chief promulgator of this concept was Abraham Geiger considered the founder of the movement. After critical research led him to regard scripture
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American newspaper based in New York City with worldwide influence and readership. Founded in 1851, the paper has won more than any other newspaper; the Times is ranked 17th in the world by circulation and 2nd in the U. S; the paper is owned by The New York Times Company, publicly traded and is controlled by the Sulzberger family through a dual-class share structure. It has been owned by the family since 1896. G. Sulzberger, the paper's publisher, his father, Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. the company's chairman, are the fourth and fifth generation of the family to helm the paper. Nicknamed "The Gray Lady", the Times has long been regarded within the industry as a national "newspaper of record"; the paper's motto, "All the News That's Fit to Print", appears in the upper left-hand corner of the front page. Since the mid-1970s, The New York Times has expanded its layout and organization, adding special weekly sections on various topics supplementing the regular news, editorials and features.
Since 2008, the Times has been organized into the following sections: News, Editorials/Opinions-Columns/Op-Ed, New York, Sports of The Times, Science, Home and other features. On Sunday, the Times is supplemented by the Sunday Review, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times Magazine and T: The New York Times Style Magazine; the Times stayed with the broadsheet full-page set-up and an eight-column format for several years after most papers switched to six, was one of the last newspapers to adopt color photography on the front page. The New York Times was founded as the New-York Daily Times on September 18, 1851. Founded by journalist and politician Henry Jarvis Raymond and former banker George Jones, the Times was published by Raymond, Jones & Company. Early investors in the company included Edwin B. Morgan, Christopher Morgan, Edward B. Wesley. Sold for a penny, the inaugural edition attempted to address various speculations on its purpose and positions that preceded its release: We shall be Conservative, in all cases where we think Conservatism essential to the public good.
We do not believe that everything in Society is either right or wrong. In 1852, the newspaper started a western division, The Times of California, which arrived whenever a mail boat from New York docked in California. However, the effort failed. On September 14, 1857, the newspaper shortened its name to The New-York Times. On April 21, 1861, The New York Times began publishing a Sunday edition to offer daily coverage of the Civil War. One of the earliest public controversies it was involved with was the Mortara Affair, the subject of twenty editorials in the Times alone; the main office of The New York Times was attacked during the New York City Draft Riots. The riots, sparked by the beginning of drafting for the Union Army, began on July 13, 1863. On "Newspaper Row", across from City Hall, Henry Raymond stopped the rioters with Gatling guns, early machine guns, one of which he manned himself; the mob diverted, instead attacking the headquarters of abolitionist publisher Horace Greeley's New York Tribune until being forced to flee by the Brooklyn City Police, who had crossed the East River to help the Manhattan authorities.
In 1869, Henry Raymond died, George Jones took over as publisher. The newspaper's influence grew in 1870 and 1871, when it published a series of exposés on William Tweed, leader of the city's Democratic Party—popularly known as "Tammany Hall" —that led to the end of the Tweed Ring's domination of New York's City Hall. Tweed had offered The New York Times five million dollars to not publish the story. In the 1880s, The New York Times transitioned from supporting Republican Party candidates in its editorials to becoming more politically independent and analytical. In 1884, the paper supported Democrat Grover Cleveland in his first presidential campaign. While this move cost The New York Times a portion of its readership among its more progressive and Republican readers, the paper regained most of its lost ground within a few years. After George Jones died in 1891, Charles Ransom Miller and other New York Times editors raised $1 million dollars to buy the Times, printing it under the New York Times Publishing Company.
However, the newspaper was financially crippled by the Panic of 1893, by 1896, the newspaper had a circulation of less than 9,000, was losing $1,000 a day. That year, Adolph Ochs, the publisher of the Chattanooga Times, gained a controlling interest in the company for $75,000. Shortly after assuming control of the paper, Ochs coined the paper's slogan, "All The News That's Fit To Print"; the slogan has appeared in the paper since September 1896, has been printed in a box in the upper left hand corner of the front page since early 1897. The slogan was a jab at competing papers, such as Joseph Pulitzer's New York World and William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal, which were known for a lurid and inaccurate reporting of facts and opinions, described by the end of the century as "yellow journalism". Under Ochs' guidance, aided by Carr
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. Tracing its heritage back to Thomas Jefferson and James Madison's Democratic-Republican Party, the modern-day Democratic Party was founded around 1828 by supporters of Andrew Jackson, making it the world's oldest active political party; the Democrats' dominant worldview was once social conservatism and economic liberalism, while populism was its leading characteristic in the rural South. In 1912, Theodore Roosevelt ran as a third-party candidate in the Progressive Party, beginning a switch of political platforms between the Democratic and Republican Party over the coming decades, leading to Woodrow Wilson being elected as the first fiscally progressive Democrat. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal coalition in the 1930s, the Democratic Party has promoted a social liberal platform, supporting social justice. Well into the 20th century, the party had conservative pro-business and Southern conservative-populist anti-business wings.
The New Deal Coalition of 1932–1964 attracted strong support from voters of recent European extraction—many of whom were Catholics based in the cities. After Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s, the pro-business wing withered outside the South. After the racial turmoil of the 1960s, most Southern whites and many Northern Catholics moved into the Republican Party at the presidential level; the once-powerful labor union element became less supportive after the 1970s. White Evangelicals and Southerners became Republican at the state and local level since the 1990s. People living in metropolitan areas, women and gender minorities, college graduates, racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, such as Jewish Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans and African Americans, tend to support the Democratic Party much more than they support the rival Republican Party; the Democratic Party's philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with the welfare state.
It seeks to provide government regulation in the economy. These interventions, such as the introduction of social programs, support for labor unions, affordable college tuitions, moves toward universal health care and equal opportunity, consumer protection and environmental protection form the core of the party's economic policy. Fifteen Democrats have served as President of the United States; the first was President Andrew Jackson, the seventh president and served from 1829 to 1837. The most recent was President Barack Obama, the 44th president and held office from 2009 to 2017. Following the 2018 midterm elections, the Democrats held a majority in the House of Representatives, "trifectas" in 14 states, the mayoralty of numerous major American cities, such as Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, San Francisco, Portland and Washington, D. C. Twenty-three state governors were Democrats, the Party was the minority party in the Senate and in most state legislatures; as of March 2019, four of the nine Justices of the Supreme Court had been appointed by Democratic presidents.
Democratic Party officials trace its origins to the inspiration of the Democratic-Republican Party, founded by Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and other influential opponents of the Federalists in 1792. That party inspired the Whigs and modern Republicans. Organizationally, the modern Democratic Party arose in the 1830s with the election of Andrew Jackson. Since the nomination of William Jennings Bryan in 1896, the party has positioned itself to the left of the Republican Party on economic issues, they have been more liberal on civil rights issues since 1948. On foreign policy, both parties have changed position several times; the Democratic Party evolved from the Jeffersonian Republican or Democratic-Republican Party organized by Jefferson and Madison in opposition to the Federalist Party of Alexander Hamilton and John Adams. The party favored republicanism; the Democratic-Republican Party came to power in the election of 1800. After the War of 1812, the Federalists disappeared and the only national political party left was the Democratic-Republicans.
The era of one-party rule in the United States, known as the Era of Good Feelings, lasted from 1816 until the early 1830s, when the Whig Party became a national political group to rival the Democratic-Republicans. However, the Democratic-Republican Party still had its own internal factions, they split over the choice of a successor to President James Monroe and the party faction that supported many of the old Jeffersonian principles, led by Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren, became the modern Democratic Party. As Norton explains the transformation in 1828: Jacksonians believed the people's will had prevailed. Through a lavishly financed coalition of state parties, political leaders, newspaper editors, a popular movement had elected the president; the Democrats became the nation's first well-organized national party and tight party organization became the hallmark of nineteenth-century American politics. Opposing factions led by Henry Clay helped form the Whig Party; the Democratic Party had a small yet decisive advantage over the Whigs until the 1850s, when the Whigs fell apart over the issue of slavery.
In 1854, angry with the Kansas–Nebraska Act, anti-slavery Dem
Hayim Nahman Bialik
Hayim Nahman Bialik Chaim or Haim, was a Jewish poet who wrote in Hebrew but in Yiddish. Bialik was one of the pioneers of modern Hebrew poetry, he was part of the vanguard of Jewish thinkers who gave voice to the breath of new life in Jewish life. Although he died before Israel became a state, Bialik came to be recognized as Israel's national poet. Bialik was born in Ivnitsa, Zhitomir Oblast, Volhynian Governorate in the Russian Empire to Itzik-Yosef Bialik, a scholar and businessman from Zhitomir, his wife, Dinah-Priveh, he had sister Chenya-Ides, as well as a younger sister Blyuma. When Bialik was still a child, his father died. In his poems, Bialik romanticized the misery of his childhood, describing seven orphans left behind—though modern biographers believe there were fewer children, including grown step-siblings who did not need to be supported. Be that as it may, from the age 7 onwards Bialik was raised in Zhitomir by his Orthodox grandfather, Yankl-Moishe Bialik. In Zhitomir he received a traditional Jewish religious education, but explored European literature.
At the age of 15, inspired by an article he read, he convinced his grandfather to send him to the Volozhin Yeshiva in Lithuania, to study at a famous Talmudic academy under Rabbi Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin, where he hoped he could continue his Jewish schooling while expanding his education to European literature as well. Attracted to the Jewish Enlightenment movement, Bialik drifted away from yeshiva life. There is a story in the biography of Rabbi Chaim Solevetchik that cites an anonymous student reputed to be him; the story goes that Rabbi Chaim, after expelling Bialik from the yeshiva for being involved in the Haskala movement escorted his former student out. When asked "Why?" the rabbi replied that he spent the time convincing Bialik not to use his writing talents against the yeshiva world. Poems such as HaMatmid written in 1898, reflect Bialik's great ambivalence toward that way of life: on the one hand admiration for the dedication and devotion of the yeshiva students to their studies, on the other hand a disdain for the narrowness of their world.
At 18 he left for Odessa, the center of modern Jewish culture in the southern Russian Empire, drawn by such luminaries as Mendele Mocher Sforim and Ahad Ha'am. In Odessa, Bialik studied Russian and German language and literature and dreamed of enrolling in the Modern Orthodox Rabbinical Seminary in Berlin. Alone and penniless, he made his living teaching Hebrew; the 1892 publication of his first poem, El Hatzipor "To the Bird", which expresses a longing for Zion, in a booklet edited by Yehoshua Ravnitzky, eased Bialik's way into Jewish literary circles in Odessa. He joined the Hovevei Zion movement and befriended Ahad Ha'am, who had a great influence on his Zionist outlook. In 1892 Bialik heard news that the Volozhin Yeshiva had closed and returned home to Zhitomir to prevent his grandfather from discovering that he had discontinued his religious education, he arrived to find both his older brother close to death. Following their deaths, Bialik married Manya Averbuch in 1893. For a time he served as a bookkeeper in his father-in-law's lumber business in Korostyshiv, near Kiev.
But when this proved unsuccessful, he moved in 1897 to Sosnowiec, a small town in Zaglebie, southern Poland, part of the Russian Empire, near the border with Prussia and Austria. In Sosnowiec, Bialik worked as a Hebrew teacher and tried to earn extra income as a coal merchant, but the provincial life depressed him, he was able to return to Odessa in 1900, having secured a teaching job. Bialik's first visit to the US was to Hartford, CT, where he stayed with Cousin Raymond Bialeck and his family, his closest living relatives in the US include Alison Bialeck and Richard Bialeck. He is the uncle of actress Mayim Bialik's great-great-grandfather. For the next two decades, Bialik taught and continued his activities in Zionist and literary circles, as his literary fame continued to rise; this is considered Bialik's "golden period". In 1901 his first collection of poetry was published in Warsaw, was greeted with much critical acclaim, to the point that he was hailed "the poet of national renaissance."
Bialik relocated to Warsaw in 1904 as literary editor of the weekly magazine HaShiloah founded by Ahad Ha'am, a position he served for six years. In 1903 Bialik was sent by the Jewish Historical Commission in Odessa to interview survivors of the Kishinev pogroms and prepare a report. In response to his findings Bialik wrote his epic poem In the City of Slaughter, a powerful statement of anguish at the situation of the Jews. Bialik's condemnation of passivity against anti-Semitic violence is said to have influenced the founding Jewish self-defense groups in the Russian Empire, the Haganah in Palestine. Bialik visited Palestine in 1909. In the early 20th century, together with Ravnitzky, Simcha Ben Zion and Elhanan Levinsky, Bialik founded a Hebrew publishing house, which issued Hebrew classics and school texts, he translated into Hebrew various European works, such as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, Schiller's Wilhelm Tell, Cervantes' Don Quixote, Heine's poems. Throughout the years 1899–1915, Bialik published about 20 of his Yiddish poems in different Yiddish periodicals in the Russian Empire.
These poems are considered to be among the best achievements of modern Yiddish poetry of that period. In collaboration with Ravnitzky, Bialik published Sefer HaAggadah, a three-volume edition
In Judaism, shechita is slaughtering of certain mammals and birds for food according to kashrut. The Torah states that sheep and cattle should be slaughtered "as I have instructed you" but nowhere in the Five books of Moses are any of the practices of shechita described. Instead, they have been handed down in Judaism's traditional Oral Torah, codified in halakha; the animal must be of a permitted species. For mammals, this is restricted to ruminants. For birds, although biblically any species of bird not excluded in Deuteronomy 14:12–18 would be permitted, doubts as to the identity and scope of the species on the biblical list led to rabbinical law permitting only birds with a tradition of being permissible. Fish do not require kosher slaughter to be considered kosher, but are subject to other laws found in Leviticus 11:9–12which determine whether or not they are kosher. In the Talmudic era, rabbis started to define kosher laws; as the laws increased in number and complexity, following ritual slaughter laws became difficult for Jews who were not trained in those laws.
This resulted in the need for a shochet to perform the slaughtering in the communities. The shochtim study which slaughtered animals are kosher, what disqualifies them from being kosher, how to prepare animals according to the laws of shechita. Subjects of study include the preparation of slaughtering tools, ways to interpret which foods follow the laws of shechita, types of terefot Shochtim studied under rabbis to learn the laws of shechita. Rabbis acted as the academics who, among themselves, debated how to apply laws from the Torah to the preparation of animals. Rabbis conducted experiments to determine under which terefot animals were no-longer kosher. Shochtim studied under these rabbis, as rabbis were the officials who first interpret and determine the laws of shechita. Shochtim are essential to every Jewish community, so they earn elevated social status. In medieval ages, the shochtim were treated as second in social status, just underneath rabbis. Shochtim were respected for committing their time to studying and for their importance to their communities.
The procedure, which must be performed by a shochet, is described in the relevant texts only as severing the wind pipe and food pipe. Nothing is mentioned about arteries. However, in practice, as a long sharp knife is used, in cattle the soft tissues in the neck are sliced through without the knife touching the spinal cord, in the course of which four major blood vessels, two of which transport oxygenated blood to the brain the other two transporting blood back to the heart are severed; the vagus nerve is cut in this operation. With fowl, the same procedure is followed. A special knife is used, long; the procedure may be lying on its back or standing. In the case of fowl the bird is held in the non-dominant hand in such a way that the head is pulled back and the neck exposed, while the cut made with the dominant hand; the procedure is done with the intention of causing a rapid drop in blood pressure in the brain and loss of consciousness, to render the animal insensitive to pain and to exsanguinate in a prompt and precise action.
It has been suggested that eliminating blood flow through the carotid arteries does not cut blood flow to the brain of a bovine because the brain is supplied with blood by vertebral arteries, however other authorities note the distinction between severing the carotid versus blocking it. If one did not sever the entirety of both the trachea and esophagus an animal may still be considered kosher as long as one severed the majority of the trachea and esophagus of a mammal, or the majority of either one of these in the case of birds; the cut must be incised with a back and forth motion without violating one of the five major prohibited techniques, or various other detailed rules. Shehiyah - Pausing during the incision and starting to cut again makes the animal's flesh unkosher; the knife must be moved across the neck in an uninterrupted motion until the trachea and esophagus are sufficiently severed to avoid this. There is some disagreement among legal sources as to the exact length of time needed to constitute shehiyah, but today the normative practice is to disqualify a kosher cut as a result of any length of pausing.
Derasah - The knife must be drawn across the throat by a back and forth movement, not by chopping, hacking, or pressing without moving the knife back and forth. There are those who assert that it is forbidden to have the animal in an upright position during shechita due to the prohibition of derasah, they maintain that the animal must be on its back or lying on its side, some allow for the animal to be suspended upside down. However, the Rambam explicitly permits upright slaughter, the Orthodox Union as well as all other major kosher certifiers in the United States accept upright slaughter. Haladah (חלדה.