Isaac Jacob Reines
Born in Karolin, Belorussia,
he studied at yeshivot in Eishistok and Volozhin
before becoming a rabbi in Lithuania. His
last post was in Lida, where he was the rabbi
from 1885 until his death.
A member of the Hibbat
Zion movement from its inception, Reines joined Rabbi
Samuel Mohilever in proposing settlement
which combined Torah study with physical
labor. He was also one of the first rabbis
to answer Herzl's call to become part of
the Zionist movement; as such, he attended
Zionist Congress (Basle, 1897).
Herzl recognized the need for rabbis to support
his new movement.
While most of his eastern
and western European rabbinical colleagues
remained opposed to political
1902 Reines published a book, Or Hadash
al Tzion (A New Light on Zion) which
countered the claims of the Anti-Zionist rabbis. The same year he organized a conference
of the religious
Zionist movement in Vilna,
where the Mizrachi movement was founded.
He was recognized as the movement's leader
at its founding convention in Pressburg,
Bratislava in 1904.
In 1905, Reines accomplished
his own personal dream with the establishment
of a yeshiva in Lida where both secular and
religious subjects were taught. In sharp
contrast to the pilpul method which characterized
eastern European Jewish scholarship, Reines's
approach was most unusual for the time.
Authority for Jewish Zionist Education