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Judah Wiernikorski

WIERNIKORSKI, JUDAH (1823–1901), Russian rabbi. Born in Slonim, Judah was known as an illui ("child prodigy"). At the age of 10, he is said to have been completely conversant with three of the six orders of the Talmud: Mo'ed, Nashim, and Nezikin. At the age of 11, he married a cousin and remained in his father-in-law's house until he was 13. He then went to study with R. Isaac of Volozhin and in 1840 under R. Israel *Lipkin in Vilna. Deciding to devote himself to teaching rather than accept a rabbinical appointment, Judah was given the position of rosh yeshivah of Slonim by R. Joshua Isaac in 1861. He remained there until 1900 when he immigrated to Ereẓ Israel to spend his last days. He died in Jerusalem.

His works include Penei Yehudah, novellae on the tractates Shabbat and Ketubbot (1870); Leket Yehudah, sermons (1872); and Penei Yehudah on Bava Kamma and Keritot (1890). The manuscript of his Penei Yehudah on Pesaḥim and a commentary on the Sefer ha-Bahir ascribed to *Neḥunya b. ha-Kanah were burnt in a fire in his town.


Aḥi' asaf, 9 (1901), 428–9.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.