Naftoli Trop

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Naftoli Trop
Rabbi Naftoli Trop.jpg
Rabbi Naftoli Trop
Born 1871 (1871)
Grodno, Grodno Governorate, Russia
Died September 24, 1928(1928-09-24) (aged 56–57)

Rabbi Naftoli Trop (1871 – September 24, 1928) was a renowned Talmudist and Talmid Chacham. He served as rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Chofetz Chaim in Raduń, Poland.

Early years[edit]

He was born in Grodno, where he studied with his father, Rabbi Moshe Trop, who was rosh yeshiva of a local yeshiva. At 14, he left to learn in Kelm, where his study partner for ten years was Rabbi Yerucham Levovitz, who went on to become mashgiach of the Mir yeshiva. Rabbi Trop proceeded to briefly study in Slabodka and Telz, where he became close to Rabbi Eliezer Gordon. He learned for a short time in the Novardok yeshiva in Slonim, where he formed a close relationship with Rabbi Yosef Yozel Horwitz (known as "the Alter of Novardok"). In 1889, when Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak (Itzele) Rabinowitz was appointed rosh yeshiva at Slabodka, Rabbi Trop returned to Slabodka to study under Rabbi Rabinowitz.

At the age of twenty-one, Rabbi Trop became engaged to the daughter of Rabbi Nosson Tzvi Finkel. However, she died a few months before the wedding. In 1895, Rabbi Trop married Pesya Leah, the daughter of Rabbi Eliezer Yaakov Chavas of Yanishok. Shortly after the wedding, he returned to Kelm where he joined a large group of young married scholars. He was greatly influenced by the mussar movement approach he chiefly absorbed in Kelm, but also in Slobodka and by means of his contact with Rabbi Horowitz in Slonim. After four years of studying in Kelm, Rabbi Trop was appointed rosh yeshiva of the Or HaChaim yeshiva in Slabodka, by its founder, Rabbi Tzvi (Hirshel) Levitan.

Raduń[edit]

In 1903, by invitation of the Chofetz Chaim, Rabbi Trop replaced Rabbi Moshe Landinski as rosh yeshiva in Raduń, where he remained for the rest of his life. Among his students in Radin were Rabbis Dovid Leibowitz, Yechezkel Sarna and Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman. Rabbi Kahaneman studied for over five years in Raduń under Rabbi Trop.

Family[edit]

Rabbi Trop's wife, Pesya Leah, contracted typhus and died in 1920. His oldest son, Avraham, also served as rosh yeshiva in Raduń until the outbreak of World War II. He immigrated to the United States, where he became rosh yeshiva of Yeshivas Chofetz Chaim in New York, and was later rosh yeshiva of the Yeshiva of Karlin-Stolin. He settled in Israel a year before he died in 1978.

Rabbi Trop's second son, Reuven, immigrated to Palestine with the group of Slabodka students who founded the Knesses Yisroel yeshiva in Chevron and later headed the yishuv yeshiva. Rabbi Trop's oldest daughter, Toiba, married Rabbi Yehoshua Eizek Kaminetsky, also known as "Eizekel Kobriner", a student of Raduń. He and his family were murdered by the Nazis.

His second daughter, Feige, married Rabbi Boruch Yosef Feivelson, who succeeded Rabbi Trop as rosh yeshiva of Raduń, but died only four years after his appointment.

Works[edit]

  • Chiddushei ha-Granat, a series of responsa, published in 1989.
  • Rabbi Trop's lectures on Nedarim were prepared by Rabbi C. M. Luban in the United States and published in 1942.
  • Additional methodical editions of Rabbi Trop's discourses were published by Rabbi Moshe Drayen of Jerusalem in 1985.

Rabbi Trop's works are now studied in yeshivas worldwide.

References[edit]