Selig Starr

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Rabbi Selig Starr, born Zelig Starobinski (15 June 1893 Yanow or Yanaveh, Poland – 2 November 1989), was a 20th-century Talmudic scholar in Poland, Chicago and Jerusalem. As instructor of the highest-level shiur at Skokie, Illinois's Hebrew Theological College, where he was hired early in its history,[1] he was responsible for most of Orthodox rabbinical students in the Chicago area over several decades.


In his early years, Selig studied at Navaradak and Telz. At 17, he came to Slobodka yeshiva "Knesses Israel" near Kovno, Lithuania. His Talmudic training there was so thoroughly and rapidly absorbed that through scarcely no more than a boy he was ordained as rabbi, in 1921, by Rabbi Moshe Mordechai Epstein of Slobodka and Rabbi Solomon David Cahana of Warsaw.

In America[edit]

He immigrated to the United States on the S.S. Latvia, sailing from Danzig (14 July 1921) along with his widowed mother Guta Tova. He was hired to teach at the Hebrew Theological College, then in North Lawndale, Chicago; he taught there from 1921 to 1981.[2] He died at age 96 in 1989.


  1. ^ Gleicher, David (1993). "The Origins And Early Years of Chicago's Hebrew Theological College" (PDF). Tradition. 27 (2): 56–68.
  2. ^ Cohen, Kenneth (7 June 2016). "The Wisdom of Rabbi Starr". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2 September 2016.

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