Shkop, Simeon Judah

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SHKOP, SIMEON JUDAH (1860–1940), Lithuanian talmudist and rosh yeshivah. At the age of 12, Shkop was accepted as a student at Mir Yeshivah, and later proceeded to Volozhin. He married a niece of Eliezer *Gordon and in 1885 was appointed to the Telz Yeshivah, where he remained for 18 years. In 1903, he was appointed rabbi of Maltash, and in 1907 of Bransk. During World War i, the communal leaders urged him to leave before the Germans arrived, but he refused and stayed with his community. In 1920, at the request of Ḥayyim Ozer *Grodzinski, he was appointed head of the Sha'arei Torah Yeshivah in Grodno. Shkop developed a system of talmudic study which combined the logical analysis and penetrating insights of Ḥayyim *Soloveichik with the simplicity and clarity of Naphtali Ẓevi Judah *Berlin and which became known as the "Telz way of learning." Many of his students attained distinction, among them Elhanan *Wasserman, M.A. *Amiel, and I.J. *Unterman. Alive to the problems of the day, Shkop had a winning personality. He was an active member of the Mo'ezet Gedolei Torah of the Agudat Israel. Of his many works there have been published Sha'arei Yosher (2 vols., 1928); Ma'arekhet ha-Kinyanim (1936); novellae on Bava Kamma, Bava Meẓiah, and Bava Batra (1947; with a preface by his son), on Nedarim, Gittin, and Kiddushin (1952), and on Yevamot and Ketuvot (1957). His novellae have also appeared in Ha-Posek (1941–2) and Ha-Ne'eman (1951). As the Germans were about to enter Grodno during World War ii, he ordered his students to flee to Vilna and he himself died two days later.


Sefer ha-Yovel … Shimon Yehudah ha-Kohen Shkop (1936), 9–80; Y.L. Fishman, Anashim shel Ẓurah (1947), 199–204; O.Z. Rand (ed.), Toledot Anshei Shem (1950), 143–4; Elleh Ezkerah, 2 (1957), 300–9; O. Feuchtwanger, Righteous Lives (1965), 110–4; A. Sourasky, R. Shimon ve-Torato (1972).

[Mordechai Hacohen]