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Tiktinski

TIKTINSKI

TIKTINSKI , Lithuanian family associated with the foundation and development of the famous yeshivah of *Mir. In 1815 samuel tiktinski (d. 1835), a merchant of considerable means and a talmudic scholar, gathered together some of the youth of Mir and district and began to lecture regularly to them, defraying from his own pocket the expenses involved in their maintenance. His son abraham (d. 1835) helped with the teaching and the administration, but with the increase in the number of students, his father in 1823 transferred to him the whole burden of administration. To this task he applied himself with selfless devotion. In addition to teaching, he took particular care to initiate a spirit of concentration in prayer, himself serving as an example. He abolished the prevalent custom of students having meals with a different family each day, in this way raising their status. The fame of the yeshivah spread, and when Abraham could no longer finance it from his own means, he sought outside help. The supporters of the *Volozhin Yeshivah accused Mir Yeshivah of encroaching upon its supporters. The case was put before Abraham *Abele of Vilna who decided in favor of Mir. Both Samuel and Abraham died in 1835 and Joseph David, the rabbi of Mir, was appointed rosh yeshivah and was followed in both positions by his son Abraham Moses. In 1850, however, Samuel's second son Ḥayyim leib (1824–1899) was appointed joint principal of the yeshivah with him, and with this appointment a new era began. In addition to his great scholarship, Ḥayyim Leib was distinguished by a gift for teaching and by his method. He eschewed pilpul; he insisted that the student must devote himself solely to the texts and the commentaries if he wished to arrive at an understanding of them. Israel *Lipkin said that anyone who wanted to learn a page of Talmud properly should attend Ḥayyim Leib's lectures. On the death of Abraham Moses in 1867, the whole responsibility of Mir Yeshivah devolved upon Ḥayyim Leib. His son samuel (d. 1883) began to help in 1877, but he died six years later, whereupon Ḥayyim's younger son abraham was appointed lecturer; in the following year his daughter's son, Judah Spira, became mashgi'ah. In 1878 and again in 1892 the yeshivah was burnt down in fires which swept the town, and his writings, which were still in manuscript form, were also destroyed. Ḥayyim Leib worked untiringly to replace the buildings. He was able to gain the assistance of Clara de *Hirsch and of the Rothschild family. Among his distinguished disciples was Simeon *Shkop. Ḥayyim Leib died in Warsaw where he had gone for medical treatment.

bibliography:

M.J. Goldberg, Toledot … Ḥayyim Yehudah Leib Tiktinski (1902); Yahadut Lita, 1 (1960), index; 3 (1967), index; Zinovitz, in: Shanah be-Shanah 5723 (1962/63), 555–9.

[Mordechai Hacohen]

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