Vilna Gaon (HaGra) Website and Data Base for Researchers, Students and Scholars.

“The Vilna Gaon said that the whole Torah and every story told in it applies not only for the generation that received the Torah but for each generation and for every individual every day of their lives for it is eternal.”


International Conference

December 9-10th 2019. International Conference commemorating 300 years since the birth of the Vilna Gaon. "The Vilna Gaon: His thought and his Influence on later Generations". Bar Ilan University.

International Research Workshop

New Discoveries in the research of the Vilna Gaon's writings. Ariel University. Preregistration needed. Under the auspices of the Jewish Studies Department and the Israel Science Foundation.

New Book

Conversations with R. Hayyim of Volozhin: Based on manuscript. The book rewrites the famous sheiltot of R. Hayyim which was the basis of Keter Rosh. Book based on six sources including manuscripts.

“One needs to know three wisdoms: Divine wisdom, natural wisdom and practical wisdom.” (LikuteiHagra MiKtav Yad commentary to Isaiah)

Vilna Gaon

Rabbi Elijah Ben Solomon Zalman (The Vilna Gaon or the Gr’a). The Gaon was born in Seltz (Sielec, Belarus today), and grew up in Vilna (Vilnius) Lithuania, part of the Polish-Lithuanian Empire, which came under Russian Protectorate in 1768 and collapsed in 1795. The Gaon was born on the first day of Passover 5480 (1720) and passed away on the 5th day of sukkot 5558 (1797). He was a descendant of the legalist Rabbi Moses Rivkes of Vilna (1591-1671), author of the Be’er HaGolah (Well for the Exiles) (or Be’er HaGulah – the uncovered well) commentary on the Shulkhan Arukh. The Gaon was called also Hasid during his lifetime, meaning righteous one, a title he might have inherited from his great grandfather R. Eliyahu Hasid.

“I heard from his holy mouth that whatever one lacks in general knowledge they will lack one hundred fold in Torah Knowledge.”



The purpose of the membership is twofold. Much work has gone into putting this database together and the upkeep is an ongoing expense. We request a nominal fee of     10 USD to help us perpetuate this site.

In addition, the membership gives us information of those involved in research of the Gaon so that we can update them when new events or discoveries arise. We would also be happy to learn of whatever research you might have done to add to our database.


Raphael Shuchat


Raphael Shuchat has been teaching Jewish Philosophy and Kabbalah at Bar Ilan University for the past 27 years and has been a researcher at Ariel University for the past four years. He has published 5 books and over 40 articles. His research has been primarily on the Vilna Gaon and his students as well as Lithuanian Kabbalah in the 18th and 19th centuries. His work on the Gaon has won him the Minister of Educations Prize in 1997, as well as a grant from the Israel Science Foundation in 2016 and in 2019.

Dr. Eliezer Baumgarten


Eliezer Baumgarten focuses on intellectual history of Kabbala and visualization of kabbalistic knowledge in the early modern period. He completed his Ph.D. in Jewish thought at Ben-Gurion University under the guidance of Prof. Boas Huss. In his Ph.D dissertation, which is about Kabbalah in the circle of the Vilna Gaon, he tried to prove that kabbalistic writing must be read as rooted in a specific social and political context of the place where it was written. He published the ‘The Gra and His Disciples Attitude towards the Authority of the Ari’ in 2011.

That’s why in the temple the cherubims had the faces of children since they have a special Godly connection.”


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