Rabbi Louis Ginzberg (Hebrew: לוי גינצבורג, Levy Gintzburg) was a Talmudist and leading figure in the Conservative Movement of Judaism of the twentieth century. He was born on November 28, 1873, in Kaunas, Vilna Governorate (then called Kovno). Ginzberg was born into a religious family whose piety and erudition was well known. The family traced its lineage back to the revered talmudist, halachist, and kabbalist Gaon of Vilna. Ginzberg emulated the Vilna Gaon’s intermingling of ‘academic knowledge’ in Torah studies under the label ‘historical Judaism’. In his book Students, Scholars and Saints, Ginzberg quotes the Vilna Gaon instructing, “Do not regard the views of the Shulchan Aruch as binding if you think that they are not in agreement with those of the Talmud.” Ginzberg first arrived in America in 1899, unsure where he belonged or what he should pursue. Almost immediately, he accepted a position at Hebrew Union College and subsequently wrote articles for the Jewish Encyclopedia. In 1903, he began teaching at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America (JTS) in New York City, where he taught until his death. He died on November 11, 1953, in New York City. (via his article in wikipedia).
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