A few months’ ago, I happened across an interesting person in Jewish history named Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim.
It was back in that period of time when I was writing pieces about the Yichus of Shimon Peres, and the Yichus of Sarah Paritsky, wife of Ben Nitay – the infamous descendent of the Vilna Gaon who was recently booted out as PM in Israel.
What was coming through loud and clear from all that research, at that time, is how all these secular politicians were literally related to each other, and notably to the Vilna Gaon and his small band of, disciples and ‘perushim’.
Back then, we were discovering that any way you sliced a ‘division’ in the Jewish community, you would find members of the exact same three families heading it up.
- Mitnaged vs chassid…
- Zionist vs ‘anti’-Zionist…
- Religious vs secular…
- Reform vs ultra-orthodox…
- And probably even
- Sephardi vs ashkenazi – although standing that one up in real time is something that’s going to take me a huge amount of time to prove, if I ever get around to it.
It comes back to this idea of ‘controlled opposition’, where basically the controllers have to have their people on both sides of the equation, the war, the division, in order to ensure an outcome that can be, well, controlled.
At that point, so many months ago, I tripped over some interesting connections with the Karelitz family of gaonim.
But I decided to shelve them, as I had enough controversy going on at that point.
Well, today I was going to write you a whole long piece explaining how all these PCR tests we are doing in Israel are sending our DNA directly to databases in China – in Wuhan, actually – with the blessing of the corrupt State of Israel.
But somehow, I managed to delete all my tabs again, which I took as a sign that I should write about something else instead.
And then, bizarrely, out of nowhere, I ‘tripped over’ all the information about Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim, that I decided to shelve, six months ago.
Lots has happened since then.
Like this, for example:
So, I decided that shemayim decided I should write this stuff today, so people can decide for themselves what might be going on here, in the family-run mafia aka the State of Israel.
Let’s start with the Wikipage for Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim, full as it is with deliberate misdirection.
There, we learn the following:
Shimshon (Samson) ben Mordechai of Slonim (c. 1734/1736 – 1794), was an 18th-century rabbi, philosopher, mathematician, and scientist.
He was one of the leaders of Haskalah and the Misnagdim, and was greatly influenced by the Vilna Gaon. He was the Av Beit Din of Slonim and Königsberg and is thought to have been descended from Shimshon Loew ben Bezalel, the Maharal of Prague’s brother through his grandson, Samson ben Pesah Ostropoli.
Straight off the bat, please notice we are back in ‘Maharal of Prague’ territory.
Honestly, we nearly always are.
Let’s get the easy stuff out the way first.
First, let’s define what the Haskalah actually was (from Wikipedia):
The Haskalah, often termed Jewish Enlightenment (Hebrew: השכלה; literally, “wisdom”, “erudition” or “education”), was an intellectual movement among the Jews of Central and Eastern Europe, with certain influence on those in Western Europe and the Muslim world. It arose as a defined ideological worldview during the 1770s, and its last stage ended around 1881, with the rise of Jewish nationalism.
In other words, Reform Judaism, zionism and mass conversion, atheism and Jewish apostasy all flowed from this same well of ‘Haskalah’, culminating in the creation of the State of Israel.
And this guy, Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim, was somehow bang in the middle of enthusiastically pushing all that along.
Perhaps, then, you’ll find it a little strange to learn that Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim’s descendants include the Chazon Ish and R’ Chaim Kanievsky.
Here’s how that goes, in descending order:
Gershon Zelig Karelitz >
Zundel Karelitz >
Yeshaya Shmeril Karelitz >
Samuel Shamke Karelitz >
Eliyahu Shmaryahu Yosef Karelitz >
> Avraham Yehoshua Karelitz (Chazon Ish)
> Miriam Karelitz married the Steipler Gaon, and had R’ Chaim Kanievsky.
Now, all sorts of strange things happen in families, it’s true.
But I find it very surprising that an early ‘leader of the haskalah’ should have had descendants who not only stayed within the orthodox fold, but who also rose to become the defacto ‘leaders’ of the orthodox Jewish world in Eretz Yisrael.
Because mostly, the kids of these early leaders of the haskalah converted out, or apostosized faster than you can say “the haskalah was created by Frankist families who stayed within the Jewish community.”
But looky, here, the chasdai Hashem!
Not only did this branch of haskalah reformers stay frum, they were also able to give Am Yisrael such tremendous guidance in these dark times, especially in relation to the very complex question of whether it’s safe to take the Covid 19 experimental gene therapy, that includes biotoxic graphene oxide.
Truly, it’s outstanding.
But let’s continue, as I told you, getting this stuff out the way is the easy bit of unpicking what’s going on here.
Let’s just take a quick detour to see who the Chazon Ish is connected to on his mother’s side.
Here we discover that Rasha’s father is one R’ Shaul Katzenelenbogen (1828 – 1891) who happened to change his family name to Katzenelenbogen, from Epstein.
It’s weird that he changed the family name to that for a lot of reasons, not least that his great-grandfather was a very highly esteemed Rav named R’ Aryeh Leib HaLevi Epstein.
Why would people who are SO into their yichus want to somehow ‘hide’ their connection to R’ Aryeh Leib HaLevi Epstein?
Let’s see if we can find out.
(BTW, I’m doing this ‘live’ as it were, so I have no idea where all this is going to end up. But I have the feeling, it’s going to be an interesting ride.)
If we go to the Hebrew Wikipedia page for R’ Aryeh Leib HaLevi Epstein (1708-1775) (which always seems to be more factually correct and less doctored, at least for Torah sages), we learn the following nuggets:
- He served as the Rabbi of Koenigsburg for 30 years.
- He was born in Grodno, to R Mordechai Epstein (aka ‘Mordechai Wilner’) – that’s interesting, because the Vilner Gaon’s descendants went by the name ‘Wilner’, including this one: R’ Mordcha Motel Marcus Mordechai Wilner.)
- The Karelitz family have been intermarrying with this particular branch of the Epstein / Katzenelenbogen family for generations.
- He wrote 23 books on the kabbalah, including one called ‘Ha Pardes‘.
- The Vilna Gaon only gave 3 haskamas in his life to books – and two of these are to books written by R’ Aryeh Leib HaLevi Epstein.
- He was a very close friend of Yonatan Eibshutz…
- There is a very strong ‘Vilna’ dimension to all this.
Let’s see if we can try to unpick this some more.
If we head back to Geni, we discover that Mordechai Epstein had a few other children, including one called Zeev Wolf HaLevy Epstein.
What I immediately notice as I’m clicking around is that so many of these relatives have been hidden behind the ‘private’ label – which is kinda weird. I mean, it’s almost 300 years ago, so what are they trying to hide, here?
I know from past experience that these interesting families always try to marry each other, so when I see that the daughter of Zeev Wolf, one Rivka, marries an unidentified ‘Aryeh Leib’…. well. I get the feeling that it’s her uncle, OUR Aryeh Leib HaLevy Epstein, author of HaPardes.
But why would they try to cover that up?
One possible clue is that ‘Aryeh Leib’ is meant to be the son of Rabbi Shmuel, the last ABD of Vilna.
If you go back to THIS post, you’ll get more of the background about the huge ruckus that was going on in Vilna during the tenure of the Vilna Gaon, which saw the kahal and the chief Rabbi – this Shmuel ben Avigdor – fighting a pitched battle for control for more than 30 years.
That whole episode has been totally distorted and misreported, historically, because I think it’s at the heart of so much of the ‘Frankist takeover’ of our modern Jewish world. But here’s the bit I want you to focus on, for now:
The real identity of ‘Rabbi Shmuel ben Avigdor‘ – the Chief Rabbi of Vilna, at the time of the Vilna Gaon, and the son-in-law of wealthy shtadlan ‘Rabbi Yehuda ben Eliezer Safra deVayana’ – has also been deliberately hidden.
If Aryeh Leib Epstein’s dad is ‘Rabbi Shmuel’, that makes ‘Rabbi Shmuel’ = Mordechai Epstein, aka Mordechai Wilner.
And that makes Aryeh Leib’s mother the daughter of ‘R’ Yehuda ben Eliezer Safra deVayana.
And if that’s the only mystery we clear up today, then dayenu. But I don’t think it will be.
‘Eliakim Getzel’, the one child not marked as ‘private’ is an unusual name, and it leads us straight back into the midst of the interesting families I’ve fingered previously as being made-up pseudonyms for Sabbatean-Frankists, who were trying to cover their genealogical tracks.
But let’s leave that there, for now, because I want to get back to the connections between Aryeh Leib Epstein, Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim, and the mysterious Vilna Gaon.
First, here’s a snippet from the Yizkor book for the community of Ciechanowiec, in Poland.
(Bear with me – all this will come together by the end of the post. I hope.)
The close ties between the Vilna Gaon and Ciechanowiec found their source in Rabbi David Saul Katzenelbogen, Head of the Court in Ciechanowiec.
Rabbi David had four sons named after four animals. They were Zvi Hersch, Ze’ev Wolf, Aryeh Leib, and Dov Ber.
Of these, Aryeh Leib was the comrade of the Vilna Gaon.
There is a standard edition of the Hebrew Bible with many commentaries known as the Mikraot Gedolot, which includes a commentary of the Vilna Gaon entitled Aderet Eliyahu (Mantle of Elijah). In the section dealing with Leviticus we find, “When the Vilna Gaon was ten years old he had a companion closer than a brother, that famed Gaon, our Master and Rabbi Aryeh Leib of Ciechanowiec.”…
So close was the friendship between these two scholars that the Vilna Gaon subsequently named his firstborn son Yehuda Leib after Aryeh Leib of Ciechanowiec.
Is ‘Aryeh Leib Epstein’, author of HaPardes, whose books got two of only three haskamot the Vilna Gaon ever wrote, the same as this ‘Aryeh Leib Katzenelenbogen of Ciechanowiec’?
Who was apparently such a close bosom buddy of the Vilna Gaon, he even named his firstborn son in his honor?
It’s at least possible.
If you take a look at the geni screenshot below, you’ll see that, just like R’ David Saul Katzenelenbogen, R’ Mordechai Epstein (Wilner) also has: four sons named after four animals. They were Zvi Hersch, Ze’ev Wolf, Aryeh Leib, and Dov Ber.
So now, we can add another pseudonym into the mix:
R’ David Saul Katzenelenbogen of Ciechanowiec = R’ Mordechai Epstein (Wilner) = R’ Shmuel ben Avidgor, the last ABD of Vilna.
But let’s get back to Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim, because there is still more secrets hiding out over there.
Here’s another snippet from his Wikipedia entry:
Marriage and life in Slonim (1765-1788)
In around 1765, Ichile Ginshpriker, son of Aryeh Leib Epstein, arranged for his first cousin, Basha bat Ze’ev Wolf and Shimshon to be married. They married on 26 October 1765.
In 1769, Shimshon got a seat in Slonim as an Av Beit Din (Chief Rabbinical Judge). He kept this position until around 1791. Shimshon became part of the movement of Haskalah.
When he became Av Beit Din in Slonim, he began to spread the concept of Haskalah throughout the city. He is regarded as the first Chief Rabbi to do so in Slonim.
Hey, small world or what!
And if we’re right that Basha’s sister Rivka married her uncle, Aryeh Leib, that would make Aryeh Leib Epstein and Shimshon ben Mordechai brothers-in-law.
Shimshon had a library of around 250 to 300 books that he had collected on his journeys to Hamburg and other cities. People such as the Vilna Gaon and Solomon Maimon came to Slonim to borrow books from his library. Among Shimshon’s prized possessions was the unpublished work, Bosmat Bat Shelomoh by the rabbi, Joseph Solomon Delmedigo.
More strange links with the Vilna Gaon.
And also, pay attention to that guy Joseph Solomon Delmedigo.
He is one of the main people who introduced Copernicus’s ideas of scientific ‘sun worship’ into the orthodox Jewish community.
Delmedigo’s daughter Sarah married straight into the Oppenheimer clan – and yes, we get straight back to all these fabulously wealthy ‘chief rabbi / tax collectors’ who used to be xtians but are now, conveniently, Jewish again.
Are you starting to see how all this is connected – and has been for centuries?
Meeting with Baruch Schick of Shklov
In 1778, upon the recommendation of the Vilna Gaon, Baruch Schick of Shklov (1744-1808) journeyed to Slonim to ask Shimshon to write an approbation to the first ever Hebrew translation of Euclid’s Elements, Sefer Oklidus. Shimshon agreed and wrote part of the introduction to the book.
Baruch Shick was one of the early ‘reformers’ who was hanging out in Joshua Zeitlin’s mansion.
Remember this, from HERE?
Now, here‘s another interesting potential link:
Joshua Zeitlin (1742 in Shklov, Belarus – August 18, 1822, in Kherson, Novorossiya) was a Russian rabbinical scholar and philanthropist. He was a pupil of the Talmudist Rabbi Aryeh Leib ben Asher Gunzberg who was the author of Sha’agat Aryeh;
The Sha’agat Aryeh is a fabricated persona.
That doesn’t mean that he didn’t exist, but it DOES mean that I haven’t been able to track down any real details for him, in real life.
Now I’m reading this, and I’m starting to ponder:
Could Aryeh Leib Epstein (HaPardes), aka Aryeh Leib Katzenelenbogen (the Vilna Gaon’s bestest buddy), also be one and the same as Aryeh Leib, the Sha’agat Aryeh?
I started writing a very long post about all the lies being told about the Sha’agat Aryeh a few months ago, which I abandoned. Maybe, it’s time to revisit it, in light of all this new info.
Let’s continue, because we still didn’t get to the most weird bit of the story.
Jeremy Bentham’s visit
As he writes in his journal, all of the inns were full, so he was forced to spend the night with a rabbi who also kept a hardware store.
He goes on to describe the rabbi’s home and that he had two bookcases with “not fewer than 250 or 300 Vols.”. Bentham also talked about how the rabbi possessed a copy of Euclid’s Elements as well as a manuscript on astronomy which contained a diagram, that was the rabbi’s own work.
Since when did orthodox Rabbis in Eastern Europe just let random English philosophers stay in their house?!?
And not just any old non-Jewish philosopher, but Jeremy Bentham, the guy who endowed his body to the University of London to be dissected in the interests of science – on condition they’d hang his embalmed body in a glass case over the university entrance.
Apparently, it’s still there today. And even weirder, another condition Bentham made with the university is that his:
“body had to be present at all board meetings and deference paid to it by a salute of some sort at the beginning of each meeting.”
THIS is the guy, that Rav Kanievsky’s ancestor was hanging out with?!?
One more thing that strikes me, is that it’s very possible that this ‘Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim’ is also made up, and could just be another coverstory for Aryeh Leib Epstein, aka the Sha’agat Aryeh.
Although here in the ‘real world’, it seems to be Shimshon that has the illustrious descendants, that really means nothing.
The rest of the story is just so 2-D – when it’s not outrageously fake – it’s pretty hard to imagine it could be a true biographical account.
Let’s stop there for now, although I could literally go on unpicking all the lies and distortions for months and years….
In case you haven’t realised it yet, they have been lying to us and deceiving about real Jewish history, and about who our leaders really were in the past, and who they really still might be today.
Probably, we’re not going to know who the Vilna Gaon really was, or why they are lying about people like ‘Shimshon ben Mordechai of Slonim’, nor why they are changing the names of so many of our Jewish leaders from the past wholesale, and expunging their genealogies – until Moshiach shows up.
But what I can tell you is this:
Don’t let a person’s yichus, or even their reputation for Torah learning fool you into brainlessly following a psak that is mamash endangering your life, and the life of your children and relatives.
Nothing is what it seems right now.
And the only clarity available right now, is that which comes from within your own soul.
You might also like these articles, trying to track down ‘Shmuel ben Avigdor’, the last ABD of Vilna: