Over the last 15 years of his life, Rabbi Samuel Mohylewer worked and taught in Białystok. He argued that Jews should have their own homeland, like other nations awakening in the late 19th century. He wanted the Jewish state to be established in Palestine as the fulfilment of prophecies and Jewish activism. Rabbi Mohylewer advocated secular knowledge, urged his people to learn foreign languages, and supported business, especially agricultural activity. Thus, along with rabbi Kalischer from Toruń, he is considered one of the patrons of religious Zionism. The building of the synagogue named after him still stands in Białystok today, although precious little reminds us of its onetime significance. Perhaps one day soon the city will begin its plans to restore the site to central importance in Białystok.
December 15, 2021 -
Philip Earl Steele