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Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung to be Remembered at Special Lecture

Event to Commemorate Renowned Canadian Torah Scholar 

The 20th anniversary of the passing (yahrzeit) of Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung zt”l will be commemorated February 11 with a special shiur on Yeshiva University’s Wilf Campus. The event is sponsored by YU’s Center for the Jewish Future (CJF), The Azrieli Foundation and the Azrieli Graduate School of Jewish Education & Administration.

Featured speakers will be Rabbi Hershel Schachter, Rosh Yeshiva and Rosh Kollel of Rabbi Elchanan Theological Seminary (RIETS) and Rabbi Dr. Jacob J. Schacter, professor of Jewish history and Jewish thought, and senior scholar at CJF. The theme of Dr. Schacter’s presentation will be “Zakhor et Asher Asah Lekha Amalek (Remember that Which Amalek Did to You): What is ‘Amalek’?; What is ‘Zakhor’?”

Rabbi Hirschprung, left, with Rabbi Pinchas Menachem Alter, seventh Gerrer Rebbe. Jerusalem, Israel, 1980s.

Rabbi Pinchas Hirschsprung was born in Dukla, Poland, in 1912. In 1941, he escaped Nazi- and Soviet-occupied Poland, making his way to Canada on the last boat to leave Shanghai before Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. A world-renowned Torah and Talmudic scholar, he became the chief rabbi of Montreal in 1969 and led its Jewish community until his death in 1998.

The Vale of Tears, Hirschsprung’s memoir detailing his escape, was first published in Yiddish in 1944. In 2016 The Azrieli Foundation published an English-language edition as part of its Holocaust Survivor Memoirs Program. Guided by the conviction that survivors’ stories play an important role in education about tolerance and diversity, the program publishes memoirs of Canadian Holocaust survivors annually and distributes them for free to education institutions in Canada. A copy of the English edition of Rabbi’s Hirschprung’s book will be provided to each attendee at the event.

In addition to distributing these volumes, the Azrieli Foundation also features interviews with survivors, memoir excerpts, photographs, artifacts and an interactive timeline and map on its digital platform: Re:Collection.

The lecture will begin at 9:30 a.m.; a light lunch reception will be held following the presentations. The event is free but requires advance registration. For more information visit: