Shmuel Yitzchak Hillman

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Shmuel Yitzchak Hillman

Birthplace: Shadova, Kovna Gub.
Death: Died in Jerusalem?, Israel
Place of Burial: Jerusalem, Israel
Immediate Family:

Son of Avraham Chaim Hillman and Paya Rivka Hillman
Husband of Chaya Shaina Hillman
Father of R. David Hillman and Sarah Herzog
Brother of Morris (Moshe) Hillman; Paliet Hillman; Mendel (Max) Hillman; Annie Hillman; Joel Hillman and 3 others

Occupation: Rabbi - Dayan
Managed by: Joel Daniel Gedalius
Last Updated:

About Shmuel Yitzchak Hillman

Rabbi Shmuel Yitzchak Hillman (1868 – June 1953) was an Orthodox Jewish Talmudic scholar, rabbi and Dayan of the London Beth Din.

He was born in Kovno, a descendant of Rabbi Shmuel Hillman (Helman), the Av Beth Din of Metz, who is mentioned in the introduction to the responsa Noda BeYehuda. On his mother's side, he was a descendant of Rabbi Michal Datnover, who was known in his time as an exceptional scholar and Kabbalist.

Rabbi Hillman was a direct sixth-generation descendant of the author of Knesset Yechezkel, the head of the Beth Din of Altona, Hamburg and Wansbek, and also of the Katzenellenbogen family, and his lineage further extended back to the Maharam (Rabbi Meir ben Isaac) of Padua and Rabbi Yehuda Mintz.

Rabbi Hillman studied Torah under his uncles; Rabbi Mordechai Hillman, Av Beth Din of Pasvatin, and Rabbi Noach Yaakov Hillman of Pasval. Afterwards he studied intensively by himself in the house of his father-in-law, Rabbi Yitzchak Hirsch in the town of Franks in Kurland.

Rabbi Hillman received Semicha from Rabbi Eliyahu Dovid Teumim, who was the head of the Beth Din in Ponevezh and afterwards in Jerusalem. He then received Semicha from Rabbi Refael Shapiro of Volozhin, Rabbi Meir Simcha HaKohen of Dvinsk and the Ridvaz of Slutsk.

In 1897, when Rabbi Hillman was 29 years old, he became Rabbi and head of the Beth Din in Ruzin in Minsk Governorate (possibly Barysaŭ), an old and distinguished community that had been graced with many great rabbis in the past. In 1908, Rabbi Hillman was appointed Rabbi in the city of Glasgow. He served there until 1914, when he was appointed a Dayan of the London Beth Din. He served in that capacity until his retirement in 1934.


Dayan Hillman settled in Jerusalem after retiring as Dayan in London. There, he devoted himself to study and writing. He died in 1953. Many thousands followed his funeral through the streets of Jerusalem, among them Cabinet Ministers, Members of the Knesset, and leading rabbis and heads of Yeshivas.

Eulogies were delivered by the deceased's son-in-law Israeli Chief Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, Rabbi Isser Zalman Meltzer (with whom Dayan Hillman learned with in the Volozhin yeshiva), the Minister of Religious Affairs Mr Moshe Shapiro, and others. Dayan Hillman's death caused deep sorrow in Jerusalem, where he was greatly beloved. He was survived by his wife, his daughter Sarah, the wife of Rabbi Yitzhak HaLevi Herzog, and his son David Hillman, a London artist.

Soon after Dayan Hillman died, a memorial service was held in London, where the Chief Rabbi Israel Brodie and Dayan Yechezkel Abramsky spoke, full of praise, respect and admiration for the deceased. Dayan Lazarus, Dayan Grunfeld, Dayan Grossnass and Rabbi Dr Isidore Epstein were among those in attendance.

[edit] Works

Dayan Hillman authored many learned works, including a 12-volume commentary on the Talmud entitled Or Hayashar, novellae on the Mishnaic Orders Zeraim and Taharos and "Notes on the Tanach". He also published a book of sermons and orations. He was the honorary director of the Ohel Torah Institute for Rabbinic Studies (yeshiva).

Among the other writings of this outstanding figure were manuscripts on the Talmudic tractates Zevachim, Arakhin and Temura - all in the Order of Kodshim - and responsa on all four sections of the Shulchan Aruch.


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Shmuel Yitzchak Hillman's Timeline

July 2, 1868
Shadova, Kovna Gub.
Age 21
Age 25
Age 29
June 11, 1953
Age 84
Jerusalem?, Israel
June 1953
Age 84
Jerusalem, Israel