Originally published at: https://jewishoriginal.com/yeshiva-chachmei-lublin-opening-ceremonies-1930/
On This Day in Jewish History: June 24th, 1930
The first of two days of opening ceremonies for the Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin occurred 90 years ago today. The opening was attended by thousands of local Jews as well as about ten thousand guests from abroad including Rebbes and members of the Polish government and army. .
This was the first yeshiva of its kind, one where the focus was not only on the learning inside but also on the external appearance. Rav Meir Shapiro (pictured here) wanted to open a yeshiva housed in a building with magnificent architecture in order to raise the prestige of being a Torah Scholar and combat assimilation. The yeshiva was a four year program for boys beginning at age fourteen to spend all day learning Judaic Studies. They were expected to memorize pages of the Talmud and study its commentaries. .
Unfortunately in 1939 when Germany invaded Lublin, the yeshiva was forced to close, the 20,00 books in the library were burned by the Nazis, and the building was taken over by the German military. After World War II, the building was the site of two academic institutions before finally being returned to the Jews of Warsaw in 2003. In 2005 it was used as the site of the eleventh Siyum HaShas (in remembrance of Rav Shapiro who started both the practice of daf yomi – for more on this, follow @anotherdayanotherdaf)
Today, the building is used by the Jewish community for a multitude of purposes and houses a synagogue, rabbi’s room, library, kitchen, dining room, and internet café.