Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Poland has an illustrious past that paved the way for the future but has no Yiddishkeit in the present. Regardless of what aspects of Judaism one feels most connected to, Poland has relevance to them. Some of the most halachically impactful luminaries, such as the Rama and the Bach, came from Poland. Well-known achronim, including Rav Chaim, the Netziv, Maharsham, and Tosfos Yom Tov are all buried there. Additionally, the Chozeh of Lublin and Noam Elimelech are examples of Chassidic rebbes who lived in Poland.

Despite the vibrant history that is embedded in Poland, most of the country is quiet, grassy flatland. Rav Dessler, who learned in neighboring Lithuania, used to say that there were such big talmidei chachamim from the area because there was nothing else to do other than learn.


At the end of many glorious centuries for Jews in Poland, World War II happened. Names like Treblinka, Warsaw, Majdanek, and Auschwitz-Birkenau send chills down the spines of many. These places, as well as many graveyards and yeshiva buildings, are often visited by yeshivas, seminaries, and other groups to increase connections to the past and enrich perspectives on life.


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Akiva Kra hosts the Jews Shmooze podcast which interviews famous Jews about their experiences and thoughts. He writes a weekly dvar torah under 250 words to over 1,000 people.