Russo-Jewish family which derives its origin from Dob Bär Lipkin, rabbi of Plungian in the first half of the eighteenth century (see Ezekiel Katzenellenbogen, "Keneset Ezekiel," No. 7). The pedigree of the most important members of the family will be found on the following page.

Israel Lipkin (known as Rabbi Israel Salanter, after his place of residence, Salaty):

Russian rabbi; born at Zhagory at the beginning of the nineteenth century; died at Königsberg, Prussia, Feb. 2, 1883. He received his first training from his father, Zeeb Wolf, who was rabbi at Zhagory. After his marriage Lipkin settled at Salaty, where he continued his studies under Rabbi Hirsch Broda and Rabbi Joseph Zundel (died in Jerusalem 1866). Zundel exerted a deep influence on the development of Lipkin's character; and the latter showed his appreciationof his teacher by referring to him in the preface to his periodical "Tebunah" as the light which he followed all his days.

In 1842 Lipkin was called to Wilna as head of the yeshibah Tomeke Torah. During his incumbency he established a new yeshibah at Zarechye, a suburb of Wilna, where he lectured for about three years.

Lipkin's great service lay in his insistence on the practical application of the moral teachings of Judaism and in his emphasis of the necessity of manual labor on the part of the Jews. He established societies for the study of religious ethics, with but little regard for worldly affairs; and at his suggestion the works on religious ethics of Moses Ḥayyim Luzzatto, Mendel Lefin, and Solomon ibn Gabirol were reprinted at Wilna.

When, in 1848, the Russian government established the rabbinical school at Wilna, Lipkin declined an invitation to become instructor in Talmud and rabbinical law. He settled in Kovno and established a yeshibah, connected with the bet ha-midrash of Hirsch Naviazsky, of which he retained charge until 1857, when failing health compelled him to remove to Germany for medical treatment. He remained in the house of the philanthropists, the Hirsch brothers of Halberstadt, until his health improved, and then (in 1861) began the publication of the Hebrew monthly "Tebunah," devoted to rabbinical law and religious ethics. On account of his failing health this periodical was discontinued at the end of a year, and Lipkin again lived for a time the life of a wanderer, visiting yeshibot and offering advice to teachers and students wherever his assistance was sought. Toward the end of his life Lipkin was called to Paris to organize a community among the Russian immigrants, and he remained there for two years.

Lipkin was a singular combination of the ultra-Orthodox Jew and the man of the world, particularly in regard to the duties of citizenship. He preached love for the fatherland and respect for the laws of the country. When the ukase making military service universally obligatory appeared, Lipkin wrote an appeal to the rabbis and community leaders urging them to keep lists of recruits so as to leave no pretext for the contention that the Jews shirked such service. He was considered one of the most eminent Orthodox rabbis of the nineteenth century because of his broad Talmudic scholarship, his deep piety, and his personal influence for good; and he was probably the only rabbi of his time that exerted a wide influence on his fellow rabbis and on the Jewish communities of Russia. His disciples collected and published some of his sayings, commentaries, and sermons in "Eben Yisrael" (Warsaw, 1853) and in "'Eẓ Peri" (Wilna, 1880).

  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 697, Warsaw, 1886;
  • H. M. Steinschneider, 'Ir Wilna, p. 128;
  • Feldberg, in Ḳedosh Yisrael, Wilna, 1884.
H. R. J. G. L.Lipmann Lipkin: Pedigree of the Lipkin Family.

Russian mathematician; born at Salaty, government of Kovno, 1846; died at St. Petersburg Feb. 9 (21), 1876; son of Israel Salanter. Lipkin's early training consisted in the study of the Bible, the Talmud, and other religious books. At an early age he began to show a decided inclination for scientific subjects, particularly mathematics. Not knowing any European language, he had to derive his information from Hebrew books alone. Notwithstanding the incomplete nature of such sources, and without other aid, Lipkin not only succeeded in mastering the elementary sciences, but also acquired a knowledge of the higher mathematics. He also began the study of modern languages, especially German and French. Subsequently he went to Königsberg, where through the influence of Professor Rischelo he was admitted to the lectures. Somewhat later Lipkin entered the Berlin Gewerbe-Academie, and then Jena University, where he received the degree of Ph.D., his dissertation being "Ueber die Räumlichen Strophoiden." From Jena Lipkin went to St. Petersburg, and because of his great ability was permitted to take the examination for master of mathematics in spite of the fact that he possessed only the degree of "candidate," had not studied in any Russian school, and was not even thoroughly conversant with the Russian language. In 1873 he passed hisexamination brilliantly. His dissertation was almost completed when he was attacked by smallpox, of which he died.

Lipkin's name first became known in the mathematical world through his mechanical device for the change of linear into circular motion, this mechanism having been invented by him while he was still a pupil at the technical high school. He described his invention in the journal of the Russian Academy ("Mélanges Mathématiques de l'Académie Impériale à St. Petersbourg," 1870), under the title "Ueber eine Gelenkgeradeführung von L. Lipkin." The Russian mathematician Chebyshev had tried to show that an exact solution was impossible; and his views were accepted until Lipkin's discovery proved the contrary. This invention has been described in numerous text-books, such as Collignon's "Traité de Mécanique, Cinématique" (Paris, 1873), where it is called "Lipkin's Parallelogram."

A model of Lipkin's invention was exhibited at the exposition at Vienna in 1873, and was later secured from the inventor by the Museum of the Institute of Engineers of Ways of Communication, St. Petersburg.

Lipkin never lost his deep interest in purely Jewish affairs, as is shown by his contributions to "Ha-Ẓefirah."

  • Yevreiskaya Biblioteka, v. 191 (translated into German in Allg. Zeit. des Jud. 1876, p. 13);
  • Ha-Ẓefirah, 1876.
H. R. J. G. L.
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