Found in: Haredi rabbis in Israel
Eliyohu Lopian , known as Reb Elyah, was among the most prominent rabbis of the Mussar movement. As a disciple of the Kelm Talmud Torah method, he was known for his strict keeping of order and strong self-control. It is told that he would not turn his head without a reason and a structured decision.
Lopian was born in Kelm, Lithuania. In his youth he studied at the yeshiva in Lomza. He emigrated to England in 1925, where he served as the rosh yeshiva of the Etz Chaim Yeshiva in the East End of London, working for many years alongside his distinguished colleague Rabbi Nachman Shlomo Greenspan. His wife died in 1934, shortly after the engagement of their daughter Leiba to Rabbi Leib Gurwicz.
For many years, rabbi Lopian had wanted to make his home in the Land of Israel, and spoke a great deal about the Vilna Gaon's intense yet unfulfilled desire to live there. In 1950 he left the Etz Chaim Yeshiva and moved to Israel. At first he stayed in the home of his wife's brother, Yisrael Luriain, in Jerusalem. That Succos, he visited the Brisker Rov, Rabbi Yitzchak Zev Soloveitchik.
He initially refused to lead Mussar seminars in Israel and sought to occupy himself with teaching and private moral work. Yet with the blessing of Rabbi Avraham Yeshayahu Karelitz (the "Chazon Ish"), he finally reconciled himself with leading Mussar courses. Despite his old age, he agreed in the end to act as mashgiach at the Knesset Hizkiyahu yeshiva (located originally in Zikhron Ya'aqov and then moved to Kfar Hasidim), headed by Rabbi Noah Shimonovitz. From the moment of his arrival, Rabbi Lopian became a magnet for the young men. The yeshiva became firmly established and even drew many young people from neighboring yeshiva high schools such as the Bnei Akiva Kfar HaRo'eh yeshivah and Midrashiat Naam in Pardes Hannah.
After his death, a street was named in his honor in the Ramat Shlomo neighborhood of Jerusalem.
Lev Eliyahu - Mussar lessons. Edited by his students
Rabbi Chaim Shmuel Lopian of Sunderland Yeshiva
Rabbi Leib Lopian of Gateshead Yeshiva
Rabbi Eliezer Lopian of Yeshivas Toras Emes, London
Rabbi Yisroel Nochum Lopian
Rabbi Abraham Lopian
Reb Elyah: The Life and Accomplishments of Rabbi Elyah Lopian, David J. Schlossberg, Mesorah Publications Limited, February 1999.
Lectures given by Reb Elyah Lopian in Yiddish: iawaken.org