The Gaon of Vilna
Kedainiai was a center of Jewish intellectual life, and the famous Talmudic scholar Eliyahu, later called Gaon of Vilnius (1720-1797), studied there. In 1772 he arrived from Vilnius to Kedainiai to study the Talmud. The word “gaon” means genius.
Still very young, his parents married him off to a young girl from the town of Keidan. After getting married, he remained in Keidan, enclosed in his room where he studied Torah day and night in holiness and purity. Even by day he studied by candlelight, his shutters being closed so that the noise from the street wouldn’t bother him. He is well known for having possessed an eidetic memory and a keen critical sense.