« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 214]

Chapter 10

Maskilim (Adherents of the
Enlightenment Movement) of Bialystok

 

[Page 231]

ח    H

A Quarrel Between a Maskil,
an Apikoyrus and a Pious Melamed
*[1*]

Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund

A picture of life gives us a history of a private quarrel that arose between a maskil, an apikoyrus and a zealous melamed. The quarrel was between the father of the present-day Dr. PERLSZTAJN, Avraham PERLSZTAJN, who was called Avrahaml Kvasnik (because he manufactured Petersburger Kvas [a fermented drink made from rye bread]) and a pious melamed of his brother-in-law PERL. The quarrel began in his brother-in-law's sukkah [structure built for use during Sukkos – the Feast of Tabernacles – in which a family eats its meals and may sleep]. The melamed reproached Avraham PERLSZTAJN for his heresy. [PERLSZTAJN] answered calmly. However, the melamed had offended the honor of his father, saying that his father also was an apikoyrus. Avraham PERLSZTAJN grabbed a bottle from the table at threw it and the melamed's head and wounded him.

There began a great commotion; the pious group was in a rage. In the morning because of this, Avraham Kvasnik was led to the Beis-Din [religious court] in the kehile-shtibl [one room religious community synagogue] in the synagogue courtyard. A large, explosive crowd, which shouted that the apikoyrus should be torn limb from limb, waited there for him. It smelled of deadly danger. At the last minute,

[Page 232]

the pharmacist, WILBUSZEWICZ, ran in with the police and with great effort PERLSZTAJN was freed from the enraged crowd.[21]


Footnotes

  1. See footnote 19. H. PERL also tells of this incident. Return

[Footnote 19 – appearing on page 230:
See the memoirs of Herman PERL in the Bialystoker Shtime [Bialystok Voice], New York, June 1924, no. 9. Herman PERL is a son of Shlomo-Dovid PERL, Avrahaml PERLSZTAJN's brother-in-law. As a 10-year old boy, he saw the scandal at the founding of the Choir Synagogue.
According to Dr. PERLSZTAJN, the Choir Synagogue first was in the private house of the well-known lawyer, Josef-Yehuda WAJSBERG in TIPERMAN's house opposite the city clock, and then it was in the first house of today's Artisan's school courtyard. Herman PERL describes the entire picture more correctly.]


Translator's Footnote

  1. Maskil – follower of the Enlightment; Apikoyrus – heretic, free-thinker or non-believer; melamed – religious teacher Return

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Bialystok, Poland     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page


Yizkor Book Project Manager, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Max G Heffler

Copyright ©1999-2014 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 30 May 2013 by MGH