The problems that Rabbi
Yudovsky experienced slowly had their effect on his health, and he later became
ill with tremendous physical suffering. Three months ago, Rabbi Yudovsky came
down with TB, which eventually took his life.
The death of Rabbi David
Mordechai Yudovsky was an irreplaceable loss. We lost both a great Torah
scholar and a good friend of everybody. He had a place in his heart for
everyone, and shared every person's problems. He always offered a consoling
word for anybody. Any out-of-town visitor or downtrodden person would find his
way to Rabbi Yudovsky, who would never ignore anyone, no matter how unknown
that person was to him. He was a person who was willing to give large amounts
of charity with a full hand even when he scarcely had enough for himself.
[Photo:] Mrs. Rachel Yudovsky, wife of Rabbi Yudovsky
Rabbi Yudovsky never wavered
from the truth, even when it pertained to his own benefit, as the following
case illustrates: When he was asked if there was anything that his own family
needed, he responded that he didn't need anything, since G-d would not abandon
them just like he hadn't abandoned him. When he was asked if his son-in-law was
suitable to become a rabbi, he responded that although he was a great scholar
and was suitable, he warned that his son-in-law could not become a rabbi
without the agreement of the greatest scholars.
COMMENTS FROM THE EDITOR
Some time later, Rabbi
Yudovsky's son-in-law Rabbi Noach Kohn, replaced his father-in-law, and assumed
the rabbinical post on the Polish side in Drohitchin until 1929,
when he and his family moved to the United States.
Rabbi Yudovsky's wife and two
daughters arrived in the United States before World War I and settled in
Baltimore. Their only son, Moshe, remained in Poland where he studied in the
yeshivas. His last yeshiva was in Vilna, where he shared the fate of the rest
of the Jews of Vilna.
Zalman Shevinsky, a member of
the Polish side, told the following story about Rabbi Yudovsky:
Rabbi Mordechai Yudovsky
received a letter of rabbinical appointment from a certain town that wanted to
invite him to leave Drohitchin. In cooperation with the business leaders, he
called a meeting to discuss the issue. All invited businessmen came to the
meeting on time; they were gathered in the synagogue, and were waiting for the
rabbi to come out of his private room. They continued to sit and wait, but it
got late and the rabbi didn't come out. R. Nachum Shevinsky (Zalman's father)
and a few other businessmen went into the rabbi's room, where they found him
deeply engrossed in his studies, and asked him, Rebbe, we came to talk
about your issue, so why are you silent and won't come out to meet us?
Rabbi Yudovsky responded,
I have been thinking over what it would mean if I were to receive a
higher income in the other town. Then what? No, I won't go there, I am going to
stay here with you. Just fix the roof on the synagogue, and repair the invalid
Torah scroll. That's all I ask of you.
Another story: Rabbi Yudovsky
drew up a sale certificate for R. Nachum Shevinsky, which took a long time, of
course. The rabbi had to check his books and write such-and-such. Shevinsky
then offered the rabbi 5 rubles for his work. Rabbi Yudovsky started to
tremble, G-d forbid that I should take any money from you! You buy yeast
from me that's my fee, it's enough. Rabbi Yudovsky didn't take any
The rabbi was entirely
unimpeachable, and therefore no other testimony about his honesty and purity is
RABBI ZE'EV MILLER
(R. Velvel the
[Photos: Rabbi Ze'ev Miller and Mrs. Miriam Miller]
Rabbi Ze'ev Miller, known as
, was born in 1868 to his father, R. Aharon, a distinguished merchant in
Kletsk, and was educated in Kletsk, and later in Volozhin, where he received
In 1890, R. Velvel approached
the Drohitchin leader, R. Moshe Poritzker-Valevelsky, to marry his daughter and
become R. Velvel's son-in-law. Over a period of several years, R. Velvel
settled in town and continued his studies in the House of Study while he waited
for an opportunity to obtain a rabbinical post, which soon arrived.
When the aged rabbi of
Drohitchin, R. Menachem, left for Palestine and turned over his rabbinical post
to this son-in-law, Rabbi Isaac Kalenkovitch, Rabbi Miller was appointed
rabbinical judge in Rabbi Kalenkovitch's rabbinical court.
In 1911 Rabbi Miller moved to
Sernik, near Pinsk, where he served in the post of rabbi until 1940, when he
died in a Pinsk hospital after a difficult operation. Rabbi and Mrs. Miller had
four sons and three daughters. Of the entire family, only one daughter
Sarah Mirsky survived because she had left for the United States many
years earlier. In addition, one son R. Hirsh Miller survived
because he escaped the German murderers, and arrived in the United States after
going through Russia, Japan and Shanghai. Rabbi Hirsh Miller was the son-in-law
of the rabbi of Shanghai, Rabbi Ashkenazi.
Mrs. Miriam Miller and the
following children was killed (may G-d avenge their blood!): R. Aharon from
Lennen (near Lunenetz); R. Leib, the rabbi of Sernik; R. Menachem, the rabbi of
Wisotsk (near Pinsk); and daughters Chana and Perl and their families.
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