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[Page 197]

A Lively Newspaper


THE DROHITCHIN YAWN

No. 1: 9/28/1931

Humor, Satire, Sarcasm and other assortments

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction A.M. Petshenik
2. R. Menachem son of Meshel [illegible] Menachem Averbuch
3. [Illegible] H. Grossman
4. Interview (with Moshe Porush) H. Grossman
5. Our own [illegible] Y. Shmegegy
6. What's doing in [illegible] H. Grossman
7. From the Old and New House of Study H. Grossman
8. [Illegible] H. Grossman
9. [Illegible] H. Grossman
10. [Illegible] A. M. Petshenik

[Page 198]

DOCTORS

SHIMON WEISSMAN

[photo:] R. Shimon Weissman

        
Shimon Betzalel Weissman, or “R. Shimon the Doctor,” as he was known, was born in 1845 to his parents Shmuel and Solia in Horodetz, where he received a solid Jewish education. He studied many religious texts such as Talmud, in addition to general subjects. He later studied medicine and decided to become a physician.

        At the age of 20 R. Shimon came to Drohitchin and started working as a doctor. As a newcomer to Drohitchin he encountered many difficulties, but over time he earned the trust and faith of the people in town, and opened his own practice. Although Weissman was not a degreed physician, many doctors respected his medical knowledge.

        Jews in Drohitchin made use of R. Shimon more often they did the official doctor of Drohitchin. First of all, R. Shimon didn't charge the visit tax for his visits. He always considered the financial situation of the patient. Second, R. Shimon was a talkative and warm individual as well as religious Jew. He would always spend time chatting with the patient and his family, and liked adding some Torah anecdote, story or joke that always made his patients and their families feel better, thereby improving the health of the patient.

        R. Shimon was also the doctor of the neighboring communities, including the Christians who had faith in him and his knowledge, and followed his medical advice. During the war years 1915-1916, when the typhus epidemic was raging, R. Shimon was the person who was able to save the lives of dozens of people. In 1919, when the epidemic reoccurred, and hundreds of people – including my father – were bedridden, R. Shimon would come to visit our home every day and do everything possible to save us from the awful disease. When he was asked about payment for his services, R. Shimon responded that this could be discussed after the patient recovered.

        As mentioned earlier, R. Shimon was a religious and observant Jew. He had a seat on the second floor of the Old House of Study, where he spent many a Sabbath and weekday engaged in intensive study of a tractate of Talmud, humming a warm melody while he studied. Whenever he couldn't make it to synagogue, he would study at home.

        How long ago was all this? It's as if it were today: I can still see him walking slowly, deeply engaged in thought, always exuding a refined, quiet and orderly image. Only the tapping of his cane gave away the fact that this person was R. Shimon the Doctor, a Jewish aristocrat.

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