TN: translator's note
AN: author's note
 Since this article was written in the 1950's, Ukraine is referred to as a Soviet Republic
The Hebrew term is donag adama, a verbatim translation from Polish wosk ziemny,soil wax. This natural hydrocarbon, known popularly as natural wax and scientifically as ozokerite, has been known to humanity since antiquity. In ancient Egypt it was used in the embalming of mummies. It is a natural resource which appears only in a few places on earth. (TN)
The work battalions were a socialist concept in which individual workers functioned according to their physical abilities and were paid a salary according to their needs. The famous work battalion in Palestine, established according to these principles, paved roads with asphalt. According to Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir, "it was the best résumé‚ for a political candidate".(TN)
Although not mentioned by name in the text, the author refers to the fur hat ( strammel) and the special robe which sometimes was golden that Hassidim wear even today on Shabat and holidays.
A quote from the Talmud that says: "In three things a man is known (his true nature is revealed): bekhoso;in his cups or when drunk, bekhaso, in anger or when he loses his temper; bekhiso, by his purse or when he spends or donates money. (TN)
Mazurs are the people from the eastern Polish plains (TN)
In the original nose keilim, bearer of instruments. It usually refers to a disciple who acts both as a secretary and as a majordomo.(TN)
 Gaon is the Hebrew word for genius and an honorific title for those versed in Torah and Talmud. (TN)
 When Shabbatis over. (TN)
Translated by Miriam Dashkin Beckerman
Edited by Valerie Schatzker and Alexander Sharon
When speaking about Drohobycz, one must also speak about Medenice, one of the interesting towns in the vicinity of Drohobycz. It was a typical town, consisting of about 150 Jewish families, surrounded by twenty hamlets, in each of which lived a few Jewish families. Most of the Jews were tradesmen. As in all the towns and villages of Poland and Galicia, so it was in our town Medenice. There were also some, not a large number, who were engaged in agriculture. They were farmers, who earned their daily bread by hard work on their land. In their hearts they were Jews and in their outward appearance also. Their life style as farmers did not diminish their Jewish character nor their Jewish nobility. I see before my eyes each one of these Jews with healthy, strong bodies, broad-shouldered, with bearded faces and side locks. Each of these Jews was his own boss and worked his own fields together with his sons, who looked a lot like their fathers.
The beaming faces of these Jews on the Sabbath stands out particularly in my mind, as for instance the image of Reb Zalke Mischel, a farmer in Medenice, when he appeared Friday evening at the synagogue school with his sons. The smell of the soil still clung to them, as though purposely bringing to the house of God this smell of the earth, in order to show everyone the beautiful world of the Holy One, blessed be He. It is true that Reb Zalke Mischel was occupied night and day with his work in the fields, yet he observed all the commandments faithfully. His home was open to every passer-by, and he would joyfully welcome everyone, because every Jew in the village had friendly relations with the Gentiles where they lived. The dream of Eretz Israel was very strong among these Jews who worked the land. They lived with the dream of one day cultivating land in Eretz Israel, to continue the holy work in the Holy Land.
I recall discussions about Zionism and about the return to Zion that we held among ourselves, and to this day I feel the pleasure I derived from them. My pleasure was boundless. As a young Zionist follower, I gained much encouragement and excitement about the Zionist ideal that inspired me in our town.
Here are some further recollections about the Jews of Medenice. The Jewish banker in our town was Reb Chaim Süssmann. His son, to this day, is the head of the Society of Drohobycz Jews in America. He was a tall, slender, fit, young man. Mr. Süssmann carried on his shoulders the entire burden of the town's Jews, and with unlimited devotion, helped them earn a livelihood. Since he had a monopoly on the sale of tobacco for the whole area, he would bring the supply that was apportioned to him in order to distribute it among the villages. During the First World War and in the years that followed, there was a shortage of cigarettes, tobacco, etc, so that the entire supply that was brought to his store was grabbed by the customers. As a result, these sales brought in a sizeable sum in a very short time.
I recall the beginning of the sports club Hapoel, Mr. Süssmann's devotion to it, and the initiative that he demonstrated step by step, by always being available. When anyone was hurt, he would be brought to his store for first aid. He would help anyone in need with financial assistance (and what Jew was not in such need). Mr. Süssmann received everyone with the same warmth and concern.
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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.
Drogobych, Ukraine Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright ©1999-2014 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 11 Jun 2012 by JH