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[Page 286]

“A Walk through my Devastated Shtetl” (cont.)

Frequently, when Avrom'l Varshal has bribed him with a couple of pennies, he used to come out with a kind of dirty ditty, while casting his eyes on the women:

“Oy, little women, so what are you frightened of?
When the Rabbi studies, he learns Torah:
When the tailor sews, he follows the season's fashion;
And what is alright for the Rabbi, is certainly alright for us!”

[So ladies, do your thing!]

Then cries of protest broke out from a dozen mouths from among the women standing around: “Clear off already, clear off, Manke Ganef. Take a kick (in the backside) and be off, with your head in the ground” [a Yiddish curse!]. And while doing this, the protesters modestly hide their eyes under their head-scarves which are pulled way down. Oy, what dear, kosher, Jewish sisters (we had in Lechovich)!

* * *

After the two rows, we take a right to the shops of the (so-called) Yener Zait Mark [“Market on the other Side”]. There too, there was no lack of Torah scholars who were in business through their wives.

Here, for instance, is the shop of Reb Aron-Leib Kantorovich, a very ardent Koidanover chossid who for almost his entire life has been either in the Koidanover shtib'l [in Lechovich] or with his Rebbe [in Koidanov], while his tiny little wife, Dine-Rive, a mother of twelve children, trades and travels to the fairs - and consoles herself (with the thought that) thereby her husband will have a guaranteed place in the next world and that she will also have a portion in it!

There is the flour store of Reb Berl Mich'l Binyominka's. He is also a Koidanover chossid – a Jew of imposing stature and an exquisite prayer-leader in the High Holydays. When he prays, the walls actually tremble and with them, you understand, also the hearts of even the greatest apikorsim [religious renegrades].

Now we'll cross the large empty market (area) which, other than market days and fairs, when it is crammed with thousands of peasants, is so vacant and vast that it could be converted into a soccer field.

To its side, not far from the pump, is the old boarded-up shed of the Fire Brigade. It stands alone like an orphan, exactly as if it were somehow waiting for a “rehearsal” of a real fire. Inside there are vehicles for pumping water from a few small barrels located

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nearby, while on the walls hooks and ladders are hung around. But, for all the extinguishers, the situation would not be at all good if a fire were to break out, God forbid, because it then would turn out that the little barrels are generally empty, drained on summer days, while on winter days the water in them is frozen. In winter, the danger is understandably less because all the roofs are then covered in snow and fire has less potential. But summer is not good – fire burns at God's command.

* * *

Now let's go in the direction of Pesach Ditkovsky's corner house. The Vall [rampart] starts up before us, where to the right Asher der Zeigermachter's [the Watchmaker's] home stands, nestled in a wonderful apple orchard, while to the left is Avrom'l Rasl's home.

Rasl is an exceptional Jewess. As unsophisticated as she is, she possesses her own grand philosophy of life. She counsels and warns everyone, for example, that one must seek health in small portions. When a daughter goes away from home to (live with) her mother-in-law, Rasl tells her that she should heave a sigh at meal-time there – then people will believe that she is ill and they will give her more! Moreover, when she is sitting at table on Friday evening with her children and her husband makes Kiddush [the Sabbath benediction] and cuts the challe [Sabbath loaves] for the Moitze [blessing over the bread], she should take for herself and her husband the white challe and serve the children black bread, explaining: “In any event, we are (already) orphans, sad as it is. We don't have fathers and mothers. Hence we eat challe. But you (children) have parents – they should only be healthy for many years. You can eat (plain) bread!” And if her husband becomes very ill and is on the point of dying, she should turn to him with a stern word: “No, my husband, it's not on! I will not let you die so quickly – you have a wife and children. You are not too ill to live”. And so she straightens him out – and he remains alive!

Here we move on. To the left, is Gedalyo der Melamed's house and, to the right, Shloime Rivkin's fine house – and over there is Miller's chemist shop which is surrounded by a green orchard with all kinds of prized fruits. Even the greatest ”specialists” among orchard thieves did not dare slip in because of the huge, vicious dogs which were really ready to rip a man apart. Hence, cheder kids made do with pulling a little stick along the upright stakes of the long fence and then go racing off, making a frightful racket that drove the chemist's dogs crazy!

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{Photograph of a quiet corner on the “Vall” – the rampart}

A little further to the left stands the town's hospice [“hekdesh”] that was built by the well-intentioned, compassionate Reb Idel Monye's [see p. 263 above] – only that it is always empty, without sick people, without a doctor and a medical assistant, without life and soul. It serves only one purpose - on the porch of the hospice, the members of the Zionist youth party “Ha-techiyyah” [Renaissance] can sit there for free, discuss things at the top of their voices and sometimes even sing. But they have no one to disturb in the hospice because there is not one patient there in need of treatment.

Now, taking a couple of paces from the hospice, there rises before us our famous “mountain” which, in our childhood years, appeared so high and full of secrets. As related from generation to generation, that mountain was supposed to be the remnant of a large fortress of some Polish king. If one would be allowed to dig deep under the mountain, one would surely find “Korach's treasures” [Biblical allusion, Numbers 16:32]! Unfortunately, however, whatever the evil kingdom [of Poland?] left behind is not there (now) and hence awfully great riches have gone to waste.

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“mountain” felt so terribly high to all of us youngsters. When we had successfully scrambled to the very top, the view took in the whole shtetl - far and away to the distant meadows and forests. Then, the whole world opened up before us.

Now let's go down from the mountain and come to our lovely little river, the “Medvieditze”, which is truly much smaller than the Dnieper and even the Pripet – but for us is so dear and precious!

In summer, the mountain and the river banks are covered in green grass and completely crowded with playful cheder kids. On Erev Shabbes (Friday afternoon) they come here together with their fathers and older brothers. They bathe and swim. They often stay sitting a long time and marvel at the athletic feats of the strong swimmers – Mendl Saban, Motte-Shaiye Kashe (a soldier from the Russian-Japanese War [1904-05]) and Yosef'l Yisroel “der Yayetshnikes. The first (Mendl) lies for a long time in the current, placing his hands under his head and clenching a cigarette between his teeth; the second (Motte-Shaiye) swims with the current, holding a chair in his hand; and (the third) Yosef'l really swims like a duck in water. True, there are other good swimmers who make it to the other side of the river, as far as the “stumps” and bring back from there all kinds of river junk but they do not equal the first trio, especially not Motte-Shaiye Kashe who can even reach, under water, to Avrom'l der Klaymacher [the Gluemaker's] place, where women bathe …

Oh, what blissful pleasure we, cheder kids, used to have beside the river! Dear little Jewish children, how little you needed to derive joy from God's world!!

Now let us take our leave of this enchanted corner of our childhood years and go back to the “Vall” (the Rampart).

* * *

Going through the back alley, we come out to where the “Sanitarians' Street” begins. It is actually difficult to know how the street came by such a name. Does it come from the word “sanitas”, meaning “health”; or does it come from the time of that [ancient] king who was allegedly crowned here and designated this place of sojourn for his most important offices and sanatoria?

Whatever was or was not the root of its name, for us the road became (the shtetl's) “Main Street”. It was the street where our Lechovicher Jews went to stroll on Shabbes and

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Yomim Toivim [Festivals], although the local Christian inhabitants in that street were not at all so very welcoming to the Jews as they walked along in the evening hours. At the most ideal time for strolling, they would take to sweeping or cleaning the street in honour of their holy Sunday and thus send a heavy (cloud of) dust up to heaven, to the point of suffocation. Our Shabbes-Yomtefdike Jews [dressed in their Sabbath and Festival best] would make a whole little detour and once again stroll to and fro the whole length of the street – from Reb Moshe-Mordechai Tokatshinsky's house to our Lechovicher “university”, the village “Shkolke” [primary school] with two grades.

{Photograph of the “Shkolke”}

On summer evenings, our young people aren't prepared to be satisfied with that [strolling down “Main Street”] and (so) they let themselves go further, reaching as far as the “Postovniker” forest, where they sit around for a very long time, resting from the long walk. Here, in the forest, far from the town, they let themselves go a little and swing on a rope tied to the trees. Here they drop in, on occasion, on the forest agent and grab a bite of something – a plate of milk curds with black peasant bread or just a cold drink of water. In the depths of the forest, young boys and girls sometimes have a modest flirtation. Later, with nightfall, they return home – dog-tired but very happy!

It seems that even in mid-week this street [Sanitarians' Street or “Main Street”] is cleaner

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and more lit up than all our (Jewish) streets, except for Pinsker Street. The shtetl's intellectuals come here for a stroll even on mid-week evenings. Brides and grooms also stroll here to “look over” one another. In addition, the very few well-to-do balle-batim reside here – such as Reb Moshe-Mordechai Tokatshinsky, Reb Mich'l Binyominke, Zundel Barnak, Berl Bekovich [= Berkovich], Gershon Lis, and the families of Maizel, Litovsky and Leibke Rozovsky with his wife Hanya (good people who are prepared to sacrifice themselves for someone else).

{Photo of Leibke and Hanya Rozovsky, with their daughter Sonya, and Beroche Tokatshinsky}

A little further on are the residences of the local Polish doctor, of the Christian medical assistant and of the town's state officials together with their institutions, such as the “Volost” Office [a “volost” was an administrative sub-district] and the “Volost Court”, the “Zemske Oprave“ (local administration), the “Kholadne” (house of detention) where a thief or a drunk goy spends time. Almost every Friday they bring criminals here in batches. They draw the attention of all the storekeepers of the “Between the Shops” area and all the others who stare at the new arrivals with curiosity.

The Commissioner also lives here with his twelve agents who were specially sent (to Lechovich) from the high authorities of the Empire. They have to guard against any shop being broken into again, God forbid, after the “Monopol” [state liquor store] was once burglarized on a Sunday market day with the unexpected arrival of peasants who were incited by the shtetl's Jewish revolutionaries, with Feivele Rivkin and the red-headed barber, Avromele, at their head.

And here, at the far end of the street, resides Shmuler der Advocat (the lawyer). He goes around on weekdays dressed up as for Shabbes, in a black frock-coat, a white collar

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and a hard hat. (He has) a broad golden ring on his finger and smokes Viennese cigars. An educated Jew, with lots of children. His wife goes the whole week with a little hat on her head, as would better befit the wife of a big town lawyer. People even whisper under their breath that she does not say no to having a flirtation with an outsider and that the reason for that is her husband, “the advocate”, who is often given to the bottle!

Dear “legal expert” Shmuler, you know the law concerning every criminal but not about your own wife!

* * *

If we go back a bit, we come out to the start of “Death Road”, which stretches far and away to the “New Cemetery”, while having to its side, on the left, the “Old Cemetery”, which is filled up with the graves of great Rabbis and Rebbayim [chassidic Rabbis] who draw their yiches [high family status] from the Baal Shem Tov [the founder of Chassidism] himself.

It seems that no prominent Jew lives on Death Road, except for Reb Shachne Buchbinder who deals, as it happens, in dry bones and old rags. Why is the street devoid of well-to-do folk? Who knows! Perhaps prominent people shun this kind of a street so that their money will retain more value in their eyes and perhaps nature has discovered that here is the most appropriate place for the poor and the oppressed, so as to emphasize more sharply the meaning of the verse (where it is written) ”the poor and the indigent are of the same import as the dead”. Yet how excited all the beggars become when a fire breaks out in the shtetl or the peasants get drunk and rough up the Jews a bit hard. Then, people in Death Road let themselves go wild with axes, mattocks, pokers – and show that they are (very much alive and) very far from death!

Nu, dear Jews from Death Road, did you put up a resistance to the Hitlerite murderers who turned our whole shtetl into a ghost town?

Now let's go up the other side of Death Road to (a section called) the “Weinger”, which actually stands before of the continuation of Death Road, with the small difference that the dirt and distress are greater (here). Crossing a small bridge, we come out where

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the “Shul Hoyf” [the “Synagogue Courtyard”] is located, with its two chassidic shtiblech [prayer-houses], the big community's Bes Medresh [synagogue; literally “House of Study”] and the Cobblers' and the Tailors' shuls [smaller synagogues]. From here, Jewish prayers, chassidic melodies, Shofar-blowing and ecstatic dancing and hand-clapping have been heard on Shabbes and Yomtef over long generations.

Especially when the Koidanover Rebbe used to come to the shtetl once a year - then, vey, vey, what a rumpus was kicked up here, in this corner (of town). The whole Shul Hoyf was thrown into complete turmoil. The Koidanover shul was too confined to accommodate the huge crowds of Jews who gathered to catch either a little word of Torah or a few shraiyim [crumbs from the Rebbe's table] or just to have a part in the holy celebration.

I remember how once at such a celebration I almost caught a slap from my father, Dovid-Shloime, a passionate Koidanover chossid, when out of the blue I asked him how a saintly Jew was permitted to countenance such Jews, who would become frenzied, leaping before him with such fervour, and singing and dancing and clapping their hands like crazy people and why did he not shun that kind of “honour”!

“You 'Shaygetz'!” [ignoramus], he shouted at me very angrily. “You're deficient! … don't you understand yet that the Rebbe has to live in great style, because the honour done him is not (actually) for him but for the Holy Torah and for the Almighty whose faithful envoy he only is!”

How much life has welled up in that corner (of town)?! Here klezmer [Jewish musicians] have played so often, accompanying young couples to the chuppe [marriage canopy], which was set up near a famous (wedding) stone. Here heart-rending wailing has often been heard, as has the bitter lament of relatives accompanying their dear ones on their last journey.

Now no singing and playing is to be heard – nor lamentation. Now, it's (utterly) still and silent, exactly as though the cemetery had been transported here and engulfed the whole place.

* * *

Only let's be strong, brothers, and go on. We take ourselves off through a little side-alley and come to where Kletsk Street begins, at the far end of which stands the well-kept house of N'yome Zayetz, a hefty Jew who, thanks to his ability, had become a respected contractor for major state entrepreneurs.

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A couple of paces more and we arrive at the house where the cradle of the “pride of our shtetl” stood. Here, our famous Dr. A. Mokdoni (or, by his real name – Sander Koppel) was born and raised. A son of parents who were not at all well off – his father was a melamed in the poorest district and his mother a respectable Jewish woman, always toiling in her bakery. Thanks to his great abilities and extraordinary energy, he (Mokdoni) completed his studies in Russia and abroad, obtaining the title of Doctor of Philosophy and thereafter, “like a storm” immersed himself into the most important period of Yiddish literature from its blossoming and development - and straightaway assumed a place among the greatest writers and journalists. He was especially appreciated as one of the best and most gifted critics of dramatic art. It is not an exaggeration to say that his word in this field became law and, at that time, on his word depended the fate of more than one show and its actors into the bargain.

Our great fellow citizen and brother gained no little honour for us. How happy we are that he is alive and with us, nowadays continuing his great and fruitful work in America. Let us then wish him, in the name of all the survivors, that he should enjoy a long old age together with us and be as a consolation in our despondent mood.

Now let's go on. We proceed by the stone house where Reb Shimshil Mintz lives with his family. He is a Jew who is always (spotlessly) clean, a pleasure to behold. It does not need to be mentioned that he has been a widower already for a good few years. His daughters care for him so that, God forbid, he shouldn't lack anything – even though it is not easy for them, because by nature he is quite a strong-willed Jew. And he is felt in the house even in his absence, (for example) when he is in the forest for business reasons [dealing in lumber?]. Altogether, that family was one of the most progressive in the shtetl.

Further down stand the houses of Reb Hirshele Mass, Rabbi Yisroel Dovid Ratzkevich and Rabbi Meir Paymer, about whom our (colleague) Dr. Avigdor Grinspan has so much to tell [elsewhere in the Yizkor Book].

And here is the stone house of Reb Noah Lios, a very big pelt merchant and equally a fervent Koidanover chossid.

A little further along is the long yard of Reb Shaiyel Zmudziak, also a big merchant who does business as far as Lemberg.

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Opposite is the wood merchant, Reb Pinye Berkovich with his fine children - not far from Reb Chayim Shifris, the Melamed, or “Chayim der Nesvizher” [from the nearby town of Nesvizh], a dear, calm Jew. He had the privilege of having his son in the famous Kevutza in Eretz Yisroel – Deganya Aleph [a Kibbutz founded in 1909].

{Photo of Reb Chayim Shifris}

We go a little further on and come to the Lechovich “museum” – I mean to the house of Reb Shloime Potshtalion. I call it a “museum” because, just as it is impossible to be in Moscow and not see the Kremlin, or to be in Paris and not see the Louvre, so it seems to me that it is impossible to be in Lechovich and not visit Reb Shloime Potshtalion's goyyish-looking, tumbledown abode. He is called “Potshtalion” [= postilion, in English] because he has a special concession from the local postal service to distribute the mail which arrives in the shtetl. For this concession, he puts at the disposal of the post a harnessed horse with a fine bridle and with a coachman, who drives twice a day to the railway station, transporting the (incoming) mail here (to town) and taking the (outgoing) mail back (to the station). Reb Shloime Potshtalion's horse with its bridle and bells runs through the shtetl, with the non-Jewish “whip-cracker” in front and a Russian official behind with a revolver at his side – and everyone knows exactly what time it is: here – at nine; and back - at ten.

In the morning, the incoming mail was handed out by Reb Shloime near the post office very quickly. Only leading merchants, who are awaiting their business correspondence, come to collect their mail. But the evening mail distribution is completely different. Then, it is not the merchants who come to collect mail but their adolescent sons and daughters whose parents' business matters do not interest them in the least. Only the business of meeting one another interests them. Here, the encounters take place not by the post office and not in the morning – only in the late evening hours and inside Reb Shloime's house. No harsh words [from their parents] had the power to put an end to the young people's (daily) trip to the post. Day in, day out, Reb Shloime's house is crammed – a pin could not be inserted.

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One talks, chats and wise-cracks. Having nuts in one's pocket is altogether great – one peels and cracks them at full blast, especially when the weather is fine (and) the heaven is studded with stars! Then, the house is completely full. The porch and even the yard is packed with young people who hang on the windows as if glued to them and ostensibly listen carefully to Reb Shloime as he calls out the addresses from the letters.

It is not easy for Reb Shloime to do this. He devotes himself to his work just like a Priest to his Holy Office [in the Temple]. Having spent the whole day (working) across the shtetl distributing the mail to the houses of the addressees, he is fatigued in the evening and so takes a nap until the non-Jewish fellow turns up with the mail from the station and lays the big bag on the table. First, Reb Shloime comes out of his narrow cubicle, sits himself down in front, pumps up the flame from the kerosene lamp (except, you understand, on the Friday nights when the non-Jew and one of his sisters call out the addresses), wipes clean his glasses before he places them on his nose, begins to take the letters out of the bag and takes to reading aloud the names from the addresses. He calls them out not exactly as they are written on the envelopes but according to his own peculiar system – not “Gospodin Yudeliev Litshitzkomu” [in Russian] but “Reb Yidel Litshitzky”; not “Gospodin Duchovnomo Ravino Israil-Davidu Ratzkevichu”, but Rabbi Reb Yisroel-Dovid Ratzkevich”, and so on. It doesn't make a difference – the “congregation” understands what he means well and every time a voice is heard from another direction, saying “Give (it over here), Reb Shloime”, Reb Shloime sends the bespoken letter straight over the heads of those standing near him until it reaches the addressee.

And when no letter is received, it does not matter because not for the letters alone does one go to Reb Shloime. Over there, for example, a young couple sits on a little bench a bit removed from Reb Shloime's house: they are not even listening as the addresses are called out - they sit together, cozy and quiet. Suddenly, they look up as Chayim-Ezrielke goes by with a turned-up collar – and the young couple knows very well that now he is going to his gypsy girl who lives at the very end of the street. That interests them more than the mail!

Oh, who doesn't know Chayim-Ezrielke? And who doesn't know his gypsy beauty, whom he picked up from a band of gypsies who were traveling by. The gypsy girl has fallen deeply in love with his burning eyes and black moustaches and his whole body which is bursting with strength and energy …. It is of Chayim-Ezrielke and about similar things that the young couples chat with gusto while they are waiting for the post.

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dear and decent Reb Shloime, whether or not you knew the real reason why the young people used to come to your announcing of the mail, you pretended not to know and you became, unwittingly, the shatch'n [marriage broker] for many couples, a thousand times better than all the local shatchonim! You should only have a radiant “Garden of Eden” [after-life] in return for the holy mission (you performed).

* * *

Actually, my dears, we could already return [directly] to town by not completing (the whole of) Kletsk Street, which is occupied by our bourgeois (non-Jewish) neighbours who probably took no small part in the annihilation of our brothers [during WW II]. However, it is worth our proceeding further because from there we will be able to cast an eye at the large estate, (called the) “Rushike”, which belonged to Polish noblemen [and land-owners], the Reytans.

For (many) long years, they maintained a very close connection with our shtetl and provided no small livelihood for our townsfolk, starting with Feigel-Bashe's [a store-owner – see immediately below]. They bound their estate to our town. For example, the story goes that Count Reytan suggested re-building the old “Cold Synagogue” after the [Great] Fire at his own expense, making only one condition: that his name should be inscribed on a special emblem beside the entrance. The shtetl, however, did not go along with this and so the foundation (of the synagogue) remains (bare) stone until the present day.

The refined Countess Reytan was distinguished by a particularly respectable attitude (to Jews). She used to visit the shtetl very often with her companions, always stopping off with great fanfare at Feigel-Bashe's “colonial” store. They used to arrive in fine carriages and sleighs, drawn by several horses and driven by Iozef the coachman, dressed up in a uniform with golden buttons. Once in a while the noble ladies would arrive riding horses, like Amazons. Who doesn't still speak of the occasion when Countess Reytan once arrived unexpectedly in her own automobile (at that time, the first automobile in the whole Minsk Gubernya). This really caused a total commotion in the region and people stampeded to have a look at it, as if they were looking at an amazing wonder. Everyone – that is, except for our poor cart-drivers whose horses were held in a single pen [?], for they alone, as opposed to everyone else, were apprehensive of the automobile. They saw in it an evil omen, (proclaiming) the doom of their livelihood. They were relieved soon afterwards when the automobile got horribly stuck in a mud-patch and was unable to budge from there. The desperate Countess with her chauffeur,

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poor things, were obliged to seek the help of the cart-drivers, (requesting that) their horses should pull the august automobile out of the mud-patch together. Oh, then our cart-drivers experienced sweet revenge!

At the beginning of the last World War, the noble Countess Reytan was exiled by the Bolsheviks [sic = Red Army?] to Siberia, where she surrendered up her soul together with many of the Jews from our shtetl … a kind of symbol of true neighbourliness.

* * *

Now, having fulfilled the verse “And also its ruin will be remembered for good”, we can cut through the garbage behind Kletsk Street and come out at the beginning of Pinsk Street, to the left of which stretch, far and wide, gardens and fields up to the Kaminker Forest and the railway station at Rushnevich. Not far from there are two little paths – one to the left, to the windmills, where cheder kids, as if in a very safe hide-away, used to play cards undisturbed and where there was a meeting-place for young couples in the evenings. The other little path, to the right, leads to the “market place” [literally “bourse”, in Russian = an “ideological exchange”?] of the local revolutionary youth, where there is hustle and bustle every evening and especially on Friday nights. The debates between the parties were always heated – not infrequently it happened that the last (means of) persuasion in arguments was a punch-up and murderous blows!

In the part of Pinsk Street which led to the Market is located the “Golden Flag” [the “flagship”] of our shtetl, so to speak. On one side is the big pelt merchant and devout chossid, Reb Leibe Lios with his intelligent family, and on the other is Avrom Yaakov Kaplan's son, Yehoshu'o, with his wife Feigele, or as she is called “Feigele Avrom Yaakov's”. Our way of life is not at all suitable for her. In her home she was taught Russian and also she has set up her house on city lines. But with that, she was distinguished by her simplicity and has shown a strong inclination towards community organizations. She has founded various social institutions in our shtetl, starting with “The Women's Association for Poor Birthing Mothers” [the association's name was in Hebrew] and ending with a communal matzo bakery which functioned before Pesach for the poor population. For the work in the bakery, she enlisted the local youth who worked night and day so that the matzo [unleavened bread] could be made for the poor to be able to celebrate the Seder [the Passover meal] equally with everyone.

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Here let's go a bit up and we come to the well-kept house of Reb Avrom Chayim Weinger or “Der Nayer Noggid”, where for years our town post-office used to be.

By the way, an unusual thing happened to that Jew, who is still living with us, with his daughter and family in Tel Aviv (he should live “for 120 years!”). This is the story: While in America it was his good fortune that a very large dwelling fell his way. He brought the capital which he realized back to the shtetl and, you'll understand, immediately assumed a very prominent place among the really affluent. He founded a credit bank, bought up shops and erected two fine houses in Pinsk Street and promptly took a seat in the “Mizrach” wall [see page 260] in the local big congregation's synagogue, thus coming by the name of “Der Nayer Noggid” [the newly rich man].

{Picture of Reb Avrom Chayim Weinger or “Der Nayer Noggid”}

How goes the old proverb? “Dowry-money, inherited money and lottery money have no substance – they go as swiftly as they come”. So too our newly “rich man”, unfortunately, became a poor man. In his case, by the way, his good friends and acquaintances “helped” him, just letting him keep his new name “Der Nayer Noggid”.

Here we are by the house of Reb Zalman Valkin, a son-in-law of the wealthiest man in town, Reb Avrom Yaakov Kaplan, who works together with his father-in-law and brothers-in-law, sons and sons-in-law of Reb Avrom Yaakov, in his large lumber businesses. Reb Zalman is learned and even has ordination for the rabbinate.

Opposite, no such big gevirim [affluent and prominent men] live but (one finds) Jews with honest souls, like Reb Yidel der Melamed and Reb Noah-Leib Busel, with their families.

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At the very end of the street, opposite N'yome Zayetz, are to be found Chotshe der Roife [the doctor], a certified medical assistant who is far more educated than his competitor, Reb Avrom-Yaakov der Roife who is a complete illiterate (which should not be considered any disgrace). Materially speaking, things go a lot worse for Chotshe than for Avrom-Yaakov. It's a matter of luck!

After Pinsk Street we take a left and enter a “street that ain't no street”, which we should take note of because of the important Jews that once lived here. But, first of all, whoever wishes should take a look to the right, where precious hard-working Jews lived - among them a gentle Jew, Reb Leibe-Motte-Sanke's, a ladies' tailor. The first professional strike in Lechovich occurred at his (work-shop) among his female workers who demanded a reduction in the working-day from twelve hours to ten hours. In truth, it was a slightly odd strike because the proprietor himself, Reb Leibe, with his daughters, worked no less than his female workers, while he remained a very poor man in the process. Hence he would not, and could not, grant their demand – and paid (for that) with his life. Among the strike-leaders were some nasty types who struck Reb Leibe over the head with an iron bar – [which put] an end to the strike for everyone.

Exactly opposite, by Mich'l Aron der Beker [the Baker], lives one of our two town dentists, Yitzchok-Gedalyo Goldberg, in a stone house. The greatest “supporter” of our town, he is the founder of many organizations and institutions, such as the Fire-Fighters Association, the Art Society, the Committee for the Development of the Shtetl and so on. Besides all that, our Yitzchok-Gedalyo is always ready to help other people in trouble, treating them as his own brother, friend and companion.

Among the outstanding Jews on the “street that ain't no street”, as I have called it above, lived Reb Moshe Mordechai “der Dardeke-Melamed” [the little children's cheder teacher], a quiet, upstanding man and a “Dreamer of Zion”. Although he was a poor man, he was the first subscriber to “Ha-tzefiroh” [a Hebrew newspaper published in Warsaw intermittently from 1862 onwards]. His greatest dream was at least to die in Eretz Yisroel. Unfortunately this was not granted him. He relinquished his soul in “dark exile” [an allusion to the Shoah]. Not far from Reb Moshe Mordechai live Reb Shaiye Chossid and, a couple of paces on, Reb Yankel “der Shoichet” [ritual slaughterer] and then, opposite, the talmed chochem Reb Meir Leibke's,

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the cheder teacher, about whom our dear Dr. A. Mokdoni and Dr. A. Grinspan have so much to tell [elsewhere in the Yizkor Book].

Opposite, pushed back far in the yard, lives the great Koidanover chossid, Reb David Shloime, son of Shaike der Dayen [religious judge]. From his house, on summer Friday evenings, through the open windows, waft the holy Friday evening hymns and heartfelt chassidic melodies which really have a magical effect on the whole surrounding area and fill the air with the mood of the “neshome yesayre” [the mythical “extra soul” which descends upon a Jew on the Sabbath].

Here extend courtyard after courtyard, built up with small, low houses and huts, almost one on top of the other. Here poverty nestles (all around) …

And there is the abode of our well-known Reb Avrom-Yankel der Roife whom we have already mentioned in connection with his professional colleague, Chotshe. Who among us in the shtetl has not made the acquaintance of that great “physician” who acquired his entire medical knowledge during the time that he served as a male nurse with a doctor in a governmental town [administrative centre, such as Slutsk or even Minsk]. After that, he settled in Lechovich and began his self-appointed medical career. He was graced with two qualities (enabling him) to have great success. First, his very manner. Whatever else people may have said about him, his appearance would have fitted the greatest professor – his fur hat and large, beautiful fur coat with its floppy cape on top, and the high galoshes on his feet, gained him the highest respect, (even) among his biggest enemies. The second quality was his extraordinary confidence in himself, to the point of chutzpe [brazen effrontery].

For a dozen years, he remained the only medical assistant in town and who knows how much that cost in poor folks' lives? If a (real) doctor were once to have tried to arrive, Avrom-Yankel would have expelled him right away. Either he would cast abuse on his would-be competitor or he would let loose his dumb son, Alter the barber, on him – and that one was prepared to slaughter a man in the middle of the market with his sharp razor-blade! Avrom-Yankel used to make up his prescriptions himself with the help of Miller, the Polish pharmacist. If his herbs worked, that was fine, but in the event, God forbid, that they did not, people weren't allowed to say a word, because when Avrom-Yankel opened his mouth on someone, “it could not be washed clean with ten (flushes of) water”.

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God knows how long things would have continued in this way, if a miracle had not been pre-ordained and a Christian doctor arrived in town. He soon obliged our Reb Avrom-Yankel to give up and limit his practice only to the ailing among the poor.

Next, in the Rogov's house, is the barber-shop of Chatzkel, (Rogov's) son. A sign hangs outside, written, you see, in Russian of all things: “Saloon for hair-cutting and shaving” and on the sign is depicted an appropriate “picture”, painted by our Lechovich artist, Moishe Snob'l, where a man is sitting opposite a mirror, covered with a sheet, and near him stands the barber, while both of them are staring straight at the people in the street … Oy vey, how hard-heartedly were we, the cheder kids, treated by that “rogue” Chatzkele, especially on Erev Shabbes and Erev Yomtef , when he would make sure that we could not go out to get a haircut by his competitor, Yosel, son of Chotshe der Roife. He would (simply) run his clippers over our heads, from the back of neck to the forehead, thus leaving a carved-out streak so that now one could only sit and wait endlessly, with our “scarred skulls”, until the blackguard took pity and got to work on us!

The Mislevozh Street starts here. At the beginning, on the left, is the “Papayshchine” [grove of trees?] which belonged to an old Tatar woman [there was a Tatar community in Lechovich], who gave permission so that Jews should be able to come and relax on Shabbes after their cholent [a particularly heavy Sabbath dish] and take a little fresh air under the few trees. In the eyes of the town's Jews, that row of a few trees seemed like a real Garden of Eden.

Here, at the “Papayshchine”, at the very beginning of the street, live the “Burakes”, a large, ramified and hard-working family who engaged in planting different vegetables on large tracts near the town (whence they take their nickname “Burakes” [“beetroot”, in Russian]). In the wintertime, they bred whole flocks of geese for selling and producing shmaltz [rendered fat]. They prepared it in large troughs for sale in bulk around Pesach time.

When we go off a little to the right, where one catches up with Mislevozh Street, we observe a stone building which has a great deal to tell us. At the beginning, it was erected to serve as a place for the fire brigade's equipment. However, it was destined to fulfill a completely different function

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in our shtetl's cultural life. Not everyone knows about that, so it's worth our while to pause and briefly relate the whole thing. If until the last moments [in World War II] there was an interest in our town in dramatics, it was thanks to that building where, close to forty years ago [around 1912?] the foundation was laid for an amateur company drawn from the intellectual [literally, “intelligent”] youth in Lechovich.

{Photograph of the “Lechovich Young People's Circle of Theatre Lovers”; caption with names of R. Kurchin, Chana Zlotnik, N'yome Begun, Faye Churgin, A. Lev [the author of this chapter], Shloimke Rozovsky, Boruch Tzirlis, Tzimmering, Y. G. Goldberg, Malka Berkovich, Brin “the Artist” [director], Masha Geldfarb, Y. Falevsky, Chayim Grinspan, Noah Pintshuk}

It came about as follows: after the unfortunate Revolution of 1905, young people everywhere were overcome by apathy. A large part of the youth who lost heart left Russia and emigrated to “free” America. Others, the more passive among the young people, went off in the direction of mildly scandalous recreations and started here and there the so-called movement of the “Leagues for Free Love”. More modest young people took to showing an interest in the art of the theatre and founded amateur companies to perform plays.

Our shtetl was almost always the first in the whole region

[Page 304]

to take up anykinds of new diversion. And indeed it was the first to form a circle for young theatre lovers. Then, really as if from heaven, a professional actor happened upon us (by the name of) Brin who, it seems, had dropped out of some traveling company. Our young people took to the “divine” work (of the theatre) with gusto under the direction of our unexpected guest. He assembled the “talents” among us and he soon went to work – starting by studying with us in depth Sholem Aleichem's (play) “Scattered Widely” which was, by the way, very appropriate for those times. Our director anguished a bit over the fact that he did not have the right comic actor for the role of the marriage broker. He was, however, quickly saved because I, your humble servant, having suddenly pitched up in town from an absence in Pinsk, was straightaway “engaged” by the “company” and took up the role in question.

The shtetl was really in turmoil. We ran into obstacles from the side of both the orthodox population and the authorities which required the issue of a permit for putting on a theatre presentation. To obtain the necessary permit we were saved by our dear (friend) Yitzchok-Gedalyo [Goldberg]. He began to work energetically on the matter as the founder of the local Firefighters Association. After a lot of effort, the censor from the Gubernya authorities finally arrived, (bearing) a stamped [certified] copy of the play “Scattered Widely”, together with the permit to produce a play in Yiddish, made out in favour of the Firefighters Association. Nu, what can you do! So be it – the main thing was that the show would go on.

We then set about putting the “auditorium” in order, with the stage, the proper decorations (etc.). Nor was the preparation of a booth for the prompter forgotten. The windows were even fixed up so that smart-alecks couldn't set up ladders and peek inside. Ay, what will be with the furnishings and the wardrobes? After all, with Jews one couldn't go wrong - one borrows here and there and everything would soon be in the best of shape. But what does one do with non-Jews? There's surelty an answer to that as well - the director will take care of everything. In brief, everything fell into place like a real theatre and when the days before the play arrived, printed placards - in Russian, you understand - were put up. Soon the tickets began to be sold at Alter Brevda, the photographer's, place and, before a day was out, the billboard was pasted over with a stripe (announcing) “All tickets sold out”.

Then the day for the dress rehearsal arrived and all the actors were very stressed. Suddenly, as often happens in big theatres, two actors exchanged angry words and

[Page 305]

had a fight. One decided that it was he who had to play the role of Matvey and he landed such a punch on his partner, Vladimir, that the latter was knocked senseless and passed out. You'll understand that immediately there was an uproar and it was decided that we were not acting with that Matvey, even if the world disappears! But what will one do without Matvey? Here (and now) we have to hold the dress rehearsal and tomorrow we are required, according to the permit from the authorities, to stage the presentation itself. If, God forbid, we postpone the show, we will have to begin anew the application for a permit, which is another four to five week business. In short, the situation is dire. Only a professional actor, like Brin, who is accustomed to such things, could give advice. He laid his hand on the shoulder of the one who had to play the marriage broker and said in a firm voice, “This member (of the cast) will also play Matvey”. “What do you mean?” people asked from all sides. “Is he a comedian or what?” … “Is it possible?” But, go argue! When the director pronounces, that's the way it is.

The following evening the town was gathered in the hall – and not just from the shtetl itself. People came from the whole surrounding region to see the play. How did they all manage to crush into such a narrow auditorium and where did they all go to? Don't ask! People were really hanging from the rafters. Who bought a ticket for cash and who received complimentaries - a reward for lending us furniture or some wardrobe? The show began – and was it ever a play! Then Lechovich was a Lechovich the likes of which had never been seen. People actually shook the hall with rousing applause and spirited cheering.

As befits a real theatre, a banquet was held after the show, with the local Polish doctor at the head. What is he doing there? Nu, the production was put on in Yiddish but what (self-respecting) doctor doesn't understand German?! There was a series of speeches in honour of the actors and particularly in honour of their pure, dedicated artistry. And when the director himself asserted that a professional company of artists would not be put to shame by such a performance, our spirits rose to seventh heaven. Was it any wonder that very soon posters were put up again, (announcing that) “by popular demand” the show would be played another time?

So it was with a play by a theatre (group) which lasted with us for many years. Its foundation was laid here in that building

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by the first circle of lovers of dramatic art, as was heralded in the first posters.

{Photo of the Lechovich Dramatic Circle after World War I – no names}

Now we will allow ourselves to proceed with our stroll. We will stop before the house of Reb Noah “der Melamed” or Noah “Mislevozher” [from Mislevozh] - a dear Jew and a great Torah scholar. And there is the Pintshuks' house. One of them, Shaiye Pintchuk, was all his life a faithful Zionist devotee but he died along with everyone (in the Holocaust).

There is the home of our other Lechovich lawyer, Mendel Zmudziak or, as he was called, Mendel “Saban”. Exactly like his competitor, Shmuler, he was the father of many children – except that he was a great joker and was always in a good mood, not to mention a great apikores. On a hot Sabbath afternoon, he used to allow himself to drink a cold pitcher of sour milk soon after his cholent [an affront to Jewish religious law, which requires a long waiting period between meat and milk foods]. Thus he was the first person in the shtetl to go around hatless in the street. The frum [observant] Jews had washed their hands of him a long time ago. Hence, the young people stuck closely to him and especially the young intellectual women, with whom he spoke Russian and whom, from time to time, he honoured with one joke after the other, each “saltier” than the last …

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Not far from the advocate's residence is a simple house where the quiet family of Reb Nache (Nachman) der Bal-Agole [the Carter] is to be found. Despite his occupation, he is an idealistic Jew of whom one cannot speak highly enough. At the time of evening prayers, he prays, you see, among his peers [literally, “among Jews of his degree”], but he has enough integrity to suffice for a whole minyan [prayer quorum of ten men] of fine balle-batim who have seats in the mizrach wall (of a synagogue).

And there is the home of our Lechovicher “Paganini”. I mean Reb Nishe der Klezmer [musician], with his son Shli'ome, the flutist. Who of us didn't know that serene and modest Reb Nishe with his fiddle who, together with his band, wrought wonders at weddings? He was already an elderly Jew, always cleanly dressed, with a silvery head of hair, cut short from behind and arranged “a la garcon”, with a large, broad golden ring on his finger. It was said that he had acquired the ring from a famous duke for his exceptional playing.

When Nishe took his fiddle in hand, the hearts of all those around began to pound. In particular, he vanquished every heart by his playing at wedding dinners. At the request of the parents of the bride and groom, he played “Kol Nidrei” [a prayer from the Yom Kippur service, with a haunting melody] or the “Pastechel” [shepherd's song]. Then, Jewish hearts melted as if made of wax; people were ready “to lift him in their hand”. When he played that Pastechel, he performed like a shepherd going out to graze his sheep – and suddenly a hungry wolf intrudes! The Pastechel wails, sheds bitter tears and calls for help. Suddenly the wolf spots a whole bunch of sheep, with their dogs going wild – he slinks off and all the sheep remain alive, thank God… Then [Shli'ome] plays the Pastechel as a song of praise to the Lord on his little whistle to (the melody of) Rachum ve-Chanun [another High Holyday prayer]. (The shepherd) calls in his sheep and makes his way home with them safe and sound. And then Nishe “gives a four” with his bow over the strings on the other side of his “Stradivarius”: a squeak is heard from a gate - a sign that the sheep were returning in their pen – and the joy of the listeners is unbounded.

Oh, dear Nishe, you should enjoy an illustrious “Garden of Eden” for the huge pleasure which you brought with your playing to all those in deep despair.

Let's go a little further and, passing by the non-Jewish burghers' homes surrounded by gardens and orchards, we come to the little house which stands on its own at the very end of the street. Here, in complete isolation, live the family [p. 308] of Lemke Daiches or Reb Lemke Gavze (the father of Chayuta Busel). Despite the fact that that family is already described by our Dr. Grinspan and Chayuta herself [elsewhere in the Yizkor Book], it is impossible not to say a few words about them here, since they were notable for an extraordinary likeness (to one another) which always made a special impression on everyone.

It was always difficult to determine to what (location) the inhabitants of that house should be ascribed – to a village (nearby) or to the town? One way or the other, should such a fine family work so hard in its own weaving establishment and live outside the town, somehow not at all like Jews? From the very first glance, one could deduce that the family were destined by God Himself for Eretz Yisroel. They even experienced bitter trials at home, like those with which the one-time immigrants to Eretz Yisroel were tested (thank God not today) – already in Lechovich they sampled the taste of kadoches [fevers, malaria, severe illness].

Let's leave that quiet and special family and go further on until we arrive at a pathway to the iron bridge, the bridge where our Lechovich youngsters used to let go on summer Sabbath-days, paddling in the fast-flowing river and singing “Nadson's” [popular sentimental melodies by a Jewish song-writer called Nadson] with dreamy eyes and overflowing hearts!

{pp. 308-09: passage about the street where the Tatar community in Lechovich lived, together with a photo of the Tatar mosque – not translated}

[Page 309]

We leave the quiet, secretive part of the Tatars' Street and turn to enter the town, going by the houses of such outstanding balle-batim, as Ahare Mazhe [= Mazie?] or, as he was known, der Nayer Noggid [the newly rich man] (apparently because of some short-lived good fortune, which he had had while it held him); Aron-Leib Kantorovich, the big Koidanover chossid, Reb Moishe Neiman, one of the biggest pelt merchants in our region. (The latter), when not taken up with his business, always used to look for a free moment to glance at a Hebrew or Russian book or at a newspaper. He gave his children a nationalistic upbringing, in the best sense of the word. How sad he was, together with all his friends, when one of his daughters left the Jewish fold … Over here, lives Reb Shaiyel Gavze with his son Yechiel-Asher, who are also big pelt merchants and even bigger chassidim.

[Page 310]

One should also point out where the poor widow, Rashe di Bekerke [the Bakerwoman], lived. She gained a name for herself among the local youth with her fresh bagels, which she prepared in the late evening hours, when the young people used to come back from Reb Shloime's “post-office”, or from a heated discussion in the (political) parties' “exchange-market”, or a strenuous rehearsal of a theatre piece, or just from a late stroll.

From the Tatars' Street let's go in to the left, to the start of Harevle Street [called “Revle Street” on the accompanying sketch-map of Lechovich], which leads to the “mountain” and from there, via the Klein Lotve [little meadow], straight to Polstanak. In the good old days, one journeyed there to the railway. In Hitler's time, however, our brothers and sisters were conveyed on that way to mass death. Then Harevle Street was converted into another “Death Road” … and so this time we will not make our way to Polstanak. No, this time we will not pause at this or that house, we will not even stop at the Pravoslav [Russian Orthodox] Church, where every Sunday our “dear” neighbours were taught to love one's enemy … in the dark days of Hitler, it seems, they forgot the Bible altogether.

But let us have courage, my dears, and press on until we arrive at the place where our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, little children and aged grandparents saw for the last time this sinful world, which betrayed them in such an ugly way and deceived them so outrageously …

And, as downcast and broken as they were before their martyr's death, let us gather around this huge, sacred mass-grave of our now-extinct shtetl and, with heads bowed, let us all say together, “Aycho yoshvo vodod” [“How doth the city sit solitary” – the first words of the Book of Lamentations].

Once there was a shtetl called Lechovich that for long generations throbbed with life. Today it stands denuded, mute and orphaned of its precious, loving children who were torn from it by violence and who have taken their leave of it forever, forever …

Yisgadal ve-yiskadash sh'may rabbo … ! [“Magnified and sanctified be His great Name!” – announcing the recitation of the Mourner's “Kaddish” prayer].


Name Index to Chapter by Abraham Lev

A. People with Surnames
Page Surname(s) Given Names Nickname
270 Avrom Yitzchok's Leibel    
261 Agushe's   Dovid (Dode)    
262 Agushe's   Hode    
262 Agushe's   Meir'ke    
261 Agushe's Dode's Mich'l    
262 Agushe's   Temme    
262 Alezer   Peretz    
285 Altvarg   Pesach    
265 bat Ami   Tzipporah    
277 ben Amitai   Levi    
291 Barnak   Zundel    
279 Bashe's   Chaim    
303 Begun   N'yome    
268/291 Berkovich   Berl    
268-69/303 Berkovich   Malke    
268 Berkovich   Shimmel    
291 Binyominke's   Mich'l    
286 Binyominke's Berl Mich'l    
263-64 Bogin   Yosef    
277/304 Brevda   Alter    
274, 276 Brevda   Aron Itshe  
274 Brevda   Malka   Mala
282 Brevda   Yitzchok    
292 Buchbinder   Shachne    
308 Busel   Chayuta    
299 Busel   Noah Leib  
272 Busel   Shmuel Sheye  
268 Busel   Yosef    
268 Chazanovich   Moshke    
268 Chazanovich   Yehoshu'o    
300 Chosid   Shaiye    
270/303 Churgin   Faye    
271 Cohen   Chamme Reizel  
260-61 Cohen   Itshe    
308 Daiches   Lemke    
282 Ditkovsky   Hinde Reizel  
273; 287 Ditkovsky   Pesach   Hinde Reizel's
268 Figner   Vera    
303 Falevsky   Y.    
272 Gavze   Alter    
308 Gavze   Lemke see Lemke Daiches
269 Gavze   Pinye    
309 Gavze   Shaiyel    
309 Gavze   Yechiel Asher  
303 Gelfand   Masha    
277 Gellin   Yehudo    
276/279/300/304 Goldberg   Yitzchok Gedalyo  
294/301 Grinspan   Avigdor    
303 Grinspan   Chayim    
270 Halpern   Yechiel    
272 Kalman Yosel's Sore    
286/309 Kantorovich   Aron Leib  
286 Kantorovich   Dine Rive  
263-4 Kantorovich   Leibe    
260/298 Kaplan   Avrom Yaakov  
298 Kaplan   Feigele    
298 Kaplan   Yehoshu'o    
269 Karelich   Yudel    
269 Karelich   Tzippe    
269 Karelich   Zundel   Gedalyo's
289 Kashe   Motte Shaiye  
294 Koppel   Sander    
274/303 Kurchin   Raphael    
277 Lemtshich        
277 Lemtshich   Moshe Dovid  
303 Lev   A.    
293 Levin   Dovid Shloime  
277 Levin   Nachmen    
291 Liss   Gershon    
298 Lios   Leibe    
294 Lios   Noah    
291 Litovsky Family      
291 Maizel Family      
265-266 Mallov   M. S.    
266 Malovitzky   Avrom    
266 Malovitzky   Sora    
266 Malovitzky [= Mallov?] Yosef    
272 Malevitzky   Yosel    
265 Mallov   M. S.  
294 Mass   Hirshele    
309 Mazhe [= Mazie?] Aare    
294 Mintz   Shimshel    
276 Miletzky   Dina    
275-6 Miletzky   Frumke   Naftolke's
275 Miletzky   Gedalyo    
273 Miletzky   Moshke   der Druker
261 Mishkovsky   Yisro'el    
283/294/301 Mokdoni   A. see also Koppel, Sander
279-280 Molovitzky [= Malovitzky] Alter   Bande
280 Molovitzky   Yankele    
276 Molshadsky   Lize    
276 Molshadsky   Reuven    
276 Molshadsky   Shmuel    
262-63; 288 Monye's   Idel    
309 Neiman Moishe      
294 Paymer   Meir    
306 Pintshuk family      
303 Pintshuk   Noah    
306 Pintshuk   Shaiye    
278 Pintshuk   Yeruchem    
277 Pintshuk   Yitzchok Yossel  
275 Pinsky   Aron Nisel  
275 Pinsky   Gedalyo    
275 Pinsky   Zalman Yitzchok  
265 Postan   Berl    
265 Postan   Shaindel    
295-97 Potshtalion   Shloime    
278 Rabinovich   Mich'l    
286 Rasl's   Avrom'l    
284 Ratner   Etel Gitel  
284 Ratner   Ortshik   Ortsh'kel
283-84 Ratner   Yossel    
294 Ratzkevich   Yisroel Dovid  
296-97 Reytan family      
273/291 Rivkin   Feivel    
283; 287 Rivkin   Shloime    
302 Rogov   Chatzkel(e)    
274-5 Rozovsky   Bayrech   der Goldshmidt
291 Rozovsky   Beoroche    
291 Rozovsky   Hanya    
291 Rozovsky   Leibke    
260 Rozovsky   Shloimke    
303 Rozovsky   Shloim'ke    
274-5 Rozovsky   Sore    
289/306 Saban   Mendel see Mendel Zmudziak
300 Sanke's Leibe Motte    
267 Shaiyel   Bashe    
267 Shaiyel   Beroche    
267 Shaiyel   Mordechai    
267 Shaiyel   Nechemyo   Cheme
295 Shifris   Chayim    
302 Snob'l   Moishe    
277 Soloveichik        
290 Tokatshinsky   Moshe    
291 Tokatshinsky   Moshe Mordechai  
282 Tzimmering   Feige Dine  
282 Tzimmering   Shmuel Dovid  
303 Tzimmering   [no first name]    
303 Tzirlis   Boruch    
299 Valkin   Zalman    
282 Vapnik   Shimen    
291 Varnak (?) see “Barnak      
286 Varshal   Avrom'l    
276 Varshall   Moshke   Chayim-Ber's
266-67 Vinograd   Boaz    
266 Vinograd   Gitel    
266 Vinograd   Shlomo   Feivel's
266 Vinograd   Yitzchok    
270 Weiner   Yankele Shmuel  
229 Weinger   Avrom Chayim  
293/300 Zayetz   N'yome    
268 Zasulitsh   Vera    
303 Zlotnik   Chana    
306 Zmudziak   Mendel    
294 Zmudziak   Shaiyel    
 
B. People with nicknames or without formal surnames
301/302     Alter   son of Avrom Yekel “der Roife
287     Asher   der Zeigermachter
299   see Weinger Avrom   der Noggid
300/301     Avrom Yaakov, or Yankel der Roife
289     Avrom'l   der Klaymacher*
291     Avrumele   der geler Parikmacher
282     Bashe   Reichel's
281     Beroche Yitzchok Yossel
268     Botche   der Hoicher
303 Brin       [the Artist]
295   see Shifris Chayim   der Nesvizher
296     Chayim   Ezrielke
300/301/302     Chotshe   der Roife
283     Devoire   Yaakov Moishe's
301     Dovid Shloime Shaike der Dayen's
297     Feige   Bashe's
298     Feigele   Avrom Yaakov's
275     Frume   Naftolke's
287     Gedalyo   der Melamed
272     Gedalyo   Melamed's son
268     Libe   der Geller's
268     Lippe   der Geller's
286     Manke   Ganef
300     Meir   Leibke's
284     Mendel   der Kalt-Shmid
300     Mich'l Aron der Beker
284-5     Mich'l   Kaile's
265     Mich'l   Noah's
      Moishe Mordechai der Dardeke-Melamed
273     Moshke   der Druker
277     Mottel   der Blecher
307     Nache (Nachman)   der Balle-Golle
309 Mazhe, A.       der Nayer Noggid
306     Noah   der Melamed”; or “der Mislevozher
307     Nishe   der Klezmer
273     Pesach   Hinde Reizel's
265     Rive   di Almone
283     Rivke Leah di Almone
282     Reichel   di Bekerke
282     Reizel   Sore's
274-5 Rozovsky   Bayrech   der Goldshmidt
270     Sander   der Ainbinder
282     Shaiye   Bere Velvel's
283/301     Shaike   der Dayen
307     Shli'ome   son of Nishe “der Klezmer
191-92     Shmuler   der Advocat
272     Sore   Kalman Yossel's
276     Stir'l   der Kezeles
281     Stir'l   Noah-Leibe's
268     Yankel   Pelzel
282     Yayrshel   Borech Meir's
300     Yankel   der Shoichet
299     Yidel   der Melamed
268     Yona   Pelzel
289     Yosef'l Yisroel der Yayetshnike's*
302     Yossel   son of Chatshe “der Roife
264     Yitzchok Aron der Melamed
281     Yitzchok Yossel  
      Yoch[eved] Zelig Shimel's or Ittel's
280-81     Zelig   Shimel's or Ittel's

 

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