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[Page 199]

        A few years later R. Shimon passed away. He died in November, 1927, having served the people of Drohitchin as their doctor for 62 years.

        Lotsa Beila Weissman, the wife of R. Shimon Weissman, was born in 1864 [sic] in Drohitchin. Her father, R. Mendel Moshe Isser's, provided her with a good traditional education, and she influenced her children and other people in the same spirit.

        [photo:] Lotsa Beila Weissman

        Lotsa was a proud Jewish woman, and ran a beautiful Jewish home. Her word was authoritative for everyone, family and friends alike, and everyone respected her. Lotsa Beila died in 1931 in Drohitchin.

        The Weissmans had the following children: Avraham Yosef (died in Chicago); Naftali (killed in Brisk); Yehoshua (living in Chicago); Shmuel (died in Chicago); Dina, a dentist (died in Chicago); Yehudit (died in Drohitchin); Rivka Minkov (living in New York); Perl (living in New York); Bashka (killed in Vilna); Mordechai, Sula, Tzippa Miriam, (all living in Chicago); Ezra (died in Chicago), and Sarah (living in Israel). Tzippa Sidransky [is] active in the Pioneer Women organization and Poalei Zion in Chicago.

Dr. Mordechai Weissman

[photo:] Dr. Mordechai Weissman

        Dr. Mordechai Weissman was born in Drohitchin on March 11, 1887 to his parents R. Shimon the Doctor and Lotsa. He studied in kheder and with private religious teachers such as R. Shmuel Artshis, Naftali Steinberg, Moshe Velvel Skolnick, and his own grandfather, R. Mendel Moshe Isser's Kaminetsky. Mordechai also studied general subjects, especially Russian.

        At the age of 14 Mordechai went to study at the Maltsh yeshiva, where he remained for 2 years, followed by 2 years at the Slabodka yeshiva under R. Chaim Mishada and others. On July 13, 1906, Weissman moved to the United States and settled in Chicago. Like many other immigrants, he worked during the day – first in a shop, and then as a Hebrew teacher at the Winchester Synagogue – and in the evenings he attended school to study general subjects, and eventually entered university.

        In 1912, Mordechai joined the Chicago College of Surgery (which later became part of Loyola University), where he studied medicine. After obtaining his degree in 1917, he worked for a time in hospitals, and in 1920 opened his own office, specializing in heart disease. In later years, Dr. Weissman was involved with the tuberculosis sanitarium in Chicago, where he worked as a specialist in his field.

        At the same time as he pursued his studies, Dr. Weissman was also involved in community affairs. Even as a child, he joined revolutionary movements that were spreading throughout Russia in those days. He was one of the founders and leaders of the Yiddishist Bund in Drohitchin, and fought for the rights of the working class. In Chicago he was a member of Y.L. Peretz-Shapiro Branch (6) since 1920, of the National Workers' Union, an active member of the Doctors' Union, and contributed frequently to

[Page 200]

medical journals. Dr. Mordechai Weissman's wife, Bessya (née Krasevitsky), whom he married in 1917, [is] a famous leader and former president of the Pioneer Women organization. The Weissmans had one daughter, Yehudit, who lives with her husband Hugh Douglas, a well-known radio announcer and commentator, in Los Angeles.

Naftali Weissman

[photo:] R. Naftali Weissman, may G-d avenge his blood.

        Naftali Weissman, a son of R. Shimon Weissman, was born in Drohitchin. In his conduct and attitude, R. Naftali was a carbon copy of his father, R. Shimon the Doctor. R. Naftali was a religious and observant Jew, and made his living by healing the sick.

        For many years, R. Naftali was the doctor of Horodetz, where he succeeded his grandfather, R. Binyamin, as doctor. His grandfather had served as a doctor there his entire life. R. Naftali was beloved and respected in Horodetz, where he lived as an honorable religious Jew. He attended services, studied Talmud and provided free medical services, including free medicine, to the poor.

        R. Naftali was unsuccessful in earning a living in Horodetz, both because of the small Jewish population, and because of competition from Christian doctors who treated all the non-Jewish patients. With help from his father, R. Naftali went to Warsaw to return to his studies. Some time later, R. Naftali returned to Horodetz as a dentist. He worked as both dentist and physician.

        R. Naftali still didn't earn much of a living, so he returned to his studies once again. After a long period in Warsaw, R. Naftali returned to Horodetz as an eye doctor. Nevertheless, he still couldn't make a living. Then his wife, Dina, passed away, and he were left with several small children in a desperate financial situation.

        R. Naftali was forced to leave Horodetz and settled in Kobrin, where he developed an excellent reputation among the Jewish population. After World War I, R. Naftali moved to Brisk, where he worked as an eye doctor, earning a good reputation as a doctor. In Brisk he resumed his religious studies as well, studying Torah and discussing Torah topics with his rabbi friends. He even authored a book of homilies – an encyclopedia of anecdotes and homilies of the sages of the Talmud, Midrash and Zohar.

        R. Naftali was a model individual, combining Torah, wisdom and good character traits. Unfortunately, he and his family were killed in the Brisk ghetto. May G-d avenge their blood!

        Information from the Horodetz Book

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