A memorial candle for my town Dubossar
By Bernardo Gorevitch
(Dov, son of Naftali Halevi Horovitz, z'l)
Translated by Sarah Faerman
Dubossar, where I was born, is located in Moldavia by the shores of the Dniester River, between Kamenietz Poldolsk and Bessarabia and forty viorst from Kishenev. Let it be remembered that following the Kishinev pogrom of 1903, some of the orphans of that massacre were brought to Argentina - a tradition that would be repeated years later following the 1918-1920 Ukrainian pogroms. Dozens of orphans were then brought over by the Jewish community and placed in the Buenos Aires Jewish orphanage.
In the olden days, Dubossar was under the Turkish regime and later under Moldavian rule.
In the 18th century, the Russian Czar annexed the land. It has been noted in various records and also on old tombstones that the Jewish community in Dubossar dates back to the 17th century.
I see Dubossar before my eyes - vibrant and alive as it was during my childhood. Calm and peaceful, she lay by the Dniester River where barges and steamboats would pass by on their journey to the Black Sea. Colourful fruit orchards and wheat fields adorned the entire area and clear and sweet water cascaded down from the adjacent mountains. A sip of water from the springs during the heat of summer was deliciously thirst quenching. In the meadows, the animals would graze ; calves and lambs would cavort and leap. One could hear the warbling of birds in the trees while the Acacia trees perfumed the air with a delicate fragrance. Lovely and bright were the moonlit evenings in Dubossar. The blessings of the earth and the beauty of nature filled every heart with a desire and lust for life.
There, in that earthly paradise were our cradles. Can we then forget this? Can we believe that all this has been wiped out, destroyed? That thousands and thousands of our nearest and dearest were annihilated at the hands of murderers? And yet, it is true and the reality is much more horrifying than one could even imagine.
Being unable to eulogize the thousands of the martyrs of our town, I would like to mention some who are engraved in my mind. On the way to the second, old cemetary, going toward the meadow, lies the gravesite of the Tzadik ( Pious man) Reb Mendele, a student of the Baal Shem Tov, as well as graves of other saintly men, may they rest in peace. In the new cemetary, which we all remember, I would like to mention the graves of the Dubossarer Rabbi and Reb Chaim David Dayan, z'tz'l. These two great scholars would be summoned to all the surrounding areas when there was a need to make a very difficult Torah judgement. Also at their eternal rest there were: the Rabbinic judge, the Tzadik Reb Chaim Shimon son of Menachem; Nachum Levi; Isaac Rabinovitch and his son Reb Shmuel Dayan - the father of our friend Leml Rubin, long may he live. There also lies the great scholar Reb Yerucham Dayan and the ritual slaughterers, Israel Layb Farnshul and Reb Efraim Greenblat.
I remember them from my childhood years and they actually appear before my eyes. I also would like to mention Reb Nachum Shotek ( the Quiet One) - we would call him Nachum Aronke's . He was silent and he always studied. All week he would go from house to house collecting donations for Sabbath Kiddush or Havdala for the poor. And Reb Yosef, the trustee of the Talner Rabbi's synagogue, z'tz'l, the father of the famous cantor Nachum Matenka, who would, at the 'Three Sabbath Meals' dance with great devotion: A day of rest and holiness You gave to our people.
I also wish to name these wonderful men - Isaac Rashkavski; Yosef Filler; my grandfather Mordecai Layb Ish Horovitz, of the lineage of Isaiah Horovitz ,the holy one , h'sh'l'h (author of Shnei Luchot Habrit); his father Reb Naftali; Reb Pinchas, son of Yosef Melech Finkelshtein; David Zalmina, son of Moishe Horovitz; Motl Chazan; Eliezer Bendersky , sh'tz; Reb Motl Cohen; Israel Tzelnik; Chaim Tzvi Tzelnik; Layb Batalsky; Yechiel Tzelnik, Rabbiner (Rabbi) Layb Pitchiniuk; Moishe Bronfman; Yosef Ben Naftali Horovitz, Guteh Molavyatisky; Krasnavetz; Feldsher ( medical aide) Yeshpe, Yosef Rofeh ( doctor); Abraham Baruch; Isaac Vaisman; my brother Yosef Horovitz, his wife and their daughter who died of hunger; Doody Jacob, son of Mordecai Layb Gurevitch and wife Rayzl; Doody Elkana Gurevitch; Doody Abraham Jacob Piltchikov and wife Raizy; Reb David Lifshin; Chanan Kipnis, Yudl Filler, Jacob Feldman; Simcha Vaisman; Nachum Cohen; Zalman Korpirst and many more that I cannot remember.
Their blessed memory and that of the thousands of Dubossar martyrs that were killed in World War 2 will always remain before our eyes. May their names live on forever in this Yizkor book.
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