Rabbi Belski had one son and three daughters. The oldest daughter, Golda, married Rabbi Elchanan Goldstein from Maytchet, who was scholarly and well- educated. His commitment to G-d and his devotion to the people were to be admired; the inhabitants of the town and the local government officials admired him as well. The government appointed him as the Rabbi Mit-Am (Rabbi of them) and he was also a religious teacher for the Jewish pupils in the Polish school, Pobshachna.
The second daughter, Rosa, married a Yeshiva student from Mir, Rabbi Dov Abbel, during the time when the elderly Rabbi was still the head of the Jewish community. The Jews liked Rabbi Abbel and saw him to be the successor to the elderly Rabbi Belski.
The third daughter, Liba, was engaged to Rabbi Shlomo Podoleski from the Navaradok Yeshiva. Unfortunately, she died when she was still young and before he came to Maytchet. Rabbi Podelski was a wonderful preacher and everybody went to the synagogue to hear him. He was the candidate to be the Rabbi from the Mitnagdim movement (this is the opposite of Hassidim).
This became a complicated situation. Both sides did not want to recognize the other's candidate. They even stopped buying candles and yeast at the Rabbi's house as they had been doing for quite some time in the past. This was the situation until Rabbi Jacob Grinberg came from Slonim. The Mitnagdim accepted him because he was a Slonim Hassid and some of the other Hassidim accepted him as well. The government wanted the Baranovici Rabbinate to make the decision. The war started and of course this problem was never resolved.
At the time of the Aktion, Rabbi Belski went out to the street wearing his prayer shawl and teffilin. That is where the Nazis shot and killed him.
|The Stores' center opposite the Shul-Heif|
There were three permanent house of worships: The Synagogue, the house of study (Beit Hamidrash) and the Shtibel of the Chasidim. The Synagogue was a large rich building with a nice dome over it with paintings of Jewish works of art. Some of the veterans of Maytchet said that Italian builders built the original synagogue 300 years ago. In 1922 it was renovated and returned to its old glory.
People prayed in this synagogue on Saturdays and Holidays and on the weekdays they prayed in the Beit Hamidrash. Just prior to World War II the Cantor was Rabbi Shaulke a very fine chazzan. The honorary officers were Josef Shkolnikovitch, Hazel Motchkovski who was the chairman of the interest free loan, (Gemilut Chasadim) and Moshe Belski. The Shammes was Nachum Kovenski.
The Beit Hamidrash (house of study) was the main prayer place where most of the people prayed and studied the Torah during the day and at night. On the weekdays there were several Minyans at various times and on Saturdays prayers were conducted at different minyans at the same time. Between afternoon and evening prayers there was a lesson of Chapters of the Mishna. The honorary officers were the ones who led the study sessions (Magid Shi-ur), but on Saturday afternoons they brought people from other places to lead the sessions.
The prayer-leaders in the Beit-Hamidrash were Rabbi Leib Chaim Volinski, Rabbi Yeshaia Aharon Lozovski (they were the honorary officers also) and Moshe The Melamed (teacher). Rabbi Yeshaia Aharon always cared for the heating in the Beit Hamidrash and prepared wood for the oven. There were more honorary officers: David Rabinovitch (Dudzie the researcher), David The Hoicher (The tall man) and Chaikel Izralevitz Der Baker (The Baker). The shammes was Moshe Breshenski.
The Shtibel was the third prayer place where the Chasidim of some Admors (Our Master and teacher) prayed. From time to time they came to the Shtibel (each one on his assigned Saturday of the year) to be with their community. Their appearance made the inhabitants very happy. The Shtibel's daveners (prayers) brought the Cholent (typical Sabbath food) and drinks. The people came to see the Rabbi and to hear his wise Torah words-------the Maytcheters were very happy. The Admors who came to visit were, the Slonim Rabbi, the Stoliner(from Stolin), the Koidnover(from Koden), the Galitziner(from Galicia) and more.
The honorary officers of the Shtibel were: Rabbi Josef Shimon Girshovitch, Rabbi Leib Vinograd and Rabbi Isaar Bilas. The prayer leaders were: Israel Zalman Shlovski, Rabbi Josef Shimon Girshovitch and Rabbi Jacob who was the son in law of Rabbi Koppel Gorski.
There were more minyans in private houses on Saturdays and holidays, like in Rabbi Belski's house who remained at home because of his paralysis, at Yudel Der Shuster's house (The shoemaker) and at the Zionists place (when a minyan was arranged there, all the income was given to the Keren Kayemet Le-Israel).
The Maytchet Rabbi was Rabbi Belski until he became paralyzed and after that his son in law Rabbi Dov (the husband of his daughter Rosa). His second son in law Elchanan Goldstein served as Rabbi Mit-Am (Rabbi of them, government appointed). In 1935 there was a quarrel between the different religious groups and another Rabbi was brought to Maytchet until the war began. The Polish authorities asked the Rabbinate in Baranovici to appoint the Rabbi, but they didn't succeed. The war finished everything the internal Jewish problems and the Jews themselves.
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