Prepared by Myrna Siegel In the west entry of our shtetl Maytchet on the road that leads to the villages Dvoretz and Zhetl my grandfather Reb Moshe Aaron Boretcky's mill stood which he got from his father Reb Meyerim of blessed memory. This area was a small empire because in that area lived the extended family of Reb Moshe Aaron, and the distance between the houses and the villages were one to two kilometers. Between the houses and the post office building there were only a few houses and the Boretcky family home was located in that area.
My grandfather Moshe Aaron and my grandmother Hana Freidl, his wife had had five sons and four daughters. They all lived close to their parents. Only two sons, Jacob and Yizachara, emigrated to the United States. My grandfather Moshe Aaron had a very noble look. He was very handsome with a long white beard. He was very charitable. The elders of the town told how when they would meet him shabbat evening walking to the synagogue a very long distance, they asked him: It does not matter, on Saturdays and holidays every Jew and even Jews from other villages would come to the synagogue. But on Friday night this is a very long distance. Is it not beyond your strength? and he would answer: For distance I will receive a bigger mitzvah. As concern for my age, I receive my rewards during the days of the week. And I am obliged to fulfill my duty and to thank whoever gave me my rewards. And beyond that he would continue and say, Try to imagine the pleasure I had when I returned from the synagogue to my home Friday night and they all came towards me, the sons, the daughters, the grandchildren, and would receive me and welcome me with shabbat shalom blessing."
Farmers came to the mill with wagons and they would bring with their grain. They would pay for flour with money or barter. Moshe Aaron gave part of his earnings to the poor people of the city.
As has been noted, my grandfather Reb Moshe Aharon was blessed with many descendents. His son, my father Reb Noach, married my mother Alte, daughter of Naftali Hertz and Sima Dvoretsky, who at first lived around Maytchet and later moved to Baranovich. My father set up his household in Maytchet near his parents' home and helped his father with the mill, and my mother Alte was one of the first teachers in the first Hebrew School of the town. My parents
had two daughters and two sons. I [Chana Mechtiger] was the oldest daughter. I went out to a hachsharah kibbutz near the time of the outbreak of the Second World War, and I arrived in the Land of Israel after many tribulations. I live there today. Their second daughter, Feigle finished studies in the “Tarbut” seminary for kindergarten teachers in Vilna, even though she was orphaned from our father Reb Noach, who died at a young age in
1930. She began to work as a teacher in Maytchet. I still have Feigele's letters that she sent to her relatives abroad, written in the Hebrew Language. From them, it seems that she dreamed of coming to Israel and continuing her studies at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. From the content and style of her letters, it is apparent that were she to have been able to realize her desire, she would have become an expert in the field of education, the field that she had always been interested in. To our sorrow, she perished in the Holocaust with our mother and two brothers, Meyerim and Herzl.
A second son of my grandparents Reb Moshe Aaron and Hana Friedl Boretsky was my uncle Reb Shmuel. he married Ethel Block and they had two daughters and four sons. Like his brother, Reb Noach, Shmuel also worked with his father in the mill. Reb Shmuel served in the czar's army as an officer and his wife was a very devoted homemaker and also an actress in the local drama club. The entire family of Reb Shmuel was liquidated in the Holocaust apart from one daughter who made aliyah to Israel in one of the earlier Zionist movements Hashomer Hazier in 1936.
The third son was my Uncle Benzion who was married to Chasha Sharshovsky. They perished in the Holocaust and their only daughter survived. She was extremely beautiful and the lead actress in the drama group of the city. After many hardships and a miracle, she survived and went to Eretz Israel after the war. There she established her family.
|Alte Boretcky and her two sons Herzyl and Meyerim|
The daughters of Moshe Aaron married and established their own families. My Aunt Miriam lived in Horodishtch, Poland and she was killed there with members of the family.
My Aunt Dvorah who was married to Moshe and my Aunt Henya who was married to Label Lozovsky. Both of them established their families in Maytchet. The son-in-laws worked in the mill and they all lived in the neighborhood until they were exterminated in the Holocaust.
My Aunt Nachama, who was a widow, continued to live with her parents Moshe Aaron and Hana Friedl. She was also killed in Holocaust.
The Boretsky family was large and everyone knew them there were many branches. The children supplied bread to all the farmers and supported the poor people in town. Their good deeds did not save them in the Holocaust. Their end was like all the Jews of that town. May their names be remembered.
Here are two letters that were brought to the editor which were written by Feigele from Maytchet before the Holocaust. The letters written in a wonderful Hebrew and lots of warmth, express endless love to Eretz Yisrael and strong desire to make aliyah after finishing her study in the Hebrew seminar in Vilna. But the enemy arrived too soon andended her life dream.
Those letters are being published as they were written and let it be as a memory for her pure soul.
Greetings to my dear Uncles and Aunts,
After a long silence I take my pen in hand and will tell you what is happening with me and ask to hear news from you. First of all I would like to know how you are doing and how are my Uncle and Aunt, The Americans? How are little Batya, and infant Zvi? I send greetings to all my family who are very dear to me. My Uncle and Aunt in America, I want you to always be aware of our fondness. I wish to G-d the time will come for our meeting. Shevat Achim Gam Yached (Brethren will sit together).
My beloved Uncles and Aunts, I am thinking that you would like to know who is the one who is writing to you. I am Zippora (Feigl) who studies in the Tarbut seminary in Vilna for kindergarten teachers. I'm in my second year and in another year and a half I will finish. Then I will get a job. But to my sorrow I find it difficult for me to fulfill my aspirations. In my long journey I have encountered many obstacles that are not making it possible for me to arrive at my destination. But despite everything, I move forward with an elevated head, and I will not allow my head to bend and surrender to those obstacles. And I am thinking that you would give me a helping hand.
|I am writing this letter from home. I came here for the winter holidays for 18 days. I have leave to stay home until January 9th. I think I, the unfortunate one, will have to stay longer because my mother cannot afford to send me further. I found the house in a very bad state. The pale face of my mother and her white hair frightened me. Every corner of the house is full of sorrow. It is not the same house that was joyful and fun. My mother gave all her strength for me and she cannot do any more. My little brothers can only add another tear to the cup of misfortune and weeping. So my dear ones, I have decided to turn to you. If you are indeed concerned for me, please add another brick, another hand, and the building will be completed.
I am confident that you will take my letter seriously and you will extend a helping hand to me. For, If not now, when? If not you my loved ones, who will be interested in me? I have no one to turn to. The gates of heaven are closing in front of me.
Once more I am turning to you with a request that you should really understand me and my thoughts. This letter should not remain with you as a piece of paper that is turning over in the wastebasket. I shouldn't have to stay in the house and be a joke and laughing stock in everybody's eyes.
My dear uncles and aunts -- I would like very much to know what impression Eretz Yisrael made on you. Also I, the young one, am longing and hoping for the land of our forefathers. The day of redemption will come for all the Jewish people, and we will be as all the other peoples. We will plant, we will plow, and we will harvest. We have suffered enough carrying the heavy load and the hard yoke on our shoulders that the Diaspora imposed on us. There will come the day when we will be free people. For you will hear the voice from afar: Peace, peace will be in the Land, and A wolf will live with a lamb and a tiger will sleep with a little goat…
|I ask you once more that you reply to us and also you should send a photo. Batyale and little Zvi should also write to us about how the Chanukah Holiday passed in Eretz Israel. I extend my greeting to all of you. Greetings to Shifra and her husband. I am inviting you to Poland -- please come! Zippora, who is fighting for a brighter future.|
Greetings to you my dear ones:
My eyes were lightened from happiness, drops of tears dripped, the happiness is big. You my dears answered my request. Thank you very much my dear uncles and aunts, really you were the only ones who understood and know how short the time is and it is important to deliver the help. The day I received your postcard I didn't know what to do, I was confused, I ran to the seminar to let them know that I also may be able to attend the exam, that I am a student as all the others. I was jubilant.
The exams passed by very quickly and the day arrived which I matriculated. Dear uncles and aunts, it is hard for me to express my happiness and feelings. My poor little pen is not able to deliver everything on the paper. My heart beats with excitement. I am excited. For three years I was fighting however I won the battle and I worked hard until I arrived to the day of light. I am at home now for a week, and again my happiness is not full, my mother's pale face and her hair that was whitened from problems frightened me and expressed the big change in the house. I felt that I am the guilty in it all, true. I am the one who caused the bad situation in the home. But I did it not out of badness. I wanted to study. And I was forced to run and leave the little isolated village, in my heart two forces are fighting. My heart shrinks from pain as I am looking at my mom. Oh dearest. The human always fight and will never be content with he has. However I will try to be different. My first ambitions I fulfill and I will try to fulfill further. I will stand again to the battle with life and I am forced to step forward. To study further, not to delay. However first I have to be grateful for all of those who knew to appreciate my studying in Vilna and who try to help me in the needed moment. Now I will get a job and I will work, in order to earn a bit, and afterward I would like to make aliyah and to study in the University, if only it will work out for me. My ambitions to make aliyah, because this is the only place for me.
With lots of love,
Translated by Jerrold Landau
My mother Ethel of blessed memory was orphaned at an early age. Her father passed away at the age of 33 years. Her mother remarried and was forced to leave her children and move to her second husband. While she was still very young, she bore the burden of tending to the household and caring for her three brothers, two of whom were even older then her. Later, she was accepted at a large hide enterprise. Thanks to her golden hands, she was assigned as the chief cutter and allocated work to many other stitchers. In this way, she earned an honorable livelihood.
My mother was a very wise woman with many talents. She had an unusually sweet voice and was always happy and full of life, with a constant smile on her face. She was also a lead actress in the amateur acting group. She had the lead role in every performance. She played The Witch (Mechashefa), Mirele Efrat and many other roles of this genre. She read many books. Before I immigrated to Israel she would sit on long winter nights with a book on the table, as she was knitting beneath.
She had a good place in the community, for everyone admired her. Her origins were from a fine, honorable, family. I did not know her parents, and do not know anything about them. However, her mother's brother was a well-known rabbi in Lida. All of his sons were teachers, whereas other cousins were Torah scholars, pharmacists, etc. Mother spent years in the home of this uncle in Lida, where they loved her as a daughter and a sister in every way, and there were sufficient reasons for this.
I remember her from the age of three, when we fled as refugees at the end of the war and lived in one room - mother, Nathan and I. We lived a life of poverty, with simple, unsalted food, and wearing a work dress, albeit nicely decorated in red. I wore shoes that were too large for my feet. I recall that there was only one bed for the three of us, and one day, an additional one appeared, made of two poles covered with burlap. Of course, we took turns sleeping in it at night. Once at midnight, I realized that mother was not beside me in the bed. I searched around in the dark and found mother sitting next to a soldier in uniform, talking to him. I got up with a scream. I chased the soldier away, as I was afraid of him. This soldier was my father whom I did not yet know.
My mother suffered a great deal in her life, but she sustained us with great wisdom and maintained herself until Father returned from the war. My friends were always jealous of me that I had such a mother, progressive and wise, young in spirit, and a good friend. I loved my mother very much.
Our home was always open to everyone. It was always filled with male and female friends of all ages. All of them felt good there, for Mother also joined us, and my friends included her and took advice from her. Six children grew up in difficult conditions in our home, but they received a good education. They were trained to work with their hands, to perform good deeds, and to be involved with Zionism. Five of us were in the Hashomer Hatzair movement. One left, and our parents were also aligned with us. Despite the age difference between my parents, with Mother being 12 years younger, they always had exemplary good relations, without any disputes at all or raised voices. The children sometimes argued amongst themselves, as do all children.
The image and memory of Mother will remain in my heart until my last day.
My father of blessed memory
I do not know very much about the history of my father Shmuel. I did not know him at all until the end of the war, and even for some time after. I knew that there were nine children, and I thought that there were another one or two who died. The entire family lived together with our grandfather Moshe Aaron Boretcky. I do not recall Grandmother at all.
I got to know my father for the first time at the age of five or six. He served as a captain in the Russian Army throughout the entire wartime period. I had no sense of a father, and I always asked, What is ‘father’? What does he look like? and other such questions. The family was reunited when he returned. I was six years old. From then, I remember him well. He was a handsome, tall, strong man, with a full head of hair. He was intelligent and good hearted. Wartime stories never stopped, especially on Sabbaths, festivals, and long winter nights when the family would sit around the table. Our parents told us a great deal about their tribulations, and everything connected with the wars.
My father had visited many countries and his stories sprang out as from an overflowing fountain.
Before I made aliya to Israel I hoped that my brothers would follow together with my parents. However, destiny was cruel, and everybody was annihilated without a memorial. They were not even buried like humans.
Their memory will always be blessed and preserved forever.
Translated by Jerrold Landau
A Jew of Maytchet fell ill with smallpox, was hospitalized, and died. This was during the First World War. In order to prevent the spread of the disease, the Germans ordered that he be buried in the closest cemetery, which happened to be a Christian cemetery. My father of blessed memory did not make peace with this. At night, he snuck into the cemetery along with two other Jews, disinterred the body, and transferred it to a Jewish burial.
When he returned home toward morning, Mother said to him, You endangered your life!
Father responded, So what? Is it possible to leave a Jew buried in a Christian cemetery?
The good of the community always stood at the center of Father's concerns. Even though he was not a native of Maytchet, he was completely involved with the life of the town. He would serve as a prayer leader on the High Holidays. For a certain time, he served as the gabbai [trustee] of the Beis Midrash, and was a member of the Chevra Kadisha [burial society], charitable fund, and other communal bodies.
My father, Reb Chaim Leib Volinski of blessed memory was born around 1870 to his parents Moshe Naftali and Lea Freidel near the town of Drohiczyn in the Pulsia district of Poland. They maintained an agricultural farm there, which they had leased from a certain landowner. My father had 11 brothers and sisters. The entire family would gather together at every holiday, and they would not be short a tenth man for a minyan [prayer quorum].
My mother Kunia-Rivka of blessed memory was born in Slonim to her parents Reb David and Dvora Shochetowicz, who earned their livelihood from the liquor trade. They had one son and three daughters.
My parents lived in Maytchet from the time of their marriage in 1899. Our family had the nickname Zawadczyk, and everyone in the region knew who was meant by this nickname. This nickname was on account of the soda and carbonated water factory that my parents' owned. They also opened a tavern for soft drinks (Pywiarna) next to the factory. These two businesses were housed in the wooden building in which we lived, located in the center of town, part of which was purchased by my parents from the landowner of Kleshnyaki. Isser Bilas of blessed memory and Yakov Dvorzecky of blessed memory also lived in this house. Yaakov Dvorzecky ran his pharmacy out of his house.
The building in which we lived underwent many incarnations. During the First World War when Maytchet was conquered by the Germans, the building was expropriated by the conquerors and served as a hospital. Part
of the family went to live with Hershel Shlovski and another part went to live with Moshe Shevchik until the hospital was transferred to a different location.
My father extinguished several fires that broke out in the building. One of the fires that he put out was when the house served as a hospital. From the house that we were living in at the time, he noticed smoke coming from he building. He hurried to the place and succeeded in controlling the fire. My father also saved the home of Isser Bilas from being consumed by fire. My father was accompanying the Kosterovitzki brothers, the sons of Yehoshua of the village of Sycewicze, who were studying in Maytchet, back home after they had supper with us. One the way, Father noticed fire bursting forth from the house of Isser Bilas. He hurried over and gained control over the fire, which had been caused by a maid who hung up the laundry over a kerosene lamp that had overturned.
As I had already noted, Father was very much occupied in communal affairs and in assisting those in need. In cases of attacks on Jewish girls, my father concerned himself with the daughters of two families who lived next to us. He entered their house, dressed the girls in boy's clothes, and hid them in our house.
We were eight children in the home: five sisters and three brothers: David, Golda, Zelig, Roza, Shifra, me, Leizer, and Lea Freidel.
We all studied - the boys in various Yeshivas and the girls in school. Our studies did not prevent us from helping our parents in their business. I recall that we would not take money from the residents of the town on the Sabbath. Every customer had a page in a ledger. We would put a note prepared from the outset in the appropriate page, listing the amount of the purchase.
Father's death in 1923 was a great blow to all of us. We slowly organized ourselves to continue with life, and we helped even more in running the business. As time went on, the children began to leave the house and establish their own families. My brother David married Teiba Rivka of the Avilev family of the town of Lubcz, and he set up his family there. My brother Zelig got married in Maytchet and helped Mother run the business. My sister Golda got married to Eliezer Polonski and lived near us. They had a sewing workshop and a leather store. My sister Roza married Yitzchak Meir Topoli and set up her home in Maytchet. Her husband served as a shochet, and would also perform shechita for the Jews of neighboring villages. Only my brother Eliezer and my sister Leah Freidel did not get married before the outbreak of the Second World War.
The world war sealed the fate of the Jews of Maytchet, including my family members who remained in Poland. Most of the family members perished in Maytchet. My brother David and his family perished in Lubcz, and my brother Eliezer perished in the Kozlochowa Camp.
Of the entire family, only my sister Shifra and I survived. I made aliya to the Land in 1932 as a tourist with the first exhibition of the Orient Fair that took place in Tel Aviv in those
days. I married Moshe Kleinshtov, and we have three sons and a daughter, as well as grandsons and granddaughters. My sister Shifra married Yosef Lozovski while still in Maytchet. They made aliya to the Land in 1933 with their baby girl. Their aliya was possible because her husband was a well-to-do tradesman, and the British were only issuing aliya permits at that time to those who had means. They settled in Rishon Letzion, and have two daughters and a son, grandsons and granddaughters.
Our hearts ache over the loss of our most dear ones. May their memories be a blessing.
|Standing from left: Moshe Kleinshtov, his wife Miriam, Yosef Lozovski
Sitting: Shifra Lozovski and the children
Translated by Jerrold Landau
The son of Shimon Yitzchak the Magid who would travel through various towns received his nickname Munia Zushke's on account of his mother Zushke who travel through villages for her fowl business in order to feed her nine children. The father was a native of Zhetl and the mother a native of Maytchet, where they established their home on the Street of the Cemetery, and where Munia and the other children were born.
In 1928, he escaped from the Polish Priziv (draft) and moved to Argentina with his future wife, Feigel of the Boshlovitz family of Slonim. They got married in Argentina and established a family. He manufactures mattresses and is successful in his business. He has a married son and daughter.
The Landsmanschaft of Maytcheters in Argentina consists of 65 families, 35 of whom are in Buenos Aires. They gather together annually to memorialize the martyrs of Maytchet, as well as whenever a Maytcheter comes from Israel to visit his family. Almost all of the Maytcheters in Argentina are Zionists with their hearts in Israel, and saddened by the tribulations of Israel. There was a great awakening during the Six day War. They voluntarily donated large sums of money. They will certainly rejoice with the joy of Israel once peace is established.
On the other hand, the youth, that is the Maytcheters who were born here, are somewhat distant from Judaism, and the parents relate to the situation with great worry and doubts about their future with respect to Israel, and with respect to the preserving the memory of Maytchet in their hearts. However, what the mind does not do perhaps time will do, and one must not despair of a miracle during this period when so many miracles took place in Israel.
Maytchet natives in Argentina greatly appreciate the holy task of perpetuating the town and its martyrs though publishing a Memorial Book, in order to thwart the aims of the enemy who wished to wipe out the name and memory of the Jewish towns from beneath the heavens. Now it will be proven before the entire world that The eternity of Israel will not deceive!
Translated by Jerrold Landau
I myself was a resident of Dworzec (Dvorets), but I have memories of my youth from Maytchet, where I studied a trade and got to know many dear Jewish families. I especially see a duty to express true gratitude to my aunt and uncle Gedalia and Nechama Yatvicky. This was during the 1920s, and I was about 14 years old at the time, when I came to Maytchet to study the sewing trade with Leizer Polonski (the son-in-law of Zawadcki). I stayed at the home of my Uncle Gedalia.
Incidentally, it is worthwhile to mention the work conditions that pervaded during those days, when no professional organization existed in the town, and every person did what was right in his eyes. During the first year, I worked as an apprentice without pay. During the second year, I began to receive a salary of 250 zloty (50 dollars) a year. The workday extended from early morning until after the Maariv service, and even later in the winter. Others who worked in this trade aside from Polonski included Noach Goldshtein the brother of Rabbi Elchanan Goldshtein, Nachum the Shteper [stitcher] and others.
Uncle Gedalia was a Torah oriented, observant Jew who earned his livelihood honestly. After a hard day of work in his household implements store, he would run to the Beis Midrash to teach a class in Mishna between Mincha and Maariv to the congregation of worshippers. Aside from the commandments between man and G-d that he fulfilled with his entire soul and means, he was also diligent with the interpersonal commandments, and was therefore beloved and accepted in the eyes of G-d and man. In 1935, he was taken hurriedly to Warsaw for an urgent operation by the well-known physician Dr. Soloveiczyk, but he died there and is buried in the cemetery of Praga.
I will now note some incidents that typify those fateful days. When the Germans invaded Poland in September 1939, I was serving as a Polish soldier in Warsaw. As part of the war effort, we took up defense positions behind the monuments of the Praga Cemetery. When dawn broke after the nighttime activities, to my great surprise, I noticed that I was standing next to the gravestone of my uncle. I showed this to my platoon commander, and he found this astonishing. As is known, the defense operations did not last long, and I was taken prisoner by the Germans. I was freed from prison two months later, after the Polish-German agreement.
Aunt Nechama was a woman of valor who helped in the business and performed acts of charity and kindness in the life of her husband. She continued with the household implements store after she was widowed. Her home stood on a hill in the town next to the home of her brother Yisrael Belski (Sara's) the baker. When the Germans entered
Maytchet in 1941, the family of Liba Margolin was forced to leave their house and live with Nechama Yatvicky.
During the aktion in Maytchet, they all hid in the cellar of the house, the entrance to which was well hidden for a long time. However, the residents of the cellar were eventually exposed by one of the gentiles. They were taken to the communal grave in Chwojnik to be murdered.
Sitting fro the right: Moshe Ravitz, Mina Levin (Gorski), Dvora Mlishinski, Esther Lozovski, Chaim Kravitz
Standing from the right: Chanan Peleg, Abrasha Chanale's, Baruch Lewin, Meir Lozovski, Freidel Mkronski (Margolin), Moshe Korn
Translated by Jerrold Landau
First of all, I recall my paternal grandparents very well. My grandfather Dov Ber Lozovsky of blessed memory was an educated, honorable Hassidic Jew. He worked as a potter and earned his livelihood from the work of his hands, as was the custom of Maytchet Jews for generations. He also had the generous character traits with which the Jews of the towns excelled in those days. I recall the day of his death, which took place during the time of the First World War. He returned from the synagogue in a merry mood on Purim after hearing the reading of the Megilla. On his way back, he went to his son's house, drank a LeChaim in honor of the holiday, and returned home healthy and hale. A few hours later, they came to Father to inform him of his death. I also recall Grandmother who was very old at the time of her death.
My father Reb Joshua Aharon of blessed memory studied at Yeshiva until 25. Only after filling himself with Talmud and decisors of Jewish law, to the point where he became known as an expert scholar, did he marry 14-year-old Chana of the Skolnikovitz family. They had ten children, of whom they raised four brothers and three sisters. Aside from me, one brother, Meir Lizovski, made aliya to the Land after the war. The rest of the brothers and sisters perished in the Holocaust, may G-d avenge their blood.
My father of blessed memory had a splendid countenance with a flowing beard. He got along well with people, and walked uprightly with G-d and man. He sent his sons to Yeshivas and raised them with Torah and tradition, in accordance with the custom of his fathers. He was a building contractor and a manufacturer of tar, charcoal and bricks. His sons also took part in the business and helped him develop it, even though they were working in their own right.
Due to his flourishing business, he was well off, so he merited two tables - Torah and business. He built a large house, as was fitting for his status. He also knew how to benefit his fellowman from his fortune, his strength, and his voice. As a contractor, he helped build the Chorev School, he fixed up and renovated the synagogue, and performed other such important activities in the realm of religion. He acted benevolently with his fellow by offering assistance to anyone in need. It goes without saying that he made sure to never sit down for a Sabbath meal unless there was a guest eating at the table. Finally, he excelled as a fine prayer leader with a sweet voice that was enjoyed by the congregation.
His wife Chana, that is my mother of blessed memory, died at the end of the first World War. He remained a widower as long as he still had daughters at home. He married a second wife after the daughters got married.
The writer of these lines was his primary assistant in his many business endeavors. He also built himself a large home and planned to dwell in peace, as is the custom of Jewish men. However, the relative quiet before the great storm that was about to shake the foundations of Diaspora Jewry awakened him to thought and action. One day in 1933, I decided that I could no longer sit upon a quaking mountain. I arose, liquidated my house and business, and made aliya to the Land of Israel where I built my permanent house in Rishon Letzion.
After a short time, my father and his wife came to me, and lived in my house for two years. In 1937, Father desired to live in the holy city of Jerusalem, where he earned his livelihood from delivering Torah classes to the congregation of worshippers and those who studied in the Beis Midrash. He died in Jerusalem at the old age of 89, and is buried on the Mount of Olives. His wife lived a long time after him.
May his soul be bound in the bonds of eternal life.
1) Chanan Kostininski (chairman) 2) Moshe Belski (vice chairman) 3) Manya Novomiski (treasurer) 4) Yitzchak Gilerovitz 5) Yaakov Novogrodski 6) Yosef Shkolnikovitz 7) Shmaryahu Safir 8) Zelig Volinski 9) Reuven Breski 10) Yosef Lozovski
Prepared by Myrna Siegel
Edited by Jerrold Landau
I left Maytchet as a young child, but I had a large family who remained in Maytchet. My parents were born in Maytchet, and also my two grandfathers and two grandmothers lived in Maytchet. A large part of the rest of our family was also born in Maytchet. They are buried in the Maytchet Cemetery.
My grandfather Meyerim Lubetcky was born in the town of Turcz. He married a Maytchet girl named Doba. They remained in Maytchet and there they lived out their years. They had six daughters and two sons. One of his sons was my father Yitzchack Akivah Lubetcky, may his memory be for a blessing.
My grandfather Meyrim Lubetcky's occupation was leasing land from landowners of the area. Later in his life he abandoned this. Since my grandfather was a great scholar and very wise Jew, he served as an emissary for collecting money for Yeshivas. At the same time he became interested in medicine. He studied medical passages from the Talmud and Maimonides. He wrote prescriptions in Latin and also Yiddish. Everything in the name of Heaven. He considered this to be a great mitzvah to write prescriptions for healing the people, mainly for poor people. Both Jews and gentiles would come to my grandfather to ask advice. They even turned to him as an arbitrator for a variety of disputes. When he was out of the country as a fundraiser, people would wait until he returned so he could arbitrate for them.
My grandfather Meyrim was an uncle of the renowned Yeshiva Master [Rosh-Yeshiva] in Grodno, Shimon Shkop.
My other grandfather was Itzchak Boretcky and my grandmother was Sarah Rachel. They were born in Maytchet. They were the parents of my mother Yachne Rivka. My grandfather Itzchak was a brother of Moshe Aaron Boretcky and they each had a mill.
The two mills were built by their father Meyrim Boretcky and he gave them to his two sons.
My parents Yitzchak Akivah and Yachne Rivke immigrated to America. We were three children -- me, my brother Eliezer Shmuel and our sister Sarah Rachel (Sylvia). Unfortunately, my parents and sister died in America.
I left behind a large family in Maytchet. From my mother's side there was the Boretcky family and the family of Hershl Novomiski the mohel. His wife Nechama Devorah, peace be upon her, was a sister to my mother. On my father's side were his sisters Sivia and Chianke. Sivia was the wife of Chackel Israelvitz and the other sister Chianke was married to Isser Zusman. All had a large extended families.
I am writing what I remember about my family in Maytchet for the Yizkor book; the physical beauty of the area and the good people that lived there. It is important that future generations know their origins and who their ancestors were.
Translated by Jerrold Landau
As I come to describe my family in Maytchet, I must start out by describing the earlier period of my family. In truth, I was not born in Maytchet. My family only began living there in 1923, after the death of my father Reb Mordechai Margolin of blessed memory.
My grandfather Reb Yaakov Yosef Margolin was a native of the town of Zamiechow in Russia, where he served as the town shochet. He and his wife Chasia, may she rest in peace, established their household in that town, where three sons and two daughters were born.
The eldest son, Moshe of blessed memory, set up his home in Russia like his father. He had three sons and three daughters. One son and one daughter, Yaakov Margolin may G-d avenge his blood and Dvosha Shinovski may G-d avenge her blood moved to Poland during the Bolshevik Revolution. Their final place of residence was Baranovichi. They perished
in the Holocaust without leaving any survivors. The rest of the sons and daughters of Moshe of blessed memory live in Russia today, and have large families.
The second son was my father Reb Mordechai of blessed memory. During his youth, he served in the Russian Army during the Russo-Japan War (1905). Then he moved to the town of Starobin near Slutsk, where he married my mother Sheina, the daughter of the shochet of Starobin, Reb Gedalyahu Kadoshin of blessed memory.
Eventually, my grandfather Reb Yaakov Yosef Margolin of blessed memory died, and my grandmother Chasia remained a widow. To my great sorrow, my second grandmother, the wife of my grandfather Reb Gedlayhau also died after some time. After that, my grandfather Reb Gedalyahu married my grandmother Chasia, and they both continued to live in Starobin.
After the death of my grandfather Reb Gedalyahu of blessed memory, my father Reb Mordechai continued on as the shochet of the town until the year 5681 (1921). My parents gave birth to three sons and three daughters: Yaakov, Avraham, Abba, Dvosha, Sara, and me.
In 1921, the gentiles perpetrated a pogrom against the Jews of Starobin, killing many victims. Some of the Jews of the town succeeded in escaping the town and saving themselves from the pogrom. My family was among then. Then, we moved to Poland and first settled in the town of Horodziej, where my father of blessed memory also served as a shochet.
The third son of my grandfather Reb Yaakov Yosef of blessed memory was Aryeh Leib Margolin. He set up his family in Maytchet, and married Badana, the daughter of Reb Asher Orzechovski of blessed memory. They had five sons and two daughters. Most of them perished in the Holocaust, with the exception of a son and a daughter who survived the Holocaust and live today in Israel.
The first daughter of my grandfather was Rivka, who married Reb Yaakov Sadovski of blessed memory. They lived in Baranovichi and had three sons and two daughters. My uncle Reb Yaakov Sadovski died in 1941, whereas his daughter Chasha died in her childhood in 1920 due to an accident that took place in their house. Two of his sons live today in the Land. The first one, Moredechai, made aliya in 1936, and the second one, Kalman, survived the Holocaust. The rest of the family perished in the Holocaust, except for one of the grandchildren, the son of the second daughter Chiene, who succeeded in surviving and lives today in the Soviet Union.
The second daughter of my grandfather Reb Yaakov Yosef was Sara. She set up her family in Jekaterynoslaw, Russia. To our great sorrow, we do not know any further information about her.
As has been mentioned, our family moved to Horodziej after the pogrom in Starobin. Two years later, my father became sick with a malignant illness, and was taken to Warsaw where he died on 17 Av, 5683 (1923). After the death of my father of blessed memory, our family decided to move from Horodziej to Maytchet, where my uncle Aryeh Leib Margolin, the brother of my father of blessed memory, lived.
In Maytchet, we opened an inn for vacationers. At first, we lived in the home of Yaakov Zlotnick, which was next to the house of Yitzchak Liberman. We ran the inn in that house. Later, we moved to a larger home in Podelzan. The inn was run primarily by my mother and my sisters Dvosha and Sara. I only helped them, because I was still studying in Baranovichi at that time. After a few years, I went to a Hachshara Kibbutz, and I made aliya in 1936. My brothers Avraham and Abba worked in leasing dairy enterprises from the landowners of the area, and they manufactured Swiss cheese. My eldest brother Yaakov remained in Baranovichi, married there, and opened a store that sold paints and chemicals. He was killed during the first bombardment of Baranovichi in 1939, and his family perished in the Holocaust.
Slowly but surely, our home in Maytchet emptied. My brother Avraham got married. He first lived in Baranovichi and moved to Horodziej after a few years, where he perished along with his family. My brother Abba died in Maytchet in 1939 after contracting pneumonia due to the cheese manufacturing that he was engaged in. My sister Dvosha got married in lived in Baranovichi. During the Holocaust, she moved with her entire family to Maytchet, where they perished along with the rest of the family. My sister Sara married Yehoshua Rabinovitch in Maytchet. She continued to run the inn together with Mother until the murderers got the upper hand, and killed them along with the rest of the Jews of Maytchet.
May their memories be a blessing.
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