“Dotneve” - Jewish Cities,
Towns and Villages in Lithuania until 1918

(Dotnuva, Lithuania)

55°21' / 23°54'

Translation of “Dotneve” chapter from
Yidishe Shtet, shtetlekh un dorfishe yishuvim in Lite: biz 1918

Edited by: Berl Kagan,

Published in New York, 1991


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator and Translator

Jonathan Levitow

 

Our sincere appreciation to Miriam Kagan Lieber
for permission to put this material on the JewishGen web site.

We would like to thank Rabbi Saul Klein for help in editing this material.

This is a translation from: Yidishe Shtet, shtetlekh un dorfishe yishuvim in Lite: biz 1918;
Jewish Cities, Towns and Villages in Lithuania until 1918:
Historical-Biographical Sketches. Edited by Berl Kagan, New York, 1991 (Y).


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.


[Pages 66-67]

Bernardin monks arrived in Dotneve, in the district of Keydan, in the 17th century, and in 1773 they opened a “gimnazye” with six levels 1 . As is apparent from the fact that Dotneve had a Rabbi by 1720, Jews had settled there by the beginning of the 18th century.

Around 450 Jews lived there before WWI, in 1923 there were 204, and before the Holocaust there were around 60. The sources of income included commerce, shopkeeping, tanning, and out of town businesses 2 . Dotnever Jews are found on a list of contributors to the building of Eretz-Yisroel, and Pesahk Levin is designated as the collector of the contributions. Community leaders in the shtetl included Elyahu Volpe and Yehuda Lipnik.

With regard to Rabbis, R. Yekhiel Mikhal Dotnever was one of the most respected Torah scholars of his generation, around 1720-30. A story about him is that on the night of Simkhas Torah, 1731 (5491), an 11 year-old in the Beys-Midrash was studying “Zevakhim” and “Menakhos” (Talmudic tractates), and he had finished both by the morning 3 . R. Yekhiel Mikhal could not believe it. He called the young man over and quizzed him on the difficult points of the tractates, and to his amazement the young man answered all his questions. The young man was later to become the Vilna Gaon. R. Yekhiel Mikhal left behind him a commentary on the Torah and a commentary on the “Book of Secrets” from the “Zohar,” both in manuscript form but clearly signed by Yekhiel Mikhal, the Chief of the Rabbinical Court of Dotneve.

R. Abraham Yehuda son of R. Khayim Elyeh Poltinov was born in 1867, served as Rov in Trashkun from 1895, in Datneve from 1900, and later in Vishtinets. (HY“D: May the Lord avenge his blood.)

R. Aba-Heshl son of R. Shlomo Yakov Sheyn served in Dotneve after 1908. He was the father of the Chief of the Rabbinical Court of Latzkeve.

R. Shmuel Marcus, born in 1879, was Rabbi after 1922 but accepted no salary, living on the income from his wife's store. He passed away in 1936. The last Rabbi of Dotneve was R. Moshe Ahron Kushelevski.

Thirteen subscribers to editions of Rabbinical works lived in Dotneve in 1842 and four in 1876. A man named B. Itelman sent correspondence to the journal, “The Dawn.”

A well-known Dotnever was R. Yitzhok Rubinshteyn, who was born there in 1880. He served 30 years as the Rabbi in Kazyon and after 1928 as the Chief Rabbi of Vilna. He was a well-known, leading personality in Poland and Lithuania and passed away in 1946 in New York.

Bibliography:

List of Contributions 1914, p. 35
“Jewish Voice,” 1934: 4651
Y.L. Maymon, “The Story of the Gaon of Vilna,” Jerusalem 1955, p. 33.
Gotlieb,“Tents of Shem” (“Ohaley Shem”) pp. 64, 339.
Book of Subscribers no. 1824
“Yehadut Lita” (“The Jews of Lithuania”), pt. 3
Black Book



Translator's notes:
  1. A “gymnazye” is a school for older children, from our junior high or middle school through high school and early college (prior to the “university” level). Return
  2. The “management of property outside of town” would be my translation of “bayshtotishe virtshaft,” which literally means, “suburban economy or housekeeping.” Rabbi Klein, working with Miriam Kagan Lieber, the daughter of Berl Kagan, thinks a more accurate translation is, “out of town businesses.” Return
  3. Although I'm not familiar with this particular custom, it seems likely that Levin in the “Pinkas Kehilot” is right in saying that the holiday was “Shavuos” since “Simkhas Torah” is a night for singing and dancing and not studying. Rabbi Klein suggests that it is also possible that 1) the boy did it on is own, and/or he did so on 2) Hoshanna Rabbah, 2 days earlier, when some people stay up all night. Return


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

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