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

(Krok, Lithuania)

55°24' / 23°44'

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

Edited by: Berl Kagan


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Acknowledgments

Project Coordinator

Ada Green

 

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 and Ms. Tamar Har-Oz 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 505-507]

Krok1

Translated by Deborah Green

In 1897 four hundred and fifty Jews lived in Krok. The population increased to eight hundred prior to World War I but was reduced to six hundred fifty nine by 1923. The population again decreased to four hundred people just prior to the Holocaust. In 1915 Krok endured the Lithuanian expulsion.

In 1884 Krok suffered a major conflagration. Forty Jewish homes were burned, and their inhabitants were left homeless. Only eight Jewish homes remained unharmed.

Between 1839 and 1911 there were 49 pre-publication subscribers to rabbinic books who lived in Krok. [Ada Green's note: these were the prenumerantum lists for Imre Yakov (21 names), Mosde Yeshaya, Vol. 3 (11 names), Shir HaShirim (15 names) and Zecher Chaim (2 names).]

Rabbis

Rabbi Shlomo-Zalman Traub was born in Keidan [Kedainiai] in 1830. He succeeded his father, Rabbi Abraham Simon, as the rabbi of Keidan, from 1863 to 1876. He gave approbation of Bar Ya'akov (Vilna, 5640) and died in 1911.

Rabbi Meir ben Yehoshua Zvi Rabinovitz was born in 1849 in Vandžiogala. (However, his son, a Hebrew writer, changed his family name to Dr. Mordechai Robinson). Rabinovitz was the rabbi in Krok for several years beginning in 1880; in 1883 he became the rabbi of Svintzon [Svencionys]; in 1886 he became the rabbi of Radoszkowice [Radoshkovichi, Belarus] where he remained for over forty years. He died in Jerusalem in 1933. He co-authored Comments and Insights of the Nodeh B-Yehudah with Jonathan Abelman. (Vilna 5659/1899).

Rabbi Yehoshua-Yosef ben Elchanon Preil was born in Birzh [Birzai] in 1858. He was the rabbi of Krok for ten years. His brother, Rabbi Eleazer Meir was a rabbi in Manchester, England and then in Brooklyn, New York. He was also a Rosh Yeshiva or Rosh Mesivta [senior Talmudic lecturer] at Yeshiva University in New York. Gabriel Preil, the Hebrew poet, was his grandson. Author of Moatzot Vdaat (Odessa 5657/1897), Eglei Tal (Warsaw 5661/1901), Ketavim Nivcharim (New York 5684/1924). Rabbi Yehoshua-Yosef ben Elchanon Preil was a prolific writer and many of his articles were published in Hebrew periodicals. After his death in 1896, his congregation chose to be without a rabbi for a period of a year so that it could instead pay his stipend to his widow. Written reports were circulated about this situation by these community leaders and activists: Yehuda Gel, Arye-Leib Ovieshovich [Ada's note: should be surname should be Ovsievich] (deputy of the Keidan rabbis), Falk Benyaminovich, Chaim-Zelig Grusky, M.M. Meyerowitz, Yosef-Zundel Rek [Ada's note: surname should be Rez], Tsodik Vaynshteyn.

Rabbi Eliyahu-Meir Feivelson was born in Vaiguva in 1867 and was the rabbi of Krok from 1897 to 1907. Afterwards he became the rabbi of Kupishok [Kupiskis]. He died on the 25th day of Tevet, 5684. He was one of the most prolific of the Lithuanian authors for the Agudah movement. He published articles concerning Torah insights in such periodicals as Hamodia (Poltava), Hapeles, Yagdil Torah, Halevanon, Der Yid, Dus Folk, etc. (For more details see: Kupishok).

Rabbi Chaim Ben-Zion, son of Moshe Notolovitch, was born in Vilna in 1886. From 1907 through 1915 he served as the rabbi of Krok; from 1915 through 1922 he served as the rabbi of Genitzshek [Genichesk, Ukraine]. He spent a year or two as the rabbi of Shadove [Seduva] and came to the United States in 1923. He served as rabbi in Harrisburg, Louisville and, in 1942, in Brooklyn. He wrote Torah insights in Yagdil Torah.

Rabbi Yehoshua Kaplan was born in 1873 and was the rabbi of Krok in 1917. Afterwards he served as rabbi in Shuvinishok [Suvainiskis]. In 1927 he assumed the rabbinate of Vidukle where he perished in 1941. May G-d avenge his blood. Essays: Shaarei Hakodesh (Vilna 5667-70/1907-1910), Mayonei Yehoshua (Vilna 5671/1911), Shaarei Yehoshua (Keidan 5696/1936), Likutei Shoshanim (Keidan, 5697/1937), Shaarei Havestot (Keidan 5699/1939).

Rabbi Chaim-Meir Feldberg was the rabbi of Krok in 1920; his son-in-law, Rabbi David Goldberg, provided Torah insights to Knesset Yisroel. (5699/1939). Rabbi Feldberg perished in 1941, may G-d avenge his blood. 2

Since 1820 there was in Krok "the insightful and intelligent Rabbi Simon, son of Shabbatai, 'our Rav [rabbi] and rabbinical judge in Krok,' of Keidan, who died in 5582" (as stated on a headstone in the Vilna cemetery); Chazan and Shochet [cantor and ritual slaughterer] Reb Yitzchak-Yakov son of Yehuda: rabbi of the small yeshiva (1895-1897), Rabbi Abraham-Nachman Schwartz was born in Lentz, a small village located near Krok. Afterwards he became a rabbi in the following cities: Novy Odessa (Ukraine), 1898-1905, New London (America) and Baltimore where he died in 1937. Rabbi Shabbatai Farber was an assistant rabbi in 1922.

The headstones of Yitzchak-Yakov son of Yehuda, chazan and shochet of Kroki (5639/1879) and Oyzer son of Yeshaya Chaim of Krok (5662/1902) may be found in an old cemetery in Jerusalem.


Footnotes:

1. There were three towns in Lithuania whose names were written "Krok" or "Kroki". One of these towns, which was located in the district of Keidan, was referred to as "Kruk" or "Kruki" verbally, but was almost always referred to as "Krok" in written form. As a result, it is difficult to discern which town is being discussed in the various texts and all three towns must therefore be studied. Return

2. According to another source, the last rabbi of Krok was Rabbi Meir-Leib Metz who had previously been the rabbi of Grinkishok [Grinkiskis]. He perished in Krok (or possibly in one of the other Kroks mentioned previously). He is the author of Netiv Meir (Keidan 5791/1931). Rabbi Yosef-Zundel Birzher was also rabbi of Krok but the time of his rabbinate is unclear. Return


Bibliography:

Hamelitz, 1896: 95, 96; 1899: 217; 1903: 104

Yisroel Klausner, Korot Bayit Hellman Ha'almin Hayashan, Vilna, 5694, p. 67

Y.D. Kamzon, Yahadut Lita, Jerusalem, 5719, p. 227 [Ada's note: this book was issued in 1959 by the Rav Kook Institution in Tel Aviv]

Beit Yakov, Jerusalem, 25 Tevet 5722 [1962]

G. Karsel, p. 2

Kiryah Ne'emanah, p. 263

Ohalei Shem, 177, 187

Toldut Anshei Shem (Rand), pp. 87, 133

Sefer HaPrenumerantum (Hebrew Subscription Lists), 7839

Chelkat Mechokek (The Lawgivers Section), 5

Yahadut Lita, Volume III [Ada's note: this volume was published in 1967 by The Association of Lithuanian Jews in Israel in Tel Aviv]

Black Book


See also:
"Krakes" - Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities in Lithuania

"Krakes" - Yahadut Lita (Lithuanian Jewry), Vols. 3 and 4

Krakes, at Shtetlinks


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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