A Quarrel Between a Maskil,
an Apikoyrus and a Pious Melamed*[1*]
Translated by Gloria Berkenstat Freund
A picture of life gives us a history of a private quarrel that arose between a maskil, an apikoyrus and a zealous melamed. The quarrel was between the father of the present-day Dr. PERLSZTAJN, Avraham PERLSZTAJN, who was called Avrahaml Kvasnik (because he manufactured Petersburger Kvas [a fermented drink made from rye bread]) and a pious melamed of his brother-in-law PERL. The quarrel began in his brother-in-law's sukkah [structure built for use during Sukkos the Feast of Tabernacles in which a family eats its meals and may sleep]. The melamed reproached Avraham PERLSZTAJN for his heresy. [PERLSZTAJN] answered calmly. However, the melamed had offended the honor of his father, saying that his father also was an apikoyrus. Avraham PERLSZTAJN grabbed a bottle from the table at threw it and the melamed's head and wounded him.
There began a great commotion; the pious group was in a rage. In the morning because of this, Avraham Kvasnik was led to the Beis-Din [religious court] in the kehile-shtibl [one room religious community synagogue] in the synagogue courtyard. A large, explosive crowd, which shouted that the apikoyrus should be torn limb from limb, waited there for him. It smelled of deadly danger. At the last minute,
the pharmacist, WILBUSZEWICZ, ran in with the police and with great effort PERLSZTAJN was freed from the enraged crowd.
[Footnote 19 appearing on page 230:
See the memoirs of Herman PERL in the Bialystoker Shtime [Bialystok Voice], New York, June 1924, no. 9. Herman PERL is a son of Shlomo-Dovid PERL, Avrahaml PERLSZTAJN's brother-in-law. As a 10-year old boy, he saw the scandal at the founding of the Choir Synagogue.
According to Dr. PERLSZTAJN, the Choir Synagogue first was in the private house of the well-known lawyer, Josef-Yehuda WAJSBERG in TIPERMAN's house opposite the city clock, and then it was in the first house of today's Artisan's school courtyard. Herman PERL describes the entire picture more correctly.]
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