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Those Who Were But No Longer Are

 

Names, details & eulogies on Jews
of our town (alphabetic order)

Translated by Jerrold Landau

The following is a list of names, details and brief words of eulogy about Jews of our town of all types and classes, scholars and common-folk, Hassidim and Misnagdim, wealthy and poor people, merchants and craftsmen, from which our community was comprised, and who formed the essence of our community. They lived within the community, and communal life was their life. All of them have already passed away, some due to the tribulations of the times and the tragedy of the Holocaust without leaving any remnant behind at all. Let us erect a monument and memorial for them, at least in this book, to the extent that is still possible. It was not possible to mention each one in a separate and unique fashion. The memory of each of them, and of all together, is holy to all of us and those who will follow us.

We will not examine, select, ask, or weigh. Whatever comes to our memory will quickly be written down. Let it be memorialized in the pages of our book. Let it be etched in print on this memorial tablet. Let their memories be presented on this perpetual monument, a monument that encompasses our Jewish brethren in our city, whose suffering was the suffering of Jews, and who died by martyrdom because they were Jews.

Reb Bezalel Oberlander. He was a scholarly Jew, and a scion of a Sanok family spanning generation after generation. He was a partner in a wholesale grocery store. This business was at one time successful, but it suffered from a protracted decline in the later years. He did not seek after greatness and he satisfied himself with what he had. He did not have any activist tendencies at all, but he did possess nationalistic feelings and sensitivities. Therefore, he gave his children an education in that spirit. He hid for two years when the Nazis came, but was finally exposed by informers and murdered on the street in the city.

Reb Elimelech Amster. He was a member of the Hassidic sect of the Admorim of Jawornik- Blazowa-Rybotycze, whose courts he frequented on festivals and other occasions. His Hassidic tendencies stemmed from pure, faithful family tradition. However, he did not hold back from being attracted to the Admor of Dinow as well, also with reverence and pure Hassidic faith. Reb Elimelech also exhibited a certain level of religious zealotry, especially against those who were attracted to the new winds, whether in the realm of education and Haskalah, or the realm of activism in the national revival, the building of the Land, and aliya. Despite this, his own family members, including his daughters and his son, were among the first to make aliya and to participate in communal activity.

Reb Shmuel Amster. He was one of the finest Hassidim of Rybotycze as well, but his Hassidism was exhibited with his own personal style, as a scholar who was involved with Talmudic aggadaic literature as well as to a significant degree with books of morality and Jewish research. Along with this, he also possessed religious-Zionist sensitivities, and participated theoretically and practically with Mizrachi activities in the city. For some time, he conducted a class every Sabbath for the members of the Hapoel Hamizrachi on the weekly Torah Portion with the Ohr Chaim commentary. In this class, he would delve into the words and content of the Ohr Chaim, as well as give over his own ideas. His words were listened to with great attention and enjoyment.

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Reb Shlomo Amster was a member of the communal leadership for several terms. He was faithful to his outlook and aspirations in all areas of activity: in the communal activities, in civic matters, as a national-religious activist in his Mizrachi organization, and as a Hassid of an Admor who was not among the supporters of Zionism. He always expressed his opinion publicly and put his ideas on the stage (see the appendix).

Reb Pinchas Ari Englard. Rabbi Pini as he was called was the son of Rabbi Meierl Englard of blessed memory. He was a very honorable personality, from a family of good pedigree on account of their well-developed business activities and their dedication to Torah and prayer. The prayer house of Rabbi Meierl was called “The Berditchever Kloiz” in our generation. It served all of those who lived far from the center. Along with this, we recall that Rabbi Pini would worship in the synagogues in the center of the city, for the act of walking to services is a commandment in of itself. The daily morning and evening prayers were an important matter for Rabbi Pini. He was careful to recite all of his prayers with special intensity, and was very meticulous in the clear and accurate pronunciation of the letters. To him, it was as if every day was a new day and the first time.

We will recall here his son Chaim-Aryeh, may G-d avenge his blood, and his daughter Nicha the wife of our acquaintance Rabbi Moshe Yehoshua Kamelhar, may he live, one of the leaders of Mizrachi in our town.

Reb Meier Engelard. He was one of the enthusiastic Hassidim of Bobov. He was a fearer of Heaven, and was imbued with Hassidism and zealotry. His household and family followed this same spirit. Despite all of the differences in approach between him and his fellow members of the strata of society, age group, etc., he maintained his friendships and was able to display dedication and faithfulness to his fellow. His son Reb Avraham, who was nicknamed, “the Rabbi of Dobra”, may he live long, succeeded in coming to the Land after the wartime tribulations. He is an eminent scholar, one of the heads of Bobov, and a head of their Yeshiva. Two of Reb Meier's daughters also arrived in the Land and established families here that continue in the traditions of their father's house.

Rabbi Yitzchok Babad. He was a unique personality, a scion of the renown Babad family of Galicia. He would spend all day in isolation in the Kloiz of Rabbi Meierl, learning and studying. He studied a great deal of Torah and delved deeply into research books. He did not speak a great deal with people who were not immersed in Torah, but on the other hand, he would discuss a great deal of words of Torah, philosophy and deep thoughts with the fine youths who visited him, as if this was his sole joy in life. He did not leave the precincts of his home and the Kloiz during his latter years, and I am not sure if the younger generation even knew him at all. He disliked telling or listening to jokes, for he never uttered any frivolous words and did not want his ears to hear such. Some people searched and found their way to him, and even heard a class in “Moreh Nevuchim” (The Guide of the Perplexed), the “Kuzari”, and other such books from him. These people would greatly praise Reb Izakl – as they would generally call him – Babad, greatly praised his vast, deep knowledge, and spoke effusively of his rare qualities and traits.

Reb Ascher Barber. He was a precious personality, having the character of a Jew who excelled in his traits and sublime character. He participated together with all of us, whether in joy, in illness, or mourning. He was the head of the Bikur Cholim society and a member of the leadership of the Chevra Kadisha (burial society). If there was a wedding, a birth, or an ordinary holy gathering in the home of a poor person, he would participate in the festivities and concern himself, with a financial expenditure from his own pocket, that there would be no shortage of drinks and food, that everything would be prepared in the best way, and that the joy would be complete in every way. At weddings, he would recite

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verses in the way of entertainers, entertaining the crowd until they would say about him, “if he is here, everybody is here”, and that he was the Alef Beit (The acronym of Ascher Barber) in all matters. If there was an incident of mourning and the grief was great, he would not abandon the mourners, but would rather sit with them all day. He would not leave them alone if there was any fear that the loneliness would affect their health. He made sure that people would take turns in being with them, that would be alternated at times of need. He assisted several people in supporting themselves economically. His home was a home of assistance for every broken heart.

His wife Rachel was also known for her good heart, and would respond before being called upon. Both of them maintained charitable funds from which they would grant loans to those in need in a friendly fashion. They did not offer their help only through money, but also by physical participation in any matter.

Reb Ascher inspired great pleasure when he led the prayer services. He had a nice, powerful voice and musical talent. His prayers and songs enchanted the hearts and the souls. May his soul be bound in the bonds of eternal life.

Photo page 277: Reb Ascher Barber

Reb Yisrael Braun. Pureness of heart, modesty, and a peaceful spirit were his basic character traits. His parents and educators, or he himself, paid attention to the needs of the times during his education, for along with following the path of religious observance without any deviation and his almost Hassidic behavior in his daily life, Reb Yisrael Braun also possessed a level of secular knowledge that was unusual at that time in his circles. This was expressed through his high-level command of the languages of the time, especially Polish and German, both spoken and written. His business activities, which included the provision of coal to the

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government and municipal institutions in Sanok, required the practical knowledge of these languages.

Reb Yisrael Braun belonged to the Mizrachi organization, and was faithful to its ideals. He even appeared within its circles at certain times. We are certain that he was capable of giving of his talents and knowledge to the organizational and ideological activities, but on account of his characteristic modesty, he refrained from activism and any activities tied to publicity and prominence.

He conducted his household and educated his family in the same manner as he was educated, and in a way consistent with his own way of life. This is demonstrated by the fact that prior to registering his son Lazer Braun (today Eliezer Yisrael, who is with us here) for his studies in the gymnasium, he approached the gymnasium principal in person and requested that his son be exempted from writing on Sabbaths and festivals. The reasons given for the request and the appearance and manner of speaking of the requester convinced the principal, and he agreed to the “condition” recommended by the father and upheld by the son. This situation also served as a support and goad for several other Jewish students who followed suit.

As an addendum to this story, told by the son of the gymnasium student himself, due to the lack of an eruv in the Posada quarter, where he lived at that time, and the prohibition of carrying on the Sabbath, his father commanded the Christian maid to accompany him to the gymnasium on Sabbaths and festivals, carrying his books and notebooks, until they arrived at the Morowanka building, where the eruv began and from where it was permitted to carry.

Reb Shmuel Bergenbaum. See the information about him on page 324.

Mr. Shmarya (Shmerel) Bergenbaum. He was influenced by the spirit of the times and encouraged by books of knowledge and renaissance literature that he had already read with thirst and diligence at a young age. He established his own way of life and manner of thinking for himself and for the family that he had begun to establish. He was full of aspirations and agitation for every possible activity that might improve the lot of the Jews and change the way of their lives in exile. These were times of renaissance and confusion following the First World War, following the period of wandering and migration as war refugees to Hungary, then on to Czechoslovakia, and from there, back home to Olchowcza, the Sanok suburb across the San, after the war. Of course, all of this increased his aforementioned aspirations and agitation. From this, being true to himself and his aspirations, he refused to let his two sons continue studying in the cheder. Rather, he sent them to the gymnasium, where classes were held on Sabbaths and festivals. They were among the first and almost only ones to do so from the worshippers of the Sadagora Kloiz, where their family, headed by Reb Aharon Bart, were members. He also attempted to get work for a period of time in the dyeing trade in the wagon factory. This was not only on account of reasons of livelihood, but also to fulfill their aspirations and to partially fulfill their social-Socialist ideal in a demonstrative fashion.

He did not abandon his ideals and aspirations, even after he stopped working in the factory and resumed his business activities. His sense of responsibility for the fate of the Jewish nation and its social and societal values were imbued within him and never weakened. They were expressed in various fields of endeavor, whether inside his own home and family in his concern for the education of his children in the spirit of Socialist Zionism and in shielding his two children from becoming attached to Polish assimilationism or bourgeois aristocracy; or outside in

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Jewish communal life, in organizing an official Jewish militia during times of disturbances from the gentiles, or in his Socialist Zionist activities in Poale Zion or other such organizations.

Shmerl and his wife moved to Kowel during the time of the Nazi occupation of Sanok. They lived there with the parents of their daughter-in-law, the wife of their son Chaim. Shmerel began to work in the Jewish hospital of Kowel, where his son Chaim worked as a physician.

We were told by eyewitnesses that, one night, Shmerel was taken to the Gestapo office in Kowel. His son Chaim entered the Gestapo office while his father was being interrogated, and grabbed a Nazi soldier by the neck and strangled him. As a punishment, the Nazis took out all the residents of the Ghetto, and shot Shmerel and his son before their eyes. May G-d avenge his blood.

Yisrael Shlomo Berger. He was an upright and modest merchant, a scholar from a good family. He was a Chasid of Belz who also frequented the court of the Rabbi of Dinow of holy blessed memory. He was alert to what was taking place within Orthodox Judaism, and was one of the founders of Agudas Yisroel in our city, and one of the activists in the establishment of the Beis Yaakov girls' school. His wife Sara spent all her days in charitable and benevolent deeds, both with her money and with her body, discreetly and privately. Both of them made sure to educate their children in the spirit of Torah and fear of Heaven. The eldest son, Moshe Yosef of blessed memory, had excellent talents. He was a student of Rabbi Meier Shapira[1] , and became known as a scholar even when he was very young. He died at the age of 21, and as has been told, Rabbi Meier Shapira came to eulogize him. Their second son, Simcha Bunim of blessed memory, was also a scholar and greatly diligent with Talmud. He was an Aguda activist in Sanok, and died in exile in Russia.

Photo page 279: Reb Yisrael Shlomo Berger and Sara Berger

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Reb Nechamia Ginzberg. He was one of the important householders of the city, whose concern for the well-being of its Jewish residence was based on true feelings and a desire to assist. He had no inclination to activism as a calling or for honor. Therefore, he never put himself up as a candidate for any election. All of the roles that he filled in communal affairs, as a member of the Talmud Torah leadership, as an activist in the Chevra Kadisha (burial society), etc., took place only after a special and direct request to him to accept such a position. When he saw that the matter required his involvement, he would take on the role. These traits, typified by a practical “direct to the matter” approach, were also found in his son…

Reb Yeruchem Ginzberg. In addition to the aforementioned, he also had aspirations in the realm of Zionism and renewal, which could not be developed broadly due to health restrictions.

Reb Yodel Ginzberg. He was a native of Sanok who spent his youth in the Yeshivas of Hungary, including the famous Pressburg Yeshiva. He returned to our city and remained there. He was a scholar who was an expert in Talmud, and very diligent in all of his studies. He had no inclination for activism or communal involvement, and he placed all of his interest in the study of Gemara, which he regarded as his entire world.

Avraham Ginzberg. He was the son of Reb Yacov Ginzberg, who was known to us when he was very old. He was one of the well-known, veteran merchants of the city, and made sure to educate his children in the spirit of tradition and Hassidism.

Reb Yisrael Geldzahler. He had noble character inside and out. He conducted his household, family, and way of life with typical Jewish modesty and discreetness. He was not among those who sought after noisy publicity or who was attracted to general or Jewish communal activism. He was a worshipper in the Sanz Kloiz, where most of the members were zealous, excited Hassidim. However, he did not deviate from his way of life or compromise on his personality. His influence was noticeable in the conduct as well as the education and erudition of his children.

Arye Lerner (Haifa)

Reb Moshele Granik and his children

His words flowed easily, silently, as if from a small spring, but they penetrated hearts. His gait was also light, slow, and deliberate. This was not because of haughtiness, Heaven forbid, as a showoff imbued with excessive self-importance who counts his steps as he counts his money – but rather as a man who was not in a hurry, and walked for his own enjoyment and the enjoyment of his Creator, and was immersed in mind-broadening thoughts and ideas. Even though he was a man of thoughts, he did not, Heaven forbid, turn his thoughts away from people. He greeted every person, even a child, with a blessing of Shalom. When he did so, he was not satisfied, as are most people, with a nod of the head as a greeting. He issued his greeting with a loud voice, deliberately, in the way that he answered Amen after every blessing that he heard from the prayer leader or any individual in the Sadagora Kloiz. Thus did Reb Moshele Granik of blessed memory stroll through the outskirts of Sanok peacefully and calmly, seeing the world of the Holy One Blessed Be He as all good. The issue is a fortiori: if it is said about a scholar who is only flesh and blood that something not improper comes forth from his hands, how much more so that everything that

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the Creator Of All has created must be complete and perfect. Of course, even man who was created in the image of G-d must be proper and good. And even more so, every person of Israel whom G-d has chosen as a holy nation and to whom G-d has given the Torah and commandments and thereby gave him the opportunity to perform good deeds must certainly be proper and good. Indeed, once in a while, for some reason, a dispute or argument breaks out between people. And sometimes there is even baseless hatred, may G-d protect us – all of this is certainly from the prosecuting Samael[2] . Therefore, one must stand on guard like Hillel in his time, speak to the hearts of people and assuage them, as is written: a soft answer turns away wrath[3] . Reb Moshele Granik was very modest. Despite the fact that he had received his ordination, he did not use the title and did not earn his living from his Torah. He earned his livelihood by providing milk to houses. His wife would make the rounds. He would get up at 3:00 a.m., go to the barn of a gentile so that the he could be present at the time of milking, according to the Jewish law that “a Jew must be present and see it”. His whole day was free for Torah and prayer. On Sabbaths after the services, he would engage in discussions with the Hassidim in the Sadagora Kloiz. He was upright, and had great faith in man. She was also upright. He pursued peace throughout his life, and was a great defender of people.

Reb Michel Leibusch Dorlich. He was an expert scholar and veteran Hassid. He dwelled under the shadow of the Admorim of Jawornik- Blazowa-Rybotycze, from whom he was influenced by his sharpness and wit. He was very intelligent, and knew how to conduct his lifestyle and business with his unique approach, which was a blend of recognition of his personal value and Jewish Hassidic populism. His closeness to Rybotycze Hassidism was no less than his closeness to Blazowa or Jawornik – that is to say, his faith in the grandson was no less than that of the grandfather, the founder of that Hassidic court. Reb Michel Leibusch Dorlich possessed general knowledge about the events and upheavals of the outside world. Nevertheless, he maintained his lifestyle and ways in his own world, both between man and his fellowman, and between man and G-d.

Reb Simcha Dym. He was the son of the rabbi of the city, Rabbi Natan Nota Dym of blessed memory. He was a great scholar despite the fact that he was burdened with business (he conducted the bank, and other things). He set aside time to study Torah and loved encouraging and supporting those who occupied themselves with the Torah. He was a prime student of his father. Many people would visit the home of Rabbi Dym to discuss matters, whether to receive ordination or to simply discuss matters of Torah. Stacks of books were piled on the tables, and the voices were raised higher from moment to moment. Reb Simcha grew up in this atmosphere, with Torah accompanying him when he slept and when he was awake.

Reb Nachman Dankberg (the Streimel maker). All of his mannerisms, ways and business dealings were defined by Hassidism of the Ruzhin dynasty, to which he cleaved with soulful feeling. He was educated and raised in the bosom of this brand of Hassidism and its Torah, and he lived his life in that manner, without bounds and without passing up on anything. He especially excelled in his love of his fellow Jew, which was expressed by the charitable and benevolent deeds he performed with his body and his money. “With his money” included times when he was under financial straits and had an “empty pocket” – which is throughout his entire life, for we do not recall any times of financial comfort for Reb Nachmanle, nor even any times of “adequate livelihood” in his house. On the other hand, we also do not remember any times where he had a shortage of activity, where he stopped performing charitable deeds and “tending” to the poor. If he could not support them from his own pocket, then at least he would go door to door to collect money to distribute to the poor.

We must especially stress Reb Nachmanle's love of Torah and Yeshiva students. Through this, we understand his special relationship and concern for his son Yosef (with us in Israel today) when he occupied a bench in the Beis Midrash and Kloiz, diligently studied Torah, and became known in the city.

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Reb Yitzchok Hirschfeld of blessed memory

He was one of the important men in the city and supporters of its population He was appreciated by everyone who knew him on account of the manner in which he conducted his private life and his business and work affairs.

His faithfulness to his family was expressed not only through his great love, but also by his deep concern for the future life of each one of them.

He was a faithful Zionist with a firm ideological awareness based on the traditions of previous generation and of his parental house. His heart and soul were given to the imparting of a fundamental Zionist education to his children, starting from their childhood years and extending to their adulthood and their complete fulfillment of the Zionist aspirations through their aliya to the Land. The Zionism of Reb Yitzchok Hirschfeld was not restricted to ideological thought and commitment of the Zionist movement. He regarded Zionism as a means for the renaissance of the nation and the Land, the purpose of which was practical fulfillment. He translated this idea into practical language by imparting a Hebrew, Zionist education to his children. This education was not merely for its own purpose, but in order to enable the possibility of practical realization of the final goal and to hasten its actualization. He sent his son (Yisrael Shadmi) and his daughter (Adina Maj), known here to all of us, to the Land, and concerned himself warmly and fondly with their acclimation to the Land, to becoming settled there, and to becoming builders of the homeland in its practical Zionist sense. He also visited the Land in order to “prepare the ground” for his ultimate aliya and his own Zionist actualization. However, in the interim, the Holocaust and destruction overtook him and us, and he perished.

Indeed, since he was always given over to the idea of Zionist actualization, he never refrained from activism in the Zionist organizations of the city, both as a member, in the fulfillment of various representative and executive roles, and in the financial obligations of every Jew who recognizes the Zionist imperative and wishes to fulfill it; such as donations and canvassing for the national funds, which he did with a warm heart, enthusiastic spirit, and generous hand.

Reb Yitzchok Hirschfeld expressed his alertness and faithfulness to the general communal life in our city through his constant activity in the professional-communal organizations of Sanok Jewry, especially Yad Charutzim and the organization of Jewish merchants of Sanok. This activity, similar to his activity in the realm of Zionism and the national funds, was imprinted with the stamp of his fine traits that characterized his personality in all of his ways of life, which were his good nature, his love of justice, his faith in humanity, and his willingness to help.

The Second World War broke out in the midst of his preparations for aliya to the Land, after he had returned from his visit filled with enthusiasm, and immediately put an end to everything. The Hirschfeld family, consisting at that time of his wife Chava and his young daughter Yaffa, were deported along with all of the Jews of Sanok. During the path of tribulations and afflictions that affected all of the Jews of Sanok, they ended up in the ghetto near Zloczew where they met their bitter end.

The memory of Reb Yitzchok Hirschfeld shall remain deeply etched in the memories of all of those who knew him and appreciated him.

Reb Yacov Halberstam. He was from a family of rabbis who were great in Torah. He was an expert scholar with generous character traits. He was happy to perform benevolent deeds. His wife also followed in this path. She was a native of Sanok, the daughter of Rabbi Simcha Goldberg, one of the veteran Hassidim of the city. He set times to study Torah in the Sanz Kloiz. In his home as well, a book never left the table, and he was even spotted looking into a book at his store.

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Yisrael Lembach

Isaak Wenig

He was an idealist and a pioneer, the son of an honorable family of merchants. He did not wish to continue in the commercial life of his parents, for he saw no benefit to this for himself and his nation.

The era in which he lived was that of the struggle for rights of the working man and the national homeland in the Land of Israel. These two causes were fused within him. He regarded the goal as the conquest and upbuilding of the Land of Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people through physical labor. He was not only a theoretical fighter for ideals in the manner of someone who preaches well, but he also fulfilled and actualized his ideals in real life. He left behind the wealth of his parents' home. He left his parents and made aliya to the Land along with many other pioneers (chalutzim) in order to actualize his dream. Aliya in those days was not a simple matter. The gates of the Land were locked, and the work in the Land was difficult and backbreaking. The danger of disease lurked at every step. This was all over and above the danger of attacks from Arabs, which were then very common.

Isaak Wenig passed through all stages of work. He built houses and roads. He worked in agricultural work. He suffered from various illnesses. He endured the trials of unemployment and even hunger and lack of bread. His difficult years in the land weakened his physical health and forced him to return to Poland in order to recover physically.

During the time of his temporary sojourn in Poland, forced by his state of health, he did not abandon his activities for the Land of Israel. He continued his work in the context of the Poale Zion party, of which he was a member and the life force. He filled the roles of chairman, secretary, and shamash, and continued his battle for the rights of the Hebrew worker, for free access to aliya, and unrestricted building. He participated in the activities of all organizations on behalf of the Land of Israel, in both the ideological and financial realms.

His personal worries about his future and about establishing his own home and family were pushed aside. His family reproved him about this often, and spoke harsh words to him.

He hoped and waited for the day when he would once again be able to return to the Land. However, the realities nullified his plans and put an end to his aspirations. He perished in the Holocaust along with millions of our brethren in the Polish Diaspora.

Mrs. Roza Weiner. She was the wife of Reb Yitzchok, and was known for her work on behalf of the sick and those who suffered day-to-day difficulties. She was generous and felt satisfaction from her good deeds. She used to meet with Mrs. Velkili Maier and consult with her about various hidden poor families who were in need of assistance. They often made the rounds through various houses in the city for this purpose.

Reb Isaac Zilberman. He built himself up through his own powers in the realm of successful, centralized, consolidated business. His business talent and natural intuition about how to develop his businesses stood in good stead for himself and his wife who assisted him. By the late 1930s, his businesses had reached very large proportions. It was told that those involved in charitable activities knew how to tap into the financial abilities of Reb Isaac Zilberman and to encourage him to join in the charitable activities and institutions of the Jewish population. He was also involved in active assistance in both his own and his wife's family circle. All of these activities were conducted discreetly and privately.

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Reb Isser Zilberman. He was one of the veteran grain and wheat merchants in the city. He was a Hassid of Bokowsk and was attached to his Rebbe in an unbounded fashion. He traveled to the author of Or Lameir, Rabbi Meier Yehuda of blessed memory, and continued on with his son Rabbi David, and the latter's son Rabbi Reuven. He related to all of them with the same faith in their holiness and righteousness. His sons-in-law Reb Mordechai Gold and Reb Yosef Chaim Tisser were also adherents of Bokowsk Hassidism. Both of them were also involved in various realms of effort in the Sanok community.

Reb Menachem Yehoshua Zilberman. He was also a follower of the court of the Admorim of Bokowsk, as was his brother Reb Isser. His pure faith in Hassidism imparted to him a consolidated way of life based upon the principles of religion and the performance of commandments without any compromise and without any deviation from either the light or the stringent matters.

Reb Obediah Zilber. He was an important person in the city. He never occupied himself in communal matters, and distanced himself of activism. He possessed the character of a fine householder, a Hassid who lived with his pure faith. He would invite the elderly Admor of Rymanow, who used to come to Sanok, to stay with him, and he felt himself fortunate to be able to host this important guest. He was one of the honorable members of the Sadagora Kloiz, and would donate generously for the upkeep of this house of worship. His children were educated in the ways of Torah. The eldest, Chaim, was an honorable personality in Sanok and its environs. The second, Zecharia, studied at the Kloiz, and the third, Yechiel, did not abandon the customs of his forbears and lived a very traditional lifestyle. Reb Obediah's daughters were noted for their dedication to the idea of the renaissance and Zionist activity. They were the founding forces of several Zionist institutions and were very active in them.

Photo page 278: Reb Obediah Zilber and Mrs. Zilber

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David Taubenfeld and his wife Raya were Hassidim of Belz. He donated generously to every Jewish cause and to every request that was brought before him. He was known for his honesty in business, in his capacity as the owner of a sausage factory. His children continued with his business and also participated in communal and Zionist activities in our city.

Reb Tzvi Trachman. He was one of the wealthy and honorable citizens of the city. He was a large-scale merchant, as well as an upright man who did not deviate from his word. He conducted a fine, wealthy home, and brought all of his children into the wide-branched commercial efforts. However, along with this, he did not free them from the yoke of either general or Jewish study. He concerned himself successfully that his children would care for the values of Israel and would grow up as faithful members of their people. Along with this, Reb Tzvi lived his life as a refined Jew, and would conduct Sabbath meals with singing and hymns as one of the great Hassidim. He was connected with the Admor Rabbi Yosef of Rymanow of blessed memory, and later with his grandson Rabbi Tzvi of blessed memory. The Trachman home was known as a generous household that gave large donations to a variety of causes, and responded positively to all canvassers.

Reb Yosef Trom. He was fully dedicated to activism in the benevolent institutions. He was the chairman of the Chevra Kadisha as well as the Talmud Torah in our city. His dedicated work in this institution was tireless, during the day or the night, when he was at his business, at meals, on his way to work, or when returning home. Children of poor people who were students of the Talmud Torah were literally considered as his own children. He neglected his home, his family, and his business, and searched for ways to improve the situation of the Talmud Torah. He did not show favorites to anyone with regards to this institution. The financial income of the Talmud Torah also grew in his time, for he conducted the affairs with a high hand and concerned himself with any means that might increase its income. With all this, he had fine interpersonal character traits, and greeted every person pleasantly. His home was a Hassidic home in the full sense of the term. He merited to see children and grandchildren following in his ways.

Reb Avraham's son feared Heaven greatly, restricted his speech, and occupied himself greatly with Torah and prayer. His business interactions with people were conducted in faith and uprightness. He educated his children with these traits.

Photo page 285: Reb Yosef Trom at a festive Purim meal with his family

Yehoshua Trom-Bombach. He was a member and activist in the Mizrachi chapter in Sanok from its outset. He would give classes in Torah there, and would serve as the Torah Reader on Sabbaths and festivals in the minyan (prayer quorum) of the Beis Midrash students.

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Reb Shalom Katz. He was one of the proper householders in the city. He absorbed a great deal of the spirit of Torah and Judaism from the home of his father, Rabbi Yehuda Katz, the head of the rabbinical court of the city, and about whom we have a special article in our book. In his youth, and also in his period of financial success, he studied a great deal of Torah. His father Rabbi Aryeh Katz of blessed memory includes a response to his question in the book Kol Torah.

Eliezer Leisha. He was a scholar who maintained a Hassidic way of life, provided for guests and donated generously to communal institutions, and made efforts to raise his children in the spirit of Torah and tradition.

Reb Arye-Leibusch Lazar. He was one of the veteran worshippers in the Sanz Kloiz. Nevertheless, even the attendees of that house of worship did not know much about him, and even more so, the residents of the city did not know about his fine traits, for this man was very modest, discreet, and far from the limelight. However, those who were closest to him, who saw his deeds and understood his ways were able to attest to his unusual personal traits. His level of modesty is shown by what his daughter Hadassah Lazar-Herzig told us – that when they went through his papers after his death, they found a certificate of rabbinical ordination, something about which his closest family members knew nothing about and had not heard anything from him about throughout his entire life. He lived his life, for himself and for his fellowman, with such character traits, and he served as a role model for his children, his household, and his family.

Photo page 286: Reb Yacov Lerner

Reb Yaakov Lerner. In his fine outward appearance, in his way with people from within his circles or business associates, in his Zionist activism and desire for Zion, we always saw as an expression

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of his internal personality, with sublime traits rooted in the education he had received and the atmosphere he soaked up from the home of his father, the shochet from Jasinicka, one of the small suburb settlements of Sanok. His father's home was a home of Torah study, fear of Heaven, adherence to Hassidism, and faith in and travel to Admorim. The adherence to these roots, as was recognized with him particularly in the last decade before the Second World War, and as was expressed in his day-to-day way of life; as well as the words that came out of his mouth almost every day in regular encounters when he visited the large Beis Midrash for the morning services, demonstrate to us his natural characteristics. We should also stress the level of his modesty, which he knew how to cloak in simplicity and concern for others to the point of “negating himself” in every matter related to his own talents. For example, he was able to hide his musical talents and his fine, strong voice, which reached a very high level. All of these traits remained hidden within himself and almost unknown to even his closest acquaintances. Only a few of his relatives were able to “reveal” on occasions his talents. His fans and acquaintances do remember.

The brothers Leib, Moshe Yaakov Yisrael-Maier of blessed memory were all the sons of Reb Tzvi Maier of blessed memory. Leib, the eldest, was also the greatest of them in the knowledge of Torah. However, all of them were Torah scholars. Torah was not their means of livelihood, for they were all merchants and men of deeds. They scattered out in various countries and parts of the world. Some made aliya to the Land, became rooted there, and found occupations in various fiends, such as a rabbi, a teacher, and an engineer.

Reb Moshe Moritz. He was a scholar who loved Torah and honored its students. We recall his father Reb Yosef Mendel, a scholar and veteran Hassid of the house of Blazowa, was a long-time native of Sanok. He would speak of memories from Jewish life in his hometown when it was still a small town in area, with a small Jewish population and few houses, where the distances between one street and the next were large – such as the large, desolate expanse which he had to cross to go from his parents' house at the side of the town center to the cheder in which he studied, which was on the other side of the city. The return home was during the night, and in the winter and when it rained, the route was full of various dangers and frights. In his words, he stressed the dedication and level of readiness to overcome the various obstacles that stood in the path of giving a Torah education to children. He passed the test. We see in his son, Reb Moshe Moritz, such a character being carried on to the second generation, and with difficulties of a different type – difficulties of new winds, of new streams and times. He did not contradict these, but rather attempted to meet them and overcome them. This was his behavior in conducting his home, in his own study of Torah, and in the education of his children. From this, his attitude was to allow studying in a Polish school, but combined with extra diligence to not compromise at all on the importance of occupying a seat in the Beis Midrash and in boundless study of Torah.

His sons Aharon the eldest and Yisrael were among the young activists of the Sanok chapter of Agudas Yisrael. Their diligence in the study of Torah was not compromised one iota due to this. These words are especially true with regard to Aharon who excelled as a great scholar, sharp and expert, with greatness waiting for him. May G-d avenge his blood.

Only the two youngest sons-brothers survived, and were even able to make aliya to the Land and settle in it.

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Reb Menachem-Mendel Muschel of blessed memory, the Printer and Publisher.

Reb Menachem-Mendel Muschel was one of the honorable worshippers in the Sanz Kloiz. Even though he was not one of the active Hassidim – that is an adherent of a specific Admor who travels to visit him on holidays, on the yahrzeits of previous Admorim, etc. – his mannerisms were still those of a Hassid in the full sense of the term. His home was a Jewish Hassidic home in which Torah was studied, poor wayfarers were fed, and an exacting education in this manner was given to the members of his household. His only son Meier, who was of course educated in the manner of Torah Judaism, was simultaneously given a practical secular education in commerce. He paid careful attention that his daughters, all of whom carried on the traditions of the home, would receive no worse an education than other girls of their age and within their circle. One of them, Rika, was able to make aliya with her husband during the time of the Fifth Aliya, and participate in the upbuilding of the Land.

The pure piety of Reb Menachem Mendel Muschel in Hassidism and fear of Heaven was not expressed in any actual standing or practical work in communal affairs. It was also not expressed through zealotry in how he conducted his household internally. This was due to the trait of modesty that flowed from him via a pure, authentic personality of Hassidism. The calm and quiet that enveloped his refined character also pervaded in his home, his family, his store and his printing press. He did not do anything to attract fame and aggrandize his name. He conducted his store and business of writing implements and school textbooks without any advertising. He conducted his long-standing printing press, which was the first one and only one in the entire region that printed important books in the rabbinic and Hassidic world, without noisy publicity.

In his will that he prepared a long time before his death, he requested, among other things, that no honors or eulogies be accorded to him at his death. His will for his final journey from the land of life was in accordance with his conduct with himself and others in his day to day life.

The lovely personality of Reb Menachem-Mendel Muschel was bound to his activities in the printing and publication of important books that also accorded eternal value to himself as the publisher of these books, Reb Menachem-Mendel Muschel of blessed memory.

Reb Feivel Mann. The seriousness of his face was obvious during any meeting or conversation with him, whether light or serious. He always expressed a sort of stubborn deliberation, a sense of fateful responsibility, seriousness, and perhaps even melancholy. All of this was from the front; however, from behind, everyone who knew him up close knew that he possessed a sensitive and merciful heart, alert to the suffering of the individual as well as the tribulations of the community. His relatives, some people from the city, and his childhood friends knew that this sensitive alertness and sense of duty toward large-scale activity in the realms of renaissance and redemption led to setting up of specific bounds with respect to the conservative tendencies and way of life as he saw them in Hassidism in general and Belz Hassidism in particular, to which his parents and family had adhered for many generations. With this, Reb Feivel Mann saw his ability to act, and probably also his willingness to help, only in the private domain and in the provision of daily assistance through the Tomchei Aniim organization, of which he was one of its founders and faithful supporters. Even though he was faithful to the idea of Mizrachi and the banner of religious national revival through the organization of nationalist religious Jewry, he remained strictly Orthodox in his day-to-day actions

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and placed all of his interest in activities related to assistance of individuals. This endeavor benefited from success beyond expectations due to his wisdom and talents. Many of the needy and suffering people of the city held his readiness to assist and his effective activities in esteem.

Reb Leibele Messer. Unlike most of his family who earned their livelihood through tailoring, Reb Leibele chose the trade of engraving monuments and drawing signs. In addition to this, he was a great scholar who was an expert in Talmudic lore. He loved to study and teach. He worshipped in the Tailor's' Minyan, gave a class in Midrash Rabba after services, and studied the weekly Torah portion with Rashi's commentary with the congregants. He possessed the “language of an educator” and knew how to spice his words with good flavor. His many listeners soaked up his words and fine explanations with thirst.

Photo page 289: Reb Yitzchak Messer

Reb Yitzchok Messer. Aside from his broad expertise in Talmudic and Halachic literature, he also possessed broad and deep knowledge in Aggadaic and morality literature. However, the wisdom of Kabbalah was the unique field of activity that occupied his time and attention during his later period of youth and continued into his adulthood. He placed all of his interest in it, and apparently also wrote works of creativity and thought in that area when he lived in Germany, especially during the years prior to the Holocaust. To our sorrow, we do not have full details about this matter, and we were not able to hear anything about this from people who knew him and who met with him in Germany during those days. In the appendix of this volume we will include a section, in his handwriting and with his signature, that supports the assumption that Reb Yitzchok Messer indeed occupied himself with writing about mysticism and Kabbalah.

With the rise of the Nazi beast, Reb Yitzchok was one of those who “escaped” from Germany by returning to Sanok at the end of the 1930s. However, to our sorrow, we do not know any details about him from that time or the time following.

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Rabbi Feivel Nebenzahl. Not everybody remembers him, and even those who knew him did not know his character and the level of his charitable and benevolent deeds. Rabbi Feivel was not a Hassid but was also not a Misnaged. He was a simple Jew, one of the “progressives” in the city. He had grandchildren. One was a regional judge in Stanislawow and the other was a lawyer in Sanok. In my childhood, I recall that he wore a streimel on the Sabbath. His earned his livelihood from the estate owners, and he was always one of the wealthy people of the city. A Sanok Jew who was Reb Feivel's neighbor tells that he was unsuccessful at business for a time and faced large expenses when he was about to marry off one of his daughters. He could not figure out where the money would come from. Reb Feivel, apparently recognizing his perplexity, came to him and invited him into his house. The man entered, and just as Reb Feivel closed the door, he opened up the iron safe in which he kept his money and said to him, “I can sense that you are in need of money. Take what you need, and I do not want to know how much you took” Reb Feivel finished the statement and immediately left the room, leaving him standing alone with the open iron safe.

Baruch Serber and his wife Sima-Reizel (nee Pipe). He was attracted to Belz Hassidism, apparently as a tradition from his father's home. However, he would also spend time in the other Hassidic courts of our city. He excelled at generosity, and his hand was open to any charitable matter. His children who perished included Moshe, Pinchas (as has been told, he fell as a tank commander in the Red Army as the army was entering Riga, and earned a posthumous token of recognition), Ethel, and Bruria, may G-d avenge their blood.

Reb Simcha-Shalom Sobel. He was a scholar and a maskil, and one of the wealthy Jewish citizens of the city. He was one of the founders of the Mizrachi organization, and one of its activists during its early years. He educated his sons and daughters in Torah and faithfulness to Jewish values. He chose husbands for his daughters who were all expert scholars as well as erudite in worldly affairs. One of them, Michael of blessed memory, made aliya with his wife Tzipora, may she live, already during the mid 1930s. They are the parents of Yisrael-Moshe Horn who fell in defense of Jerusalem (see page 463). Simcha-Shalom's son Moshe-Yisrael lives today in America, and is the father of Dr. Chaya Horn-Sobel of blessed memory (read about her on page 456).

Photo page 290: Tzvi-Herman Sobel

Reb Tzvi-Herman Sobel. He was an activist, who was active in many areas of communal affairs. He was a founder of the Merchants' Union in Sanok and one of the nurturers of that organization. He brought into his home an enthusiasm for local Jewish activism as well as for education and the revival of the nation, whose practical expression was in Zionist activity in the realm of local activism.

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The Feibusch Family, may G-d avenge their blood. They were a veteran family in Sanok for many generations. They originated from Posada. Eli Feibuschand Ephraim Feibuschwere the sons of Feivel Feibusch.

The sons of Avraham Feibusch: Avrahamche, the Zionist activist, orator, educator and journalist wrote regularly in Cwyla, Nowy Dziennik, and the Lemberger Tagblatt. He was an educated and refined man. He perished with his wife and two children. His younger brother Shraga (Feivel) Feibusch wrote regularly for the Nowy Dziennik, Cwyla, and Ofanja newspapers and weeklies under the headline “The Portfolio of a Young Zionist”. He was very active in the Zionist movement, and was one of the founders of Brit Trumpeldor in Sanok. After the destruction of the Zaslaw and Przemysl ghettos, he arranged Aryan documents for himself, posed as a Catholic priest, and wandered in the forests of Galicia until close to the time of the downfall of the enemy, may its name be blotted out. In 1944 when he was on a “tour” of Sanok, a Polish churl recognized him and turned him in to the Gestapo.

Reb Mordechai Pinter, Reb Moshe and Reb David-Elimelech of blessed memory were the three sons of Reb Eliahu Pinter, one of the important Jews of Sanok from two generations ago. He was a Hassid of the Admor of Sanz, and conducted his Hassidism in a high manner. Of the three, we know Reb Moshe as an expert businessman. He owned a metal products and building materials business. The other two brothers, Reb Mordechai and Reb David-Elimelech did not have a well-based economic foundation. They continued the Hassidic way of life throughout their lives. As has been said, this was the Sanz Hassidism, which was recognizable in both of them by the two primary signs of this Hassidism: 1) an impulsiveness and agitation during prayer and when studying Torah. 2) their expertise in Hassidic melodies that was exemplified in both of them as prayer leaders, a position which they often fulfilled in the Sanz Kloiz.

Reb Meier, the son of Reb Moshe, was the only one of the entire family who stood out with his broad knowledge of Talmud and Jewish legal decisors. Reb Shalom Mordechai the son of Reb David-Elimelech stood out, once again as the only one in the entire family, in his communal activism, particularly as one of the most active members of the Chevra Kadisha (burial society).

Alter Tzvi (Hirsch) Pipe, his wife Chana, their sons Shmuel-Zeinvel and Moshe, and their daughter Ethel, were people of toil and labor, immersed in work and the toil of their hands for the livelihood of the household. However, they did not abandon their demands for culture and their aspirations for education and knowledge. We will dedicate some words in our book to Shmuel-Zeinvel, the eldest son, who was active in folklore, one of the only such people in Sanok and its environs.

Reb Shmulka Frei. At that time, during the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s, he was regarded as one of the “young guard” of the Sadagora Kloiz. He also saw himself as such. He was a fine young man, who received all of the good and finery from his father-in-law when he married the daughter of Reb Moshe Eliezer Rabner, one of the “fine Jews” of the Sadagora Kloiz. At least until her marriage, his wife was one of the activists of Ivria.

Reb Yacov Shlomo Frankel. He was the son of the first rabbi of the city of Sanok about which we have any information, and about whom we will discuss in this book as being among the first of the rabbis and rabbinical judges of Sanok. Reb Yacov Shlomo had the character of a fine householder. His mannerisms were pleasant and his opinion on communal matters was listened to, although he did not often make his opinions public and did not involve himself greatly in communal affairs. One the other hand, he established a large family and concerned himself with carrying on the fine Torah-rabbinical family traditions by forging marital connections with rabbinical families and descendants of Torah greats. Even though he himself was Hassid, first of the Sanz dynasty and later of Dinow, his first concern when making matches was of the quality

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nature, and character of those who were to marry his daughters. His first son-in-law, Reb Michel-Leibusch Dorlich, aside from being a praiseworthy Torah scholar, he was a Hassid and a scion of a Hassidic family, and was one of the closest activists of the court of the Admorim of Blazowa and Rybotycze. His second son-in-law, Reb Yehoshea Kluger, did not belong at all to any Hassidic camp, although he wore the crown of great scholarship, encompassing all areas of Torah, and general knowledge – for himself and his family.

To complete the image of Reb Yacov-Shlomo Frankel, we must add that even though all of his behaviors and ways of living were in accordance with authentic Hassidism and faithful to the tenets that the Admorim taught to their Hassidim, Reb Yacov-Shlomo remained in his own realm, standing aloof from the Hassidic zealotry that we often encountered in the various streams of life of the Jewish community, whether within the Hassidic “factions” themselves, or within the realms of education, Haskalah, and national revival.


Shmuel Zeinvel Pipe

by Gershon Givoni-Pipe

Translated by Jerrold Landau

Photo page 292: Shmuel Zeinvel Pipe

His seven-member family lived in one small, narrow room, which also served as a tailoring workshop. Clients came there to order garments, to be measured, and to receive their garments. In that room there was also a large cutting table, a work table for five workers, and a sewing machine. I do not know how, but in that same room, the children prepared their lessons, read books, etc. The atmosphere in the home was one of joy, encouragement of creativity, and constant activity. The father, Alter-Hirsch of blessed memory, had variegated interests. He was attracted to popular songs that were sweet to the ear. He would sing many popular songs of all types as he worked at his tailoring. The mother, Chana of blessed memory, was not lax in her efforts. The burden of maintaining the house under the conditions of serious crowding rested on her shoulders. She did not buckle under the difficulties, and the house was relatively clean, the children were dressed appropriately, and food was always prepared on time – and with all this, she felt the internal urge to join her sweet voice to the “choir”, and would sing at all times of the day. My brother Shmuel Zeinvel, the eldest son, would set the tone. He and two others of us studied the tailoring trade, for

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otherwise, it was impossible to exist. However, he did not satisfy himself with the work of his hands. As the eldest child, he felt himself responsible to raise the children, and concerned himself with their education. He was the one who determined that I would continue to study in the gymnasium after the conclusion of my course of studies in the elementary school. We all willingly accepted his authority, for we saw him as head and shoulders above us from all perspectives. His precious value in the family stemmed from this. He imbued his spirit upon all of us, including our parents, even though they would often debate fundamental issues with him. At the end, they would accept his opinion over theirs, and I believe that they also recognized his superiority within the family.

Shmuel Zeinvel had an open and sensitive heart, possessed understanding, and was a deep thinker. He was enthused by an intellectual crowd – that group of people his age from the intelligentsia which included the circles of youth who were thirsting for the knowledge and enlightenment that had recently made great strides in the fields of education and culture in the city, and that spread Hebrew and general intellectualism among that generation in all of the communal-cultural bodies that existed or were being set up in the city. This included Zionist organization chapter, the library, the Hechalutz, and later Hashomer Hatzair. In all of this, Shmuel Zeinvel found an appropriate circle and background for his activities. In all of these organizations, he succeeded in forging bonds of friendship, in learning, in receiving influence, and also in teaching and influencing others, within his environment, and within his family at home.

The founding convention of YIVO – the Yiddish Institute for Jewish Sciences – that took place in 1925 was undoubtedly an important way-station in his life path. He was enchanted by the essence of the convention, its deliberations and resolutions. He returned home and opened up a wide-branched realm of activity. This turned into his daily bread. He devoted every free hour after work to the recording of stories, popular lore, jokes, songs of all types that were common among the various strata of the nation from days of yore, and technical terms of the various tradesmen. He exhibited great energy in this work. He made contact with elders from the various strata of society, with the beggars of the city, with grandmothers, as he was lectured to, whispered to, as he listened and recorded the day to day visions.

He toiled and also involved others in the toil. He organized a group of collectors, and instilled the idea amongst the youth who were alert to issues – that the national creativity that was nurtured from deep roots of generations past in an unbroken manner is a comprehensive treasure that must be preserved for the future generations and for history.

After recording the vast material that he collected, he entered a higher phase. He came into contact with the well-known folklorist Y. L. Cohen who sized up Shmuel Zeinvel and realized what he already had become, and the potential hidden within him to enrich our folklore. In 1930, he invited him to come to Vilna on his account in order to complete a course. This set the destiny of Shmuel Zeinvel as a folklorist. He lived in Vilna and enthusiastically dedicated himself to the course of studies. At the same time, he eagerly absorbed the literary-folklore treasures in the many libraries of the Jerusalem of Lithuania[4] , while he simultaneously continued his practical academic activities. The academic director of YIVO also recognized his talents, and after a brief period, he was brought into the academic circle of the institute. He started in the folklore division of YIVO and began to publish the “YIVO bletter” (YIVO pages) from is treasury, which had expanded greatly since he began to work in folklore. He had dreams of publishing volumes of Jewish children's songs, love songs, and terminology of typical and rare Jewish professions. One plan chased the next. He began to edit his words, immersed himself in his work, forged connections with publishers and conducted negotiations with them regarding the publication of his research.

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Dr. Max Weinreich writes the following in his Yizkor lists about Shmuel Zeinvel and the level of his development during that period : “… The works that he published were important, but they do not present a true idea of his talents. He was forced to start from the beginning. At the outset, he did not come with methodical higher education, but his talent for his work was boundless… Within a few years, he would have occupied one of the most important places among Jewish folklorists…” (YIVO bletter, number 1, 1945).

At the outbreak of the conflagration in 1939, feelings of nostalgia for his endangered, far-off home were aroused in him. The feeling grew that he must be present within the walls of his parental home, to strengthen the buckling legs during the time of fury and wrath. He was far away from the area of danger, and he could have saved himself in any case. Many people streamed to Vilna as they attempted to flee from the rampaging and preying Nazi enemy. He set out in the opposite direction, returning to the zone of danger, and literally entering the mouth of the lion. He left behind his wife Nechama Epstein, whom he had only very recently married.

Apparently, he was unable to persuade his parents to leave Sanok, even though many Jews crossed the San River and succeeded in maintaining themselves and surviving until the hoped for day of peace, and are now with us here. However, Shmuel Zeinvel would not leave his parents in a house enveloped in flames. He remained there together with them. He was brought to Zaslaw in 1943 along with his family members and thousands of Jews of Sanok…

The tree that bore so much promise was cut down in its prime. It was cut down and uprooted completely, for we do not know whether the treasuries of his academic research that he loved and nurtured so greatly remained behind, or where they might be…

Photo page 294: Reb Zusha Fenig

Reb Zosia Fennig. He added a small layer to Jewish Sanok, at least to its commercial landscape, with something that did not exist until that time: the first modern Jewish business for textbooks and reading books in the vernacular and in Hebrew, and a lending library that included Polish literature in the original and in translation. Of course this library was the most up-to-date in the city and the entire region. Reb Zosia was a Torah scholar who loved the students of Torah and the study of Torah. He set aside times for the study of Torah every morning in the large Beis Midrash before the services and before opening up his business. He was a diligent activist for any matter related to a mitzvah. He was the treasurer of Bikur Cholim (the society for the visiting of the sick) and of Tomchei Aniim (the society for the support of the poor). He was active

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in the Merchants' union. All of his activities were for the sake of Heaven, with faith in man and G-d, and with dedication to the ideals of the nation. He was a faithful member of Mizrachi and always yearned to make aliya to the Land. His wife Lea Fenig was his assistant in their successful and flourishing business. She also participated in the charitable and benevolent deeds, discreetly and modestly. This manner of modesty and literal secrecy in the carrying out of charitable deeds was meticulously maintained by her. She would go herself to the homes of the poor to give over the support and charitable monies. She would not utilize emissaries, not even her own children, so that they would not know of the situation and poverty of those that received support.

Because of its multifaceted nature, the business was always a meeting place for the intelligentsia and students; purchasers of books in Hebrew and in the vernacular, of holy books and implements, of accounting books and accounting implements; as well as activists in the various organizations and institutions in which Reb Zosia was involved. Therefore, Reb Zosia and his wife were known personalities to the entire city. They sold to everyone and were loved by everyone.

Photo page 295: Reb Shmuel Zukerkandel

Reb Shmuel Zuckerkandel. He had the character of a scholar and scholar. His father Reb Berish of blessed memory is remembered by us as one of the few elder Belz Hassidim in the city. Reb Shmuel also began to travel to Belz, but his maternal grandmother once took him to the Admor of Boyan, and from that time he became attached to that Hassidic line. He devoted his free time only to Torah, to studying himself and teaching others. If you would enter the Sadagora Kloiz very early in the morning, you would always find Reb Shmuel Zuckerkandel giving a class in Talmud. He also performed many acts of charity and benevolence – all without fanfare and without attracting publicity for himself. As an example of his approach in performing acts of charity, and of the heart of a hassidic Jew, his son Azriel Shaul Zuckerkandel (today Tzuriel), who is with us here, tells us that once, Reb Shmuel and his son, may he live long, sat in the Sadagora Kloiz on a winter evening, during the period of the greatest cold and frost. A Jewish passerby who had just come from the train station entered, coughing loudly. Reb Shmuel realized that he was very sick, and without any hesitation, brought him to his home, which consisted of one and a half rooms in which eight people lived – Rev Shmuel, his wife, and their six children. This guest was given a bed that was occupied by his young child Yosef (who perished in the Holocaust), who was transferred to a different bed. This guest remained until several days before Passover.

We will not shortchange the customs and way of life of Reb Shmuel if we will also recall his partner in life, fate, and good deeds, his wife Chava. She was the daughter of one of the renowned Belzer Hassidim of Brody, who was a great scholar. From this family and this home, she received her education and direction to continue in this way of life, educating her children to the study of Torah and performance of good deeds.

_________

Translator's Footnotes

  1. The famed head of the Chachmei Lublin Yeshiva and the founder of the Daf Yomi learning program. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meir_Shapiro. return
  2. Samael is an alternative term for Satan. return
  3. Proverbs 15:1. return
  4. A common nickname for Vilna. return


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Reb Elazar Regenbogen and his family

by Azriel Regenbogen

Translated by Jerrold Landau

My father Reb Elazar Regenbogen of blessed memory was born and raised in Tarnów. After marrying my mother Lea, nee Luksner, of blessed memory from Krakow, they moved to Sanok in 1890. Father learnt basic business principles in the home of his father, my grandfather, who was the textile merchant in the area. Within a short time, the textile factory became a well–known firm throughout the region. He was successful, and became a wealthy man. Father of blessed memory was an upright man with pleasant mannerisms. Therefore people liked him very much, and anyone who came in contact with held him in esteem. He absorbed a great deal of Torah and knowledge during his youth in his father's home. Nevertheless, he was a very modest and refined person. He always greeted his friends and acquaintances. He had a soft heart, with an abundance of feeling and delicateness to every thing, even when he played with his children during the time he was not involved in work and study. If it happened that a child angered him with his behavior and he had to hit him – at time even to the point of crying – my father immediately regretted it. He moved away to a corner with his eyes filled with tears. Every Sabbath after the Sabbath nap, he took interest in what I had studied during the week, and tested me on my knowledge. He then studied with me a chapter of Midrash Rabba on the weekly Torah portion. His nature was to delve deeply into everything that he studied. He lived by those words and was immersed in the atmosphere of every topic that he studied. I recall that once, when we were working on the section of the sale of Joseph and we reached the revelation of Joseph to his brothers, my father wept like a child from emotion as he reached the verse “And he went into the room and wept there.”[1] .

Every day after finishing work at his business, he would sit to study Torah in the house or in the Sanzer Kloiz, which was his usual place of worship. He was devoted to his thoughts on Torah, and lived a life of Torah in all of his dealings with G–d and people. He observed the customs of Hassidism with every step, and lived in accordance with them, even though he did not set a Rebbe for himself and did not travel to any Hassidic Admor. Nevertheless, he was considered in the eyes of the veteran Hassidim among the worshippers of that kloiz as a Hassid with a high level of Hassidism.

My mother of blessed memory was a beautiful character of a “woman of valor” who served as father's helpmate in the full sense of the term, both in the home with family matters and in the shop with business maters. She was an intelligent woman, who was fluent with the Polish language and literature, even though she loved the Yiddish language and was expert in Yiddish literature. During her free time, especially in the evenings, she would read to us the stories of Y. L. Peretz and Shalom Aleichem, which were found in our bookcase. Thus, the children absorbed a connection and love for the Jewish experience already during their early days. We should note that my mother was concerned with the general and Jewish education of her daughters, my four sisters. They began to study Hebrew, Bible and sections of the new literature already from their childhood. Later, they were among the first people of young Zion through whose efforts the Zionist movement arose in our city. It would seem to me that it would not be out of context to give over some details of the lives and fates of the four daughters of blessed memory.

My oldest sister Rachel was among the first of that era who knew good Hebrew and Bible. She married a young maskil, and decided to make aliya with her husband already in 1920. Her husband Yacov Rebhuhn traveled first as a tourist, purchased a farm in Bat Shlomo next to Zichron Yaakov, and returned to Poland to organize and prepare his family for aliya to the Land. However, the aliya was postponed due to the events of 1921[2] . Their plans of settlement were pushed off, and carried out later by their son Shmuel, who today is one of the veteran engineers of Solel Boneh[3] . Shmuel raised a family in Israel, consisting of two sons and a daughter. He is fully immersed in the life of the Land and active in all areas of renaissance and upbuilding, from his participation in the Haganah,

[Page 305]

including in the War of Independence, to the service of his two sons in the Israel Defense Forces. His daughter's husband works in scientific research in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Finally, the son Shmuel succeeded in bringing his father to the Land right after the Second World War. His father succeeded in surviving, living in the Land of Israel, and enjoying contentment from his descendents the development of our nation. However, my sister Rachel was murdered by the Nazis.

Photo page 305: Reb Elazar Regenbogen – a photograph from a picture drawn by his son Azriel.

My sisters Rivka and Tzila, may G–d avenge their blood, were also killed in the Holocaust. Only my sister Devora of blessed memory, who married the lawyer Dr. Schomer in Sanok, survived and made aliya with her husband in 1950. After they both endured the well–known path of tribulations of the Nazi conquest deportation to Russia, Siberian exile, etc. that left their mark upon my sister's health, she died in 1957 after a brief illness. (For more on Devora, see also page 460.)

To complete the details on the fate of my parents, I will add that my father escaped to Skula during the war and lived there with his sister. He perished at the hands of the Nazis along with the local Jews in the year 5703 / 1943. My father remained in Sanok and perished at the hands of the Nazis already in 5702 / 1942. May their memories be bound in the bonds of eternal life!

Simcha Roth – was one of the most piously observant people of the Sadagora Kloiz. He loved prayer, especially public prayer. He loved to befriend the Torah scholars. He distanced himself from the idlers and those who speak evil tongue and gossip. Whenever he had free time, he looked into books of Hassidism and fear of Heaven. He raised his sons in Torah. When he was able to afford it, he gave charity generously. He loved his friends and comrades deeply, and related to them with boundless dedication.

Reb Avraham Rosner – was a scholarly man, one of the veteran worshippers of the Large Beis Midrash. He filled various roles there, including serving as the regular Torah reader on the Sabbaths in front of this large congregation for a long period. Incidentally, his reading was in fine form and with

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great professional knowledge. As a native of Linsk and a member of a family that belonged to the Dynower Hassidic dynasty, Reb Avraham Chaim belonged to the Hassidim of the Admor of Bukowsk. However, he comported himself with respect to his Hassidism with modesty and quiet both internally and externally, as he did in all areas of his private life. These were his defining characteristics.

Photo page 306: Reb Avraham–Chaim Rosner.

Reb Yosef Roth – served as the gabbai [trustee] for the final two Admors of Bukowsk, and accompanied them throughout their lives as Admors. His work in this task not only served as a source of livelihood, but was conducted in the pattern as the majority of those who served their Admors in holiness – with deep feelings of faith and dedication for the Admor as well as for his household, his court, and his family. For this reason, Reb Yosef's house became part of the household of the Admor, and his image was part of the landscape of the court. Reb Yosef Roth was also a confidant of these two Admors, as a wise man, with a good sense of humor that was somewhat rare in that environment, and also an above average prayer reader. He dedicated no small amount of these traits in various ways to the atmosphere of the court and the running of the household.

Reb Chaim Rothenberg – see about him in page 60 and in the appendices.

Shimon Scheiner – was always in a good economic state, even though he never attained the status of wealth, even by the standards of those times. He feared Heaven and loved scholars. Among his good traits was his willingness to intervene with banks for those in needs. This was a great help for no small number of Jews in firming up their businesses and sources of livelihood. As a lover of scholars, he took as a son–in–law Rabbi Avraham Weiner, a great scholar who became a rabbi in Jazlowic and later Czortkow.

_________

Translator's Footnotes

  1. Genesis 43:30. return
  2. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffa_riots return
  3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solel_Boneh return

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