Following Rabbi Nachum Rozanis was Rabbi Abraham Hersz Rozanis. The latter managed to antagonize a sizable portion of his flock and was finally evicted from the city.
The next Rabbi was Berisz Hercyger and we find his signature in the register of the "Hachnasat Kala" association that was established in 1842. Rabbi Hercyger died in February of 1846 and was buried in the cemetery under the castle mountain. Above his tomb was erected a small structure.
The famous scholar and founder of the Sochaczewer Hassidic dynasty, Rabbi
Avrameleh Borensztajn, was born in Bedzin in 1839. He was the son of the Bialer
Rabbi Zeew Wolf, and the son in law of the Kotzker Rabbi Mendele. The mother of
the Abraham Borensztajn was the daughter of Mordechai Hersz Erlich, a native of
|A tomb with the Polish eagle
Following the Congress of Vienna (1815), Poland was handed over to the Tzar. In 1823 the Russians issued a law that forbade recent Jewish arrivals from living in the city of Bedzin without special permission from the authorities; the reason being that the city of Bedzin was near the border. Jews were therefore forced to settle in the vicinity of Bedzin but at distance of about 14 miles from the international border.
Due to this draconian law, Jews lived in many villages that surrounded Bedzin and belonged to the Jewish kehila of the city. Some of these villages were: Sielce, Mondzew, Lagisza, Gzikow, Szewer, Strzemieszyce, Slawków, etc. Bedzin had then about 2,440 Jews and 1,780 Christians. The Tzar Alexander II rescinded the above law.
In the year 1867, Bedzin became a district city and was attached to the
Pietrikower province. Prior to this date, the city belonged to the district
city of Olkusz and to the province of Radom. The city population in 1880
consisted of 5,424 citizens. There were about 3,800 Jews in the city.
Presently, the city has population of 50,000 inhabitants including 24,000 Jews.
The entire community tax structure of Bedzin in 1855 amounted to 495 rubles.
The list contained 374 dues-paying members, but only 209 paid the community
tax. The rest were declared too poor to pay the tax.
|The wooden synagogue in 1875|
In 1856, a certain Lajb Potok complained to the Governor of the province of Radom that the trustees Herszel Londner, Bendet Fiszel and Ovadia Szancer appropriated for themselves certain monies that belonged to the community. There was an investigation and it was proven that the charge was false. Lajb Potok was forced to bear the consequences of the false accusation. This did not prevent him from being elected as a trustee in 1859.
A very interesting trial against the Hevrah Kaddisha took place in Bedzin between 1854-1855. The story is as follows: A Jew from Wroclaw named Jakub Rajchman drowned while bathing in the river Gzikow in 1853. The body was brought to the city of Bedzin but the Hevrah Kaddisha refused to bury him until his son in law paid 130 Reichstaler . Only when the sum was paid to Hendel Erlich was the party buried.
The action of the Hevrah Kaddisha infuriated the Jewish community and some denunciations were made to the authorities. The latter began an investigation of the trustees of the community in 1854. Hendel Erlich was instructed to deposit the sum of 117 rubles with the royal treasury.
The governor of Radom ordered the Pietrikower district official to place a squad of soldiers at the home of Erlich until the latter returned the full amount that he took for burying Jakub Rajchman. The mayor of Bedzin, who received this order from his superior, did not hasten to implement it. He decided to await the outcome of the administrative and court investigations.
On January 28th 1855, the trial took place against the trustees of the Hevrah
Kaddisha at a simple police court in Olkusz. The case was dismissed for lack of
evidence and the trustees were freed.
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