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III Tradesman

Bakers

People in those days did not buy bread at the bakery since housewives had an oven in their homes and they baked bread, rolls and cakes for the whole week.

R' Meir Dunset had a large house in Demycze which he inherited from his father. His son Zev was a Hebrew teacher. Mechel was a baker like his father. Both left Zablotow to the United States. R' Meir drowned in the Pruth River one summer day.

R' Shalom Dunset owned a large house and a bakery oven on the street of the Main Synagogue. Was a well respected scholar, educated his children in Torah and general knowledge

R' David Zeiler baked dinner rolls etc. Educated his children to be honest.

 

Builders

All the houses in the city were built from lumber, the roofs from wooden shingles and the construction workers were mostly Jews who specialized in their profession. Only a few houses were built from stones or bricks.

R' Natan Fuchs and his sons R' Isaac the eldest, Moshe, Yakov, Avraham and Shabtay the youngest were all-powerful and excellent builders of wooden houses. R' Natan was a community politician and for a while a Gabay at the Main Synagogue as well as his sons R' Isaac and Avraham. They educated their children to follow in their profession.

R' Baruch Singer was a superb builder of wooden houses. An honest man who educated his children in Cheders and his profession.

R' Avraham Greif was a stone brick house-builder and a part time plasterer who excelled in profession and especially in building stoves. Was an honest man who educated his children in Torah.

R' Moshe Chaim who was lame was a constructor and a plasterer. Told long, descriptive stories. Was an excellent builder and plasterer of stoves. Educated his children in Torah. His son-in-law R' Berche was a Gemara teacher.


IV. Factories

The elders tell that they heard from their fathers that the tobacco factory in Demycze was built during the rule of Queen Maria Teresa after the partition of Poland and following the annexation of Eastern-Galicia and Bukovina to Austria. At the beginning it was a small factory. The farmers did not know how to grow the tobacco, but with the passing years the tobacco fields extended all the way from the Romanian border at one end and Podol'ye on the Russian border at the other. The small farmers as well as the large property owners found tobacco to be a well selling product. The factory developed into a large place with many clerks, guards, workers, storekeepers' etc. It was a self-governing empire with courts, jail, medical doctors, pharmacy, and armed guards in green uniforms and barrettes. Those guards had a unique duty to check all the farmers and make sure they brought all the produce to the factory during the harvest period (December to February) and did not keep any for themselves. Should they be caught with more then the permitted amount they were heavily fined or even jailed.

Following the harvest the farmers dried the tobacco and then sorted it and packaged it. (Each package contained 30 to 50 leaves). The tobacco was sold by weight while prices were determined in accordance with quality. Usually the farmers had a good income from growing tobacco.

There were no Jews in that "Government". All the personnel (workers, clerks etc.) were free of Jews. Following a long and tedious effort at the highest levels by the end of the last century, 50 young Jewish women were accepted, but had to leave soon after due to the hard working conditions which they were unaccustomed to. Jews had no place in the factory but indirectly largely benefited from it especially those living in Demycze next to the factory. It was a Jewish contractor who delivered all the material in and out of the factory and Jews were the suppliers of all lumber, boxes, sacks etc. All this was taken away from Jewish hands following the First World War when the Anti-Semite Polish took control over Zablotow. They established the "Kulka Ralintche" cooperative aimed at depriving food from all Jewish storekeepers and tradesmen causing great confusion in town and in the suburb of Demycze.

The first private linen factory was built by Mr. Yitschak Pistiner, R' Elezer Shtal's son-in-law from Kosov, who had great vision and commercial capabilities. He built the factory - a large two-story white-bricked building - next to the train station. Farmers were growing vast amounts of flax, agents were sent to buy it from them. Mr. Pistiner was not satisfied with just this factory, he dreamed of bigger things and sold it to R' Akiva Shreiber and his partner R' Aaron and his son Yehuda Rubin who kept the factory running for a few years. Mr. Pistiner moved to Lwow where he built a large shoe factory. Then, with some partners he rented a large sawmill and later he and a partner purchased a large property with a forest. He was unsuccessful in all of this, became entangled in some illegal matters and lost it all. This was the end of a man with great aspirations whose goal in life was to won large factories.

The single Post-Office in town belonged to a Polish man Yanitski. R' Moshe Shpilman, son of Berale the musician who was the mail deliveryman. He knew a bit of Polish and German and was ousted by the Polish after 40 years of service and immigrated with his family to the United States. Yanitski sold the post-office building to R' Yakov Veich who used it as a lumber warehouse.


V. Dayan

  1. R' Zalman Toyber was the Dayan for Rabbi Yankele and Rabbi Mendele. He was a stocky stooped man fearful of God and well-versed in Torah. He was the only Dayan in town so he also served the Chasidim of R' Mendele from Demycze. He rose early to pray and to work at the synagogue of R' Yankele sitting till late judging cases and teaching (He taught a few youngsters for free). He had a sharp mind and was well conversed in worldly matters and even authored a book His son R' Meir was educated in Torah and to fear God. He inherited his father's house but not his wisdom and knowledge. He was an unsuccessful merchant. His only daughter, Miriam who was beautiful and smart, married R' Yechiel Chaim Kramer who was a well-known and successful merchant in Chernovtsy. He had a wholesale wine store known for its excellent wines and his honesty. They both were very active in charities, their home opened to the needy. They were barren.
  2. R' Yeshayahu was accepted by Rabbi Mendele as a Dayan following R' Zalman's death. It was when the city split with the two Rabbi Dynasties to two separate communities, each with its own Dayan. R' Mendele from Demycze set up his Beth-Din (Jewish court) in his synagogue and so did the other community.
  3. R' Shmeril Rotfeld was the first Jewish teacher at R' Mendele's community in Demycze. He was a scholar from Stanislavov, very well versed in Gemara and Halacha, who continued learning day and night, was very strict in his behavior and sang beautiful melodies during Shabbos and Holidays. His sons were all Torah scholars and feared God. R' Yeshayahu authored "Chazan Yeshayahu" but was an unsuccessful merchant. Later he became a Slaughterer in the village of Roznov. R' Wolf Itzik, his second son, a scholar and a merchant. R' Shmerel served Rabbi Mendele Hager and even his grandson R' Avraham Hager.


VI. Agriculture

A few important property owners lived in town. Some inherited the land while others leased them. Some had large fields of grain and tobacco. Some farmed the land together with their children from when it was plowed till harvest, but most used Gentile workers. It is a great mystery why young Jewish boys were not expected to do that work, had no other job and were sitting idle. There was always a shortage of farm workers. Property owners sent messengers all the way to the Karpathian Mountains in search of male and female workers. They came by droves on carriages, cut gathered and did all other necessary jobs for a few months and were paid nicely. The reasons given for not hiring the many Jewish workers are known; Jews are lazy, they did not have the skills required for these jobs, and one who hires a Jewish worker buys his own master. The Jewish youngsters had their own reason; its better to chase an easy job (or even be a beggar or thief) than work hard in agriculture. Fear of the Gentile workers did not help either, since there was a real danger of getting beaten by them. Those young lazy bums became successful pioneer farmers in Israel supporting their families and providing a great deal of produce to the citizens of the country.

R' Elyahu Reisher had a large house next to the train station where he had a grain barn and storage facilities for his produce. His son R' Yehuda inherited some of the land and continued in agriculture. R' Hillel Goldshtein, his son-in-law, inherited some of the fields and farmed them and traded in grain. He purchased the Mimlis house from Frankel who was Mimlis's son-in-law after the authorities invoked his licenses. The Reisher family was honest, especially R' Hillel Goldshtein.

R' Yakov Loib, son-in-law of R' Yehoshua Toy son of Mordechai, owned a large house in Demycze including place to store the harvest, horses and tools. His sons R' Itzik and Moshe were educated in Torah and helped their father.

The old R' Mordechai Toy was engaged in farming and in religious matters. He was a Gabay in the old synagogue and was busy learning Torah all the times. Was among the early risers and the last to leave, easily angered and very strict. It was virtually impossible to get a candle from him to be able to learn at night. His son R' Neta Toy who was stocky man inherited his house and property. His only son, R' Catriel worked with his father, later inherited from him. They had a large house in the Market Square with a barn and storage room for their grain. He was a partner in the ferry on the Pruth River for a short time.

R' Moshe Tzvi Greif inherited his land. He had a large house at the front of the Market Square and at the back a corridor facing the synagogues with storage room and a horse stable. He used to place his trash in the back across from the neighbors and the synagogues, causing bad odors, flies and rats. He educated his children in Cheders. He was a partner in the ferry on the Pruth River for a short time. His son, Yechiel Greif was a scholar always learning Torah like his brothers Yehoshua and Baruch. He feared the Army and afflicted himself until he died a single man. It is rumored that he died of Pneumonia like his mother and brother Yehoshua. Baruch Greif immigrated to the United States and later brought his father over. R' Yakov Yoseph Toy was R' Moshe's (above) brother. Had a large house in Demycze and properties managed by him and his sons. R' Leib and the other sons were all farmers and horse owners. Rivka and Reuven are Holocaust refugees and are in Israel. Reuven left Israel and immigrated to Canada following false accusations that he corroborated with the Nazis in Zablotow and Kolomyja.

R' Shmuel Troschenitzer owned a large house and a tool shed. His sons Isaac and Tzvi were educated in Cheders and helped him in his work. The house was sold to R' Moshe Gutartz.

R' Shmuel Libber was always learning Gemara. He had a large house with a barn and storerooms for all the grain collected from his fields, which were leased, to Gentile farmers. Was well respected in the community and prayed in the Kosov synagogue. His son R' Moshe Libber was a scholar who later inherited the house and properties. He educated his children in Torah, was a Chasid and, like his father, gave generously to charities. Pessi, his only daughter, married R' Zev (Velvele) Heinish from Kolomyja whose parents were scholars and learned Torah. R' Zev was a great scholar, he did not work and concentrated on his learning at the Kosov's synagogue all day. He taught some boys for free and during many long nights wrote notes, which he hoped to publish, however they were lost. (How pitiful). He was destined to be a great Rabbi some day but he died young survived by his young wife and two orphans. His son Meir was brought up by his mother Pessi, in Cheder, in Torah and fear of God. He was very smart, excelled in Torah and Jewish studies and had a great future ahead of him. During that time many youngsters were caught up in the Jewish Zionist National movements, and so did the young, genius Meir. He became a very active Zionist and a perfect Hebrew writer whose articles and descriptions of Jewish Life were published all around Galicia. He lived in Kolomyja were he worked as a bookkeeper and an accountant, later he moved to Stanislavov, where he was the manager of the Zionist bank and the editor of the paper "The Jew". He was a soldier during the First World War and then lived in Vienna where he was the manager of the Joint Bank, editor and publisher of important Hebrew, Yiddish and German papers. He was one of the founders of the "Cooperative" in Austria and among the most active in the Zionist Federation. Today he lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel.


VII. Chazan

R' Zelig Dresner was the chief Chazan in town, mainly performing Jewish weddings, chanting "Me Sheberach" etc. and was the Chazan in the Main Synagogue during Shabbos and Holidays. He was also the "Shamash" at the old synagogue for which he obtained a narrow room and a small kitchen. He lived all his life in poverty and had two sons, one became a porter, the other a tutor (teacher's assistant).

R' Shalom Fuchs inherited R' Zelig's position. He was the son-in-law of the famous and rich R' Moshe Alter, who chose R' Shalom for his only daughter, Esther, who was a very gentle, fine, delicate, cultured, educated and smart woman. R' Shalom had a soft and pleasant voice and an excellent Chazan during the High Holidays. During the life of R' Moshe they enjoyed the good life and respect of the community. A special respect was bestowed on him in the Kosov Synagogue where people enjoyed his prayers during Shabbos and Holidays, but as soon as R' Moshe died everything turned sour. He had to sell the house they inherited at a loss and the money he obtained ran out in a very short time. He was then given old R' Zelig's position and with the "honor" of being a beggar. To make his condition even worse, Esther was sick and became paralyzed while he lost his eyesight. They both died young in these miserable conditions.


VIII. Other Professions As Sources of Income

Men's Tailors

R' Aaron, son of Risia, was a tall man, a tenant of R' Efrayim Fond. Educated his children in Torah and to continue in his profession. A group of tailors charged high prices with the excuse of donating it to the needy including the old R' Zalman Aaron, R' Aaron Funi, R' Shalom and his sons R' Hersh and R' Shechna.

Women's Tailors

R' Mendele Shteiner who knew some writing and reading, was for a while a Gabay at the synagogue of Tailors and Craftsmen which was next to the Main Synagogue, and he was the Chairman of the society of Women's Tailors.

Sources of Income

There were a few opportunities for a good income, which provided work, and livelihood for the town. Among them were:

The Tuesday Market brought in farmers from the area who sold their produce and their cattle, and in return purchased goods. Special Markets were held four to six times a year, especially the "Holoviski" Markets, which lasted three days (during the beginning of the fall - in Ellul). Hundreds of groups brought in their fattened cattle from the Karpathian Mountains. There were Cattle ranchers and dealers from the entire country selling and buying cattle and horses. From here they were sent to the markets of Vienna and Berlin. Camps for the cattle and horses were established in town but mostly in the area between the Pruth River and the canal.

The Tobacco Factory generated a lot of money. Hundreds, sometimes even a thousand, people worked there, especially during harvest time (December to February) when up to a hundred carriages arrived daily with their produce all the way from Bukovina, Podol'ye, the Karpathian Mountains etc. They stayed in town up to 10 days following their trade at the factory/

In those days, carriages and wagons were the only means of transportation, since the trains had not yet been fully developed, and the prices were considered high. This required places to room and board for the people associated with this industry; dealers, merchants, drivers' etc. Thus, Jews were the providers of these needs. They were the purchasing agents, buyers, moneylenders (Gentiles borrowed money almost every day) and Jews provided the farmers with their household goods. Jews were happy with their side of the bargain and the Gentiles with the good service provided. Good relations existed between the Jews and the Ukrainians; there were very few Poles in the area, Gentiles did not hurt the Jews and the Kolkaralnitchi organization and the others were created later.

Taverns and Bars

R' Zev Rosenboim one of town respected elders, had a large house in Demycze including a yard with rooms for carriages and horses, an inn and a restaurant next to the tobacco factory. He educated his sons in Cheders. His eldest son, R' Mordechai Yo'el had a large house and a bank which brought disaster. R' Shmuel Nathan owned properties. His other sons had houses and were grain dealers. His only daughter was nice looking, smart, cultured, knew how to read and write and married (second marriage) David, son of R' A.L. Shfarber.

R' Chaim Toy son of Yoseph owned a large house and a yard next to Rabbi Yenkele. He had a hotel, a tavern and a restaurant where many Chasidim stayed while visiting Rabbi Yenkele. He was a scholar and prayed in R' Yankele synagogue. R' Netta Toy died young. R' Yankele Toy married R' Hersch Herman's daughter. The whole family perished during the Holocaust.

Brothers R' Yonah and Shimon Singer had a large house with room for carriages, horses etc. which provided them with a limited income. They sold the house to the government that built the courthouse there and the large two-story jail. They educated their children in Torah. R' Yonah was a scholar and walked every Shabbos to the old synagogue to hear a lecture despite the long distance from his house.

R' Yecheskel Reisher owned a few properties and fields leased to Gentiles, and a large house in Demycze with space for carriages, a hotel and a restaurant for intellectuals, and a wine house where his beautiful wife, Riva-Necha served them. His guests included most of the property owners, clerks from the tobacco factory and the town's intellectuals. She was the daughter of the strict Gabay R' Mordechai Toy. She was barren, and the inheritance was shared between the Toy and Resher families.

R' Yitzchak (Isaac) Oyerbach was a well-respected and presentable man with a large house next to the Pravoslavic Church. His house, which included room for carriages and horses, a hotel, a restaurant visited by most of the important guests in town, and a tavern for the Gentiles. Educated his sons in Torah and general knowledge. His son R' Moshe was a scholar who married a rich woman from Bukovina. He lived in his father-in-law's house and was successful. R' Arche was not a scholar (except for a well-known game), but following his marriage with a rich woman from Poitela he succeeded in his trade and became well respected in that town. The youngest son, Menachem (Mendy) a young scholar died at a young age.

R' Yehoshua Toy owned a large house with a hotel and a restaurant next to the Kosov's synagogue. His only son, R' Alter inherited the house and the business and added a Butcher store. His son Eliyahu who was R' Aaron Rubin's son-in-law, was a scholar, a smart and capable man. He inherited the comfortable house which included a nice ballroom for weddings, dances and, as well as meetings and public lectures.

Brothers R' Yisrael and R' Moshe Frost were well-respected scholars who had a large house with a wide alley between the houses. Both houses included hotels and taverns. Both of them prayed in the Main Synagogue and served as Gabays there. R' Elchanan, R' Moshe's eldest son, was a scholar who married a rich woman from Kosmatch in the Karpathian Mountains and joined his father-in-law's business. The second son, R' Leib inherited the house and business but was unsuccessful and lost it all. R' Yisrael's eldest son, R' Elchanan, was a scholar and a grain merchant in his father's house. The second son, R' Yakov opened a successful grocery store in his father's house. His two sons were the town's newspaper agents and distributors during the years between the two world wars.

R' Yisrael Ashpil one of the most respected men in town had a large house in the corner facing the south side of the market square and the road to Gevozdets on the east side. The house, which included a hotel, restaurant, tavern, and room for carriages, was bustling with traffic coming and going, day and night. R' Yehoshua Milich, his son-in-law inherited the house and lived there comfortably, till it burnt down in 1880 or 1881 a fire that destroyed the whole street. R' Yehoshua sold the lot to R' David Toy son of R' Shmuel and moved back to his birth-town of Podheitz. R' David Toy built a two story stone and brick house with a tin roof (it was the first such building in town). He rented the house to the government for ten years. It served as the local courthouse, land registry, customs and a jail at the back just across from the synagogue. People did not appreciate that fact and resented him for desecrating the place. A few years later he became very sick and he died on the operating table in a hospital in Lwow. People considered his death to be his punishment for the desecration.

R' Catriel Weiss from Bukovina, R' Elkana Kugler's son-in-law, inherited his house in the town center, with a linen, wool and silk store. It was unsuccessful and he opened a tavern and a restaurant for Jewish travelers. Later he left town and moved to a farm, which was his inheritance. He was even tempered, a scholar, well-liked and active in charities. The house and restaurant were sold to R' Tzvi Hersch (Hersh Leib) Fishel son of Yonah, who made it prosperous.

R' Pinchas (Pini) Waller a scholar whose wife Cherna was R' Chaim Zimel Singer's sister. He owned a large house, a cellar, a tavern and a large yard next to the train station. The tavern was always full. R' Isaac, his eldest son, was educated in Cheders, owned a house next to his father's, had some property and sold cattle. R' Leib, one of R' Isaac's sons, was one of the wealthiest men in town during the two world wars. He served for a while as the head of the community and as Deputy Mayor. He was captured by the Russians during the Second World War and died on his way there. His wife and one son somehow survived somewhere in Russia. R' David had a farm in Davlovitch R' Leib (len) graduated as a Lawyer from the Polish College and opened a practice in Kolomyja. R' Gershon inherited the house and the business, and educated his sons in general knowledge. R' Chaim Leib Lester was one of his grandsons. He was a literate scholar who immigrated to the United States.

Brothers R' Pinchas and R' Meir Haber were grandsons of R' Moshe Yehuda Karsel. They purchased the Large courthouse and Jail from R' David Toy. The wheel of fortune is turning, and they were successful in their trade and able to purchase that property and turn it back into a hotel and a restaurant. They developed a very good reputation for serving the best food and drinks, and passengers filled the place at all times providing the owners with a steady profit. They lived like traditional Kosov Chasidim, supported their parents and gave them a large home and a store of their own.

Midwife

Chaya Rachel Singer was the only midwife in town. Her husband was R' Mordechai Singer who was a simple Jew, and for a short time served as a supervisor of the farm workers at some of the large properties. Their son Yakov was a carriage driver.

Teachers

R' Avraham Sheinhorn became a teacher following his unsuccessful bid in business. From his father R' Meir Eliezer he inherited half a house with an alley for horses and carriages and obtained the hotel which provided his livelihood. He was well respected and had great knowledge in Gemara which he shared with some young boys. He educated his children in Torah and general knowledge.

R' Aaron Helper became a teacher by chance, was a Chasid of Kosov, feared God and taught Gemara and Torah and Jewish ethics. He educated his children in Torah and fear of God.

R' Binyamin Yisrael Rosenboim the son of the tinsmith R' David was a professional teacher. He was a scholar who read the Torah beautifully and taught Gemara, Torah and Torah reading. He was a Chasid of Chortkov and he educated his children in Torah and general knowledge.

R' Yitzchak (nicknamed Itzekel Footerel) was a teacher from a young age who taught Gemara and Torah. His wife sold household items, toys, poultry and eggs in the market.

R' Moshe Baruch Hirsch became a teacher by chance and later left town.

R' Elkana the 'tall man', R' Dov (Berel, blind in one eye), R' Meir and R' Shoel taught the Alpha-Bet, pronunciation, Torah reading, Rashi letters, and Torah for ages three to six. Each of them had a teaching assistant and taught thirty to forty children in a narrow dark Cheder (room) with no air or light.

R' Berel had a large house next to the public-bath- house with three large rooms and a four by four meters area where he had about forty boys and girls. His assistant taught about forty more children in the other room. The third room had a kitchen where his wife and daughter prepared food in addition to working in the yard taking care of a cow and a carriage. The children played outside during the summer days next to the pond, which was full of frogs, reptiles and insects, but during the winter they slid on the frozen water.

R' Zev (Velvel) Dunest was teaching up to ten boys Torah, Rashi, Gemara, arithmetic, Yiddish and a little Hebrew. His wife Sheva had a grocery store in the market where their sons Yoseph and Zalman worked as well. Yoseph immigrated to the United States. Zalman Dunest owns a house in the City Square and a Soda water factory. Moshe Dunest his son was very talented and became the top Communist in town. R' Reuven Dunest, R' Zev's brother, taught Torah, Gemara, arithmetic, Yiddish and German. He was well accepted and became familiar with worldly knowledge.

R' Moshe Mendel Gadels was blind in one eye, and taught Torah, Rashi, Gemara, Yiddish and a little Hebrew. He was a Chazan in the Kosov synagogue on Shabbos. His wife sold eggs, vegetables, chickens etc. from her house.

R' Feibish Feiger taught Torah, Rashi, Mishna and Gemara at homes of his students. He was a very good Chazan during Shabbos and Holidays and prayed at nearby farms, usually for a salary. N. Feiger, his son, moved to Stanislavov and became the Chazan at the synagogue of the intellectuals.

R' Shimon Hirsh was a storekeeper for a while, later he became a teacher of Mishna and Gemara for older boys. Was an enthusiastic Chasid of Viznica and Otynya.

R' Avraham Gross was a great scholar, a Zionist well versed in literature and general education. He taught Gemara, Torah and grammar. He educated his pupils in the Zionist spirit and participated many times in the Mizrachi meetings in Lwow, emigrated with his family to Eretz Yisrael in 1923. For many years he worked as a bookbinder and now he is a sick man. Rivka his daughter is a teacher in Ein-Charod. Shulamit his second daughter and his son are living in Tel-Aviv.

R' Binyamin Gross, a brother of R' Avraham, was a bookbinder as well and an enthusiastic Zionist did not managed to emigrate to Eretz Yisrael but perished with his entire family during the Holocaust

Clerks

R' Elchanan Shtachel was a modest scholar and a Chasid. He composed claims and requests to the courts, edited contracts etc. His only son was educated in Torah and general knowledge. His grandson lives in Israel.

R' Tzvi, nicknamed bald Hirsch was an excellent clerk, a scholar, and owned a large house and an office. He educated his children in Torah and general knowledge. Most of the language teachers were clerks as well.

Musicians

One group of musicians was well liked in town. They were simple, uneducated, poor and hardly made a living.

R' Berele Shpilman played the long violin, was the conductor and good at his profession. His son Moshe followed in his footsteps as a good violinist. He later became a post-man for forty years. He was a simple man who hardly knew how to read. He was ousted from his post by the Polish and immigrated to the United States.

Yehuda Izy was a flute player. Elyahu played the piano. Meir was the drummer. Another played the cymbal while still another the castanets.

Each was very good with his instrument despite not being students of any music conservatory. They played at weddings in town, at the property owner's homes, outlying villages, during holidays, Chanukah, Purim, the end of Yom Kippur etc. They were very well liked in town and it is hard to imagine a Jewish wedding without Berele and his band.

Long ago being a musician was considered long ago to be an important and holy Jewish profession, but not so in Zablotow where it became a contemptible job like many others. (One who wished to look down at or tease another used to call him: tailor, shoemaker or musician etc.) It is true that most (but not all) of the artisans were uneducated especially the musicians with some of them deteriorated like Feibish, Berele's son, who became a thief and a robber.

His father educated him as a musician, but after a short time he left his father and the music, organized a group of pickpockets who 'graduated' to become thieves. He was the leader of the pack, was caught a few times, and sentenced first to serve a few months and later a few years. Lately he's been caught in a hard crimes (robbery or murder) and sentenced to twenty years in jail with hard labor on an isolated island where he died. (It is rumored that he and one of his cohorts managed to escape through a crack in the wall and disappeared).

Language Teachers

N. Greminger was a school graduate and taught German, Polish and arithmetic privately by the hour. Zev (Velvel) Toy , Ranche's son was a scholar with a sharp mind who taught German. Especially the youngsters accepted him in town. He was a clerk, as well and died a bachelor. Tzvi (Hirsch) Reiter, son of Berel the shoemaker, taught Polish, Ukrainian, and arithmetic. He was a clerk, as well who prepared requests etc. Tzvi Toy (Hirsch Prince) became a German and arithmetic teacher, later immigrated with his family to the United States. (He was R' Mordechai Fisher's son-in-law). Shlomo Zalman Zeiler was a student but did not a graduate of the Music School. He taught Polish and Ukrainian and was a clerk, as well.

Carpenters

R' Avraham Gloger was an expert carpenter, an honest man, involved in community work and was for a short time the Gabay at the Synagogue of the Craftsmen. Meir Yakov, His son-in-law was craftsman who specialized in doors and windows, and owned his own home

R' Avraham Cholem had a large house with room for horses next to the synagogue.

R' Berche Kelbali (a tease or his family name?) and his brother-in-law R' Tzvi were expert carpenters and honest. Berche had a house next to the market, while Tzvi had his near the Pruth River.

Lawyer

The first Zablotow lawyer Herman Shapira had an aura about him, he assimilated and knew no Hebrew or Jewish reading. He purchased R' Ovadya Greif's house renovated it into a large office and added a nice flower garden. He educated his sons to assimilate among the Gentiles and have no contact with Jews.

Salesladies

There were about a dozen women who had booths at the market. A booth had four poles, two meters by two meters, and two meters high as well. On three sides there were linen sheets or wooden planks, while the top had a roof against the rain. There was half a meter between adjacent booths. They used the booths daily for selling their merchandise consisting of household items and children toys.

Blima the widow was one of the main Salesladies. She was the widow of R' Shmuel son of R' Avraham Yakov who owned the Profanation. She had all the good qualities required for being successful; gossipy, jealousy etc. arguing with customers, shouting at her neighbor for allowing her customers to step into her space, her loud voice was heard for miles.

The second was Patelitche, wife of Avram Potelinski, was very similar to Blima, her neighbor if not exactly like her.

The third was Miriam Yassi (Mariassi) wife of R' Mendel Tshantchik. She was a modest woman who prayed daily in the synagogue with the Minyan (A group of at least ten men) and used to recite Tehilim (Book of Psalms) when she had no customers. She donated generously to charity and educated her sons in Torah and the fear of God.

The fourth etc, were all similar to the first and second.

On the other side of the market was the fruit area. One of the women there was the wife of Yacov (Yacov Yechchi) Halfenbein who visited his own home twice a year for Passover and for the High Holidays. All year round he traveled from town to town, village to village in Galicia and Bukovina. What was he doing there? It is rumored that he was a beggar pretending to be a grandson of some famous Rabbi. He had the ability to mix in his regular conversation with verses from the Bible even drunk, after drinking 96 proof whiskey. His audience was simple people who donated a little, but one by one it added up.

On the third side of the market stood women selling fresh vegetables and produce that they brought daily from the farms, especially on Tuesdays. Thus the "Women's Market' was in the shape of a U.

Authors

R' Gershon was an expert scribe (for Torah Tfilin and Mezuza) and for divorce papers (Gett) etc. He was an honest and a modest man who worked out of his small house.

R' David lived in Kolomyja and came to Zablotow occasionally to sell his merchandise and get a few orders. He moved to Zablotow following R' Gershon's death.

Barbers

R' Aaron was a physician and a barber. His wife as well was children barber. His brother-in-law David Hirsh and another man from Demycze were sort of physicians: they bandaged wounds, drew blood, used leeches, pulled out teeth etc.

Horse traders

R' Chaim Meir Zeiler was an honest chubby man who owned a large house next to Rabbi Yankele's, who he admired and prayed in his synagogue. R' Moshe, his son, inherited the house and business, had an inclination towards higher education and sent one son to Kolomyja. Shlomo Zalman was educated in Kolomyja in general education. He was an honest man. R' David was a horse trader first, later became a baker. R' Nisan was a general merchant, later moved to Kolomyja and opened a grocery store. They were all honest men.

Carters

  1. R' Zeide Toy who owned a one horse carriage was the first to carry people to and from the train station in the days when trains were not yet common and still expensive. Only the wealthy used the train and R' Zeide's wagon, while most walked on foot. Over the years prices decreased causing an increase in train transportation and thus more carriages and two-horse wagons. They provided transportation to nearby towns such as Kosov, Kuty, Viznica, etc.
  2. Chana Cholem, R' Yehuda Hersch Oyerbach's son-in-law, had a two horse wagon.
  3. Yoseph Eizenkraft was first a merchant, then later had a two-horse wagon. During the years between the wars he and his wife Riva had a popular restaurant. In 1942 he committed suicide so as not to be killed by the Nazis when they came to take him away. His family perished in the Holocaust except for one son Tzvi who emigrated with his family to Israel where he is working as a steelworker.
  4. Yakov Singer, son of Rachel the midwife, had a two-horse carriage.
  5. Alter Maltchek had a two-horse carriage, became blind in his old age. His son Chaim is in Israel.
  6. Eliezer Fuchs, a grandson of R' Avraham Yacov (his father died at a young age) had a one horse wagon with which he shuttled up to twelve passengers to and from Kolomyja.
  7. Aaron, his brother had a one-horse carriage, as well. He was a bachelor.
  8. Their brother-in-law, R' Fishel had a one horse carriage serving the Kolomyja route. He was an honest man.

Besides getting paid for transporting people, the carriage owners had an income from serving as buyers for the small storekeepers.

9. R' Tzvi (Hirsch Yehuda Moshe's) owned a two horse carriage suitable for up to fifteen passengers. His route was Sniatin which, was the District Capital with its government offices and tax center (which was lacking in Zablotow). Like his fellow tradesmen, he bought merchandise in Sniatin for storekeeper in Zablotow. His house, which included a yard for his horses and carriage, was located immediately next to the old synagogue. The people praying there and in the other neighboring synagogues did not like it at all since his carriage was always standing in their way in front of his house and the smell from his horses filled the air. He educated his sons to be tailors. They immigrated to the United States following their service in the Army. Moshe Bahn (nicknamed Bahn for his fast horse that ran as fast as the train called Bahn) was married to his only daughter. Following R' Tzvi's death he inherited the house and the Sniatin route.

Load Carrying Carters

R' Alter Manis, was an honest man educating his sons in Torah. His son R' Yitzchak learned all day, he had a small grocery store. Hirsh Manis had a two-horse wagon for carrying load, like his father's.

R' Shabtay Shterenberg who was a grain dealer owned a house next to the Pruth river. His wife sold flour and eggs out of the house. She was famous for her quality flour. His son R' Elezer Shterenberg was a grain dealer at first, later owned a two horse wagon. R' Shabtay Avraham, Mechel and Tzvi were educated in Torah and were grain dealers.

R' Feibel Bercher the Cohen had a house and owned Carriages. His sons Leib, Yoel and Mooki had carriages as well. Mooki was the head of the Carter's in Zablotow, he was a strong man but a gentle Jew, honest and kind.

R' David Adlershtein had a carriage for carrying loads and later became a successful grain dealer. He had a large house, was a Kosov Chasid and educated his sons in Torah and general knowledge.

R' Yacov Leib Adlershtein, his brother, also owned a carriage then later became a successful merchant and owner of a large house.

R' Moshe (Avramel's) Toy had a two horse wagon. He and his wife Esther, donated to charity, were hospitable during weekdays and Shabbos, wrote a Torah scroll and donated it to the Kosov synagogue. They had no children.

Tinsmiths

R' David Rosenboim was a pious Jew, a Chasid of the Rabbi from Chortkov, fast in his work and in his prayers. He educated his sons in Torah and the fear of God. R' Yacov Mechel his son, learned Gemara and Torah, moved to his father-in-law's house in Horodenka where he had a store. His two son-in-laws were important merchants and well versed in Torah.

R' Iser son of R' Avraham Gloger had a tinsmith shop next to R' David Rosenboim.

Butchers

Most of them lived in town, the others in Demycze, each had a house and a butcher store. They were all honest and strict and they were not suspected of selling non-Kosher meat.

Rope Makers

R' Yehoshua Burg and his sons Zeide and Yoseph. He had a house in the alley where he made his ropes outside during the summer. His sons Zeide and Yoseph left this horrible work to become traveling merchants.

R' Shlomo Grayer or Graber was the second to have this profession together with his son Gabriel. They had a large house in which they later built a successful press for various products.

Physicians

Dr. N. Heren was the first and only doctor in town. He was assimilated and had no connection with the Jewish spirit. Dr. Kalir before him was an experienced doctor, a Catholic and well liked.

Following his death a young physician came to town, Dr. N. Neinberg who was a proud Zionist Jew who became a crowd favorite. Later he moved to Chernovtsy to be a City Doctor where he became famous for his Zionist activities.

Saddlers

R' Aaron Reiter and his son Itche were honest men, they had a house next to R' Chaim Karsel. Buzi one of Itche's sons escaped the killings of Zablotow and is living in Tel-Aviv, Israel making a living as a tailor.

R' Dov Reiter and his sons were expert saddlers. Mordechai was the buyer of raw material while Tzvi Leib was a college student

R' Eliezer Burg bought the raw material. His sons did the work. Others were: His brother Berel Burg, Davis Periliss, Chane Pupik and Chaim Benish's, all were honest men who worked from their house, and prayed at the small artisans' synagogue.

Slaughterers and Examiners

R' Simcha Shechter was an honest man, a scholar who was always clean both on the outside and the inside. He was a descendant of a well-respected family. His house was on the border with Demycze where he always had out of town guests. He supplied them with room and board so he never ate breakfast or lunch alone. He supported local charities as well and assisted his family and the needy emptying his pockets by nightfall. Occasionally, when he could not afford it, he borrowed large sums of money so as to be able to give to others, and when necessary he approached other wealthy men to help him.

Simcha Shechter's only son R' Mordecha'le inherited not only his father's house but his good qualities and behavior and charity, as well. He educated his four sons in Torah and general education but hey did not want to be slaughterers. R' Meshulam was a scholar, at first he dealt in wood for heating then later he became a bookkeeper and accountant for the largest mill in Storozinec. During the First War World he immigrated to Vienna where he became a merchant. He died young. Yehoshua was a merchant, later he immigrated to the United States. Yakov Shimshon. Simcha Gershon, R' Mordechale's son-in-law, had a sharp mind, was a great scholar, well versed in Torah and Gemara and became a rabbi in some city, later in Bukovina.

R' Davis Tzvi Gross was R' Simcha's first son-in-law. He was a scholar both in Torah and in Jewish textbooks. He taught boys at his house for free. He educated his sons In Torah and general education. R' Zelig his son was a scholar and one of the founders of the Zionist movement in Zablotow. Toni (Yonah) his daughter immigrated to Israel and is living with her husband Yoseph Kuperman and their son in Haifa.

R' Simcha's second son-in-law was R' Yisrael Freidfertig, son of R' Avraham Oslover. He was a scholar and owned a house and saw mill in Oslov not far from Delyatin. His son-in-law was, R' Baruch Haber, a wood dealer in Mikulichin. He was R' Moshe Yehuda Karsel's grandson. Zelig, his son, immigrated to Israel a few years ago and was killed in Haifa on duty serving his country and the people in the "Hagana", on the first day of Adar A' 1948.

Judges

The only Jewish Judge was N. Sochbor in the town of Naduvrena. He and his family assimilated in order to obtain the post of a chairman and moved to Zablotow to become the Chief Justice. He paraded in all the Holidays with his family and the priests. There were four judges in the court, and Jews and Gentiles alike hated him.

Shamash (Maintenance)


IV. Farms and Villages which were part of the town

Il'intse

R' Baruch (Avremel's) Toy lived here. He was an honest man who worked for the Christian village owner who found that R' Baruch performs his duties well. His son Tzvi and two sisters immigrated to our land and are taking part in its resurrection.

R' Menachem Holder was a pious Jew who studied Torah most of the time and was employed at the local tavern. His son R' Moshe David Holder was a scholar who moved to his father-in-law in Kalush where he became a successful merchant of wood and forests. Later he built a large sawmill producing planks, which he exported. He had a large house in Stanislavov. His five sons all worked in the business and became rich. They were educated in Torah and business.


Oleshkov

R' Moshe Shfarber leased a large property. He was a Kosov Chasid, very hospitable and worked in charities. He donated land with a house to the Kosov synagogue where his brother, R' Tzvi Avraham Shfarber lived all his life. Following his death the house was given to the synagogue. He educated his sons in Torah and general knowledge. His sons Efrayim and Feivel leased land and were very much like their father. His son Yehoshua was Rabbi R' Azri'el's son-in-law from Yablonov (Steptesht). He died very young. Another son, R' Natan Shfarber was a scholar. He leased a Lime and Cement factory in the District of Stanislavov. He acted like a Chasid and gave to charities. A few years later he immigrated to Germany where he built a successful Sacks Factory, was well-respected in town and contributed to the community. He educated his sons well and they were well mannered. R' Avraham David Reisenberg leased the property which was vacated by R' Moshe Shfarber. His son-in-law, R' Mordechai Koren, was a wealthy man, contributed to the community, always protected the Governors, was a grain merchant with his father-in-law and was chairman of the community for a while. His son Berche was the sole survivor of the Holocaust.


Areletse

R' Elyahu Shtadler knew Torah well, was an old and pleasant man, well respected, had some land which was taken cared by his sons. His grandson, R' Abba, was a scholar, married the daughter of R' Zelig Chalibitchner and moved to live with him. Second grandson, R' Nachum Shtadler, had a sharp mind and a very good memory. He was a teacher for a while, and after his marriage he graduated from Teacher's College and was a teacher in The Baron Hirsh Jewish School in Kozolov and later in Tarnopol. He was a good teacher, well respected, an enthusiastic Zionist who was great speaker. Speaking at the Main Synagogue in front of thousands, he became so emotional that he became ill and died at a young age leaving a young widow and two young daughters. His widow and his two daughters immigrated to Israel where one of them, Yael, is active in the community as she was in Zablotow.

R' Eliezer Shtadler, was a pious Jew, a Visnica Chasid, a scholar who owned some properties which provided him with an income. He educated his sons in Torah, in the town. His son R' Moshe was a scholar, a farmer and later a lumber merchant in Sadagura.


Gan'kovtsy

R' Shimon Hipsher, a scholar and property owner. His son, Yecheskel (Karl) was college educated and became the town's secretary following his graduation. He was respected by the authorities in Sniatin who accepted most of his actions, which benefited the citizens. He served for over forty years in this position working for the Gentile Mayor and the Anti-Semitic City Councilors.


Voysekhovitse

R' Chaim who was called Chaim Voysekhovitser was an honorable scholar who had some properties and a large house with a store and a tavern. Most of the local villagers were his customers and they used to sit in his tavern and have whiskey and drinks. He had a nice-looking virgin daughter who was engaged to Pesach Toy son of R' Moshe Zanvil. At the same time, a young Gentile was among those drinking dailies at the tavern. He eyed the beautiful girl and somehow managed to persuade her to join him. He smuggled her out of the house one night, brought her to a priest who sent her to a convent in Sniatin where, after a few days she converted.

One Saturday in August 1877 there was a parade where hundreds of priests, men women and children marched through Zablotow to celebrate their Holiday with their idols. A Jewish man passing on the street (this was unusual as Jews stayed away during these parades) noticed R' Chaim Voysekhovitser's daughter in the crowd. He immediately told it to his friends, Natan Fuchs's strong sons who got some more of their friends and they decided to get her out and save her from Christianity. Later that night while the young Gentiles where dancing in front of the Church they kidnapped the young girl and ran away with her. It was not yet the time for (the Verse to Happen):" Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred will chase ten-thousands", they miscalculated the situation. There were a few thugs amongst the Gentiles who chased our boys, caught them and rescued the girl. All the young Gentiles heard what had happened and went out to the streets and started hitting every Jew they met, thus started a riot where stores fronts were broken, and stores ransacked. The police were called in, dressed in their uniforms and feathered hats, armed with swords and frightening rifles, and the night guards - about thirty men all together - and they managed to stop the raging animals.

Thirty men could not prevent the hundreds from continuing their rampage of destruction if not for the All Mighty in the sky. A strong storm brewed breaking trees, destroying rooftops, raising sand and dust from the river banks and blinding people. The skies darkened, lightning flashed, thunder rumbled and horrific rain and hail poured down. The mob panicked thinking God had intervened and fled out of town by foot or by horse carriages. A short time later there was no sign of them.

Jews kept a vigil all that night, keeping all doors, windows and shutters locked, and staying indoors. News about the incident spread and many people came in to see and hear what had happened. The case reached the courts, and a few boys were charged but the judge acquitted them for lack of evident (court judges treated the citizens fondly and were strongly influenced by the Mayor who asked them to treat the case as a childish trick).

It was rumored a few days later that it was mistaken identity, which had started the whole incident. It was not R' Chaim Voysekhovitser's daughter who was seen in the crowd, but a pure born Catholic girl. Our sages said:" Don't panic", "Act only when it is clear as the sun". It was not far from developing into a real disaster.

R' Chaim Voysekhovitser's daughter returned later to Judaism. He married her with a scholar but a poor Jewish boy, and had the pleasure of seeing his grandchildren grow up to be fine Jews.

R' Menachem Eizenberg lived in the same village. He was a pious Jew who had a house with a store and a tavern. His son, R' Shlomo who was R' Tzvi Rubin's son-in-law. He moved to the town and had a store in R' Tzvi's house.


Dzhurov

A few Russian immigrants lived in this village. They came with the righteous R' Yisrael from Rizin who fled Russia in 1840.

R' Yakov Alter leased a property and a whiskey distillery where he and his sons, who were fine Jews, worked.

R' Shmuel Alter was a pious Jew who had a house and a store where his wife, Rachel, worked while he sat and learned Torah. He and his wife Rachel died in Zefat in 1895. His sons R' Menachem, R' Yoseph and R' Tuvia were educated in Torah, the fear of God and became important merchants. R' Shmuel's grandson, R' Moshe Alter, a scholar, emigrated to Berlin and later, during Hitler's rise in Germany he emigrated to Eretz Yisrael where he purchased a house on Sheinkin Street (in Tel-Aviv). R' Shmuel's son-in-law, R' Yakov Menachem Gaster, was a scholar who learned the mysteries of the Jewish Kabala, was a Visnica's Chasid. In his late years he moved to Kuty where he died.

R' Moshe Gaster a scholar, a wonderful mathematician, a bookkeeper and an accountant for the whiskey distillery and his father-in-law R' M.L. Shlumiuk's farm. He educated his sons in Torah and the fear of God. His son, R' Chaim Gaster was a great scholar who later moved to live with his father-in-law in Botshatsh. His son-in-law, R' Mordechai Halprin, owned land in Voruchta.

R' Naftali Weinberg, a scholar who leased land in the village.


Chalibitchin

R' Baruch Meltzer the Village Elder was a clerk for the owner of the Estate. His sons were educated in Torah. His son R' Yoseph Leib and his wife Sara Tila had a tavern in Turka. They gave to charities and were hospitable to guests.. They educated their sons in Torah and crafts. His daughter, Hela, married a Jewish Scholar who had a grocery store in the village.

R' Yakov Toy (nicknamed Tebrek) leased the village mill and fields for farming. Later he purchased and lived in a large house in Zablotow's market square. He was a land broker and very accepted by Avramovitch who owned three large estates. He was a very successful broker, became very rich, powerful and forceful. He demanded respect and through his cunning ways he was elected to City Council.


Tulukow

R' Elezer Shtadler and his sons R' Moshe and R' Yisrael leased the large estate from Agifsovitch. They were very successful, had many guests, gave a lot to charities, especially R' Yisrael's wife, Tova, the daughter of Aaron. R' Yeshaya Adlershtein and R' Sh. Toy took over the lease of the estate after the Shtadlers left. R' Yehuda Singer leased the large tavern. Had some land and was a land broker. R' Manle Hirsh Libs was a pious Jew who had a house in the village and dealt in wood for heating. Educated his son in Torah. His son Alter learned Gemara, Bible, and later became a grain dealer.


Trachi (Trojca)

Trachi was a large village belonging to Avramovitch and his sons.

R' Zalman Hibner from Kolomyja leased the large mill. R' David Meltzer was the manager. There were a few other Jews working in the mill and collecting wood for heating, and lived frugally.

R' Tzvi Aryeh Leviner was a clerk for Avramovitch most of his life. He and his wife, Tova, donated to charity and were hospitable (Tova lived to the ripe old age of over one hundred). They educated their sons in Torah. Shmayah was a grain dealer and had a store in Viena. Menachem was a clerk in a number of saw mills, the last one was in Otynya.

R' Yisrael Libber and his son Menachem were Kosov Chasidim and had some land. His widow, Tima, lives in Tel-Aviv, Israel with her daughter.

R' Yeshayahu Shfarber and his son-in-law R' Berel were honest men, Kosov's Chasidim. R' Menashe Shfarber from the village of Dardaus next to Trachi was an honest man who owned some land and was R' Yitzchak Tilinger's father-in-law.


Troschinich (Druzhinets)

R' Anchel Kalman who was a dear Jew and an enthusiastic and trusted Zionist lived here. The first Zionist pioneers trained in farming for their life in Eretz Yisrael on his estate and he was their mentor and spiritual father. His only daughter, Yehudit, emigrated to Eretz Yisrael where she eventually became a devout Communist. She now lives abroad.


Roznov

Roznov was a large village or a small town where about sixty Jewish families lived including a rabbi, a slaughterer, a public bath etc. Thursday was market day when merchants from the surrounding and from Zablotow displayed their produce, buying and selling thus providing income for the locals.

Rabbi Itchele (R' Yitzchak Meir) R' Mendele's grandson from Demycze. R' Yeshaya Rottfeld was the slaughterer. R' Efrayim R' Yerachmiel Bergman's son was a scholar, had a large house a store and a tavern. His grandsons live in Israel working in farming. The widow Shlima, R' Efrayim's sister owned a large house and many properties. She was a merchant. R' Yisrael Singer, a brother of R' Chaim Zimel, was a respected man, owned a large house, a hotel and Tavern He was busy with community work and educated his son and daughter in Torah and general education.


Rudniki

The whole village belonged to Maissi who was an Anti-Semite Polish senator who leased his properties to Jews only. The forests of strong birch and pines where used for wood and lumber. His large mill, the whiskey distilleries, the farm etc. were all leased to Jews who lived comfortably.

R' Shmuel Pesach was an honest man, a pious Jew who owned some land. Following his marriage he had a store at his father-in-law's house, but after his wife died he moved to Kolomyja and became a contractor for the Army. His brother David remained in Rudniki and participated with his father in his business.

R' Tzvi Herman leased a farm and a tavern with a store. His wife, Freida, the only sister of R' Yechiel Mechel Karsel, was a very capable and smart woman. She took care of their business. Their only daughter, Babche, married R' Yakov Toy, son of Chaim from Zablotow who inherited his father's house in the market square. They had a successful hotel, restaurant and a tavern. They and their children perished during the Holocaust.

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