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The History of the Jews in Ternopil

By Dr. N. M. Gelber

Translated by Moshe Kutten



Ternopil was established in 1540 by the Voivode [military leader] of Krakow and Hetman Jan Tarnowski[1]. The objective was to protect the province from the relentless attacks and invasions by the Tatars and Wallachians under their leader Hospodar [supreme ruler]. When he was appointed the Voivode of Reisyn (Rus'), and Hetman of Poland, Tarnowski grasped the extent of the great suffering of that province during the invasions. He began to construct a defense line at the borders of Reisyn after recapturing the city of Pokutia from the Wallachian Hospodar, Patrila, in the 1931 battle near Obertyn and winning against the Muscovites in the 1535 battle near Starodub. As part of the system of fortifications, he built the fort-city Ternopil and built a fortified castle in it. His son, Jan Krzysztof, improved the castle-fort and strengthened the city fortifications. As early as 1540, King Sigismund I, awarded Tarnowski the “first privilege” that included special rights concerning the city of Ternopil. Jacob Bodzianowski was elected as the first mayor (wojt) of Ternopil. The privilege was renewed in 1548, which validated the Ternopil as governed by the Magdeburgian law. In 1550, King Sigismund-Augustus added a regulation to the city privileges, under which merchants and waggoneers traveling to Volhynia [Volhyn] from Halych, Kolomyia, and Koropets, to pass through Ternopil and pay custom. His intention was to develop the city trade-wise.

In 1566, King Sigismund-Augustus awarded Ternopil the “Emporium Right” ([declaration that a city is a principal] center of commerce), comparable to Lviv's privilege. That privilege contributed substantially to the development of Ternopil as a trade center in Eastern Poland.

Following the death of Jan Krzysztof, his son-in-law, Prince Konstanty [Wasyl] Ostrogski, and his descendants inherited the city. The family devoted special attention to widening and strengthening the castle and the fort. By enlarging and widening the castle-fort, they created a sanctuary for the local population during the invasions of the Taters, which eventually took place in 1575 and 1589.

The Polish [deputy] Chancellor, Tomasz Zamoyski, gained ownership of Ternopil in 1621 by marrying Katarzyna Ostrogska Zamoyski. He often resided in the castle and invested considerable efforts to improve it. He hosted the Polish Crown Prince, Wladyslaw, when the latter passed through Ternopil on his way back to Poland following his win [over the Turks] near Khotyn.

However, the city residents did not enjoy peace for much longer. Despite the improvement made to the castle and its fortifications[2], the city endured tremendous suffering resulting from the invasions of the Cossacks and Tatars in 1648 and 1653. As a result, nearly the entire city and its castle were destroyed.

The city and the fortifications were rebuilt by the new owner of Ternopil. Aleksander Koniecpolski. That was indicated in a legal document (Lustracja) from 1672. However, the city was attacked again in the same year by the Turkish army, during its advance towards Lviv and surrendered immediately.

In 1675, the Turkish armies under the command of Ibrahim Shishman Pasha camped in the city. However, these armies were forced to retreat due to the fierce resistance

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by the Polish forces situated at Terebovlya's fort. The Turks were forced to retreat beyond the Zbruch River. While retreating, the Turks set fire to the castle, destroyed its fortifications, and bombed the forts. The city lay in its ruins for several years.

The city became the property of the House of Sobieski in 1690. Queen Marie Casimire Louise [Polish – Maria Kazhimiera d'Arquien] rebuilt the castle and did much to restore the city. The Tatars attacked the Ternopil for the last time in 1694 but did not manage to conquer it.

The Potocki's [pronounced – Potowtski in Polish] purchased the city from the Sobieski family and kept it until the beginning of the 19th century. During their ownership, Ternopil suffered from the invasions by the Russian and other confederations, established during the second half of the 18th century. In 1770, a severe pandemic decimated most of the population. One of the city's new owners, Count Franciszek Korytowvski, eliminated the fortifications and rebuilt the castle as a modern palace.

[In 1772 after the first partition of Poland], the city came under Austrian rule. The situation was improved then in many aspects. It became a paramount trade center, and its development accelerated.

During 1800 – 1815, the city of Ternopil and its district came under Russian rule and were governed by the Russian Senator Theyls. In 1815, Ternopil returned to Austrian hands. It remained private until 1843 when all privileges of its previous owners were eliminated[3].



Verified details about the establishment and the beginning of the Jewish community in Ternopil are not available. It is logical to assume that Jews settled in the city a short time after it was established. Ternopil was located, at that time, on the main road from Lviv, through Winniki, Pidhayatta [Podhajce], and Zolochiv-Zboriv to Ternopil, Myukulyntsi [Mikulince], Terebovlya, Kopychintsi, Zaliztsi [Zalozce], and Chortkiv. The road continued through Bukovina [or Wallachia] to Iasi [Yasi] in Romania and from there southward to Istanbul [Constantinople]. Many merchant convoys from Poland to Wallachia and Turkey passed through Ternopil, and therefore, it attracted many Jews. It is also logical to assume that the city's owners were interested in the economic development and awarded the Jews additional rights to attract them. We learn from the statute that Tarnowski awarded the city in 1550 that he allowed Jews to settle anywhere in the city except in the market square. It is mentioned in archive documents that Jews visited the fairs in Lviv in 1635. In one such document, the merchant Barukh Davidovitz (son of David) from Ternopil was mentioned giving a person named Gzhagozh Sheremedez [in Lviv] two promissory notes [Obligi] totaling 2000 guldens. The document stated that the latter did not pay back the debt despite his commitment[4].

A prosperous Jewish community, with a stable organization and creditable institutions, existed at Ternopil since as early as the years of the pogroms (1648 – 1657) [Also called Khemilintzki's Uprising].

Rabbi Meir, son of

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Tombstone in Ternopil Cemetery from the 17th Century


Yitzkhak Tarnopoller wrote in his book “Maor HaKatan” [“The Little Light”] (Fuerth, 5457 [1697]), about his family running away, in his childhood, from his town Ternopil in 5408 [1648]. He called Ternopil “Our Capital Community – Ternopil”.

Rabbi Meir Yitzkhak Tarnopoller was born in Ternopil in 1636. His father was wealthy and was one of the distinguished people in the community. When the Cossacks reached Ternopil, he escaped with his parents. Most of his family was annihilated. They wandered around with his father from place to place during the entire summer. They returned to Ternopil in the winter of 1649 and found their house in ruins and their belongings destroyed. When the Cossacks invasions renewed, the family was forced to leave the city and run away again. During the wonderings, his father died, and his mother was left to take care of three orphans: Aharon, Meir, and Gelah (a girl). Meir reached the center of Poland and studied in Lublin with the Maggid, Rabbi Israel Heschel, and [Rabbi] Shmuel Keidanover. When the Russian invaded Lublin and destroyed the Lublin community, Meir escaped with the Rabbis and the students to Moravia. During these wanderings, he met the daughter of R' Khaim Zelig, son of Nathanel, who was previously a cantor in Lviv. R, Khaim moved from Moravia to Fürth and served as a cantor there. R' Meir moved with him and resided in Fürth for seventeen years.

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Later on, he was nominated as a Rabbi in Oettingen. R' Meir authored a book of sermons about the Torah – “HaMaor HaKatan”. Since he was not blessed with sons, he wished to publish his sermons in print to immortalize his name. Fürth's Rabbi – Shmuel son of Feibish, Bamberg's Rabbi – Menakhem Mendil Ashkenazi, and Chief Rabbi of Ansbach – Yisaskhar Barman, relied on the book. R' Meir died in 1696. The book was published by his father-in-law R' Khaim in 1697[5].

We know from the same period that during the Cossacks Wars and later during the Swedes' Wars, the Jews in Ternopil were obligated to defend the city like the rest of the residents. They were armed with rifles and gunpowder like the Christians. Sometimes, they also had to operate cannons. That obligation was also imposed on the Jews in other cities in Podolia, such as Husiatyn, Terebovlia [Trembobla], Chortkiv, Buchach, as well as in Polish cities such as Przemys [Pshemishel], Rzeszów [Reisha], and Lviv[6].

The privileges awarded by the king for building the synagogue included the following rules: It should be constructed from stones, and at a time of an enemy attack, it could be used as a citadel. The Jews were obligated to include gun shooting slots in the synagogue walls, allowing shooting in all directions. The Jews were also obligated to purchase a cannon. Defending the synagogue when an enemy approached the city was mainly the responsibility of the Jewish Artisan's Union. For that purpose, they were positioned in their own forts and own gates[7] under the command of the synagogue commander, nicknamed “Hetman Zhidovsky” [the Jewish commander].

The known traveler Ulrich [von] Werdum passed through Ternopil and stayed overnight there on 27 November 1671, during his travel in Poland. He wrote in his journal: “The papists ([Roman] Catholics) have a large stone-built church in the city. The Ruthenians – have three churches, and the Jews, who are numerous here and live in their own quarter (the best in town), have a synagogue built from such a beautiful stone, which I have not seen anywhere else in Poland[8].

From his writings, we learn that the Jews resided in their own separate quarter, as early as the second half of the seventeenth century, and that their state was so prosperous that they could afford to erect a synagogue, outstanding in its architecture and beauty.

That synagogue was probably built in the first half of the century. It was constructed as a citadel. Its defense obligation was imposed on the Jewish population. The interior and external appearances were similar to the synagogue at Husiatyn, which was also built in the same period. Perhaps the two were designed by the same architect.

After the events of 1648 [Cossacks and Tatars invasions], the economic situations of the Jews worsened by such an extent that the “Sejmic Ruski“ [Red Ruthenia regional Sejm] that conferred in Halych in 1675, asked the Sejm to eliminate the poll-tax:

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Bronze “Menorah” from the Seventeenth Century in the Old Synagogue


bo calemi w Buczaczu, Ternopolu, Podhajcach i po wszystkiem wojwodztwie indzicj zgineli miastami przez co tak wielkiej nic moga wystarczyc sumy” (akta grodzkie i ziemskic, tom XXIV nr. 205 p. 398) [“Due to the fact that many Jews were murdered in the towns of Buczacz, Ternopol, and Pidhaitsi, the remaining minority cannot pay the great sums of the poll-tax (Town and Land Records, Volume XXIV no. 205 p. 398)”.

Since the city's “Jewish Statute” was destroyed in the seventeenth century's wars, Ternopil's owner, Voivode [warlord] from Kyiv, Joseph Potowtski, who resided then in Stanislaw [Ivano-Frankivsk], approved a copy of that statute. As known, Ternopil belonged to the Sobieski family (who also owned Brody) before Potowtski. In 1699 Ya'akov [Polish - Jacub] Sobieski [father of King John III Sobieski] awarded the Jews new rights (on top of their old rights).

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The principles of the former regulations were included in the new statute received from Joseph Potowtski, and new rights were added similar to those in the statute awarded by Potowtski to Stanislawow's Jews.

According to the statute from 1740, Jews were allowed to reside in any area of the city. There were also allowed to trade anywhere and anytime (except Sundays, Saturdays, and Catholic holidays). They were allowed to engage in any craft as long as they would not infringe on the privileges of the Christian crafts guilds. Jewish craftsmen had to register with the municipal craft guilds. However, since they could not participate in the guilds' customary religious processions, they had to pay the treasury of the guilds the sums paid by the Christian craftsmen when they were absent. The Jews were also exempt from attending the church services but were obligated to pay the candle and other taxes. The Jewish butchers were allocated particular locations in the market square. The butchers received half of the municipal slaughtering allotment by paying the palace two stones (an old Polish weight measure, approximately 12 kilograms) of milk by every butcher. Otherwise, the Jews were free of any other obligations to the city owner, except for the following:

- They had to pay a tax for road maintenance (Szarwark).


Bronze wash basin from the 17th Century, in the Old Synagogue

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- They had the same obligations toward the palace authorities imposed on the rest of the city residents.

- They had to man half of the guard shifts.

- Homeowners had to pay the palace the following taxes: On a home located in the market square – 18 guldens per year; On a home located on any other street in the city – 10 guldens; On a home located on [another house's] yard-4 guldens and 15 groszy; Tenants had to pay 1 gulden and 15 groszy per year.

- The Jews were obligated to pay general taxes like the rest of the residents.

The statute also regulated the legal jurisdiction under which cases involving Jews were heard as follows: Court cases between a Jew and a gentile had to be held at the palace courts (the type of the court was dependent on the type of the case). Like in other private cities, court cases between two Jews were first litigated by the rabbinical court. Appeals were handled in front of a palace official (governor) and attended by a parnas [official / leader] of the Jewish community.

The Rabbi and his home, cantor's and caretaker's houses, hospital, synagogue, and four adjacent houses, a ritual bathhouse, and the cemetery (in Mikuliniatski suburb) were exempt from taxes. The Jews were allowed to hold funerals on Christian holidays, provided they kept totally quiet and there was no yelling. On holidays they were allowed to open their stores but only after the conclusion of the prayers in the churches.

The Jews were allowed to own taverns and trade in all sorts of spirits in locations allocated to them by the palace authorities. To trade in spirits, they had to pay a “Drinking Tax” (czopowe) to the city's owner. The Jews were allowed to build houses, wine warehouses, and beer brewers. They were also allowed to trade in various goods (such as gold, silver, fabrics, furs, leathers, and all sorts of haberdasheries). They were not allowed to own a store near homes, only in the market square (rynek).

The Jews were allowed to sell their houses and did not have to get a special permit for that purpose. In cases of a fire, either in homes in their community or Christian homes, they were obligated to put it out. The Christians had the same obligation toward the Jews.

Like in all the other cities owned by Sobieski and Potowtski, Ternopil's Jews were given the right the participate in the municipal elections.

The above-mentioned statute[9] was also approved by Potowtski 's heir, his son Stephen Potowtski, in Zhbarazh on 13 April 1752,

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after the death of Joseph Potowtski (who died on 19 May 1751).

During ownership by Joseph Potowtski, Poland suffered from anarchy resulting from the battles between Stanislaw Leszczynski and King Frederick Augustus, who was forced to abdicate the throne. Potowtski, who wished to stay neutral, was drugged by his wife, Victoria (nee Leszczynski), to join Leszczynski's camp. His involvement brought Ternopil into the whirlpool of war. The city mainly suffered from the invasion of the Russian army under the command of the Hesse-Homburg prince.

The Jewish community flourished economically during the ownership of the Potowtski Family. The Jews concentrated the trade of grain and cattle in their hands and took command of the fairs in Ternopil. The economic prominence of the city grew, principally when the Lviv-Ternopil- Staniv trade route was blocked by Turk, Kalil Pasha. He closed the border with Podolia (held by the Turks for 27 years) by positioning forts on the Dniester and Zbruch Rivers. On the eastern side of the border, the Polish cut off the roads leading toward Kamenetz Podolsk. As a result, the entire trade concentrated in Ternopil province, mainly in the city itself. The border opened after the Peace Treaty of Karlovitske (1699) when Podolia returned to Poland. This change resulted in a flow of many Jews from Lviv province. That led to the strengthening of the Sabbatian movement among the newcomers, who belonged to the poor class and who came to Ternopil to seek a livelihood.



In the second half of the 17th century, after the calamity of 1648 – 1649 and the many wars during the period 1648 – 1660, which befallen the population of the eastern provinces of Poland, the inner life in the Jewish community also gradually crystallized.

Organizationally, the Jewish community was affiliated with the Jewish organization of Reisyn, which was headed by the two Jewish communities of Lviv [one inside the walled city and one that lay on the outskirts]. These communities ruled all other Jewish communities in the province. The war period depleted the two Lviv communities. The communities in Reisyn, such as the ones of Zhovkva, Lesko, Buchach, Brody, and also Ternopil, strove to free themselves from the rule of Lviv communities. A quarrel for the nomination of the state rabbi erupted between the Lviv Jewish community candidates and the candidates of Buchach and Ternopil. Ternopil's candidate was never elected.

Many Jews left Lviv and its surroundings settled in the eastern province and joined the Jewish communities there. During that period, the Jewish population in Ternopil also increased. The Ternopil community was organized like other Jewish communities in Poland. The community branches (przykahlki) in Kozliv, Kopychyntsi, and Bavoriv were affiliated with the Ternopil community. We only have limited information about the lives in the community at that time. We do know that a poll tax of 524 guldens was imposed on the Ternopil community. That poll tax was part of the total of 3141 guldens and 7 groszy, which was imposed on the entire state of Reisyn[10]. It was said that “the allotment was decided upon “by the Jewish leadership”[11]. In 1728, a trustee of the “Council of Four Lands”, Mordekhai BABa"D of Brody, wrote to the state treasury registrar, Haslavski, that according to the division of the poll tax imposed on the Reisyn province, Halych's Jews were allotted 200 guldens instead of 100 guldens. Therefore, he asked Haslavski to correct the error and impose the excess 100 guldens on Ternopil Jews[12].

Among the prominent figures in Ternopil, R' Israel, son of Shmuel, was famous. He was the ABD [Head of the rabbinical court] in Lublin. He was called “the chief supervisor over all the Jews, particularly those in the Polish Kingdom, and a parnas [activist] of the “Council of Four Lands”. As part of that role, he signed off on all of the Council's obligations. He participated in the Council's sessions in 5431 (1671), 5433 (1673), 5438 (1678), 5440 (1680), 5441 (1681), and 5443 (1683)[13].

Shmuel of Ternopil was one of the best students and the cousin of Gaon R' David, son of Shmuel HaLevi, the author of the book “Turei Zahav” [“Columns of Gold”]. He served as the ABD [Head of the Rabbinical Court] in Ludmir and Lutsk. It was said about him that: “He was the leader among the geniuses and wise men of his generation, and that no committee or advisement excluded him”[14].

Among the rabbis of Ternopil in that period, we know of Rabbi Yehoshua Heschel, the son of the ABD and leader of the community of Brody, Rabbi Yitzkhak BABa"D. BABa"D family was one of the most prominent families in Brody and held key positions in the life of the Brody community and in the Jewish autonomy in the Kingdom of Poland. The father of R' Yehoshua Heschel, Gaon R' Yitzkhak Krakover, a decedent of Gaon R' Heschel, ABD of Krakow. The latter served as the Rabbi in Brodzany and later on, until he died in Brody in 1704. He was respected and loved by all residents. His house served as a place for discussing all the affairs of the community because the population considered him the “father of the community”. Because his sons were called “Bnei ABD” [the sons of the ABD] the honorific BABa"D was added to their name. In Polish, the sons of the rabbis were called Rabbinowicz . He laid down the foundation for the famed family known around Poland and the entire state of Reisyn.

His sons, except R' Yehoshua Heschel, did not want to dedicate themselves to becoming rabbis.

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Family Tree of BABa"D Family


After they completed their studies – and when it came to their education, R' Yitzkhak was very strict – they got married and worked in commerce. R' Yitzkhak left four daughters[15] and three sons.

His eldest son, R' Yehoshua Heschel, ABD of the holy community of Ternopil, participated in 5471 (1711) in the meeting of the “Va'ad HaMedina” [Jewish “State Council”] in Yarichyv. On 11 Iyar, he gave his consent for the book “Mikhtav Eliyahu” [“Elijah's Letter”], by Rabbi Eliyahu, son of Arye-Leib from Kovrin. In 5478 (1718), he was fired from his rabbinical position due to a conflict in his community. R' Arye-Leib, son of Shaul (1671 – 1755) was nominated to replace R' Heschel, under the appeal by R' Gershon Nathan, son of Betsalel, the head of the Council of Reisyn.

R' Arye-Leib was the son-in-law of the scholar Tzvi Ashkenazi[16]. According to his brother-in-law, Emden[17], the scholar Arye-Leib “bought” Tzvi Ashkenazi to be his son-in-law by providing him with a hefty dowry (1700 guldens). Arye-Leib preferred him as a groom for his daughter over the fine young sons of exceedingly-rich people in central and eastern Europe. The latter perused him, trying to lure his daughter for free or even by paying him. His other son-in-law said about him that “despite Sara being exceedingly beautiful and learned, Arye-Leib preferred a pedigree over grandeur and wealth. He incurred significant expenses and also paid for the food for several years. At the same time, the father of the groom only helped by providing clothing and gifts”.

After Gershon son of Nathan who was the son of the tax collector, Betsalel from Zhovkva, [Zholkova],

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contacted Ya'avetz [Rabbi Ya'akov son of Tzvi Ashkenazi], Ya'avetz made an effort “to find R' Arye-Leib a respectable position in Ternopil, where another rabbi [Rabbi Heschel] was serving at that time. According to Ya'avetz, Rabbi Heschel “had to let go because he used a fierce hand in his rulings”. One of Arye-Leib's relatives was rejected by Rabbi Heschel with the excuse that he was not a scholar and was not fit to be a teacher. That event bought R' Heschel many enemies in the province, including people from the Arye-Leib's family, originally his followers and helpers. They began to resist him since (according to their opinion) he hurt his own follower to benefit himself. They did not rest until Rabbi Heschel was fired. “They did to him as he did to their follower”[18].

After residing for some time in Dukla, Rabbi Heschel became a rabbi in 1724 in Rzeszow [Reisha][19] and then returned to the throne of the rabbinate in Ternopil. He succeeded to reclaim his prominent position in the community and the Jewish autonomy authorities. Obviously, he got the support of his family in Brody, which played a substantial role in the life of Polish Jewry.

He participated as a representative in the 5491 (1731) session [of the “Council of the Four Lands”] in Yaroslav on 3 Tishrei. His relations with the people of the Jewish community probably improved. We find evidence to that in his Haskama [approbation] for the book “Meri Tzvi” about the [Talmudic tractate] Yevamot, by Tzvi Hirsh Luria from Lithuania (Zhovkova, 5504 [1743/4]) contained the phrase:” The flag of love is hoisted by the province of Podolia people, may G-d guard them.”. His two sons also occupied prominent positions in the Jewish public life. His son Ya'akov was a representative of the Podolia province in the session of the “Council of Four Lands” held in Tyszowce on 8 Elul 5502 (1742)[20]. His other son was one of the honorable people in Ternopil[21].

After Yehoshua Heschel, R' Ya'akov, son of R' Yitzkhak Landau, was elected to serve as a rabbi. When R' Ya'akov served as the rabbi in Tarla[22], he signed a proclamation issued in Brody 26 Sivan, 55125 (1754) against the Sabbatians. He died in 1777. At the same period, Shmuel son of Ya'akov[23], served as a parnas [community leader-official].

In 5552 (1792), R' Shmuel, son of Rabbi Moshe-Pinkhas[24] Falkenfeld (1737 – 1806) was elected to serve as the rabbi in Ternopil. Earlier, he served as the rabbi in Bilgorajand later on in Przeworsk. He served in Ternopil, where he died in 1788.

After the death of Rabbi Meir of Przeworsk in 1789, the community leaders decided to invite [Rabbi] Shmuel Falkenfeld, who was already known throughout the diaspora as a scholar. However, R' Shmuel preferred Ternopil, for which he had been already elected as its rabbi. He served there until 1801 when he was invited by the Poznan community to inherit the rabbinical throne after his brother Yosef's death. Rabbi Yosef was a rabbi in Przeworsk [Pshevorsk] there during 1780 – 1801[25].

During his reign in Ternopil, he published “Beit Shmuel Akharon” (Novidor, 1796), a responsa to “Shulkhan Arukh”.

After him, R' Yehoshua-Heschel, son of Yitzkhak, son of Ya'akov-Yekl BABa"D of Brody, was elected as a rabbi. Rabbi Yehoshua was the grandson of Ya'akov-Heschel, the brother of the Rabbi from Ternopil, Yehoshua-Heschel BABa"D. R' Yehoshua was born in Brody in 5514 (1754). His father R' Yitzkhak, was the son of Ya'akov-Yekl BABa"D, and the son-in-law of parnas [community official-activist] of the “Council of the Four Lands”, R' Avraham Kheimesh from Lublin, who was a leading merchant and one of the honorable people of Brody community. R' Yitzkhak followed his father, R' Ya'akov BABa"D, and was greatly involved in the affairs of the Jewish community.

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He gave his two sons R' Nathan, who later became a rabbi in Yavorov, and Yehoshua-Heschel, an exemplary education. During his youth, Rabbi Yehoshua-Heschel was a rabbi in Budzaniv [Budzanow] and, from 1801, a rabbi in Ternopil. To his credit, we should mention that he gave his consent to the school founded by the enlightened Yosef Perl. In 1828 he was invited to serve as a rabbi in Lublin but decided to return to his rabbinical position in Ternopil, a short time later. He stayed in Ternopil until his death in 1828. He was the author of the book “Sefer Yehoshua” [“The Book of Yehoshua”], a Responsa to “Shulkhan Arukh”, Zhovkova, 1829.

The economic situation did not change in the 18th century compared to the situation at the end of the 17th century. Besides local merchants and nobles who came to the month-long fairs in Ternopil, came also people from the rest of Reisyn cities, especially Brody merchants who purchased the goods and industrial products for wholesale selling in the fairs in Germany and Silesia. Only towards the division of Poland (in 1772), the situation worsened due to political events.

In the census held on 12 February 1765, 1161 Jews and 85 children younger than a year old were counted. In the affiliated branches, the following numbers were recorded: Kossiv-46 and one child, Kopychintsi – 40 and 8 children, and Bobrov - 17 and one child. In sixty-five villages that belonged to Ternopil, 416 Jews and 42 children less than one–year–old were counted. In the entire district, 1680 Jews and 137 children younger than one–year–old, were counted. In the province of Terebovlia [Trembowla] – (powiat trembowelski) a total of 7018 Jews and 516 children younger than one year (altogether 7534) were counted[26].

Due to the spreading of Frankism in the Podolia province, it would be logical to assume that a branch of the movement existed in Ternopil. However, none of the Frankish Jews who converted to Christianity after the debate in Lviv in 1759 came from Ternopil.



The year 1772 was a turning point in the history of Reisyn Jews in general and the Jews in Ternopil with it. The annexation of these areas to the Habsburg Kingdom made them into a state called “Galitsia and Lodomeria”. Obviously, that development also brought many changes in the lives of the Jews.

On the Austrian officialdom, which arrived to accept the new asset that Austria obtained as a result of the first partition of Poland, Ternopil made an impression of a sizable city (like many other cities such as Brody, Sambir, Taroslav, Przemys [Pshemishel], Drohobych, Tarnow, Biala, and, Podgozha, as opposed to many other towns). They particularly emphasized the economic role that the Ternopil fairs played, as well as the importance of the crafts held by the Christian residents - shoemaking, tanning, and by the Jewish residents – tailoring, and baking. They obviously pointed out the role of Jews in the wholesale and retail trade, leasing, and production of spirits drinks.

The sudden change affected the Jews throughout Galitsia. The Austrian authorities wished to convert the Jews to citizens of Austria in a blink of an eye and to accustom them to the new conditions. A wave of instructions, decrees, and regulations flooded Galitsia's Jews. The Jews were initially embarrassed, however, when they recuperated, they began to show a definitive resistance to the regime's intentions. With time, the authorities came to the conclusion that they would not be able to cause far-reaching changes in the lives of the Jews by purely bureaucratic means. The fate of Ternopil's Jews was, of course, similar to the fate of the rest of the Jews in Galitsia.

Despite recognizing the importance of the Jews to the economy, many officials did not hesitate to include in their reports, statements about the Jews such as the following: The Jews - “wenn ihen das Märkeln, und Schleichhandel nicht mehr gelingt, sich endlich aufś Betrügen, Stehlen und Rauben verlegen.” [“if you no longer succeed in fooling or sneaking, you will finally focus on deceiving, stealing, and robbing.”]. On the other hand, the officials indicated that due to the low standard of living of the Jewish population, they constituted an economic factor, due to their ability to compete with both the other city dwellers and the farmers. In Lviv, the average annual budget of a Jew was 30 guldens. In the eastern province – in cities such as Ternopil and Zalishchyky, an average Jew spent in one month what an average Christian resident spent in one week.

The cities and towns of Ternopil, Gezimalov, Skalat, Zbarazh, Mikolintsy and their surroundings became a special district (XVII Tarnopoler Kreis [Ternopil District]). The city owner and the Jews tried to protect their rights. However, they were not successful for long. The new authorities wished to implement the same policies toward the Jews in the entire country, initially just administratively but, later on, also economically. The Austrian authorities considered the elimination of the Jewish bartenders, an important issue. They conducted a survey among the eighteen district heads in Galitsia. Only eight, including the district head of Ternopil, agreed to the government proposal. The authorities relied on the example of a similar decree in Bukovina[27], where the abolishment was beneficial, and based on that example they hoped that their plan might force the Jewish bartenders

[Columns 37-38]

in Galitsia to seek employment in productive professions[28].

From the start of the Austrian conquest, the Jews bore a heavy tax burden they could not pay. In December 1776, the community representatives, Shimon-Leibel, Hirsh-Shimon, and Mikhael-Yosef submitted an application on behalf of the Ternopil's Jews to eliminate the debt incurred in the poll-tax. They also sought an obligation to be paid for the food supplied to the military by Ternopil Jews[29]. However, the authorities rejected the request. In January 1778, the community asked to reduce the annual tax, totaling 4000 florins, imposed on the Jews of Ternopil and Zbarazh. In March 1778, the Jewish community submitted a request to modify the property and employment tax imposed on the Jews of Ternopil. After the authorities rejected these applications[30], the community leaders appealed to the governor's office in Lviv. However, the central authorities rejected the appeal since the requests seemed unjustified. On the contrary, the district authorities requested to submit a detailed report on the economic situation and the properties of the Jews in Ternopil, which they could use as a basis for rejecting the appeal[31].

All the attempts during the reign of Empress Maria-Theresa did nothing to improve the economic life of Galitsia Jews. It is, therefore, no wonder that the economic situation during the reign of Emperor Joseph II worsened to such an extent that the authorities faced a difficult dilemma – how to improve the shaky and worsening standing of the Jewish population. Joseph II, who held physiocratic economic and political views, tried to resolve the Jewish problem by agricultural settlement.

In 1781, the Galtisian representative was asked to award the Jews government lands to cultivate by themselves. In 1782, a regulation was issued from Vienna that Jewish agriculturalists would only pay half of the marriage- tax, and later on, would be exempt from paying the tax altogether. The preparations for the first Jewish colony began in spring 1785. The preparations were completed with a settlement in Spring 1786 (in the village of Dombrovka near Nowy Sacz). Later on, the second colony of Neu Babyulon [New Babylon], near the city of Bolechiv, was established along with other small colonies, here and there, none of which lasted for a long time.

According to the government plan, out of 1410 settlers from throughout Galitsia, the community of Tarnopol had to provide 84. However, only 79 families actually settled. The Jewish communities in the areas of the settlements had to cover the expenses (based on a budget of 250 florins per family.

Seventy-nine families from Ternopil resided in their settlements as of the end of October 1803[32]. These results, which were included in the report by the Galitsian governor office from 12 July 1792, did not satisfy the central authorities. The ministers of the following districts fulfilled their settlement quota (“Sich bei dieser Unternehmung vorzüglich ausgezeichnet haben” [“excelled in fulfilling that requirement”]: Sambor, Stryy, Zhovkva, Zalshitzki, and Zamosc. The following districts managed to fulfill their quota, despite numerous obstacles: Rzeszów, Tarnow, Sendetz[?], Buchania, and Myslenice. Unlike the ministers of the districts listed above, the district minister of Ternopil (like the district ministers of Lviv, Zolochiv, and Stanislaw) received a harsh reprimand and a warning to immediately settle the required number of Jewish families and collect, from the community, the annual contribution of 62 florins and 30 kreuzers per family[33]. However, all of the reprimands and warnings did not bear fruit. In 1882, only 10 families remained in their settlements. All of these families were fully supported by the community[34].

Like all other Galitsia districts and cities, the heavy tax burden caused a deterioration in the economy of the Jewish population in Ternopil. In addition to the “Tolerance-Tax” ([a tax that Jews were had to pay to be “tolerated”], the Jews were obligated to pay paid all sorts of other fees and taxes. Most of the Jews made a living as bartenders. Often, the number of Jewish families was the same as the number of taverns.

[Columns 39-40]

The government did not object to that since forbidding the Jews from working as bartenders meant a reduction in the treasury's revenues.

In terms of tax collection, Ternopil was considered one of the large communities during the initial period of the Austrian regime. The large communities were allowed to appoint, for the purpose of Kosher meat tax collection, a dedicated official with an annual salary of 200 florins and a Jewish clerk earning 350 florins annually[35].

A “Tolerance Tax” of 11,395 florins was imposed on 2279 Jewish families of the Ternopil district in 1790 alone. Only 10,227 florins were actually collected, resulting in a debt of 1,168 florins. A debt of 482 florins was also carried over from 1789[36]. The authorities in Lviv then suspected that the communities bribed the officials to postpone the payment of the debts. The suspicion grew particularly after the community asked to leave the district office in Ternopil, at the same time when the authorities were contemplating moving it from there in October 1790. The communities accounts were audited to investigate whether the officials received any gifts.

An additional factor that contributed to the deterioration of the economic situation of Ternopil's Jews in that era resulted from the declaration of Brody as a free city (zollpolitik). The result was that the merchants in Brody, who were the main customers in fairs, stopped attending the fairs at Ternopil, which adversely affected the economy of the city and the Jews of Ternopil. Therefore, the city owner, Seweryn Potowtski, submitted an application in the name of all Ternopil residents to the Viennese government at the end of October 1781. In that application, he asked: “Pease show us kindness, and allow Brody merchants to attend the month-long fairs”. The appeal included a request that the merchants pay the consumption tax (konsum zalle) only on the sold goods and a transit tax on unsold goods” (that was not allowed according to the tax regulations of Galitsia from 1778 (paragraph 58).

In a report from November 1781, the [district] commission announced (in support of Ternopil's request) that paragraph 58 was meant to be applied only to merchants coming from abroad, Therefore, the government should allow Brody merchants to attend the fairs in Ternopil. The commission further explained that although Brody's people were considered residents of an excluded [free] region (ausgeschlossens Gebiet), they were still subjects of the emperor, and as such, they should enjoy the privileges enjoyed by other citizens. The emperor accepted the commission proposal based on his court presentation of the appeal[37].

According to a political census (politische Conscription) held by the Galitsian governor in 1788, the district of Ternopil (the city and the 8 affiliated communities) contained 2596 Jewish families. These families consisted of 2485 men, 2548 women, 1055 boys and 935 girls above the age of one year, and 2123 boys and 1960 girls younger than one year. In addition, the census counted 678 male helpers and 678 female helpers, 69 registered male beggars, and 148 female beggars. Altogether – 6380 males and 6374 females. According to the census, there were 1530 families of type 1, 981 of type 2, 111 of type 3, and 575 poor families.

We learn about the growth of the Jewish population by comparing its numbers to those of 1765 when the last Polish census took place[38].

Jews worked mostly as bartenders or in retail commerce. However, the number of Jewish artisans, other than tailors or bakers, continued to grow, and the number of Jews employed in other occupations became substantial.

The Patent from 9 February, 1784 [a constitution of the Austrian Empire promulgated in the form of letters patent] included the prohibition of the production and sale of mead, liquors, and beer by Jews and set the deadline date as the beginning of 1787. The decree included an exception for city Jews who had personally worked as bartenders at their homes, as of 5 November 1784. The permit was provided only to them for life and it was not transferable. It also required a special license from the district offices. The decree meant an economic disaster for thousands of Jews throughout Galitsia.

The community leaders of Lviv decided to submit an appeal to Vienna, contesting the decree. The leaders submitted that appeal in the name of all the Jews in the state. Though orders had been already issued, the governor recommended approving the appeal stating that implementing the decree would leave thousands of Jews without the means to make a living. That would force them to seek employment in despicable professions. The governor recommended delaying the implementation of the decree by three years and allowing the Jews already employed in the sale of liquors to continue their employment in that profession for life. The governor claimed that the government should not blame the Jews for causing drunkenness among the peasants. He stated that the blame should be placed on the estate owners who lease the taverns to the Jews to increase their revenues by all means possible. The authorities in Vienna did not accept these claims, stating that the Jews had a sufficient amount of time since 1772 to seek other occupations. Nevertheless, they submitted a request to the emperor to postpone the implementation of the decree until the end of 1787. To avoid bad publicity, they suggested not publicizing the delay. The emperor rejected the claim and ordered on 29 January 1787 to immediately execute the decree without any delay.

[Columns 41-42]

The emperor declared that estate owners who would not strictly implement the decree, and hold on to Jewish lessees, would be punished[39].

In 1791, the authorities prohibited the Jews from residing in villages and leasing taverns, brewers, and flour mills there. That decree harshly hurt the Jews economically. The communities in Galitsia, including Ternopil, sent a delegation to Vienna who submitted a written request to annul that decree. Their application was rejected by the authorities. They used the excuse that the Jews were not allowed to nominate their own representatives without a license from the government[40].

Despite the severe punishments, the Jews found ways to continue selling liquors in the villages. They succeeded to such an extent that many years later, in 1828, the authorities found it necessary to contact the district ministers to explain why the Jews violate the prohibition so frequently? The authorities asked for means that should be taken to combat that phenomenon. The district minister of Ternopil understood well what his officials understood - that the Jewish bartenders are not allowed to work in other professions. He recommended abolishing the ban, particularly since the Jews were not exploiting the peasants like in the previous generations. He stated that if the prohibition cannot be abolished, the Jews who violate it should be deported out of the country[41]. The truth was that this prohibition was not enforced in all cases because the estate owners were interested in owning taverns and liquor distillers, and they were the ones that helped the Jews evade this decree.

In addition to the displacement of the Jews from their traditional occupations, the authorities imposed compulsory army service and new taxes. One such tax was the candle tax, which was imposed according to the suggestion by the school supervisor, Hertz Homberg, who received 2% of that revenue.

The tax burden kept increasing year after year and oppressed the Jews in Ternopil.

Therefore, the Jewish population breathed a sigh of relief when Ternopil and its district were transferred to Russia in 1809.

In 1788, Hertz Homberg opened the first [secular] Jewish school (Jüdische Normalschule) in Ternopil. Hirsh Eizenshtetter, who received an annual salary of 200 florins, was employed as a teacher in the school[42].

In 1806, all of the Jewish schools in Galitsia, including the school in Ternopil, were abolished. During the same period, the enlightened Yosef Perl began his efforts to establish a Jewish school based on his views about Jewish education.

Perl was not a fan or follower of Hertz Homberg the “enlightenment pioneer” in Galitsia, and his [assimilating] entourage. He did not communicate with him personally and absolutely objected to Homberg's educational method [which did not have any Jewish content]. That method was resented by the Jews. In his youth, Perl saw with his own eyes that Homberg's school, “which was founded by an order from the top in 1786”, did not have any influence. Perl himself did not study in any elementary school.

In 1729, when Perl was still a young man, he accompanied the Ternopil district's rabbi, R' Shmuel, son of Moshe-Pinkhas Falkenfeld in his visit to the home of Polish noble Franciszek Korytowski (owner of the Plotitz estate and later the owner of Ternopil). The Polish noble asked the rabbi: “why aren't the Jewish people interested in general education and why are most of their teachings religious in nature?” The noble also asked: “why weren't the Jews involved in agriculture and why didn't they wish to be like the rest of the people?”[43]

These questions did not leave any impression on the rabbi and the Jewish community leaders since they all adhered to their tradition and customs and considered those questions by Christians to be antisemitic in nature.

However, Perl himself, was still a young man then, “whose heart was still open and full of feeling”. He did not think that the questions were antisemitic. He considered the questions by the Christians as coming from true concern, and the wish of transforming the Jews to be educated and happy people. That view motivated him to study and become proficient in general secular sciences and languages. He was already thinking about the need to establish a secular school for the Jewish youth. Since he frequented Vienna for his business, he began his efforts there, during the years 1808 – 1809[44], to receive a government permit for a school. However, the war [The “War of the Fifth Coalition” was a European conflict - a part of the Napoleonic Wars] put his efforts on hold.

[Columns 43-44]


The 1809 war between Austria and Napoleonic France ended with a treaty signed on 14 October 1909 in Schönbrunn, Austria. According to the treaty, Austria lost western and southern areas. It also lost substantial areas in Eastern and Western Galitsia to Napoleon's allies, the Russians and the Duchy of Warsaw. The Duchy of Warsaw annexed the districts of Krakow and Zamość (altogether an area of 961 million square miles). Russia received an area in Eastern Galitsia originally annexed by Austria during the First Polish Partition (with a population of about 400,000 people). It was agreed that the final borders would be determined by representatives of Austria and Russia. Russia, which was interested in getting a foothold in eastern Galitsia for a long time, was finally given its wish.

On 9 October 1809, the Austrian delegation to mark the borders was chosen in the emperor's bureau. The delegation consisted of two commissioners: Field marshal Friedrich-Heinrich Graf Bellegrada, and Graf Christian Wurmser, who was the civil governor of Galitsia during the period 1806 – 1809. The advisor and the head of the presidential commission in Lviv, Ernest Bogopel Kortum, a true bureaucrat from the period of the Austrian regime, joined the delegation as an official and secretary for special services. His office was relocated to Bielsko-Biala, as Lviv was still held by the Russian army.

Colonel Stavitski was sent as the Russian representative. It was decided, by the representatives of both countries, as early as 11 November 1909, that the district of Ternopil would be handed over to Russia. The district minister was then Baron von Dykeh. The Russian forces headed by Prince Golitsyn took over the Ternopil district on 15 December 1809.

The entire province was officially transferred to Russia on 15 June 1810. Its total size was 121 million square meters, 65 million of that was from the Ternopil district, 2 million square miles from parts of the Zolochiv district, Berezhany (7 msm), and Zalishchyky (47 msm). The province included 7 cities[45], 25 towns, and 484 villages (altogether 516 settlements). It contained a population of 349,015 people, 60,508 houses, 54,711 horses, 9 mules, 38,030 oxen, 35,028 cows, and 98,453 sheep. Overall, it was a valuable asset. There were two estate holdings of the Austrian government in the province. The first, the estate of Ust'ye / Biskopia, was valued at an estimated 3,523,934 florins. The other was part of the village Biala near Chortkiv, valued at 122,500 florins. [Before the war], the Jewish Ignaz Bronstein wanted to purchase the latter[46]. He offered a third of its value, so Emperor Franz [Joseph] ordered to cease the negotiations since the offer demonstrated disrespect for the kingdom.

Following province's official handover and the retreat of the Austrian armies from their bases, the Russian civil representative, Senator Ignazi Theyls arrived at Ternopil on May 10, 1810. He was tasked to organize the civil administration and was nominated as the provincial governor.

On 11 May 1810, Theyls published a proclamation, on his own initiative but in the name of the Russian government, that the Russian Tzar would like to award his new subjects the rights enjoyed by other nations under his rule. Disputes erupted between him and the Austrian representative, Baron von Dykeh, so the latter left Ternopil in 1810.

In fact, the population was satisfied with the new regime after the oppressive regime of the Austrian bureaucracy. Theyls, who ruled Ternopil for more than 5 years (from 15 June 1810 until 6 August 1815), first made an effort to organize his administration according to the Russian format, employed in other Russian states. Before coming to Ternopil, he served as the governor of the Bialystok District, which was annexed by Russia in 1807. Therefore, Theyls had substantial administrative experience. He was an ethnic German from Courland and was very familiar with the structure of the Prussian and Austrian administrations. He tried his best not to abolish the administrative bodies of Austria at once. He actually kept the district offices but nominated Russian officers to replace the Austrian emperor's officials (Hauptmann). Unlike the Austrian officialdom, he strove to maintain good relations with the Polish nobility, because he considered that the best way to bolster the Russian rule. Based on that principle, he established the “Ternopil Committee” (“komitet Tarnopolsky”), which consisted mainly of Polish nobles, as the highest-ranked ruling body. He also awarded the lower-ranked positions to Poles and set Polish as the official language of verbal and written communication with the population, replacing German. By implementing these changes, he managed to gain the support of the Poles.

[Columns 45-46]

The Polish Mikhael Starzynski, a member of the Polish Sejm and the assistant to Governor Theyls in Bialystok, was nominated to be the assistant of the governor Theyls in Ternopil. His role was to mediate between the Russian authorities and the Polish nobility. Despite the above-mentioned liberal steps, the main objective of the Russians was to eventually annex the province to Russia.

On 29 July 1810, an official ceremony of the swearing of the population to be loyal to the Russian Tzar was conducted in Ternopil. The Jewish population was sworn in the big synagogue in Ternopil.

The province was partitioned into three counties: Terebovlia [Trembowla], Ternopil, and Zalishchyky, each headed by a “Gorodnitzi”[?]. In Zalishchyky – Pavel Bartosiewicz, In Terebovlia – Jan Hilferding, and in Ternopil – Zankovski. The committee bureau in Ternopil consisted of four departments handling civil, judicial, political, and governmental affairs. An office of Senator Theyls was located in Ternopil near the district committee bureau.

To gain the support of the Polish nobility, besides the district committee and offices, another institution – the “Nobility Marshal” (marszalek szlachjty) was established. The noble marshal was selected from among the estate owners in the three counties, nominated by Theyls, and approved by the Tzar.

Franciszek Korytowski, who bought Ternopil from the Potowtski family in the 19th century, was elected governor of Ternopil county.

There were no major changes in the administrative area. In fact, the same administration institutes remained from the Austrian regime. One change was introduced in the organization of the Judicial system - a municipal court was established in the city of Ternopil. The court consisted of the mayor and four advisors – two Christians and two Jewish. The Russians did not introduce any major changes in the taxes. In terms of taxes on Jews, the “Tolerance Tax” and the “Class-Tax” (klasowy) remained, both with a 50% addition. These taxes were in addition to other taxes and fees imposed on the Jews during Austrian rule. Unlike the custom during the Austrian regime, the collection of Jewish taxes was not leased. The authorities did not evaluate the ability of the taxpayers to pay the taxes. Instead, evaluation committees consisting of the population representative were tasked to do that. Taxes were paid directly to the government treasuries. To prove the superiority of their financial administration over the Austrian financial administration (which went bankrupt in 1811) the authorities collected only paper currencies according to the exchange rate of two paper Rubles per Rubel coin.

Compulsory military service was imposed only on the Christian population. In general, the Jews enjoyed reprieves that were not available during Austrian rule. There were 13 Jewish communities in the county of Ternopil, where no changes were imposed by the Russians. It is no wonder, therefore, that the Jews liked Governor Theyls. Thanks to his efforts, the Russian government abolished all the restrictions the Austrians imposed on the Jews and allowed them the freedom of purchasing homes and lands. Moreover, it approved all purchases even in cases when the sellers were Christians[47]. During that period, Ternopil and Zalishchyky Jews purchased, with the approval of the Russian government, 57 houses from the Christians[48].

At that period, there was not even a single school in the entire province of Ternopil[49]. Two government schools in Ternopil and Zalishchyky were closed to save money. Yosef Perl decided then to renew his efforts to establish a Jewish school.

Yosef Perl was the most prominent figure in the life of the Jewish public at that time. He was born in 21 Kheshvan 5534 (1773) in Ternopil. His father, R' Todros was a wine merchant, and for some time, the lessee of the Meat-Tax[50] and mills in Ternopil. As a pious Jew and a stubborn “Mitnaged” [Opponent to Hassidism] he gave his son a traditional education.

Yosef, who worked in his father's business, used to travel to Hungary where he bought wines and Vienna where he sold honey, milk, wax, and agricultural products. Later on, he partnered with his father and his brother-in-law, R' Yitzkhak-Leib Atlas. He also was a lease holder, which acquired him some opponents in the city who complained to the authorities that he oppressed the citizens[51]. He succeeded in his businesses and amassed a vast fortune.

In his youth, he aquatinted himself with the traditional Haredi melamed's [religious teachers] and the teaching methods in the Kheders. The stories of Sheftel Horowitz made great impressions on Yosef Perl in his youth. Horowitz authored the book: “Vavei Ha'Amudim” [“Columns with Vav-Shaped - Struts” - The holy temple contained columns headed by struts in the shape of the Hebrew letter Vav] about his father the SHLAH [Yeshaia ben Avraham Ha-Levi Horowitz, known as the SHELAH after his book “Shnei Lukhot HaBrit” [“The Two Tablets of the Covenant”]. In the book, Horwitz stated that his father was jealous of the Sephardic Jews in Amsterdam who maintained the school “Etz Khaim” [“Tree of Life”]. In that school students, learned religious [and modern] studies according to an organized curriculum and teaching methods.

[Columns 47-48]

Since reading the book, Yosef Perl dreamt about establishing a similar school in Ternopil[52]. Besides the Talmud and the rabbinic literature, he studied Kabballah books and became a Hassidic Jew, much to the displeasure of his father. The latter accepted him as a partner in his businesses to distance him from the Hassidim and Hassidism.

In 1801, Perl traveled to Brody on his father's business and met the enlightened poet Dov Ginsburg (1776 – 1811) there. Under the poet's influence, Perl became close to the enlightened circles. During his trip to Brody, Lviv, and Zhovkva, he got to know Mendel Lefin, Nakhman Kromkhel, S. Y. Rappaport, Ya'akov Shmuel Bik, Yitzkhak Erter, and Shimshon Blokh.

Perl studied languages and secular sciences leaving Hassidism entirely and becoming its enemy. However, he did not abandon tradition, although he was not pious or Haredi. He insisted on keeping realistic commandments and was an opponent of the Brody's [assimilating] enlightened, who abandoned tradition and religion altogether. These differences of opinion were the reason for the hatred Brody's enlightened felt towards him. As mentioned in Dr. Letris's book[53]: “He resented the people in Brody and its leaders. While Perl came to know his advocate and admirer, Dov Ginsburg, Brody people complained and talked about the fact that they disagreed with Ginsburg's opinion”.

As mentioned above, in 1809, Perl took the first steps while in Vienna, to secure a permit to establish a Jewish school based on his teaching philosophy. However, war events put an end to his efforts then. He renewed his efforts during the Russian rule. Undoubtfully, Yosef Perl was helped by the enlightened author Mendel Lefin (1749 – 1826), who resided in Brody and Ternopil at the time. After all, it was Lefin, who proposed in 1792 to establish a Jewish school as part of his plan for remedying the Jewish situation. The plan was formed, in the Polish Sejm in 1788 – 1792, under the initiative of Adam Czartoryski, for the “Committee for the Solution to the Jewish Problem”. Lefin considered establishing Jewish schools as the most effective mean to change the lifestyle of Polish Jews. The schools were meant to direct the Jews towards becoming useful citizens by remedying their social and professional status[54]. Perl's ideas, mentioned in his memorandums during the Russian rule and later on to the Austrian authorities, were similar to Menakhem Lefin's proposal.

In 1812, he alerted the Jews in Ternopil about the need to establish the school. In his proclamation, he announced that: “Anybody who is not blinded or dazzled [by religious views], must admit that the traditional education and teaching of the Jewish children are harming their bodies and souls. The influence of the melameds and their helpers is absolutely harmful. It is a miracle that we can still find decent and educated people among the Jews”. In his proclamation, Perl mentioned R' Yeshaia Horowitz, the author of SHELAH [“Shnei Lukhot Ha'Brit”], who commented on the sorry state of the Jewish education in Poland and demanded to emulate the Jews in Amsterdam, who established schools where the Jewish youths enjoyed systematic and organized modern schooling. The [district] governors also showed their interest in improving the poor state of education among the Jews and tried to improve it. The Russian Tzar, in his order form 9 December 1804, promised: “that improvements in the education of the Jewish youths would be executed with fatherly love”. He recognized that [a modern] education can lift the Jewish nation from its degraded state. The Tzar indicated that the time had come for actions by taking advantage of the encouragement given by various elements in the society. Perl discussed his views with many people, who expressed willingness to help, according to their ability, to establish an educational institution. He also found many influential supporters among the Christians, who were willing to contribute to that effort. Perl announced that he had already purchased an appropriate land on Zbarazh Street. He turned to Ternopil Jews to contribute, each according to his ability, to the construction of the building. At the end of his proclamation, Perl proposed to form a committee to manage the project[55].

Perl turned to Korytowski, whom he knew from his youth when the latter served as the Ternopil [district] governor, and at the end of the Russian rule, as the governor of the entire province. He requested that Korytowski help finance a Jewish school. It is logical to assume that Korytowski assisted him in his lobbying Senator Theyls.

In his memorandum[56] issued in 1812, Perl expressed his negative view of the traditional Jewish pedagogical methods. He described, in detail, the essence of the education in the Jewish Kheders, including their physical appearance, the melameds, and their teaching method. He gave a gloomy picture [of the traditional Jewish education system]. Perl judged the people involved with the traditional Jewish education field harshly and called them – “people with no integrity, loafers, who lack any pedagogical training and general knowledge”. Perl mentioned that the only exceptions were those melameds who taught Gemarah, which required good skills. Despite its inadequacy, that education system involved substantial costs (maintenance of Kheders buildings, teaching tools, salaries for the melameds and their assistants, etc. …).

Despite Perl's objection to the education in the Kheders, he was not a fan of the pedagogical methods of Hertz Homberg and his teachers, who generally lack knowledge and education. Perl called them “lustful gangs”. He considered them “the new anti-Semites” who “poison the youth and trample with their feet, everything good”[57]. Perl's objectives were not to educate scholars, but people with practical knowledge, good Jewish citizens with good virtues, by “teachers who are loyal friends

[Columns 49-50]

of our nation”. He considered the Talmud as a basis for the tradition and insisted on teaching it in his school. He also proposed that the students were to be tested on their Talmud knowledge every half a year by the district rabbi. He adopted fierce criticism against the extremist views of Homberg's teachers regarding religious studies.

Perl was interested in pedagogic literature and searched for the golden path for the Jewish school that would meet the requirements of the Jewish people. His view was that the school should blend general and Jewish studies without violating the principles of the Jewish religion. His opinion was that the school's objective was to teach the students practical professions.

Senator Theyls received Perl's proposal amiably because of the desire of the Russian government to gain the support of all parts of the population, including the Jews.

Theyls particularly liked the plan laid out in Perl's memorandum from 1812. In that memorandum, Perl explained the shortcomings of the traditional education system on one side and the deficiencies of the schools founded by Homberg on the other. Theyls also liked the way Perl expanded on his views about pedagogical methods, based on a gradual approach of acceptance rather than through enforcement.

In his memorandum, Perl indicated that the curriculum for boys should be based on the Jewish tradition and the Hebrew language. He recommended having a house of prayer at the school, like the one established by Israel Jakobson (1768 – 1828) in his school in Seesen am Hartz. His view was that a house of prayer would enhance the parents' trust in the school. In addition, any revenues from the house of prayer could contribute school's budget. In establishing that house of prayer, he later laid down the foundation for a modern synagogue in Ternopil. Prayers in that synagogue were conducted silently, as opposed to other Galitsian synagogues, in which it was customary to shout while praying. The district rabbi gave several sermons during the year in that synagogue[58].

According to Perl's memorandum, the proposed school would contain four classes, and studies would last eight years [for boys]. The teaching language would be German. The Hebrew studies would include grammar, the bible (with German commentary and translation), and starting with the third year, Mishna with light commentary. Besides Yiddish writing, the general studies would include reading, arithmetic, calligraphy, and accounting. Beginning with the fourth year the curriculum would also include household and farming management, natural history, geography, and rhetoric. Studies would include French and Polish and also Italian and music electives. Perl also intended to establish an additional class for school graduates who wished to become proficient in rabbinical studies. Perl suggested that a city rabbi or a Talmud scholar[58] would teach that class.

Perl proposed that the learning for girls would be five years long (ages 5 – 10). The curriculum would include only German and Russian, as well as some religious studies and ethics, Yiddish writing, household management, arithmetic, and handcraft.

Perl insisted that the teachers would meet the requirements of an appropriate level. He also insisted that the teachers would receive wages that would enable adequate livelihood. He proposed that the school budget would be covered by a minor raise in the Meat-Tax, and tuition imposed on the wealthy children. The poor children would be exempted from paying tuition. An overseeing committee would consist of municipal representatives, the Ternopil school committee members, and the school principal.

The construction of the building commenced following Theyls' approval. It was financed by contributions from Christian philanthropists and wealthy Ternopil Jews, particularly merchants, whose economic situation improved remarkably during the Russian rule (their trade with Russia brought substantial revenues). Perl himself, whose wealth increased substantially during that period “due to profitable businesses”[59], contributed large sums. Money was also secured from the sale of seats in the house of prayer. Perl provided the school with six rooms in his private home until the completion of the construction. The school opened in September 1813 with 16 students[60].

In 1814, the number of students grew to 24, and in the following year to 36. The school building was inaugurated on the holiday of Shavuot [September] 1815. It contained a house of prayer with 130 seats for men and 63 for women.

Ya'akov Neiman was nominated as principal[61]. The teachers were: Moshe Friehling[62], and two Talmud teachers – Yitzkhak Mikhael Munies[63], and Meir Koreh. The latter was replaced in 1816 by Shimon Reis.

[Columns 51-52]

After Neiman left the school in 1817, no new principal was nominated. Only in 1820, Perl agreed to take on himself the management of the school. Moshe Friehling was nominated as the acting principal.

A fourth teacher, Moshe L. Shulbaum, who was previously a teacher in Dynow, was nominated as the fourth teacher in the school.

In 1814, a teacher of the Polish language and crafts, Elizhbieta Shyemanovska, joined a teacher of the girls' class. The Hebrew author Aryeh Leib Kinderfreind[64] served as a teacher in the school for a few years (1788 – Zamosc [Zamoshetz], 1837 – Brody).

In 1815, Perl published a pamphlet in German containing a review of the curriculum and teaching methods:

Kurze Übersicht des in der Tarnopler Freyschule israelitischen Freyschule eigngefuehrten Lehrplans, nach dem der Unterricht, in allen Classen dieser Schule, ertheilt wird. Zur Befriedigung derjenigen, die von dieser Lehranstalt eine genauere Kenntnis zu haben wuenschen herausgegeben.” [“A short review of the curriculum of the Ternopil Free Jewish Day School, according to which the instruction in all classes of this school is given. Published for the satisfaction of those who wish to know more about this school.”].

Perl drew special attention to the religious studies portion of the curriculum, as he appreciated the importance of the Talmud in the Jewish people's life. The school also issued a pamphlet about the rules of behavior in the school:

Verhaltungmassregln für die Schüler des Tarnopoler iaraelitischen Freyinstituts, wie solche sich in ihrem ganzen Betragen, sowohl zu Hause als bezm Gebete, wie auch in der Schule, vor, waehrend und nach dem Uunterrrichte aufzfuehren haben. Gezogen aus den Schulgesetzen, zur bequemen Uebersicht der Buchdrueker und Buchhaendler” [“Rules of conduct for the students of Ternopil Free Jewish Day School regulate how the students should behave at home, in prayer, and at school, before, during, and after the lessons. Taken from the school laws, for a convenient overview of book printers and book dealers.”], (1815)

Perl also edited and published the textbooks for the school since the textbooks for the general school have not suited to the needs of the Jewish school in Ternopil[65].

The Russian authorities greatly appreciated Perl's work and treated him with extraordinary fondness. Therefore, it is no wonder that Tzar Alexander I awarded him, on 20 September 1816 (a year after Ternopil was returned to Austria), a gold medal as an appreciation for his educational and cultural work during the Russian conquest[66].

In addition to his educational work, Perl devoted time to literacy work. During the years 1814 – 1816, he published a Hebrew magazine for the youth called “Tzir Ne'eman” [“Faithful Envoy”].

With these projects, Perl laid down the foundation for the fame of Jewish Ternopil as an important center of the enlightened movement processes in Galitsia for 33 years.

According to the Austrian-Russian treaty agreement, signed in Vienna on 3 May 1815, Russia returned (paragraph I) the entire Ternopil province to Austria. That paragraph was added (as paragraph V) to the final treaty agreement of the Viennese Congress on 9 June 1815.



After the Viennese Congress signed the final agreement, the Austrian authorities ordered the Austrian governor in Galitsia, Baron Frantz Hauer, to make all the necessary preparations for the transfer of the Ternopil province back to Austria. However, Senator Theyls, who had never accepted his government's relinquishment of the Ternopil province, did not forgive the Tzar, or mainly the Tzar's advisors, for allowing the Tzar to make such a shameful Russian policy mistake. He acted on his own and imposed many difficulties during the implementation of the province return. He notified the Lviv representative of the Austrian governor that he had not received any instructions from Saint Petersburg about the transfer of the province. He had notified Lviv that the instructions for the transfer had been received only on July 25th, 1815,

Companies of the Austrian army entered Ternopil on July 30th, 1815. A proclamation by Theyls about the transfer of the province was issued on August 6th. The formal transfer of the province to Austria was completed with the hoisting of the Austrian national emblems on the government buildings.

In the negotiations between the Austrian representatives and Theyls, the latter did not show any courtesy. He demanded to receive the sums of money of all taxes for which the due dates were before June 20th. However, the Austrian representatives refused to forego these quite substantial sums.

As in any other transition period, the Jews suffered the most. The Cossacks oppressed them, the customs inspectors harassed them with accusations that they were smuggling goods, and extorted money from them. Theyls responded to the Austrian complaints about these attacks that he issued specific rules about people who were violating the law. The Austrians, who had already encountered his negative stance, did everything they could to get rid of him as soon as possible.

The accounting agreement with the Russian administration was signed on August 19th, 1815. Senator Theyls and the chairman of the Ternopil's committee, Baumgarten left the city on August 22nd.

[Columns 53-54]

With that, the Russian rule ended, and Ternopil became an Austrian city again.

After the transfer of Ternopil to Austria, the Jews continued to pay the same taxes they had paid under Russian rule. The Jews were requested to pay a meat tax of 120,808 florins and a candle tax of 96,108 florins from November 1st, 1815 to October 31st, 1816[67].

The community submitted a request to reduce the supplement on the Tolerance Tax by 90,046 florins because the leased taxes provided the government with a sum of 104,564 florins, which was budgeted. By doing that, there were sufficient amounts left to cover the Tolerance Tax. The request was denied by the government[68].

A more complicated issue was the houses purchased during the Russian rule. In 1805, a decree was issued which forbade Jews in towns and cities of Galitsia, except Brody, from purchasing houses. The decree also disallowed Jews to purchase houses owned by Christians who wanted to sell their houses, which they originally bought from Jews, back to Jews. During the Russian rule, the authorities did not enforce the ban and approved every purchase made by Jews.

On 16 December 1816, the governor's office in Lviv issued a regulation, which required all the homeowners who brought the houses [from Christians during the Russian rule] to sell them back to Christians.

After the regulation has been publicized, 57 homeowners in Ternopil and Zalishchyky submitted a request to approve the houses they bought during the Russian rule from Christian sellers. The homeowners supported their request by the claim that the Russians annulled the Austrian laws concerning the Jews and approved the purchases.

Galitsia governor in Lviv was convinced by these claims and proposed to allow the Jews to keep the houses they owned, beyond the letter of the law. He stated that the request would be approved for purchases that had been registered and approved, with the Ternopil's real-estate register, before 6th August 1816 [should be 1815?], and in Zalishchyky before August 8th, 1816 [should be 1815?].

The central authorities did not agree with the governor's proposal. They only approved the house purchase by Ya'akov Neiman, who was the principal in Perl's school, because of his rights in education.

However, after negotiations, the central authorities acceded and allowed the homeowners to keep their houses for life. However, the houses would have to eventually be sold only to Christians[69].

The following Court bureau's resolution was announced on 14 April 1818: “Jews residing in Ternopil district, who acquired Christian houses during the Russian rule, and registered their purchase by 6 August 1815 in Ternopil and by 8 August 1815, in Zalishchyky (the dates by which the province was returned to Austria), and thus formalized their legal ownership of their house, are hereby receiving a confirmation of their legal ownership for life. However, if the house is sold, it must be sold only to Christians”[70]. That was how the painful problem was solved.

Additional problems arose besides the issue of house ownership. There were cases that the Russian authorities awarded Jews to occupy professions forbidden for them by the Austrian regime. For example, the Austrians did not allow Jews to own printing houses (except in Lviv). During the Russian conquest, in 1812, Nakhman Finlish, a relative of Yosef Perl, was awarded the privilege to establish a German-Hebrew printing house in Ternopil[71]. That printing house was established because of the closure of the Hebrew printing house in Zbarazh, which existed for only one year – 1811. When the printing house was transferred to Ternopil in 5573 [1812], it was owned by the two partners, Ya'akov Auerbakh and Nakhman Finlish. The printer R' Benyamin son of Avigdor from Zbarazh was also connected to that printing house. The first Hebrew book printed in Ternopil was probably the book [by Yitzkhak son of Yehuda Halevi]: ”Pa'ane'akh Raza” [“Decode the Enigma”] (5571 [1810/11]). The following attribution appeared at the end of the book: “The workers from Zbarazh at the new printing house in the holy community of Ternopil”. The workers were Mordekhai, son of Tzvi-Hirsh, and the young man Arye-Leib, son of David. Finlish, who leaned toward enlightenment, became the partner of Yosef Perl, who printed in his printing house the calendar and several pamphlets. Starting 5574 [1813], the ownership of the printing house was transferred wholly to Finlish and his partner left the business”[72].

Nakhman Finlish requested [the Austrian authorities] to approve the privilege awarded to him by the Russians. The Austrian government approved his request on July 1st, although, according to the specific regulations, “a Jew is allowed to work in that profession [printing] only in Lviv”[73].

Life returned to normal slowly. Ternopil was a major community (hauptgemeindeh). The following towns were affiliated with the city: Strusiv, Tovste [Tluste], Tarnoruda, Kopychintsi, Dolina [Yanov], and several small Jewish settlements in surrounding villages.

A committee of three members headed the community. The members were elected for three years. The election was held on 15 September, every three years. The people who were allowed to participate in the election were heads of families who purchased a minimum number of candles throughout the year prior (a candle tax was imposed in Ternopil for lighting seven or more candles). The voting right was contingent upon the knowledge of the German language (reading and writing).

[Columns 55-56]

It was also contingent on paying the candle tax (in Ternopil - for at least 10 candles in the year before the election).

The community leaders received – depending on the ability of the community – an annual salary. In addition, they enjoyed exemptions from the meat tax and the candle tax, everything according to the views of the district minister.

Besides the community leaders, there were other positions in the community, which were filled by an election. These positions included the heads of Khevra Kadishah [burial society], the synagogue gabbai [administrator], gabbai of the hospital, assessors, and accountants. The community administration also included the positions of the secretary, rabbi, dayanim [religious judges], and caretakers. The community administration had the authority to represent the Jewish population and defend its rights. It was authorized to sign contracts, handle assistance to the needy, keep an accurate population registry and vital records, collect taxes for which the community leased the collection, supervise the community property, and manage community affairs.

The three Parnases [activists – leaders] of the community at that time were Nakhman Finlish, Mendel Cohenberg, and M. Goldberg. The five members of the community committee were: Avish Goldhaber, Menakhem Dinish, Shlomo Shraga, Pinkhas Horwitz, and Zelig Perl.

The rabbinate was headed by Yehoshua-Heschel BABa"D, who was also the district rabbi (Kreiz-Rabiner). He enjoyed an annual salary of 225 florins paid by the Ternopil community and its affiliated communities. Besides his salary, he also received special payments for registering births, marriages, and deaths (according to 3 categories: I – 7.5 kreuzers, II – 15 kreuzers, and III – 30 kreuzers), and a fee for certificates. He was exempt from paying any community tax.

The economic state of Ternopil's Jews did not change much [after the takeover by the Austrians]. According to the census from 1824, there were 364 retail merchants, 205 bartenders, and 8 tobacco goods merchants (trafickanten). There were 884 merchants in the city of Ternopil alone. Among the 76 large stores registered in Ternopil, 75 were owned by Jews. The number of craftsmen is unknown. In the same year, there were 11,997 Jewish residents and 197,267 Christians.

Most of Perl's effort was dedicated to his school. Upon the takeover by the Austrians, he first strove to obtain an permit from the Austrian authorities. Lviv provincial government's adviser, Alovisi Stutterheim, who received the Ternopil district [from the Russians] and later became the district minister, investigated the state of the school and recommended the governor to approve the request[74]. Nakhman Finlish and Ya'akov Neiman also lobbied on behalf of the school in Lviv immediately after Ternopil returned to Austria.

Following Stutterheim's s initiative, the official overseeing the education committee, Franz Kratter, and the president of the provincial government, Baron Franz Hauer (during his stay in Ternopil in September 1816), visited the school. Stutterheim himself witnessed the students' examination on 19 September 1816. He immediately sent a detailed report to Lviv about his impressions. In his report, Baron Hauer praised the teaching method and the knowledge level of the students.

Perl himself, and his friends in Lviv, did not sit idle and continued their lobbying efforts with the authorities. On 19 October 1815, the provincial government sent a report to the Education Committee (Studien – Kommission) in Vienna, in which the following was written: “When the Ternopil and Chortkiv districts were annexed by the Russians, all the schools that were in existence during the Austrian regime, were abolished.

In contrast, a “free Jewish school” (Israelitische Freyschule) was established in Ternopil thanks to Yosef Perl's lobbying effort and the assistance by the Russian senator Von Theyls. The school was actually established based on the structure of an Austrian upper-level elementary school (Hauptschule). Its objective and program are oriented toward fostering the moral and religious education of the Jewish youth. In addition to the regular classes of an elementary school, they study in that school business and Polish and French languages. An appropriate and sturdy school building was erected. The school is supported by contributions, charity donations, allocations from the kosher meat tax, and Ternopil municipal taxes, which were approved by Senator Theyls to benefit the school enterprise. Von Stutterheim, appointed as the district minister, investigated that educational institution, after the transfer of the province, and recommends approving its continuation”[75].

From the Crown Court's presentation, which was attached in the report's margin, we learn that the provincial government proposed to approve the school as a private school. The approval would be contingent upon having only certified teachers teaching in the school. They also qualified their recommendation on the condition that the school would be operated under the school laws and that the examinations would be public. The provincial government also stated that the school should be placed under the state inspector general, similar to the school in Brody. The province government president, Hauer, supported the provincial government's recommendation with the justification that the German language studies would be more extensive in that school than in the Christian school. He attended an examination and was convinced about the high level of the school. The provincial government's proposal was approved, and the school was recognized under the proposed conditions.

In the meantime, the financial state of the school worsened during the years 1816 – 1817. The principal position was eliminated, and Polish and craft teachers were laid off. The wages were not paid on time, and the deficit grew larger and larger. Until March of 1817, 25,000 florins were invested in the building and furniture.

Perl himself contributed 18,000 florins of his own money. He decided to turn to the government for help, to improve the situation. In a memorandum from 26 March 1817[76], Perl declared that he was willing to hand over the school building and the house of prayer in exchange for the following: 1) A fund of 2000 florins would be established by the community, the interest from which (6%) would support three scholarships, annually.

[Columns 57-58]

2) Perl would receive 3000 florins cash for a period of 5 to 8 years. He would also receive another 800 Rubles he borrowed from the Zbarazh community to finance the construction of the building. 3) Perl would head the school and the praying house for life. He would hire the teachers and would also be allowed to select his successor. 4) Perl and the teachers would be exempt from paying the community taxes. This was supposed to eliminate the possibilities for conflicts. Conflicts could erupt if the management team of the community would fall into the hands of zealots who could harass the enlightened teachers. Perl proposed to establish a school fund which would be financed by the following: a) An addition to the kosher meat tax (the community would collect 2 florins and 15 kreutzers for every bull, 1 florin and 30 kreutzers for a cow, and 7.5 kreutzers for every calf, lamb, and goat); b) from annual tuition of 4 – 9 florins for every student. Poor students would be exempt from paying tuition. According to Perl, the cost budget (for 7 general education teachers, 2 Talmud studies teachers, one assistant, and two caretakers) would be 3,105 florins. He proposed to convert the school from being a private school, to a state-run elementary school, with public privileges under the supervision of the Ternopil Jewish community.

Perl also proposed some changes in the curriculum, such as: adding the study of Italian, drawing, etc. Perl stated in his memorandum that the heads of the community agree to his proposal,

The provincial government supported Perl's proposals before the Learning Commission (Studien-kommission) and highlighted Perl's educational accomplishments among Galitsia's Jews and recommended awarding him a medium golden medal. The Learning Commission passed the memorandum to the Emperor's Bureau with an extensive review of its position, clearly emphasizing that Perl intended to convert his school to a public school. The Learning Commission recognized the need to establish a budgetary fund (Dotationsfund) with the participation of the Jewish population in Ternopil and the adjacent communities. They recognized the importance of that fund to build a school building that meets the requirements of the school law. However, the commission objected to any addition to the meat tax, which might harm the revenues from that tax. The commission recommended that the deficit in the budget would be covered by voluntary donations from the communities. If that could be accomplished the commission agreed to convert the school to a German-Jewish public upper elementary school (Oeffentliche Deutsche jügische Hauptschule) according to the proposal outlined by Perl and under his management.

Emperor Franz, I accepted the commission's recommendations and approved the following resolution in Hermannstadt, in 1817:

“I agree that the Jewish school in Ternopil founded a few years ago, would continue to operate as a Jewish public upper elementary school. My approval is contingent on the establishment of a fund- without relying on canny pressure or coercion and without any addition to the state taxes imposed on the Jews. In terms of governmental supervision, school management, teachers, and study subjects, the school should be organized similarly to the Christian schools. Obviously, instead of the Christian religion studies, the school will teach the Jewish religion. It is, therefore, necessary to allow the Jews to teach subjects that are not taught in the Christian schools. Perl may become the principal of the school. Christian children will not attend the Jewish school”[77].

After Perl had received the approval, he signed an agreement with the Ternopil community on 23 January 1818. In that agreement. Perl transferred the ownership of the school and the house of prayer to the community according to the terms mentioned earlier. Similar agreements were signed with the adjacent communities: Hrymayliv [Gzhimalov], Skalat, Myukulyntsi [Mikulnitza], and Terebovlia [Trembowla]. They were obligated to collect allocations from the meat tax for the school. In return, they were allowed to send their children to school by paying the regular tuition. On 22 December 1819, the community in Zbarazh joined these agreements[78].

On 12 September 1818, the provincial government authorized the “certificate of foundation”, which served as the juridical basis for the school. It also contained the approval of the agreements between Perl and the Ternopil community and the adjacent communities mentioned above. The certificate also included the emperor's resolution from 11 September 1817.

After the approval of the “certificate of foundation”, Perl received the medal of honor in the shape of a medium golden medal. In 1820, the emperor certified the award of the medal of honor. Along with that, the emperor appointed Perl as the principal of the school with the authority to appoint his successor and the teachers under the approval of the appropriate authority[79].

[Columns 59-60]

When the school became a state public school, it became necessary to adapt its building to conform to the requirements of the state general education system. It was also required to adjust the duration of the studies to four years (for ages 7 – 14). That change resulted in the reduction of Jewish studies.

Perl was not satisfied with the achievement from 8 November 1819. During a stay in Vienna, he visited the chairman of the Learning Commission and gave him a letter with a 60-page memorandum[80]. In that memorandum, Perl described the poor state of Jewish education, particularly in the kheders. He repeated the things he wrote in his 1812 memorandum to Senator Theyls. His proposal included the following: a) Abolishment of the education in the kheders, b) Formation of schools like the one in Ternopil, where the studies of the Hebrew language and its grammar, the German translated Torah and Talmud are integrated with the general elementary school studies.

He insisted that the Talmud studies would be taught in a way for the students to derive practical benefits. These schools should only employ certified teachers. The uncertified teachers should not be allowed to privately teach students.

Perl proposed to form an assembly (Synode [Knesset]) consisting of “cultured and enlightened people of the Jewish nation”. The assembly could serve as the representative of the Jewish people towards the government (als Organ des Jüdischen Volkes bei der Regierung [an organization of the Jewish people in the government]). That assembly would manage the Jewish religious affairs and supervise the Jewish education system and its institutions.

In an accompanying letter, Perl expressed his opinion that such an assembly could greatly benefit the government by managing the vital records, which was in a state of neglect in Galitsia. It could also provide official explanations about the religious laws and customs. With the help of the assembly, the government could nominate educated rabbis. They could explain the importance of enlisting in the army and similar matters and guide the Jewish masses (which were incited by zealot rabbis, who objected to any improvements in education}. The assembly could also educate the Jews towards forming a positive attitude towards the government.

As usual, Vianna inquired with the provincial governor about his opinion on that matter. The governor raised a concern that the Jews in Galitsia would consider the proposals as an attempt to enforce a religious reform. He warned particularly about possible resistance to the proposition to abolish traditional religious studies and the proposal to establish a Jewish assembly that in fact did smell like a religious reform. For these reasons, the governor did not support the entire proposal. However, he did support the gradual establishment of Ternopil-like schools. He proposed to place the schools not under the supervision of an assembly but the state inspector. He stated that the government should avoid exerting any pressure and coercion. He suggested that the budget should be covered by local sources and not by imposing new taxes.

Vienna authorities accepted the opinion of the governor[81]. They introduced a change – the supervision would be handled by the bureaucracy of state schools.

In the end, nothing came out of Perl's proposal, although, at the request of the governor, Perl stayed in Lviv for a whole year. The governor organized a meeting of the Jewish leaders in Galitsia. The meeting was organized in connection with the new statute for Galatia's Jews. Perl was among the activists who participated in the meeting and proposed various changes[82].

While in Lviv, Perl spoke to Lviv's Rabbi Orenstein about the entablement of moderately oriented schools that incorporate many concerns of the pious Jews. However, his discussions with the rabbi were in vain. The rabbi, in his extreme zealotry, rejected any attempt at a compromise[83].

In his order from 22 January 1820, concerning the changes that were about to be introduced with the new Jewish regulations, the emperor emphasized that in addition to religious studies, the Jewish youth must study in the Christian schools.

On 17 July 1820, Perl turned to the governor with a proposal to establish a [secondary elementary or middle] school in Brody based on Ternopil's example. Perl stated that, in his opinion, such a school was needed there in light of the opening of the Re'ali school [a 2 years Jewish high school]. He noted his belief that, following the establishment of such a school in Brody, it would be easier to establish similar schools in the rest of the cities since Brody served as an example in all other areas. Though The governor valued Perl's aspiration to elevate the education level among the Jews, he rejected the proposal.

In 1821, the issue of the prohibition of traditional attire was on the agenda. The attire question was discussed as part of the changes associated with the implementation of the new Jewish regulations in Austria and particularly in Galitsia. The provincial government proposed, based on the initiative by several wealthy Jews, to disallow the Jews to wear their traditional attire. That was proposed to be enforced before the final decision about the new Jewish regulations.

In 1821, Perl decided to take advantage of the government's attention to Jewish affairs and proposed “an excellent plan for the Jewish schools' reorganization, which were previously abolished”. Perl suggested placing the schools under the supervision of the kingdom. He also proposed to allow Jews to send their children to state high schools since he believed that education was the only way by which the state of Jews could be remedied. He also believed that education could lead to the adaption of the Jews to the state's requirements could be achieved.

In his memorandum, Perl repeated his proposal from 1819 to establish a permanent Jewish assembly, consisting of enlightened and dependable people, as the representatives of the Jewish people. Perl proposed that the assembly manage all Jewish affairs, supervise the education system, and represent it towards the state.

[Column 61]

The Viennese government did not accept his plan. It only allowed the Jews to establish, at their expense, Ternopil-like elementary schools, that would be placed under the supervision of the Catholic school system. A short while later, the government agreed that these schools would be placed under the supervision of the district offices[84].

Perl demanded to abolish the examinations about the book “Bnei Tzion” [“Children of Zion”] by Hertz Homberg [1812] that Jews who wished to marry were required to pass. He claimed that it was not logical to put obstacles to marriage. He claimed that it was especially true since the Jewish and the Christian schools could not absorb all the Jewish children. It was also because Jews were not inclined to send their children to these schools anyway. Perl's offer was rejected.

In 1825 – 1826, the government offices in Vienna recommended the establishment of a rabbinical academy based on the example of the academy in Padoa. The Galitsia governor expressed his opinion that the requirement to also study in a Christian academic school would destroy the trust of the Jews in their rabbis. In his opinion rabbis should be requested to show that they had studied in the school in Ternopil.

The governor asked Perl for his opinion on that matter. Perl objected to the idea since most of the rabbis and melameds “lack general education” and therefore, the time has not come to establish such an institution[85]. Perl himself intended to establish a special general studies seminary for rabbis and to nominate Rabbi Sh. Y. Rapoport [SHI"R] to head it, but the plan did not materialize because of lack of financial means. Also, the candidacy of SHI"R ceased to be topical, as the latter accepted a position with a meat-tax leasing company in Brody. Perl was upset because he considered it an injustice that SHI"R “consented to allow his name to be used [by a tax leasing company] and agreed work to rob an entire Jewish community”. Perl would not call the tax leasing occupation any other name. Generally, Perl considered it “inappropriate for SHI"R to run around in Brody with the butchers”[86].

In 1826, Perl came up with an idea to widen the scope of the school and remove it from the format of regular schools. He planned to establish an institution where students who did not wish to devote themselves to craftmanship or study in colleges could study advanced Hebrew and general education subjects. He intended to nominate a teacher for the Hebrew studies to head the institution and also serve as a preacher in the house of prayer.

In October of the same year, Perl complained to the authorities, that he would not be able to publish textbooks since there were no other schools like the one in Ternopil, elsewhere in Galitsia.

At the same period, the authorities contacted Perl with a question as to whether he would be able

[Column 62]

Yosef Perl


to add a seminary for Jewish teachers to his school. Perl agreed, and in 1833, Perl added another wing to the building and planned to establish the seminary. However, the plan did not come to fruition[87].

In 1833, when a proposal was submitted to the court bureau in Vienna to establish a Jewish philosophy seminary (Israelitische poilosophische Lehranstalt in Galizien), the authorities requested Perl's opinion. Perl submitted a counter-proposal to establish a rabbinical seminary of six years of studies of the following subjects: Bible, Mishnah, Jerusalem and Babylonian Talmud's, Poskim [Prominent rabbis' Halakha rulings, Midrashim [Prominent rabbis' commentaries of the bible and Halakha], religious books, Hebrew grammar, style and interpretation, translations, theory of logic, rhetoric and homiletics.

Besides the Jewish studies, Perl proposed to include the following general studies subjects: German language, calligraphy, arithmetic, style theory, general history, geography, natural history, mathematics, accounting, Polish and French languages.

[Columns 63-64]

To cover the budget, Perl proposed the following: a) To collect 1800 florins from the fund of the schools abolished in 1806. b) To annul the decree of examinations as a condition for getting a marriage license, and instead, require to pay a fee to the school fund. C) To impose an obligation on Ternopil Jews who did not send their children to the Jewish school to pay tuition.

His proposals about the budget were rejected by the Viennese Learning Commission[88], and with that, the whole program failed.

Perl was convinced that only a total revamp of elementary education would result in an improvement in the lives of the Jews in Galitsia and advance their standing with the government. He also took care of the vocational education of the youth. Like other enlightened people of his generation, headed by Menakhem Lefin, he understood that the social and professional composition of the Jews must be changed. They had to divorce themselves from occupations in retail mercantilism and peddling. Many should be employed in the production process- craftsmanship and industry, the latter of which began to capture a prominent position in the Galitsian economy during his time.

Perl considered that one of the crucial causes for the poor economic state was the crowding of the Jews in the big cities, especially in Lviv. Jews flocked to Lviv in the hope of finding easier life. His phrase: “Je mehr Juden in Lemberg desto mehr decrees in Lande.” [“the more Jews in Lviv, the more decrees in the country”][89], was an accurate description of reality.

In his memorandum to Theyls and the Austrian authorities, Perl first spoke about the need to train the Jewish youth In craftsmanship. For that purpose, he established a special laboratory in his school. He also planned to conduct courses in crafts and establish a special class for that purpose. However, that plan was never materialized.

Perl used the annual profit of 120 florins, derived from the fund of 2000 florins, established as part of the “letter of the foundation' of the school, to place students from his school, who showed tendencies towards craftsmanship, in workshops of Christian craftsmen in Ternopil, Lviv, and even Vienna. Perl chose professions for that program that were not common among the Jews such as locksmithing, tinsmithing, and carpentry. Despite the difficulties and the resistance of the Christian crafts' guilds, the program had some successes. Three locksmiths, two blacksmiths, one glove maker, one builder, and several tinsmiths were trained by that program.

Realizing the possibility for broader activities in that field, Perl developed a plan in 1828 to establish “Verein yur Verbreitung nütlicher Gewerbe unter der Galityischen Judenschaft” [“an association for disseminating industry and useful crafts among the Jews in Galitsia”]. He planned to establish the association on the sixtieth birthday of Emperor Franz I (9 February 1828). Perl developed the plan together with R' Mordekhai-Berish Margaliot, who was a member of the commerce court and an agent of a credit union.

On 9th February 1828, Perl and Margaliot were summoned for an interview with the Galitsian commissioner, Prince Lobkowitz. They submitted him a memorandum containing the plan for the establishment of the association. They also proposed to widen the scope of the association to include agriculture[90].

Lobkowitz allowed them to convene a founding meeting, which took place on 12 March 1828. The following prominent people participated in that conference: Dr. Ya'akov Rappoprt, D. Epstein, Nathan Kolischer, Dr. Kolischer, and Hertz Ettinger - all of them from Lviv. After the level of membership dues was determined, a committee of three members was established to prepare the association's bylaws.

Perl and Margaliot lobbied for the approval of the bylaws and were seen by Chancellor Metternich (on 1st June 1829).

On 24 July 1832, the court bureau prepared a report[91] about the plan. The report stated that: “Perl proposed to establish an association to disseminate useful crafts among the Jews. According to the association bylaws, a member could join the association by paying a membership fee of 200 florins or upon undertaking a 5% lien on one's real estate assets. Jews from outside of Austria would be allowed to become members of the association[92]. The association was obligated to place poor children who wanted to learn a useful craft and who possessed the required skills, in workshops of craftsmen. That would guarantee appropriate training. The association would cover the living and clothing expenses of the students. It would also pay the required tuition and the craftsmen's guild taxes”.

According to the report, wealthy members of the Jewish community had already joined the association and committed to paying the required membership fees. The sum collected became available for the association management, which consisted of the member of the commerce court in Lviv, Markus Margaliot, and others. The association would begin its activities when its capital reached twenty thousand florins.

On 11 April 1833, ten months after the lecture by the court bureau was submitted, the emperor ordered to submit the proposal to the police minister - Sedlintzky. He was tasked with providing his opinion about the association should be established and whether there were no issues associated with its establishment.

Sedlintzky turned, on 4 May 1933, to Lviv's head of police,

[Columns 65-66]

Von Sakher, and asked for his opinion about the association bylaws. The head of police was requested to submit a report about Yosef Perl, his personality, mindset, and standing among the Jews. He was also asked as to whether the association should be allowed to be formed. Sedlintzky received the report two months later and submitted his presentation in writing to the emperor on 8 March 1834[93].

The view of the head of the Lviv police, as detailed in the report, was that the state should not oppose the establishment of the association. He stated that “the establishment of the association was desirable for political and administrative reasons. He also articulated that the association would contribute greatly to the civil assimilation rapprochement of the Jews, including in matters related to the police. That was particularly important since the Jews were politically supportive of the regime. However, he recommended objecting to the second paragraph of the proposed bylaws according to which Jews outside Austrian could join the association. He suggested that government commissars would participate in all association gatherings to protect the interests of the kingdom. The state was interested that its Jewish citizens would assimilate within the general population and become a part of it. That could be achieved by religious, moral, and intellectual education. They could also be directed to occupations that would benefit them and the civil society as a whole. The proposed association would be one of the positive means that would enable achieving that goal. Therefore, he stated that there should be no concern about the establishment of the association, particularly since its members obligated themselves to cover all expenses and would not be a burden on the government. The person who submitted the proposal, Yosef Perl, possessed the appropriate education and had a good name among his people. He was capable and well-positioned to execute the plan and head the association. As a result, Sedlintzky recommended the emperor to approve the establishment of the association, with the change proposed by Lviv's police, which would only allow Jews residing in Galitsia to participate. He also noted that a government commissar reporting to the Galitsian government should always attend the association gatherings”.

Despite the recommendation by the police minister, the emperor did not approve the plan. The founders probably failed to raise the necessary sums, and the approval of the request was postponed for years. The approval was finally given on 11 April 1848[94], nine years after Perl passed away.

Although Perl did not succeed in accomplishing all of his educational plans, he exerted a significant influence over the education field's development. Pioneers in many life fields came out from among the school's students: Expert physicians, orthopedic surgeons, and talented teachers who established similar schools outside of Austria,

Based on the example of the school in Ternopil, the following schools were established by its students or under their influence: In 1822, in Uman; in 1927, by Betzalel Stern in Odesa, and Kishinev. Even the famous principal of the Jewish school in Brody, H. Reitman, was a student in the school. It is no wonder that the orthodox Jews were not pleased with his deeds. They considered Perl a person who disseminated impiousness and resisted him with all of their might. Against their resistance, the enlightened called him; “provides food to those hungry for wisdom”[95].

The orthodox Jews conducted a fierce war against Perl and his school, not only in Ternopil. A short while after Ternopil was returned to Austria, Lviv's Rabbi Ya'akov Orenstein announced a public boycott against the schools in Brody. He claimed that the “city was known, for quite some time, to be an incited city”, and that “Ternopil already established a school where the youth is unfortunately educated in foreign languages and sciences”[96]. “The school's graduates marry women from Lviv and spread “these foreign ideas” among the youth in Lviv. They incite the youth to read books in foreign languages and get accustomed to foreign customs. To prevent this evil, we announce this big boycott on any heads of families who would wed their son or daughter to people from those two cities”. The curses tied to that big boycott were listed at the end of the proclamation. That was how the war was declared against Yosef Perl and his school by the orthodoxy, joined later on by the Hassidim.

In Ternopil itself, people who resisted and boycotted Perl and his school did not walk on the street where the school and the house of prayer were located. The Rabbi of Ternopil, Yehoshua-Heschel BABa"D, and his family also came out against Perl. The rabbi came out often, verbally and in writing that it was forbidden to send children to attend the school.

The community of Zhbarazh submitted an appeal to the authorities in 1819, when the school was awarded a status of a principal Jewish school. The appeal was rejected by Governor Hauer since it was not signed by the heads of the communities but by “Hassidim who object to any form of education”[97].

On August 1827, 23 Batei Midrash in Ternopil[98] renewed their resistance to the school and submitted a letter of protest. However, the governor rejected it by claiming that the letter was submitted by Hassidim circles who object to any form of education.

The fiercest resistance came from Rabbi

[Columns 67-68]

Tzvi Eikhenstein aka Zhidachover and his Hassidim. Rabbi Eikhenstein resided then in Podkamin, and he declared a boycott on the enlightened people of Ternopil in 1822[99].

Perl did not sit quiet and decided to take revenge. He found out that an “association against the Jewish school in Ternopil” was founded at that time. He also found out that the head of the “harmful sect of Hassidim, Hirsh Eikhenstein, was invited by the heads of the Zhbarazh community to come and stay in Zhbarazh”. On 2 January 1827, Perl persuaded the authorities to warn the heads of the Zhbarazh community that the visit by the rabbi from Zhidachev violated the law (announced by the governor in 1824). The authorities were familiar with Rabbi Eikhenstein from the 1818 case of the smuggling of Hassidic books to Galitsia (in collaboration with the Russian Jew, Ya'akov-Meir). They also knew about him from the letter sent by Rabbi Naphtali from Ropshitz. In that letter, Rabbi Naphtali detailed Rabbi Eikhenstein's “bad thoughts” (At the time, Perl was asked by the authorities to explain the content of the letter). The authorities instructed the Zhbarazh community that if the “misleading” Rabbi shows up in Zhbarazh, they must demand to show them his passport or a trip license. If he would not have one, he must be returned “the way they return prisoners”. Even if he had such a certificate and could not explain the reason for his visit, he should be expelled”[100].

In the war against the school, his rivals used all means. Every time the meat tax was raised, they directed the resentment of the masses against the school since part of the addition to the kosher meat tax was given to the school.

The situation became serious on 6th of January when a raise in the meat tax was announced. Somebody declared a boycott, which forbade the Jews from eating meat. Perl's enemies blamed him before the district minister. The district minister threatened Perl that he would close the school[101]. Perl then turned to Lviv, and there, his friends convinced the government commission to annul the threats, and the school continued operating.

Among Perl's rivals, there were some people for the benefit of whom Perl previously lobbied with the authorities. They paid him back with “defaming, cursing, despising, insulting and swearing.” They did not hesitate from “slandering him with the authorities”[102]. Perl was not surprised by their actions. He said that “he knows nature of people, and he did not expect gratitude”. He knew that every beginning would be difficult, even when it came to disseminating education that fitted the time.

Even though Perl's rivals did not hesitate to defame him before the authorities and the Jewish masses, Perl remained the central figure in Galitsia Jewry and the authorities turned to him for advisement on matters related to the Jews.

The authorities consisted of highly-ranked officials with modern views who understood well what was happing in Judaism. They considered Perl as a reformer with broad horizons.

Perl's educational work was also respected abroad by Jews and non-Jews. An unnamed observer described Perl as someone who “acts according to his individual views, and by that, he pushes aside any objectivity”. That observer described Perl with a few appropriate sentences: “Perl is assertive, possesses credible principles, knows what he wants, and fight stubbornly and vigorously over his will. However, he was capable of wasting his virtues uselessly on implementing an idea he likes, for an imaginary benefit for the people”[103].



Perl's literary fight against Hassidism[104], began as early as 1812 – 1820 when he collected material for a book about the Hassidim and their customs.

On 2 December 1816, Perl sent from Lviv a manuscript to the Galitsian commissioner, Frantz von Hauer, whom he knew from the latter stay in Ternopil. He named it: “Über das Wesen der Sekte Chassidim, aus ihren eignen Schriften gezogen” [“About the nature of the Hassidim sect, drawn from their own writings”.

Based on sources from the Hassidic writings, Perl described the historical evolution of Hassidism, its essence, and various sects, and provided details about the prominent leaders who outlined the ways of its development. Perl's approach was rational. He placed the blame for the gloomy cultural and spiritual condition of the Jewish masses on Hassidim.

In the memorandum attached to the manuscript, Perl explained that he wanted, for a long time, to publish an essay based on the Hassidic literature describing the Hassidic cult's customs and its principles. His desire ”to awaken his nation from its deep sleep” drove him to do so. Only the fear of persecution by the Hassidim prevented him from carrying out his idea earlier. However, getting to know the commissioner and his willingness to support any enterprise aimed at elevating the cultural and moral standing of the Jews gave him the courage to act. When the commissioner published his instructions against the zealots' antics – who declared a boycott against the enlightened in Lviv in 1816, and following the orthodoxy outburst associated with the opening of the Re'ali school in Brody,

[Columns 69-70]

Perl decided to print his essay to alert the government about how deeply Hassidim was rooted among his people. He claimed that the goal of “instilling enlightenment among the Jews”, which was in line with the government's policy, could only be achieved with the demise of Hassidism. Perl detailed the reasons for his essay and asked the commissioner to grant him a permit to dedicate the book to him.

In December 1815, the commissioner sent the manuscript to the police minister in Vienna, Graf Sedlintzky, accompanied by an informative report about Perl[105]. He stated that he would not allow Perl to dedicate the essay to him because, as a state commissioner, he would not want to alienate a specific group, even though its zealous principles were against the kingdom's will.

When Sedlentzky received the opinions of the censors for Jewish affairs and religious affairs, he notified Lviv that he would not provide a permit to publish the essay. He indicated that the reason was that it may evoke a negative reaction from the non-Jewish enlightened camp, and on the other hand, would not influence the un-cultured Jews who were not versed in the German language.

Based on those opinions, Sedlentzky ordered to conduct a thorough investigation of the Kabbalah and Hassidic books and to place the Hassidim under the supervision of the police, to choke that evil in its roots.

For his part, Hauer sent a copy of the manuscript to all the district ministers, so that they could familiarize themselves with the essence of Hassidism. Perl, who had received the notification of the prohibition to publish his essay, gave it to the Jewish historian Peter Beer. The latter who was about to publish his book, “Geschichte der Lehren und Meinungen aller bestandenen und noch bestehenden religiösen Sekten der Juden” [“History of the teachings and opinions of all past and existing Jewish religious sects”]. The historian made use of the article in the chapter - “Chassidim oder Beschttianers” [“Hassidim and the followers of the BESHT][106].

The historical documentation proves that Perl did not intend to “snitch”. We should also note that Perl was a Hassid in his youth. He knew Hassidism for all its shortcomings, superstitious beliefs, and nonsenses that prevailed in it, from his personal experience. Perl witnessed the phenomena in the courts of the Rebbes [Hassidic Rabbis], who were brainwashing the masses and acting to strengthen their ignorance. That was why he found it necessary to alert people about the danger of Hassidim to his people and the state. Perl particularly resented the zealotry of the Rebbes, who allowed themselves to violate the orders and laws of the state. As an enlightened person, he considered that injustice against the kingdom.

In his book “Megaleh Tmirin” [“The Revealer of Secrets”] (Vianna 1819), which was the first satirical literary creation in the history of modern Hebrew literature, Perl reached a peak in his harsh criticism of Hassidim. Perl wrote the book in a format of letters exchanged between two Hassidim - the Gabbai [of a prominent Hassidic Admor], Rabbi Zelig Latitzover, and his friend Zeinvel Verkhibekker. Perl used a distorted form of the Hebrew language, imitating the language used in the Hassidic books of the period[107]. Perl wrote the book under the influence of the satires of Crotus Rubianus and Ulrikh von Hutten - “Epistolae Obscurorum Virorum” [“The Letters of Obscure Men”] (1515 – 1517).

The letters dealt with matters of making a living, Hassidism, and their acts. It described the fights of Hassidim against the governor regime, whom they called “the witzer gubernator” [a governor joker]. The Hassidim claimed that the governor hated them since he had received [what the Hassidim called] “the Bukh” [a secular book in Yiddish – as opposed to a religious – holy book] [108], [Perl's], a German written book that defamed Hassidism. The story in the book revolves around the theft of the [Perl's] German essay from the governor. The theft was carried out with the help of the maid of the vice governor and underworld thugs. The Gabbai and his friend intended to burn it. They hoped to find a picture of the author in the essay. They believed that it would have been enough for the rebbe to look at the picture to cause the death of the author. However, according to the story, the theft was discovered, and the rabbi was forced to flee to Eretz Israel.

The main plot is entwined with stories about the harassment of the enlightened by the Hassidim, and hegemonizing of the Mitnagdim [Opponents] (Rabbis who opposed Hassidism) by the Rebbes. The book describes how the rebbes loaned their followers money with an exorbitant rate of interest for “pidyonot” [“soul redemptions”] they administered and lived a life of luxury. The book faithfully describes the economic and social life of Galitsia Jews at the beginning of the 19th century, including all means of making a living in occupations based on “hot air” without a solid basis and in manners detached from the market reality.

”Megaleh Tmirin” made an enormous impression and aroused hatred among the Hassidim. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that the Rabbi of Ruzhyn called Perl – “The Second Yosef, Son of Miryam” (Perls' mother was Miryam).

Perl also wrote his second book - “Bokhen Tzaddik” [“The Test of the Righteous”] (Prague 1938) in the form of correspondence (between Ovadyah Ben Petakhya, a name Perl used as a pseudonym for the author of the book, and his friend R' Moshe Umanir). The book mocks not only the Hassidim. Unlike “Megaleh Tmirin”, which only presents Hassidim in a negative light, in this book, Perl describes the faults in the Jewish society in Galitsia in general, pointing to the need to return to nature and work the land. The location of the plot is Avdari[109], or Brody. On one side, Perl resented Brody and its rabbis, preachers, and “Lomdei Sheur” [people who devote their lives to studying Torah and Talmud]. On the other side, he also disliked the enlightened people (whom the masses called- “Epikoroses” [people who maintain that there is no divine providence]).

[Column 71]

Jewish characters in Galitsia at the first half of the 19th Century


The satire was particularly aimed at the Brody enlightened who boasted about their wisdom and education when in fact, they had received all of their education from catalogs, novels, plays, and mediocre encyclopedias. They talk against studying Torah and demand that Jews become agriculturalists and craftsmen. However, their hidden agenda was to get rid of potential competitors. He blames them for discussing politics, medicine, and legal affairs without really knowing anything about those subjects. Perl claims that no honest men can be found in Brody (he called it Avdari in his book), even among the educated people and the rest of the residents. He claims that the merchants sell inferior and counterfeit goods and go bankrupt to get rich. Their head and soul are in their businesses and they do not deal with the needs of the public faithfully. The innkeepers and the owners of taverns hold rooms for prostitutes and shelter thieves and smugglers. They mix their wine with water and toxic potions. The money exchanger, middlemen, and the slaughterers, melamed's, and craftsmen

[Column 72]

are crooks and swindlers. Perl blames the flattery to the wealthy, pursuit of a life of luxury, and the comfortable life of the Tzaddikim [righteous), for the prevalent corruption.

R' Ovadya leaves Galitsia, moves to Crimea, and witnesses the Jewish colonies established there in 1805. He imagines that he is in Eretz Israel. After seeing the Jewish settlements in Crimea, he concludes that the only way to change the Jews to become a productive element of society is by returning to working the land.

The book “Bokhen Tzaddik” angered Brody enlightened people. One of them published a harsh criticism of the author in the magazine “Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums” [“General Newspaper of Judaism”]. He accused the author of imitating Perl's book -“Megaleh Tmirin” and daring to defame the entire Jewish public in Galitsia, particularly in Brody. The author blamed the big merchants for dishonesty. The anonymous author of the article assumed that the book's author was somebody who opposed enlightenment. However, a short while later, an enlightened person published an article signed by M. L. K. and revealed that “Bokhen Tzaddik” was also authored by Perl[110]. That article was full of praises for the book[111].

From Perl's writings, it is clear that Perl considered Hassidism a movement that did not want to and could not extricate the Jewish masses from the poor social and cultural state they were in.

[Columns 73-74]

However, he did not consider the enlightened camp an active and stable element to execute that historic process either.

There is no doubt that Perl valued cooperation with the government administration. That was also the view held by people of his generation, and one cannot consider his views as ingratiating to the authorities.

Through that collaboration, Perl meant to improve the state of the Jews and their legal standing and place education on a sound foundation fitting the period. He considered it his duty to alert the authorities, whom he trusted, about the faults in the Jewish lives and the need to correct them or eliminate them altogether.

For their part, the authorities asked Perl for his opinion about matters associated with Gaitsian Jews. There is no denial that Perl exaggerated, not once, in his patriotism. He did not refrain from sending memorandums that emitted a smell of “dedication [to the state]”. However, it is unjust to say that Perl “snitched” intentionally, as Dr. Mahler claimed in his book “Der Kampf Zwischen un Khassidut in Galitisye” [“The struggle between enlightenment and Hassidism in Galtisia”][112].

Perl, the enlightened and Mitnaged [A person who opposed Hassidism], saw where Hassidism was leading by taking control of the communities. Rabbis who did not yield to the will of the [Hassidic] rebbes did not endure. All the positions in the communities – the slaughterers, mohels, and gabbais, were captured by Hassidim, who used their power to oppress their opponents[113]. The Hassidim resisted any attempt to improve the Jewish education system. They sabotaged any effort toward changes in the Jewish economic and social lifestyle. Their main objective was to prevent any undermining of their mastery over the masses.

Perl, who acquired European and traditional Jewish education, did not come to terms with that situation principally because he realized that those who were “connected” in the courts of the rebbes were using the “holy war” to accumulate wealth for themselves. Perl knew to distinguish between the Hassidim of the generation of R' Levi-Yitzkhak of Berdichev, who excelled in “praying, charity and freeing of captives by paying ransom”[114], and the Hassidism of his generation who were unscrupulous faithless crooks, whose only goal was to extort money from their followers, rich and poor.

Perl's position about the Hassidism movement was manifested in 1837 when Karl Seyfarth (who presented himself as the representative of Sigfrid Yustus the First, “King of Jerusalem and High Priest”) came out calling the Jewish community to establish a state of Israel and the Kingdom of Zion[115]. On 10 July 1837, the Galitsia Commission turned to Perl, through the district minister in Ternopil, requesting that he provide his opinion about Seyfarth's proclamation. On 27 October 1837, Perl submitted a comprehensive report, which was transferred to the police minister Sedlintzky. In his report, Perl expressed his opinion that Seyfarth[116] did not exert any influence on Galitsian Jews because his views were foreign to them.

In his memorandum, Perl provided a comprehensive review of Galitsian Jews. He divided them into the following four groups: a) the masses, b) the pious-zealots, c) the Hassidim, and d) the enlightened (whose numbers were small). According to Perl, the masses were incapable of thinking or acting independently. He hesitated between the pious and the Hassidim, whose views about the arrival of the Messiah were the same, and there were no chances for Seyfarth to find followers among them. Perl stated that he might be able to find fans among the Hassidim if he adjusted his enterprise according to the interests of the sect and their rebbes since the Hassidim would agree to divert from the religious laws to advance their standing. However, Perl claimed that none of the Hassidim would join Seyfarth's movement for two reasons: 1) Seyfarth's plan would undermine the Hassidim's standing and also because it might reduce the revenues of the charity of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess [R' Meir, “Master of the Miracles”, one of the greatest of the Tannaim of the fourth generation], which mainly benefited the rebbes. 2) Seyfarth's views stood opposite to the Jewish tradition [“Return to Zion” would only be accomplished upon the arrival of the Messiah].

Perl fiercely opposed the collection of money for the “Meir Ba'al HaNess charity”. He insisted that the custom of placing collection boxes in synagogues benefited only the rebbes rather than the settlements in Eretz Israel [which the charity claimed to help]. Perl authored a booklet named “Katit Le'Maor” [“Virgin Oil for Lighting”] as early as in 1822, in which he expressed his opposition to the boxes of Meir Ba'al HaNess charity. He requested a permit to publish the booklet in 1829. Graf Sedlintzky transferred the request to Galitsia's commissioner - Prince Lobkowitz and asked for his opinion. Perl was requested to submit a German translation of the booklet and a copy of the Hassidic proclamations

[Columns 75-76]

calling for handouts to the Meir Ba'al HaNess charity[117]. The matter was dragged on for several years. Perl received the permit only in 1836. The memorandum was published in the same year (5596) in [the periodical of the enlightened movement] “Kerem Khemed” [“Vineyard of Delight”] under the title “Three letter-cards about the charity of R' Meir Ba'al HaNess”[118]. In 1836, when Perl was working on the memorandum regarding Seyfarth's (Sigfrid Yustus's) proclamation, he came across a confidential fundraising effort. The fundraising aimed to cover the cost of the trial in Ust'ye-Zelenoye [Ushitze][119] and the needs of the court of Rebbe Israel of Rozhin. The most amount of money from Galitsia came from the districts of Sanok, Jaslo, and Tarnow. Tzvi Hirsh Mesharet was the one who collected these sums. Only small sums of money were collected in the rest of the districts including Lviv. In the Ternopil district, only the activist David Parnas from Yanov [Dolina] contributed 50 florins. However, the faithful follower of R' Israel Rozhiner, R' Yitzkhak Fishler, an exceptionally wealthy man from Borshchiv and the partner of David Parnas, collected large sums of money. It is reasonable to assume that about forty to fifty thousand florins were collected and sent to Russia[120]. According to Perl, the Jew who murdered the two informers resided in Galitsia [the murder that R' Israel of Rozhin was accused of]. Perl claimed that the murderer received money from Fishler for his living expenses and the expenses of his wife, who remained in Russia.

Based on Perl's memorandum, all the district ministers were requested to investigate “the harmful acts by the Hassidim sect”[121].

Out of his hatred for the Hassidim, Perl demanded that the libraries in the Batei HaMidrash - “Shilkhen” and Kleizlekh” be closed. He requested that the books be transferred to his school's library, which he had planned to establish. He also requested to shut down the Mikveh's [ritual emersion baths], which have been eliminated in Jewish communities in France, England, and Italy and existed only in Poland. He claimed that the Hassidim go to the Mikveh's supposedly for ritual bathing purposes, but in fact, they come for “discussions” and “small talk”, and thereby, they were late for the prayers[122].

Perl's hatred for the Hassidim grew even stronger with the election of Ternopil rabbi at the beginning of 1838. That event resulted in a serious dispute with the Hassidim.



In 5597 (1837), R' Yehoshua Heschel BABa"D, an aged man of 82, who served as the city rabbi for about forty years, left his rabbinical position for an unknown reason (to this day). According to the custom in pious communities, a rabbinical judge would have been nominated as the deputy rabbi. Perl seized the opportunity to elect a modern and educated rabbi as in the communities of Germany and Italy. On his initiative, the district minister, Karl von Sakher, requested that the community invite candidates for the rabbinical position of Ternopil through an announcement in the newspapers[123].

When R' Aharon Frenkel responded to the announcement as the first candidate, Perl advised his friend, Rabbi Sh. Y. Rappaport [SHI"R], to present his candidacy. Thirty-six government-appointed arbitrators were tasked with electing the rabbi. They elected SHI"R with 33 votes. On 23 Kislev 5697 (7 December 1936), SHI"R received the nomination letter on behalf of the Ternopil community.

A harsh dispute erupted just after his election. Disparaging documents against SHI"R and Perl were distributed from Lviv and Ternopil. SHI"R also received threatening letters, which warned him against coming to Ternopil. However, when he received the nomination letter from the district office, he trusted the power of Perl and the protection by the district office so he arrived at Ternopil on Shabbat eve, 16 Shevat (11 February 1838). Perl and one of Ternopil's prominent leaders, traveled to Lviv to accompany him. In Ternopil, the honorable people came out “in chariots and as horsemen” [Genesis 50:9] to greet him in great honor[124].

Nakhman Kromkhel [a Jewish Galician philosopher, theologian, and historian], who moved from Zhovkva to Ternopil in 1837, understood that in light of the then-current situation in Galitsia, the time has not come yet for an enlightened and educated rabbi of the type of SHI"R, and therefore he initially objected

[Columns 77-78]

to SHI"R's candidacy[125].

The election of SHI"R was welcomed enthusiastically by the enlightened camp. People like Samuel David Luzatto, Shalom Cohen, Yosef Almantzi, and Yehuda Yetlis sent the rabbi congratulating letters or praised him in poems[126]. Out of their bitter resistance, the zealots immediately announced a boycott of the pharmacy of Mikhael Perl (Perl's son).

SHI"R gave a sermon at the big synagogue on the first Shabbat, and in the house of prayer of Perl's school on the second Shabbat. The zealots, headed by Hassid Zilberfeld, started a dissention. They turned to Brody's maggid, R' Shlomo Kluger, requesting that he would not recognize SHI"R as the rabbi. The district minister von Sakher was convinced that Lviv's Rabbi, Ya'akov Orenstein, encouraged the dissention. In his report to the governor, from 7 June 1838 the district manager specifically reported: “(Orenstein) geniesst er den Ruf der Sekte (Chassidim) zugethan zu sein und hat auch bei den Tarnopoler Händeln die Hand im Spiele, und ich bin gewiss, dass die hier bestehenden Chassidim schulen nie ins Leben getreten wären, wenn er nilhtjenen Juden, die darin Minian abhalten, willig das Zeugnis ihrer Unbedenklichkeit ausgestellt hätte.[127] [“Orenstein enjoys the reputation of being associated with the Hassidic sect and he also had a hand in the Tarnopol dealings. I am sure that the Hassidic schools existing here would have never come into existence if he had not willingly issued the certificate of their harmlessness to those Jews who attend a minyan there.”].

The opponents of SHI"R gathered in the two Batei Midrash and vilified his name. After the gathering, the district minister, who supported the enlightened, closed down the Batei Midrash.

The fire of the dispute flared up and penetrated every layer of the population. An objective observer who stayed in Ternopil at the time wrote: “The city seems to be in a state of emergency. It looks like it is under attack by its enemies[128]. Resentment dominates, and the rabbi's affair is the subject of all conversations. It takes center stage in conversations in all circles, in the city streets, and among families at home behind the curtains, regardless of age and religion, Jews and Christians alike, men and women, and young men and young women. Quarrels divided families, children beat their friends, who claimed that the rabbi was not a scholar, and the parties resort to indecent means in their war. No wonder that the hatred grew more and more”.

Boycotts were announced daily, and clashes were frequent. Many people were arrested and brought to trial. The municipality found it necessary to publish, on 16 March 1838, a proclamation against the assaults as they disrupted the public order. The government announced that it would not allow calling Aharon Frankel, whom it did not recognize, a rabbi. Any action he took on religious matters, including boycotts, was declared null and void. The municipality called on Aharon Frankel and his associates publicly to cease their shameful actions and avoid disruption of the public order. The government warned Aharon Frenkel and his followers that refusal to obey the request would bring about criminal punishment. “Anybody who would cooperate with them, participates in assaults, or helps propagate the boycott, would be punished with a fine of fifty thalers or by flogging”[129].

The situation became unbearable in the summer of 1838 when the 83 years old Rabbi Yehoshua-Heschel BABa"D died. The zealots spread rumors that the rabbi died from sorrow and shame and that SHI"R caused his death. At about that time, SHI"R moved to the old synagogue and took the place of Rabbi BABa"D, which further angered the zealots. They covered the walls of the synagogue with defamation writings. When SHI"R ascended to the Torah, the Hassidim welcomed him with laughter. On one of the Shabbats, he found his seat covered with tar. In addition to their antics, the Hassidim announced that the synagogue became a place of impurity. They dirtied the stairs to the ark and the pulpit with tar and mud. The enlightened submitted a complaint against some of the zealots, and one of the zealots was sentenced to flogging in public. Other zealots were sentenced to jail terms[130].

Perl decided to calm things down. On the Shabbat of the weekly portion Netzavim, he gave a speech at the house of prayer in the school. It was given in Yiddish, spiced with jokes, like the ways of the preachers, and included 56 quotations from the Bible, Mishnah, rabbinical sermons, and books[131]. In his sermon, Perl pointed out the damage inflicted on the community by the fraudulent accusations and quarrels. He stated that these quarrels could cause damage to the entire Jewish population. He brought as an example the controversy about

[Columns 79-80]

the country's central rabbinate in the 1780s. That controversy resulted in the abolishment of Jewish autonomy[132]. He reminded the audience that Rabbi Yehoshua-Heschel BABa"D was elected when Rabbi Falkenfeld (his predecessor) was still alive. The masses and the leaders lobbied the district officials to leave Rabbi Falkenfeld in his position. They also asked BABa"D not to come. When they heard that he decided to come, despite their request, they sent a special envoy to him in Zaloshitz [Dzialoszyce], who warned the rabbi not to come. However, the rabbi did not heed these requests and threats. Perl, who was the head of the community at that time, tried to calm everyone down. He asked the district minister not to get involved and treated Rabbi BABa"D with respect. It is not appropriate to provide details, in this article, about how they deceived Rabbi Falkenfeld and convinced him to leave Ternopil. If a dispute had not erupted then, it was because there were only a small number “of nice and pious Jews, as well as strangers” in Ternopil at the time. SHI"R received a substantial majority of the votes. After the election, the rabbinical judges came to Perl and told him about their wish to send the elected rabbi a congratulatory letter. However, Perl prevented them from doing so. A few days before SHI"R's arrival, the rabbinical judges expressed their willingness to cooperate with him despite the rumors spread by his opponents that he was never a rabbi but just a merchant. The vocal among them expected to receive money. However, when the rabbi came and did not give them any money, they spread fraudulent lies about him. Suddenly, the rabbinical judges refused to come to the rabbi. Perl emphasized in his speech that he knew SHI"R and can testify that he was G-d fearing person and an outstanding scholar. He added that the rabbi received his ordination from the Gaon Rabbi R' Ya'akov [of] Lissa [R' Ya'akov Lorberbaum]. Beit HaMidrash, which was closed by the authorities, served as the center for the inciters who defamed SHI"R. They turned the place into a den of criminals. Perl turned to the people who imposed the boycotts with harsh words. He told them that their actions were not according to the laws of the Torah. These vocal people were, in actuality, villains who extort money fraudulently. He ended his sermon with the following words: “Whoever is not attracted by their lies would remain a free person. Please do not surrender to the will of these despicable people, whose only objective in life is to extort money”.

Perl's sermon did not achieve its purpose. It did not relieve the tension and did not calm down the people. On the contrary, the zealots expanded their activities. On Friday, 12 October 1838, a Hassid, Melekh Apter, disguised himself as a rabbi and along with several other Jews, passed through the Jewish quarter and cursed SHI"R. At the same time, the zealots gathered around SHI"R's apartment, played music, danced, and yelled: “Rabbi, send out your daughters so that we can have fun”. Among the gathering people, there was someone by the name of Hertz Brody, who dressed up like Yosef Perl with two medals on his chest. When the district manager heard of these antics, he ordered to arrest Apter and punish him with 150 lashes[133].

The controversy was not to SHI"R's liking. He was especially angry with his enlightened friends in Brody, R' Yehoshua Heschel Schorr[134], and his brother Mendel. They published the affair in articles in the Jewish newspapers in Germany in Dr. Jost's “Annalen” [“Annals”], Dr. Fuerst's “Orient”, and Dr. Phillipson's “Algemeineh Tzeitung des Judentums” [“The General Gazette of Judaism”].

Perl was full of bitterness and disappointment about the events in his city. He finally understood that the fire of the dispute was ignited by the “Klei HaKodesh” [people who serve the masses on religious matters], and by people who were incited by the Hassidim. They pursued their own gain. He then wrote a memorandum about the actions of the rebbes, slaughterers, and mohels. He submitted it on 6 July 1838 to District Minister Sakher, requesting to transfer it to the Governor.

In an accompanying letter, Perl pointed to the scandals that erupted under the influence of the Hassidim. He described their antics against SHI"R and about the mohels who refused to circumcise the sons of SHI"R's followers. He stated that the antics carried one objective: to keep the Jews away from education and to sink the masses into the abyss of ignorance. Being ignorant would make it easier to enforce surrender to the will of the rebbes, who exploit them and get rich at their expense. It is not the zealotry and superstitions that drove the Hassidim to do these things, but the interests of their leaders. They aimed at imposing the rule of the rebbes over the entire Galitsian Jewry against the Torah and the state laws. The rebbes' regime caused a deadly disaster. Therefore, the state should end that situation using appropriate means[135].

in that memorandum[136], Perl mentioned that he devoted his fortune and all of his energy to improving the cultural state of Galitsian Jews and founded the school for that purpose. While he enjoyed the fruits of school, which educated exemplary students, he was fearful to witness to watch how the Hassidim undermined any effort aimed at improving the state of the Jews. Due to his illness, he could only describe how the Hassidim attracted Galitsian Jews, caught them in their net, and took control over their lives.

His description follows: “The Hassidim subjugated the rabbis under their control. The Hassidim slandered rabbis who opposed them and spread rumors that they were secular. The rebbes' followers bully the rabbis until they left them with no choice but to travel to the Rebbe and ask for his forgiveness if they wanted to continue their work as a rabbi. When the authorities issued a harsh regulation against the Hassidim, they managed to sway the rabbis to declare a favorable opinion of them.

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They pressured the rabbis to testify in favor of the Hassidim. The pressure caused the government to change the interpretation of the regulations mentioned above.

The slaughterers, who play a major role among the Klei HaKodesh, belong to one of the Hassidim dynasties for quite some time now. Candidates for that occupation study with Hassidic slaughterers. They are accepted to their position by the community with the community rabbi's approval. In cases where the community or the lessee of the Kosher meat refuses to accept them, the Hassidim announce a boycott against them and forbid buying the meat they handle as Trefah [non-kosher].

The rebbes use the slaughterers to pressure the Jewish communities. The Kosher meat lessees, meat suppliers, and whole communities were largely dependent on the Hassidim. If not satisfied, the latter could declare that a random animal is Trefah or make it Trefah purposely. The slaughterers are, in fact, the “foot soldiers”, agents, and spies manipulated by the rebbes. The emissaries sent by the rebbes to visit a community always stay at the slaughterer's home. The slaughterers are going around in the villages slaughtering animals there. The meat tax is not paid in these cases, in violation of the laws from 1789 and 1810. The rebbes also manipulate the mohels. There are many cases when the mohels refused to circumcise children of the “Mitnagdim” [people who oppose the Hassidim].

By taking control over the rabbis, slaughterers, and mohels, the Hassidim managed to subdue the Galician Jewry to their will. If that situation lingers on, there would be no force that could bring the Jews closer to the rest of the residents in Galitsia due to the separatism tendencies and intolerance of the Hassidim”.

Perl stated that to remedy that gloomy situation the authorities should abolish the regulations from 1789 about the rabbis, slaughterers, and mohels. Those regulations forbade to nominate rabbis that do not know German. According to a regulation from 1846, it was not even allowed to nominate a rabbi who had not studied philosophy and pedagogy. There were only three district rabbis that fulfilled the requirements of the law: Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Khayut in Zhovkva, Mikhael Kristianpoller in Brody, and Shlomo-Leib in Ternopil. Sixteen other district rabbis and 200 local rabbis have no general education and are among those who hate it.

The district rabbis Khayut, Kristianpoller, and Rapoport, were all persecuted by the zealots. Rabbi Kristianpoller had to protect Maggid Shlomo Kluger, who provoked Galitsian rabbis to rally against him. The rabbis announced that he was a heretic and unbeliever. He survived only due to the support of Brody's privileged families:

Kalir, Nathanzon, and Bernstein. Rabbi Khayut had to spend his entire fortune, which he inherited from his father, to “keep the mouth of the haters shut”. The story about Rabbi Rapoport is especially bitter since he did not have behind him a powerful and wealthy family who could appease his haters.

The administration did not supervise the rabbis. It did not support the enlightened either. Because the administration had never disqualified a rabbi due to offenses against the law, enlightened Jews were not seeking rabbinical positions.

Due to the insufficient regular salaries, the rabbis were dependent on gifts. That situation resulted in corruption and dependence on the people of the community. In his memorandum, Perl detailed some proposals to remedy the situation as follows: “a) The rabbis' salaries should be sufficient to make a living according to their status and be determined by the law. The costs associated with that should be covered by the community taxes, proportional to the values of people's properties. b) The rabbis should be assigned the supervision over the Kheders, and authorize them to test the melameds and award them certificates. c) The district offices should make sure that the elected rabbis provide proof of the studies in German schools, even if they do not have certificates. d) Rabbis should be elected for life, rather than three years, which is the current custom. e) When the community does not have a rabbi, it should return the salary money to the district office. The money should serve as the foundation fund for a rabbinical college. f) Salaries for the slaughterers should be funded by the community, eliminating the special tax collected for slaughtering and salt. g) The costs of the communities should be covered by a proportional tax and not by indirect taxes since it is not fair that the poor would pay the same amount as the wealthy. Only through rabbis who can guide the people, it would be possible to instill the will for education, and feelings of respect and discipline towards the laws”.

The governor responded on July 23, to the district minister von-Sakher that it would be difficult to root out the harmful influences of the Hassidic sect. The facts mentioned by Perl about taking control over the rabbis, slaughterers, mohels, and other “Klei HaKodesh” were correct, and it was possible to draw beneficial conclusions from them. Perl's recommendation provided additional proof that his intentions were to help the state administration. However, the government is not able to execute them. Concerning the rabbis, the governor stated that the authorities would have to wait for the new regulations on Jewish affairs planned for in the entire kingdom. The governor also claimed that the kingdom could not accomplish the recommendation offered by Perl since Perl himself admitted that that were no appropriate rabbinical candidates at that time.

Perl's recommendations, regarding the slaughterers and mohels, would be considered when the negotiations about it would commence.

Perl's memorandum was his “swan song”. It did not cause the stir he hoped for. The disappointment reached him again, with no hopes for any improvements. Under that mood, he advised his friend SHI"R to lobby for his candidacy for the rabbinical position vacated in Prague in 1838.

In the fall of 1838, Perl became seriously ill and received treatment by Dr. Rapoport in Lviv[137]. In September 1839, it became clear

[Column 83]

that he could not be cured. He passed away on Simkhat Torah (on 1st October 1839) at 7 a.m. He left one son, Mikhael, a pharmacist, and two daughters. His daughter Sheindel married Finlish[138], a native of Jaroslaw [Yaroslav], who later moved to Ternopil. The other daughter, who was married to Ashkenazi, was a teacher who managed the girls' classes in her father's school.

In his will, he bequeathed 6000 florins to Jewish artisans. He left the school and its library to the Ternopil community and nominated his son Mikhael as the school principal.

When the Hassidim heard about his death, they began to dance with joy. Government representatives participated in his funeral, and Rabbi Sh. Y. Rapoport (SHI"R) eulogized him at the cemetery[139].

His generation already recognized his rights as a pioneer of the enlightenment movement and Jewish education. They saw him as their Israel Jacobson[140] [A Jewish German banker, considered the precursor of Reform Judaism]. Perl was the first educator who merged general education and Jewish studies and established his school as a Jewish public school.

The Jewish journalism dedicated eulogizing articles to him[141]. In Vienna, he was eulogized by Maggid Noah Mannheimer[142].

After Perl's death, SHI"R remained without his protector, and his situation deteriorated.


Tomb of Yosef Perl

[Column 84]

Hassidim gathered in front of his house on the first night of the Shavuot holiday of 1840[143]. They threw rocks into his apartment, broke the windows, and tried to break into the apartment to hit the hiding rabbi. Only the Dragon Battalion, sent by the district minister von Sakher, managed to subdue the riot. After that scandal, the rabbi decided to leave the rabbinical position in Ternopil.

SHI"R was elected to the rabbinical position in Prague in the summer of 5599 [1840] through the lobbying and recommendation by Shlomo Rosenthal, Samuel-David Luzzatto, and Sh. L. Goldenberg, owner of “Kerem Khemed”. The Maggid of Prague, Dr. Mikhael Zaks, managed to convince Moshe Landau (the grandson of R' Yekhezkel Landau, the author of “Nodah BeYehudah], who was among the heads of the Prague community to elect him. However, the government did not approve SHI"R's election due to all the defamation letters that the Hassidim in Ternopil sent against him. Only in 1840, the government approved the election of SHI"R as the head of the rabbinical court (Oberjurist) in Prague, thanks to the lobbying by the district minister, von Sakher.

[Columns 85-86]

SHI"R left Ternopil on 15 July 1840. His friends accompanied him to Zolochiv, and others went with him to Lviv. That was “a gloomy and painful farewell”[144].

With that, the SHI"R rabbinical affair in Ternopil, one of the gloomiest chapters in the history of the city and Galitsian Jewry, came to an end.



From the beginning of the emergence of the Enlightenment Movement of Mendelson's school of thought, Ternopil captured a central role in Galitsia thanks to Yosef Perl, the undisputed spiritual leader of the enlightened there. However, we should not ignore the fact that the first “rays of enlightenment” penetrated Ternopil only after 1801, when Perl became an adversary of Hassidism and came to know the poet from Brody, David Ginsburg (1776 – 1811). The latter came to Ternopil on business. Perl invited him to his home as a teacher. During the two years (1801 – 1803)) that Ginsburg stayed in Ternopil, Perl became enlightened. Through Ginsburg, Perl connected with the leaders of the Enlightenment Movement in Brody, Lviv, and Zhovkva. However, from his first steps as an enlightened person, he remained moderate in his views about religion and secularism. With those views, he was different from the enlightened people in Brody, who distinguished themselves in their extremism. Only in his fight with Hassidism did Perl know no bounds. Before the 1848 Austrian Revolution, when Hassidism with its rebbes and their followers began to capture key positions and take control over the Jewish communities, it was difficult for Perl to accept.

Ternopil became a center of enlightenment, thanks to the school established by Yosef Perl and the group of teachers who taught there. Perl and the teachers formed the first circle of enlightened people in the city. Over time, the best of the Jews joined that small circle. Under the guidance of Yosef Perl, that club devoted its effort to disseminate the enlightenment ideas, based on the fundamentals of the Jewish tradition, resisting “agnosticism for its own sake”, in which most of Brody's and Lviv's enlightened people were famous for.

Enlightenment in Ternopil carried a practical and less theoretical character. Its followers did not necessarily hold any particular view on the whole set of problems in Judaism. Despite their harsh fight against the Hassidim and their rebbes, or perhaps because of the experiences in that fight, they recognized the reality and appreciated the power of tradition in the life of the Jewish people. It was that view that motivated Perl to establish a house of prayer in his school and to dedicate special attention to the religious education in his institution.

The circle of enlightened people in Ternopil, who concentrated around Perl, was initially small, although it did have significant influence within the Jewish population, who recognized him as the undisputed leader and the guardian of the ideas of the Galitsian enlightenment. Ternopil lucked the human material. In that, it differed from Brody. Brody maintained tight business connections with Germany and Austria, even before the Enlightenment Movement, and its merchants were exposed to the cultural life in these countries. In Ternopil, the enlightenment advancement was initiated from within, with the expansion of the school and the activities of the teachers, who served as the enlightenment pioneers. The objectives of Ternopil's enlightened people were to facilitate the acquisition of European education for their people, raise the level of craftsmanship among them, and bring the Jews closer to the general population. Perl did not have a far-reaching or revolutionary spiritual plan to achieve those goals. He aimed to keep the Jews anchored around the historic religious basis without any changes or improvements. When it came to praying, he aimed at improving the ritual externally and introducing aesthetics and grace to the worship of G-d. He wanted to free the worshipers from the noisy and market-like atmosphere that prevailed in the synagogues in Poland and Galitsia at the time. That was also one of the factors that led to his immense hatred towards Hassidism, which he fought using the weapon of literary satire and destructive ridicule.

The enlightened people of Ternopil saw it as a historical privilege that fate chose them to be the first to start the fight against the zealots and Hassidim. by establishing the school and its house of prayer, which they considered a German-style “improved” synagogue. Although the Rapoport affair drugged them into the “fires of war” and fierce brawls, they considered the courage of electing an educated rabbi and a famous researcher such as SHI"R - a touchstone for the enlightenment movement in their city.

As a result of their effort, Perl and the school teachers succeeded to widen the ranks of the enlightened circle and establish a club of authors and people of letters although, in Ternopil, there were no prominent enlightened figures like Ya'akov Shmuel Bik, Berish Blumenfeld, Zeev Bukhner, Israel Bodek, Hirsh Bodek, Yitzkhak Erter, or the brothers Schorr – all famous authors. There were also no wealthy patrons of the kind of Alexander-Ziskind Kalir, Brotziner-Trakhtenberg, Inlander, Mordekhai Uspitz, Shalom Kromkhel, the brothers Hertzenstein, Ya'akovka Landau, M. Nirenstein, or Nathanzon – all backers of Brody's enlightenment. The circle of Ternopil enlightened included Shmuel-Leib Goldenberg, Yitzkhak Mikhael Munis, Moshe Khaim Katz, and Aba'leh Horwitz.

Shmuel-Leib Goldenberg (1807 -1846), was a native of Bolekhiv [Bolekhov] and a descendant of a rich family. He married a daughter of a wealthy family in Ternopil and did not have to work for a living. He dedicated his life to studying and reading books. He was one of Perl's most loyal friends. He corresponded about Judaic sciences with SHI"R, Reggio, Sh. D. Luzzatto, Dr. Geiger, Dr. Leopold Tzuntz, and Dr. Mikhael Zaks. Immediately after the journal “Bikurei Ha'Itim” [“The First Fruits of the Time”] ceased its publication in the summer of 1932, Goldenberg, who had already lived in Ternopil, began to publish the journal “Kerem Khemed”. He conducted negotiations in Vienna, as early as 1830, with I. Sh. Reggio, Sh. D. Luzzatto, and the printer Anton Schmidt in Vienna. On 30 November 1830, he turned to Reggio with a proposal to publish a new journal.

[Columns 87-88]

Reggio stated that he intended to continue publishing “Bikurei Ha'Itim”. In the meantime, Goldenberg came to Vienna and negotiated with the printer. The latter agreed to publish, at his own expense, a volume containing letters about literary and science matters.

The first volume was published in March 1833. It contained 40 letters about “wisdom and science”[145]. Goldenberg, who came from an enlightened family (his father R' Hirsh was one of the first enlightened leaders in Bolekhiv), corresponded with the heads of the Enlightenment Movement in Galitsia, Austria, Germany, and Italy. He was among the first Galitsian enlightened people to connect with the enlightened people in Italy. He managed to acquire friends from among the heads of the Enlightenment Movement and persuade them to participate in his journal (which was just a collection of letters), with his cordial and flattering style. That was how he became the intermediary between the enlightened people in Galitsia and Western Europe. He provided information to Italy's enlightened people about the Hebrew publications in Galitsia and biographies of the figures in Galitisa's enlightenment.

Among the people who participated in “Kerem Khemed”, the following people should be mentioned: Yekhezkel Dobbes, Yitzkhak Munis, Avraham Goldenberg from Ternopil, Ya'akov Shmuel Bik, Dr. Yitzkhak Erter from Brody, and Y. L. Meizes.

During 1833 – 1843, Goldenberg published seven volumes. Some were published in the printing house of Anton Adler von Schmidt in Vienna and five in Prague. These volumes contained an abundance of material about Judaic sciences. The first “gate” of R' Nakhman Kromkhel's “Moreh Nevukhei HaZman” [“Guide for the Perplexed of the Time”], named “HaSamim” [“The Drugs”], was published in one of the volumes (The entire book was published posthumously).

Yosef Perl participated only in the second volume published in 1836. He published research aimed to prove that R;' Meir Ba'al HaNes was not the Tannai R' Meir mentioned in the Mishnah. Dr. Yitzkhak Erter published an article about “Hassidism and wisdom”. SHI"R participated in “Kerem Khemed” as well, during his service in Ternopil[146], and to a greater extent in the volumes published in Prague. Authors from outside of Galitsia also participated in “Kerem Khemed”. Among them Avraham Geiger, Leopold Tzuntz, Leopold Löw [Lef], Aharon Khorin, Mordekhai Shmuel Ghirondi, Shmuel Vitah Dalla Volta from Mantua, Hillel Dalla Torre, I. Sh. Reggio, Aharon Yelink, Simkha Pinsker, David Kassel, and others.

The publishing of “Kerem Khemed” ceased for 11 years with the death of Goldenberg on 10 January 1846[147]. However, it renewed its publication by Shneur Zaks (Sachs) in Berlin in 1854. Two volumes were published (1854 – 1856).

[Yitzkhak] Mikhael Munis was the first teacher in Perl's school for Talmud and the Hebrew language. He was a great scholar and one of the fiercest opponents of Hassidism. Munis worked in Perl's school for almost 25 years and educated many students. He did not write much but corresponded directly with RIVAL[148], collected proverbs of Maggid R' Ya'akov from Dubno, and published a book about his life. In that book, he added the philosophical article “The wisdom of proverbs and poetry”. In 1842 he traveled to central Europe and Prussia to promote his book. He wrote about himself: “I have obtained certificates from famous scholars, the geniuses of the land, and learned people in their courts. They all praised me and adorned me with a splendorous wreath, claiming that I deserve to be a rabbi”[149]. Among his writings, the article “Question and Answer about Customs”, published in M. Mohar's journal “Yerushalayim”[150], is well known. In that article, he provided the meanings and history of Jewish customs. One of the customs expanded upon was the lighting of the candles during the holiday of Lag BaOmer in memory of the soul of R' Shimon Bar Yokhai. Munis published the Hebrew translation of four letters sent to Euler about matters in physics[151]. He also expanded about the blessing, “LeHakhniso BiVrito Shel Avraham Avinu” [circumcision blessing - “Bring him into the covenant of Avraham, our father”] in “Kerem Khemed”. In 1839 he was set to publish an article about aesthetics[152]. He was also favored by the heads of the Enlightenment Movement in Galitsia and Russia[153].

The influence of Ternopil's enlightenment grew during the years that R' Menakhem Mendel Lefin of Sasiv, the “Socrates” of the Galitsian Enlightenment Movement, stayed in Ternopil (1817 – 1826). Lefin contributed greatly to the new spiritual lives and had a significant influence on the emergence of the enlightenment. He maintained a sincere friendship with the entire circle of enlightened people and showed great interest in their spiritual progress[154]. He resided in Yosef Perl's home and gathered around him the enlightened people of Ternopil who thirstily listened to his teaching. Lefin was imbued with popular spirit. He recognized the importance of the people's language in the development of the enlightenment and came out against the “official” enlightenment views that were guided by the slogans coined by its heads in Berlin and aimed only at disseminating the general culture. In that respect, Lefin exerted a strong influence

[Columns 89-90]

on the enlightened people of Brody and Ternopil. Thanks to him, the Galitsian and the Russian Enlightenment Movements took a different direction from the Enlightenment Movement in Berlin. Lefin fought against the piling of rhetoric, fastidious explanations, and ignorance about the Torah and sciences…

Lefin advocated the popular Hebrew language of the Mishnah and demanded that enlightened people would deepen their education and knowledge. Lefin's friendship with Perl did not prevent him from criticizing Perl's style of writing in the book “Megaleh Tmirin”.

Lefin translated the book of Proverbs to Yiddish in Ternopil and printed it in 5576 (1816) with commentaries. That translation invoked a fierce resistance among the enlightened circles. Translation of the bible to Yiddish required substantial courage among the enlightened circles since most of the enlightened people considered the objective of the enlightenment was to bring the Jews closer to the languages of the civilized world. They advocated the use of the German language, or at least, in countries where the spoken language was not German, the language of the nation among which the Jews resided. The enlightened Tuvia Gutman, son of Tzvi-Hirsh Fedder, a native of Przedborz (Krakow District], lived in Ternopil at the end of his life and died there on 9 Tamuz (23 June), 1817. He was a merchant and a proofreader for Torah scrolls, Tefilin, and Mezuzot. For years, he served as a wandering teacher[155]. He was an enlightenment zealot and a man of quarrel. He became enraged when Lefin published the translation for Proverbs in Yiddish. Fedder claimed that Lefin “showed contempt toward the preacher of the right, and spitted in the face of the eloquent speaker”. Fedder respected Lefin, whom he considered the spiritual successor of Mendelson, and as someone who symbolized the exalted ideal of the enlightenment. Precisely because of that view, he could not forgive Lefin for his “crime of the Yiddish translation”. He wanted Lefin to educate the people of his generation on the civilized language – German. He published a pamphlet named “Kol Mekhatzetzim” [“The Archers' Voice”], a satire full of personal sarcastic remarks about Lefin. The proofreading sheets that Fedder sent to Brody reached Ya'akov Shmuel Bik, who was hurt by the fact that Fedder offended Lefin. He turned to Fedder and asked him, in his name and the name of Lefin's admirers, not to print the pamphlet. He warned him that he would not acquire honor by publishing it.

Fedder responded that he did not mean to disrespect Lefin's character, he only went against the translation. He stated that he would not be deterred by threats, as he was used to being oppressed by other people. He said that he would avoid publishing the book if Lefin admirers would refund him the printing costs. Brody's enlightened people sent him 100 rubles and the book was not published at the time. The book was later published by. A. M. Mohar, when Lefin and Fedder were not among the living[156].

That literary episode passed without causing a severe quarrel within the enlightened camp.

In Ternopil, Lefin completed his German written book “Nachlass eines Sonderlinges Zu Abdera” [“The Literary Estate of a Crank from Abdera”], which he devoted to princess Isabella Czartoryski. That book was never published and remained as a manuscript in the library of Perl's school.

Besides the Czartoryski family who admired Lefin, he had other friends among the Polish nobility in Ternopil and its environs. In particular, he maintained close friendly relations with the counts Bobrovsky and Korytowsky.

Lefin translated “Moreh Nevokhim” [“The Guide for the Perplexed”] by the RAMBAM to Hebrew of the Mishnah, in Ternopil. He kept busy with that translation till the end of his life.

Lefin celebrated his seventieth birthday in Ternopil in 5579 (1818/19). During one of the enlightened bashes, Lefin addressed R' Nakhman Kromkhel, without him being present and demanded that he cease his silence. He said that Kromkhel should “Enlighten your people from your chamber by holding on to the authors' pen”.

Lefin died at the age of seventy-seven on 6 Tamuz 5586 [1826], in Ternopil. He died “lonely, without a wife or children, leaving his treasures to his friends such as the scholar Ya'akov Shmuel Bik from Brody[157]. His death hit his friend, Yosef Perl, hard. The latter paid R' Zalman Masita to say Kadish after Lefin for the whole year. In addition, he gave 27 rubles to the poor who attended Lefin's funeral and asked the teacher Freihling to copy Lefin's will and preserve the original in a safe location[158].

As mentioned, R' Kromkhel settled in Ternopil in 1838. Before that he resided in Zhovkova until 1836. From there, he moved to Brody. His financial state in Brody forced him to move to Ternopil and reside with his elder daughter

[Column 91]

Kona (the wife of the physician Dr. Nathan Horwitz). In Brody, he completed his life's project – the book “Moreh Nevokhei HaZman” [“Guiding the Perplexed of the Time”]. In Ternopil, he relaxed and copied chapters from his book. His home in Ternopil served as a place where the enlightened from the city and surroundings gathered. Kromkhel became “the glory of the city and its ornament”. When Kromkhel stayed in Ternopil, he got an offer for the rabbinical position in Berlin, which he rejected. In Ternopil, he witnessed the attacks by the zealots and Hasidim on Sh. Y. Rapoport. RANAK [R' Nakhman Kromkhel] was a peaceful man and was against the nomination of SHI"R to the rabbinical position in Ternopil foreseeing the fights in the community that SHI"R's election would bring about. He also considered the nomination as an infringement on the tenure of the old rabbi R' Heschel BABa"D. He, therefore, objected to Perl's appeal, who advised the district minister to demand from the Ternopil community to elect a new rabbi. He fought against the nomination of SHI"R.

However, when SHI"R was elected, he came to terms with it and sent SHI"R a letter in which he congratulated him and wished him success. Kromkhel wrote to him: “Get Stronger. Do not lose, even for a minute, your peace of mind. Be diligent in removing any cause that may inhibit peace between you and the less fortunate in your community[159].

RANAK possessed views based on historical prospection. He objected to the fight against zealotry and Hassidism in the ferocity and fanatism way it was conducted and did not take an active role in it. Despite that, his influence over the enlightened people in Ternopil strengthened.


Tomb of Rabbi Nachman Kromkhel

[Column 92]

He died in Ternopil on July 31, 1840. On the thirtieth day anniversary of his death, a memorial was held at the house of prayer of Perl's school. Yitzkhak Mikhael Munis spoke about his personality and his spiritual life work[160].

Another figure from among the enlightened people who shaped Ternopil's spiritual-cultural image was Perl's student, Betsalel Stern (1798 – 1853), who served as one of the primary spokesmen during Perl's battle with the Hassidim during the period 1816 – 1828. In 1828 he moved to Odesa to serve as the principal of the Jewish school founded by Brody enlightened people. He became one of the leaders of the Enlightenment Movement there.

Another graduate from Perl's school, Hirsh Reitmann (1804 – 1866) was one of the activists in the enlightened club[161]. Later on, Hirsh moved to Brody and became the principal at the first Jewish elementary school there.

Zeev Dement (1830 – 1897), a graduate of Perl's school, authored poems in Hebrew, German, Polish, and Yiddish. He served as a correspondent of the journals “Ben Khanania” and “Allgemeine Zeitung Des Judentums” for many years. He moved to Brody in the 1870s and was appointed as the principal of the Jewish school there.

Dr. Nathan Horwitz, born in Brody on February 3 1799, moved to Ternopil after graduating from his medical school and worked there until his death on 22 January 1857. He was the son-in-law of Nakhman Kromkhel. His wife Kona (who died in Ternopil on 10 September 1857), was an enlightened woman. Her brother, Avraham Kromkhel, put her in his book “Even Rishona” [ “First Stone”] (Vienna, 1871). In that book, she argued with her father and Rabbi Tzvi-Hirsh Khayut about [the philosopher] Spinoza. Dr. Horwitz tried his hand at writing. He translated the “Song of Songs” to German and added a scientific commentary. Dr, Nathan participated in the journal “HaTzfira” [“The Siren”] of Dr. Meir Letris. After Perl's death, he wrote a biographic review about Perl in the Jewish-German calendar of Y. Bush in Vienna[162]. He and the other physician Dr. Frenkelfeld, and the first Jewish lawyers in Ternopil, Dr. Kolischer, Dr. Alex Friehling, the son

[Columns 93-94]

of the teacher Moshe Friehling), and Dr. Yosef Blumenfeld, were, during those years, the only Jewish figures with academic education.

Moshe Shmuel Weisstein (1802 – 1881) was among the enlightened people. He was known by his literary pseudonym MESHOSH. Weisstein was a wise and learned man (his contemporaries called him a “Talmudic Scholar”). He was one of the biggest fans of Perl and Sh. Y. Rapoport and stood by SHI"R as a loyal friend during his entire rabbinical service in Ternopil[163].

Eliyahu Mordekhai Werbel, a graduate of Perl's school, was one of the enlightened people in Ternopil (born in Ternopil on 16 August 1805 and died in Odesa on 9 August 1880). In 1837 he was offered a position of a teacher at the Jewish school of Odesa, headed by Betsalel Stern (also a graduate of Perl's school). Other enlightened people were the teacher Moshe Khaim Katz, Aba'le Horwitz, one of the authors of “HaTsfira” of Meir L Letris, and Karl Flohen (born in 1800), who was a teacher in Perl's school. He was nominated as the Jewish population registrar in the 1840s.

Among the young enlightened, Shaul Katriel Horwitz excelled. He wrote poems when he was only 15 years old. He translated and provided a commentary about the prophets Nakhum and Ovadiah. That commentary was published in a limited quantity. He was one of the participants in [the enlightened journal] “Kokhavei Yitzkhak” [“Stars of Yitzkhak”] in the years 1847 – 1848[163]. On 23 May 1856, he published a letter in “Kokhavei Yitzkhak”, in which he declared that all of his essays, poems, and commentaries mentioned above, were written at a young age and were handed for publication for the readers, hurriedly and frivolously. He asked that people consider them a childish act, which he regretted. The editor of “Kokhavei Yitzkhak”, M. A. Stern, remarked that nevertheless, the writings deserve appreciation and recognition[164].

Yekhezkel Dukash, also one of the young enlightened, was a learned person with a comprehensive general education. He excelled in his talent for esthetic and belonged to the club of Goldenberg, the editor of “Kerem Khemed”. Dukash published in that journal a letter he sent to I. Sh. Reggio, the spokesman of the Italian Jewish enlightened, about the sun[165].

Among the participants in “Kokhavei Yitzkhak”, was also Yosef Benyamin Grass, who was a known enlightened figure in Ternopil. He moved to Lviv, later on. Grass wrote poems and translated poems of Lviv's Rabbi-Preacher Bernard Levenstein. He also published articles in the Journals“HaShakhar” of Peretz Smolenskin, “HaCramel”, and Shulbaum's “HaEt” [“The Time”].

Khaim, son of Nathan Garfinkel, was born in Ternopil in 1827. He was also among the enlightened who tried their hand in rhyming and participated in “Kokhavei Yitzkhak”. He left his native city and settled in Brody, where he died in 1880.

Menakhem Mendel, son of Moshe Landau (1836 – 1863) was also from among the people who participated in “Kokhavei Yitzkhak”. He was born in Ternopil but resided in Kolomiya, where he later died.

People from that generation of enlightened included Shalom Grass, who also participated in Kokhavei Yitzkak”, and Shlomo-Tzvi, son of Simkha Hirsh, who was born in Ternopil in 1834. He was one of the leading enlightened people and authored two books about the fate of the Jewish nation: a) “Netzakh Israel” [“Eternal Strength of Israel”], (Lyck [Elk], 5626 [1865/6]). b) “Korot Israel” [“The History of the Jewish Nation”], (Part A – Vienna, 5633 [1872/3], Part B – Ternopil, 5636 [1875/6]). He also wanted to publish a book containing the nouns in the bible but ran out of time. Hirsh established a Beit Midrash for praying by the name of “Gomlei Khesed” [“Benefactors”].

The following people belonged to a different kind of enlightened people who participated in the magazines of Smolenskin and David Gordon:

Manish, son of Moshe Landau, was born in Ternopil in 1852. He was a famous merchant who started his literary work with poems published at “Kokhavei Yitzkhak” (issues 35, 36). Later on, Manish participated in the journals “HaShakhar” [“The Dawn”] and “HaMaggid” [“The Preacher”]. He died in Ternopil in 1919.

Nathan Valerstein was born in Ternopil in 1853 and died in Kozova in 1911. His father, Mordekhai-Shmuel, was among the first enlightened people in Ternopil. The latter educated his son traditionally. However, he also provided him with general education. He published articles about the Jewish public life in Ternopil and its surrounding in the journals “HaShakhar, “HaMaggid”, “HaEt” [“The Time”], and “Ivri Anokhi” [“I am Jewish”].

A productive author was Berish Goldenberg. He was born in 1825 in Vyshnivets (near Kremenets). Berish served as a teacher in Botosani, and from there he came to Ternopil as a Hebrew teacher in Perl's school. He worked there until his death on 5 June 1898. He began his literary work at “Kokhavei Yitzkhak” in 1845. While in Ternopil, he published the Hebrew journal “Nogah HaYare'akh” [“Moonlight”], which was published in Lviv during the years 1872 – 1873 (11 issues), and later on in 1880 in Ternopil (4 issues). A circle of Galitsian enlightened and Hebrew authors concentrated around him. In 1866 he published a comprehensive bibliography named “Ohel Yosef” [“Yosef's Tent”] about Yosef Perl and his school. In 1868 he translated into Hebrew the speech of the famous Galitsian politician, Dr. Franciszek Smolska, about the “Jewish Question”. Smolska gave the speech at the Galitsian Sejm in 1898. Goldenberg also dealt with commentaries to the Torah and linguistics. In 1898 his linguistic book “Or Khasdash” [“New Light”] was published in Drohobitz (1898). He also published articles on the syntax of the Hebrew language, and commentaries about the Torah. His publications in German were: “Der Einfluss der semitischen auf die indogermanischen Sprachen“[“The influence of the Semites on the Indo-European languages”], (1880); “Die religiösen Ideen der Alten und ihr Einfluss auf die hebräische Sprache vom hebräischen Standpunkte aus beleuchtet” [“The religious ideas of the ancients and their influence on the Hebrew language illuminated from the Hebrew point of view”], (1880);

[Columns 95-96]

“Die Assimilation der Juden“ [“The Assimilation of the Jews”], (1883), “Gebräuche der alten Hebräer” [“Customs of the Ancient Hebrews”], (1885). [As demonstrated by these articles], a retreat from the aspiration of complete assimilation was felt among the epigones of the Enlightenment Movement, during the 1870s.

In 1875, the Ternopil's enlightened, Eliyahu Auerbakh[166], published [an article] that in the history of the Jews, the national consciousness (Stammesbewustsien) was stronger and more persistent than the religion. Even in ancient times, the religious factor was not the leading factor. He claimed that all the Jewish holidays bear the imprint of national memories. The national element also prevailed over religion in the laws of the “Jewish Great Assembly”. In that way, the men of the “Great Knesset [Assembly]” wanted to preserve the unique attributes of the Jewish nation, and guard it against assimilation among other nations. In Auerbakh's opinion, the decisive factor was the national one, and therefore, it should be highlighted more than the Jewish religion. Auerbakh was already influenced by the journal “HaShakhar” of Smolenskin, whose ideas began to penetrate the enlightened circles in Galitsia and Ternopil.



For the Ternopil's Jews, the period before the 1848 Austrian Revolution was marked by the fierce struggle between two camps: the zealots and Hassidim on one side and the enlightened on the other. The election of Rabbi Sh. Y. Rapoport amplified the tension between the camps, which did not subside after the latter left the city. With the passing of Perl, a personality who succeeded to win over the people in the community despite the difficulties and obstacles was gone. The school management was passed over to Yosef Perl's son, Mikhael, who followed his father's wishes and began his pharmacy studies. According to Mikhael's sister, Sheindel Finlish, her father “made a mistake, which was difficult to forgive to a man like him. He did not explore nor question whether Jews were permitted to work in that profession[167]. For him, the only proof that the profession was allowed was a Jewish pharmacist he had met in Vienna. That pharmacist probably inherited an old privilege. It was enough for my good father, who always said that any old question had an answer. He did not consult with others and encouraged my brother to study”. R' Nathan Kolischer[168] from Lviv, saw that Mr. Perl educated his son to be a pharmacist, also sent his son to study pharmacy sciences[169].

Mikhael Perl studied to be a pharmacist as an apprentice based on a permit of the emperor bureau with the pharmacist Christian Holstein in Zalishchyky, who provided him with a graduation certificate. He then continued his studies in Vienna in 1827. In the meantime, a small obstacle emerged. Somebody snitched about Nathan Kolischer that his son was studying pharmacy without a permit. During the investigation, the authorities found out that another youth, Mikhael Perl, was studying pharmacy in Vienna. The Viennese police investigated the matter and handed the emperor the following report on 4 August 1827:

“Among the pharmacy students, there was a Jewish student named Perl. According to Perl, he studied with the pharmacist Christian Holstein in Zalishchyky under an apprenticeship permit. He received a graduation certification there. That certificate allowed him to continue his pharmacy studies in Vienna. If Perl could pass the tests, he would be allowed to establish and own a pharmacy”[170].

Based on that report, the emperor issued a confidential direction (Allerhöchstes Reservat), in which he ordered to investigate “whether there was a directive allowing the Jews to own a pharmacy. If there was such a directive, he ordered to find relevant reasons for abolishing it and forbid the Jews from owning pharmacies”[171].

Based on the recommendation by the authorities, and thanks to his special privileges, Yosef Perl received a special permit from the emperor, allowing his son to complete his studies and to own a pharmacy after his graduation. When Mikhael Perl returned to Ternopil, he established and operated a pharmacy in 1832. That was the first pharmacy in Austria owned by a Jew.

According to his father's will, Mikhael managed the school after Yosef Perl's death. Mikhael's sister, Mrs. Ashkenazi, managed the girls' classes in the school[172]. However, Mikhael did not hold any essential roles in the community like his father. The progressive Jews succeeded to maintain leadership over the community until 1858, Despite the resistance by the zealots and the Hassidim. Only then, did the zealots managed to capture the lead and hold on to it for several years[173].

During the years 1843 – 1844, the public standing of the Jews as residents of the city underwent a major change. In September 1843, the Ternopil community submitted a request to grant the Jews the right to be elected to the municipal council. The Governor's response was received on 1 December 1843[174]. In his response, he emphasized that there were no

[Columns 97-98]

restrictions concerning the Jews' right to vote and to be elected to the city council. He stated that the community did not need any special privilege or permit. He declared that there was nothing that prevented the authorities from approving the request brought to their attention by the Jews. According to the law, Jewish homeowners and people who have legitimate occupations were allowed to receive citizenship. The municipality was allowed to award citizenship to others if they were found to be deserving of it. To obtain the right to be elected, the homeowners had to prove that they had successfully graduated from an elementary school. However, that condition did not apply to the right to vote. Every Jewish homeowner or Jew who held a civil trade was allowed to vote in the election for the city council. 150 people registered to become citizens, based on that declaration, and swore an allegiance oath. Twenty people from that group were elected to the city council, however, they were not allowed to vote [as members of the council].

In 1845, Ternopil, which was until then a privately owned city, became a free “state city”. Ternopil's Jews celebrated that occasion with a ball. The district minister, Von Sakher, the municipal physician, Dr. Fibotzki, nobles, clergies, and other distinguished Jewish and non-Jewish people participated in that party. The speakers emphasized unity among the city residents, regardless of religion. In general, the ball's objective was “to promote reconciliation among the religions and classes. Everybody approved the speeches that were adhered to that spirit”[175].

After Sh. Y. Rapoport vacated the rabbinical position, the Jewish community considered the candidacy of Dr. Moritz Steinshneider[176] for that position. However, that never materialized, probably due to the refusal by the latter to move from Berlin to Ternopil[177].

When Galitsia Jews sensed that the Royal House of Habsburg intended to introduce liberal regime changes, they began to worry about improving their political situation and lobbied the authorities

[Columns 99-100]

to abolish the special taxes imposed on the Jews. Ternopil's community joined that political effort.

The heads of the large Jewish communities in Galitsia gathered in Lviv in 1847. In that gathering, they decided to submit a petition to the government, describing the sad state of the Jews. Since a joined petition of all the communities was not allowed, it was decided that each community would submit a separate petition.

The Lviv community sent its petition to Vienna on August 22, 1847. The Brody community – on 19 October of the same year, and the communities of Stansilawow [called today Ivano-Frankivsk], Stryy, and Sambir – on 25 October.

Ternopil sent its petition on the 1st of October 1847. The petition, written as a memorandum, was comprehensive and well-edited. It was sent directly to Emperor Ferdinand[178]. The memorandum contained an accurate review of the social and constitutional state of the city's population, the city's economic importance, and the special status granted to the city as early as during the days of Polish rule. Since Galicia was under Austrian rule, the city occupied a special place in the government discussions. As part of the imperial Patent, issued on 7 May 1789, Austria determined that, based on the principles of the “Toleration” policy, any disparities between the Jews and Christians had to be eliminated. And the Jews should be granted the same rights enjoyed by other subjects. None of the promises was fulfilled during the fifty years that passed since then. According to the Patent, equal obligations have been imposed on the Jews (similar to those imposed on the rest of the citizens), along with equal rights. However, over time, additional state, municipal, and community obligations were imposed unequally on the Jews.

The Jews were obligated to fulfill all military service requirements and pay the direct and indirect tax obligations. In addition, special taxes (candle and Kosher meat taxes) were imposed unequally on the Jews.

Following the description of the candle tax burden (from which only four thousand families were exempted, and about eleven thousand families paid only half), the memorandum continued to note that the promise, from June 8, 1813, to eliminate the candle tax was not fulfilled. The income tax was imposed, but the candle tax was not eliminated.

“Not once the poor, which the authorities exploited without a pity, had to spend his Shabbat in the dark, hungry, and in pain since he could afford to pay the pennies for a dinner for his family, and, at the same time, pay the tax collector lessee for a permit to light a candle on Shabbat. The poor often had to panhandle for the pennies that he had to pay the tax collector lessee to avoid confiscation of the straw mattress or the pillows”.

The meat tax was not less oppressive. In 1824, the tax quota was set to 836,000 guldens annually. More than a million guldens were actually collected.

In 1847 45,000 Jewish families were counted, containing 325,000 people. They paid 1,400,000 guldens to the government (4-5 guldens per person). Those taxes burdened mainly the poor population, forcing it to decrease the consumption of meat because they could not pay the tax. The poverty level among the Jews was well known to everybody. Those who violated the [tax] law faced severe punishments which shamed the honorable Jew.

The burden of the municipal taxes on the Jews was heavier than the one imposed on the Christians since the Jews constituted the majority of the population in the cities. In addition to the municipal taxes, the Jews had the cover the expenses of their communities.

Despite the fact that following the abolishment of the Jewish schools in 1806, the money from the Jewish schools' funds, totaling 259,088 guldens (132,460 florins in banknotes and 126,628 in debt notes) went to fund the general schools, the government tended not to support the Jewish schools established later in the communities of Ternopil, Brody, and Lviv. In several other communities, private schools existed, which could not become public schools due to a lack of funding.

The general hospital did not accept Jewish patients, and, therefore, the Jews had to maintain their own hospitals, which did not receive any financial support from the state or the cities and towns.

The Jews were also bounded by constitutional restrictions. They were not allowed to be employed by the state or in municipal services. They were not allowed to be elected to the municipal councils, and although the imperial directive from 16 November 1784 allowed to employ Jewish physicians, there were no Jewish physicians in service for the state, except a small number of municipal physicians. There were Jews who were employed in the government services as advisors at the commerce courts, police supervisors, and in Brody and Lviv, as mail carriers. There were only three Jewish lawyers in Galitsia, and no permits to work in that profession was awarded since 1832.

In the army, Jews were not allowed to become officers, despite the praises issued by Prince Karl about the actions of the Jewish soldiers during the latest wars.

It was well known that Jews were prohibited from purchasing houses, lands, and plots, as well as pharmacies. They were also not allowed to lease mines, mills, and the like.

From the description highlighted in the memorandum, it was clear that the Jews in Galitsia were oppressed by the burden of the taxes and the restrictions imposed on them. The Jews had to seek all sorts of tricks to make a living for their families. The people live in indescribable poverty and hunger,

[Columns 101-102]

therefore, the situation calls for changes.

In December 1847, the imperial court lecturer presented a report about the memorandum. That report included the conclusion that the appeals [by the Galitsia's Jewish communities] resulted from the elimination of the candles tax in Bohemia. The appeals aimed at the abolishment of the tax in Galitsia too. The handling of the appeals was handed over to the Treasury Bureau (Hofkammer). The bureau's response was issued following the publication of the constitution on 25 April 1848. That response stated that the matter was assigned to the parliament and therefore, the handling of the appeals had to wait for a decision by the “Assembly of the Nations Representatives”[179].

The 13th of March 1848 revolution brought freedom to the nations under Austrian rule. However, it did not immediately change the state of Jews, whose leaders demanded equal rights. The constitution provided for freedom of religious worship, but it did not address the problems involved with the legal and civil restrictions. The decision about those matters was postponed until the convening of parliament.

When demonstrations of the Sympathy Movement took place in Galitsia in support of the slogans of the Viennese revolution, battalions of civil guards that included Jewish companies rose. In Ternopil, where the Jews constituted a majority, a company of Jewish guards was also established.

In the election to the Austrian parliament, Ternopil Jews, who constituted a majority in the city, decided to elect a Jewish representative from among themselves. Their choice was unlike Brody Jews, who selected the Viennese Rabbi Noah Mannheimer to demonstrate their Germanism and to reconcile their unity with the Jews of the West.

In Ternopil, the Jews elected a representative by the name of Karmin in the Jewish district. However, for some unknown reasons, he gave up his mandate a few weeks after being elected[180].

During those years (1846 – 1849), Dr. Ya'akov Atlas, Perl's brother law, headed the Jewish community[181]. From 1834 To 1847, he was a physician in Ternopil. He was among the founders and organizers of the Jewish hospital. He was also a member of the city council. When he headed the community, he strived to renew the community's image by establishing institutions that fit the time.

When the “Kremsier Parliament” issued a resolution on 5 October 1848 that abolished all special taxes imposed on the Jews, the financial sources that supported the Jewish schools dried out. These sources paid for the wages and expenses of the rabbis, rabbinical judges, and the rest of the community's officials.

A delegation of rabbis appeared in Vienna before the Minister of Religions and Education, Graf Tehun. They described the desperate financial situation that the Jewish communities were facing. Tehun instructed them to provide him with the list of rabbis and officials to call on them for advisement. However, he later canceled the project.

In the meantime, The Jewish communities of Ternopil, Lviv, and Brody managed to obtain a permit to collect a meat tax to allow maintaining of their schools[182]. In that manner, the Ternopil community escaped a severe financial crisis. In Ternopil, the community also obtained an exclusive license to sell yeasts. The sale helped support the budget for the wages and expenses of the people serving in the synagogue. During those years, there were only two rabbinical judges in Ternopil. Their wages amounted to 1,575 florins.

The issue of the meat tax was on the agenda for many years. The finance ministry demanded a complete abolishment of that tax, however, its efforts were in vain because the communities favored its continuation and because the interior and the religions and education ministries supported their position. The community at Ternopil, who also explored various other sources to cover its budget, claimed that it would not be possible to do it in a less burdening way than the meat tax[183].

A cholera epidemic struck the city in 1848. The Jews established a committee for mutual aid, consisting of sixty members who did much to alleviate the situation among the general population[184].

When the authorities allowed the Jews to acquire real estate in 1850, 35 families submitted applications allowing them to purchase houses and estates. The following are the families whose application was approved: 1. Ziskind Rosenstein[185], 2. Dr. Ya'akov Atlas[186], 3. Aba Aberman, 4. Meshulam Aberman, a merchant and an estate lessee, 5. Salo Weinbau, a merchant, 6. Israel Fogel, 7. Israel Sapir, 8. Betzalel Sapir, 9. Perlmutter, 10. Eisenberg, 11. Khmilenker, an estate lessee, 12. Kittel, 13. Stein, 14. Breitbein, and 15. Berl Lorber[187].

In the period following 1848, changes took place in the organization of the elementary school established by Perl. At the end of the 1850s, the size of the school had to be increased. A separate school for girls had to be established. For that purpose, the community asked to raise the meat tax to secure the proceeds required to maintain the school. The financial ministry objected to approving the application, claiming principally that it was not desirable to raise the meat tax, which was just abolished. According to the ministry's view,

[Columns 103-104]

there should not be any special regulations for a specific religious community, against the principle of equal rights.

Against that, the interior ministry claimed that it also objected to the tax that burdened the poor classes, however, they should not change the status quo, since there was no other way to secure the revenues needed for the Jewish communities. Even in the case of reorganization of the communities, there were no other means to maintain the community institutions but the kosher meat tax.

In the end, the community did not receive the license to raise the meat tax, and the matter dragged on for many more years[188].

Perl's school was renamed starting in 1860: “Israelitische Haupt und Mäadchenschule” [“The Jewish Main and Girl's School”]. The Jewish studies were reduced, particularly in the girls' classes. The Talmud studies ended as early as 1855. The curriculum was adjusted according to the program in the state schools and from the Jews studies, only the religious studies (2 hours a week), and the study of the Hebrew language (11 hours a week) remained.

In 1869, 656 students studied in the school, taught by 8 teachers whose wages rose to 3868 florins annually.

The teachers took care of the poor students and established a company to supply their clothing. They organized Hannukah balls for that purpose[189]. The teachers who were active at that time were: Imanuel Perl, who managed the school after the death of Mikhael Perl, later on, Karl Flohen, Moshe Friehling, who received a medal of excellence for his pedagogic service, Phillip Liebling, Hirsh Glassgal (who transferred in 1844 to the elementary school established in Lviv by Rabbi Cohen). Among other teachers we should mention David Korngruen, Mesuta, Moritz Meirovitz, and Steinshneider.

In 1866, 90 Jewish students studied in the [state] high school[190], and in 1911 – 135 students out of 662 students were Jewish. 89 Jewish students studied in the science and math high school [The Realit Gymnasium] out of 213 students.

Various charity organizations were established in the 1860s[191], such as “Gemilut Khasadim” [“Bestowing Kindness”] and the craftsmen association “Yad Kharutzim” [“Arm of the Diligents”]. Under the initiative and lobbying of Zeev-Wolf Sapir, a new building was built for the “Talmud Torah” religious school, in which 300 students studied[192]. In 1870, the association “Khesed VeEmet” [“Grace and Truth”] was founded under the initiative of the rich man, Avraham Kutner. The association was headed by Shmuel Weinstein. Mikhael Perl founded the Association “Provide Clothing and Shoes for the School Students in Hannukah”[193]. The community also maintained a Jewish hospital containing 40 beds.

Rabbi Yosef BABa"D (1800 – 1875) served as the Ternopil rabbi beginning in the 1860s. He previously served as a rabbi in Sniatyn and Bohorodchany. He was known as a great scholar. He authored the book - “Minkhat Khinukh” [“Offering of Education”], which was published in three parts starting in 1869. The book contained a commentary on the book “Sefer HaKhinukh” [“The Book of Education”] by Aharon HaLevi (Ra'aH) of Barcelona.

The Jews had representatives in the city council. According to the law of the municipalities approved by the Galitsian Sejm in 1868, there were, in the 36 members city council, eleven Catholics, seven Greek-Catholics, and eighteen Jews.

The Jewish population grew from 11,000 people (52% of the total population) in 1869 to 13,648 (52.2%), 13,842 in 1890 (50.5%), to 13,495 (44.2%) in 1900, 14,000 in 1910 (the last year that the census was conducted by the Austrian regime), and 16,320 people in 1921.

During the period 1900 - 1910, the number of Jews decreased due to the worsening of the economic situation, which drove many of them to immigrate to America.

As a result of imposing equal rights for Austrian Jews, they were imposed the obligation of compulsory military service. As early as 1846 – 1849, several Jews enlisted in the professional army in the rank of officers, veterinarians, and military clerks[194]. In 1852,

[Column 105]

66 Jews were recruited to the army in the district of Ternopil, compared to 640 Christians.

A process of assimilation with the Polish culture, among the Jewish intelligentsia in Ternopil, began in the 1860s'. The Jewish intelligentsia maintained a common political platform with the Poles. Most of the Jewish youth that studied in the state schools and universities were subjected to Polish influence.

The following Jews participated in the Polish uprising, which took place in 1863: 1. Adolf Epstein - was nominated by the Polish national government for the position of commissioner. He participated in the battles alongside the Polish rebels. The Austrians caught him and sentenced him to jail time. Later on, Adolf moved to Chernivtsi [Yiddish - Tschernovitz] and was engaged in literary work. 2. Frankfurter Mikhael was a pharmacist, who joined the rebels when he was still a high school student, and took part in several battles[195].

Direct elections to the Viennese Parliament were held in Austria in 1873. The Jewish Organization “Shomer Israel” [“Guardian of Israel”] decided to enter the campaign as an independent party. They arrived at their decision since the Polish Sejm, under the influence of the Poles, did not send even a single Jewish representative to the Austrian Parliament.

Dr. Julius Kolischer and Dr. Emil Bik headed the central election campaign. “Shomer Israel” came out with the slogan that the Jews support the observance of the constitution and the Viennese centralism. In Ternopil, Dr. Yosef Cohen, the president of “Shomer Israel”, was nominated as the candidate of the organization, however, the Poles impeded his election.

The Jews in Ternopil voted for the Jewish candidate, Dr. Yekeles in 1879 but the Pole Cherkevski was elected,

1880 was a turning point in the national policy towards the Jews. Taaffe-Donayevski's cabinet handed over the rule of Galitsia to the Poles. The Polish faction in the Austrian Parliament decided the fate of the Jewish representation in the Austrian Parliament and the Galitsian Sejm. Although the Jews constituted 11% of the population in Galitsia, they did not receive the parliamentary representation they deserved.

The heads of the “Shomer Israel” organization allied with the Poles and subjugated the Jewish representation to their will.

In the same period, the progressive circles decided to nominate a modern preacher who possessed an academic education to a preacher position in Perl's house of prayer. They also decided that he would also be principal of the school aside from his duties as a preacher. In 1890, Dr. Shimon Dankovitz was among the pioneers of assimilation with the Poles. He was also a warrior who participated in the Polish Uprising of 1863. He was nominated for the same positions as his predecessor[196].

Dr. Dankovitz was a fascinating personality who possessed a high cultural level. He was born in 1841 in Czestochowa, studied medicine in Warsaw, and took advanced studies in Jewish sciences with Dr. Mordekhai Yastrov who then served as a preacher in Warsaw. He also studied for some time at the rabbinical Beit Hamidrash in Bratslav. When he returned to Warsaw, he joined a club of young Jews,

[Column 106]

I. Rienthal


who were sympathizers of the Polish national movement on the eve of the 1863 Polish Uprising. He caused a storm with his lecture about the Jewish question (in 1860), in which he proved that the Jews were still a nation although they lost their homeland.

When the uprising erupted, he joined the rebels' companies and participated in the battles. When [he was injured]

[Column 107]

he was smuggled out to Krakow. After he recovered, he made a living by teaching Hebrew. Under the lobbying by the progressives in the Jewish committee, who knew him from his activities during the uprising, he was nominated in 1867 to the position of a preacher at the [Lviv's] Temple Synagogue. During 1880 – 1886 he served as a rabbi in Shotz [Suceava] and in other communities in Bohemia. In 1886 – 1889 he became the Chief Rabbi of Bulgarian Jews and later on, a rabbi in Meveh?. In 1889, after the death of [Rabbi] Bernhard Lowenstein he tried to replace him as the preacher in Lviv, but failed. A short time later, he was appointed a preacher in Ternopil, however, he stayed in Ternopil only a short time[197]. After him came to Ternopil as a religion teacher, preacher, and principal of Perl's school, Shmuel Taubles, who was previously during the years 1889 – 1892 the rabbi of the community of Bzenec in Moravia. After him, the teacher Philip Liebling was nominated as the principal of the school, and after him, the secretary of Ternopil community David Korngruen, served as the school principal until the break of World War I[198].


David Korngruen


In the 1880s', the National Jewish movement commenced, and the frenzy encircled the Jewish intelligentsia circles in Lviv and the big provincial towns. It also resonated in Ternopil.

The slogans of the Zionist movement that had already substantially crystallized in Lviv also penetrated the Jewish youth in Ternopil. Clandestine students' associations have been established. Lectures and courses about Jewish history and the Hebrew language were held. Intense debates about the Jewish problems took place there. All the associations established at the end of the 1880s' maintained relations with the “Zion” associations in Lviv.

The propaganda tour of Dr. Birenbaum in Galitsia cities awoke the youth and resulted in the widening of the Zionist activity. The “Zion” association in Lviv sent weekly speakers and lecturers to the provincial towns, including Ternopil.

On 29 August 1893, the first public gathering, organized by Yosef Otsheret, took place. Mordekhai Aharonfreiz and Yehoshua Thon gave speeches at that gathering about the Zionist idea and the Jewish settlements in Eretz Israel. A preparatory committee for the establishment of a Zionist organization was elected in that gathering. The members of the committee were” Yosef Otsheret, Mentel, lawyer Yoakhim Binder, Adolf Kerpel, Shenkar, Wachs, M. A. Rapoport, A. Hartman, lawyer

[Column 108]

Betzalel Boistein, Ya'akov Halperin, and Israel Hertband[199].

The association “Beni Tzion” [“The sons of Zion”] was established. Three hundred members joined, most of whom were from the middle class and local intelligentsia. Two lawyers, the philosopher Dr. Taubles (the religion teacher), and two university students joined as well. Podles, the student who established a library and a reading hall, was very active during the initial period. Hebrew language courses taught by the known enlightened and grammarian Berish Goldenberg were held immediately after the establishment of the association.

In 1894, the first Hannukah Maccabim ball took place. Carl Shtandt, David Maltz, and Dr. Taubles spoke in that ball. The latter joined the assimilators' camp later on and persecuted the Zionists in the schools.

With the number of members growing, the association rented a large home in the city square and held a festive housewarming ball. Rabbi Israel Parnas opened the party and called for unity. Aharon Karpel spoke about assimilation and the damage it brought to Judaism. In his speech, the preaching rabbi, Dr. Taubles, emphasized the value of the Hebrew language for women[200].

The association continued to grow, and the Zionists' influence on the public life of the Jews in Ternopil became apparent. The courses and lectures about Jewish literature and history, which were held for years, played a major and important role in the Zionist education of the Hebrew youth.

Ternopil's representatives participated in the conference union of the organizations that were active in settling in Eretz Israel and Syria. Ternopil's representatives also attended the deliberations of the “Zion” organization in Austria. Ternopil's representative, Mendel Pomerantz, was elected to the management committee.

Ternopil's representatives also participated in the second conference of Galitsia's Zionists, which took place in Lviv on 2 – 4th of September 1894. Y. D. Rodnik reported about the “Bnei Zion” association in Ternopil. He was also elected to the presidency of the conference. Pomerantz was elected to the national committee.

Ternopil's Zionists began to capture an important position in the Zionist movement and the Jewish Ternopil became one of its forts.

Author's Notes:

  1. Jan Tarnowski (1488 – 1561) excelled as a military commander. He participated in the battles with the Tatars and the Muscovites, starting in 1521. During 1517 – 1521 Jan traveled to western Europe, Syria, and Egypt [he made a pilgrimage to the Holy Land during that trip]. In 1521 he helped the Hungarian King Ludvik in his war with Turkey. In 1931, he fought as the head of the Polish army against Turkey, Wallachia, and Moscow.
    He was from among the proponents of the Habsburgs. He was also known as a military author. His book “Consilium Rationis Bellicae” [“Council of the War Case”], Tarnow 1558, was used as a war sciences textbook for several generations. He stood in opposition to King Sigismund-Augustus. Return
  2. The palace fortification constituted a sturdy fort separated from the city by a moat and a stone-made levee covered by an oak grate. At the edges of the levee, on the city side, stone citadels were erected. They were fitted with gun shooting slits. Bridges hanging on chains above the moats and levees linked the castle and the city at a time of need. A two-story castle stood within the fort, containing several halls and residential rooms. The castle building was also outfitted with gun shooting slits. An arsenal containing a substantial number of rifles, gunpowder, lead, and cannons was located in the yard. Return
  3. “Przywileje królów i wlaścicieli miasta Tarnopola” [“Privileges of the Kings and Owners of the City of Tarnopol”], Dr. Jan Leniak, 1932. Return
  4. Dr. Majer Balaban: “Zydzi Lwowscy” [“The Jews of Lviv”] p. 371. Return
  5. The “Orient”, 1848, pp. 478 – 480. Return
  6. In one of his answers (Responsa 43], R' Meir indicated that at the time of the Tatars' attacks, every resident in Volhynia was obligated to fight on the front, by the order of the Duke (Voivode). Jews were trained on shooting. The same obligation was also imposed in Reisyn [Belarus]. Return
  7. In 1672 the following was written in the city record: “Musztra Zydzi równo z chrześcijanami powinni odprawować, z muszkietem pewnym stawać, kul wedlug potrzeby, knotow i prochow stawac, pod wina trzech grzywien na zamek należaca” [“Jews are obligated to train with muskets, and if needed, also bullets, wicks and gunpowder. Any avoidance is subject to fines by the authorities.”] (Finkel Ludwik: “Miasto Ternopol w r. 1672” [“The city of Tarnopol in 1672]. Rocznik Kolka: “Naukowegi Tarnopolskiego za rok, 1892”, str. 127 [“Annals of Tarnopol Scientific Collection for the Year 1892”, p. 127]. Return
  8. Mentioned in the Polish translation of the book by Xawery Liske: “Cudzoziemcy w Polsce” [“Foreigners in Poland”], Lviv 1876 p. 159. Return
  9. A copy of the statute is located in an archive and library of the Duke Bavorovski in Lviv: “Ksiegi lawnicze tarnopolskie z lat 1738 do 1788” [“Ternopil Law Books from 1738 to 1748”]. Return
  10. Israel Halperin: “Pinkas Va'ad Arba HaAratzot” [“The Ledger of the Council of Four Lands”], Tel Aviv, 5705 (1944 / 45), No. 43, p. 271, 5561 (1800/01). Return
  11. Va'ad Arba HaAratzot” [“The Council of Four Lands”]. Return
  12. Israel Halperin: “The Ledger of the Council of Four Lands”, p. 310, book 5619 (1848/9), No. 51, XLIX, a letter from 16 September 1728. Return
  13. Israel Halperin: “The Ledger of the Council of Four Lands”, pp. 126, 143, 163, 165, 168, 177, and 181. Return
  14. Khaim-Nathan Dembitzer: “Klilat Yofi” [“Beauty in Perfection”], Krakow 1888. Part A p. 58/b. Return
  15. Rabbi Yitzkhak Krakover's daughter, Sara, was married to [Head of the Rabbinical Court] Skalat, Rabbi Wolf, the father of the activist of the “Council of Four Lands” and the last Jewish leader of the state of Reisyn, R' Yisaskhar Berish. Rabbi Wolf of Skalat was also the grandfather of the first and the only state Rabbi of Gaitsia during the Austria rule, R' Arye-Leib Bernstein (grandfather of Professor Dr. Tzvi Peretz Khayut). The second daughter of Rabbi Yitzkhak Krakover was the wife of Rabbi Yitzkhak ABD Iziaslav [Zaslav], R' Yosef Kharif. Among other sons-in-law, we should also mention Rabbi Moshe-Shaul, ABD Kalish, and later on Zhuravne, and Rabbi Moshe from Brisk, Lithuania. Return
  16. The husband of his eldest daughter, Miryam, about him: Dembitzer - Klilat Yofi, part A, pp. 131 – 132. Return
  17. Ya'akov Emden – “Megilat Sefer” [“The book Scroll”] , David Kahana Publishing, Warsaw 1896, p. 65. Return
  18. [Yaakvov Emeden's] “Megillat Sefer”, pp. 67-68. Return
  19. R' Arye-Leib was a rabbi in Rzeszów [Reisha], up to 1728, and then in Glogow during 1734 – 1739. While in Glogow, He declared a boycott against the RAMKHAL [Rabbi Moshe Khaim Luzzatto). During that period, he also served as a rabbi in Lviv and its district. In 1740, he was selected as the Rabbi of Amsterdam and took an active role in the conflict between Eibeschitz and Emden. His correspondence on that affair was published in Ya'akov Emden's books “Sfat Emmett” [“The Language of Truth”] and “Hit'abkut” [“Wrestling”].
    (Also see Y. Halperin: “Pinkas Va'ad Arba HaAratzot”, pp. 345 – 349, 355 – 358, 361 – 362, 364 – 371, 374 – 376, 378 – 379, 408, 411, and 477).
    Arye-Leib died on the seventh day of Passover 5515 (2 April 1755). His brother-in-law, Ya'akov Emden, who did not appreciate Arye-Leib in his memory book, changed his mind in his eulogy about him where he said: “I found myself obligated to eulogize and cry after him not only because I was his brother-in-law, but more so because he suffered because of me and what I said” (Pamphlet “She'agat Arye” [“Lion's Roar”], Amsterdam, 5515 1754/55] and a quote in Y. Halperin: “Pinkas Va'ad Arba HaAratzot”, p. 345, Note 12). Return
  20. Y. Halperin “Pinkas Va'ad Arba HaAratzot”, p. 334, book 5657 [1896/7]. Return
  21. Among his three daughters, one was married to Zalman Portis, the son of the famous activist of the Va'ad Arba HarArzot, Dr. Yitzkhak Portis (Khazak). The second daughter married the leader from Lublin, Avraham Kheimesh, and the third Married the leader, Zerakh from Nadvorna. Return
  22. Yitzkhak, son of Tzvi-Hirsh HaLevi Landau, was a rabbi in Tarla and from 1719 a rabbi in Afta. During 1729 – 1738 he was a rabbi in Zhovkva and then the province in Lviv. Starting 1754, he served as the ABD [Head of Rabbinical Court] in Krakow. In the controversy between Eibeschitz and Emden, he favored Eibeschitz. He died in Krakow in 1767.
    During his service in Tarla, he saw the certificate from 1726 in the “Historisheh Shriften” [“ Historical Writings”], YIVO B' II 643 (Dr. Refael Mahler: “Documenten Tzu der Geshikhte fon di Va'adei HaGlilot in Poilen” [“Documents of the History of the Provincial Committees in Poland”]. Also printed in the Ledger of the “Va'ad Arba Ha'aratzot”, p. 303, 5606 [1845/6]. Return
  23. He signed on the census of 1765 as Szmujlo Jakubowicz. Return
  24. Moshe-Pinkhas, son of Avraham R' Kheimesh of Lublin (who was the last parnas – [activist-official] of the “Council of the Four Lands”), was the son-in-law of Israel-Isrel from Zhovkova, who was also a parnas of the “Council of Four Lands”. After serving as a rabbi in Svirzh, he was nominated to be the rabbi in Zhovkova in 5506 (1746). In 1751 he threw his support in Zhovkova in favor of Eibeschitz. Return
  25. R' Yosef, the son-in-law of R' Yekhezkel Landau (author of “Nodah Be'Yehuda”) was a rabbi in Yavorov, Vyskov, Sokal, and since 1780 until he died in Poznan. Since he issued judgments against the Prussian laws, he was punished by the authorities with a fine of a thousand thalers in cash. He died in the month of Adar 5561 [February 1801] (Shlomo Buber: “Kehila Ne'emena” p. 69-70). Return
  26. Dr. Majer Balaban: “Spis Zydow i Karaitow ziemi Halickiej i powiatu Trembowelskiego i Kolomyjskiego w r. 1765” [“Census of Jews and Karaites in the Halych Land and Trembowel and Kolomyjski Counties in 1765”], Krakow, 1909, pp. 14 – 15. Return
  27. N. M. Gelber: “The History of the Jews in Bukovina in the Years 1773 – 1785”, “Tzion”, 5702 [1941/2]. Return
  28. Actually, the central authorities in Vienna planned to push for an Industrialization program, which the commission in Galitsia was against, particularly Graf Brigido and his advisor Kortum. The latter thought that industrialization would not bear any results unless the Jews were not expelled from the cities. Kortum wrote the following in 1768:
    Bekanntlich ist der Jude in Galizien alles. Er ist Bürger. Er ist der Fuss, das principale der städtischen Bevölkerung. Sein Esprit de Corps setzt ihn schon allein in den Stand, alles was Industrie heisst um sich her zu verdrängen. Die Erfahrung redet dafür. Immer war er der Ausbreitung der städtischen Industrie hinderlich. Aber seitdem den Juden alle Arten von bürgerlichen Gewerben freigegeben worden - ohne Mittel, die ihre Anzahl Jemals vermindern können und bei der überwiegenden Wahrscheinlichkeit ihre Menge von Jahr zu Jahr zu wachsen zu schen- verschwindet auch die Möglichkeit des Gedankens in Städten wo Juden wohnen, fremde Fabricanten und Handwerker auch bei aller Unterstützung mit guten Erfolg anzusiedeln.” [“As commonly known, the Jew is the basis for life in Galicia. He is a citizen but of lowest class, which is the basis of the urban population. His community comradeship [ésprit de corps] alone enables him to drive out everything around him that has to do with urban industry. The experience speaks for itself. The Jew has always been a hindrance to the expansion of urban industry. Since all sorts of civic trades have become available for Jews, there are no means by which we can reduce their numbers. There is an overwhelming probability that their numbers will grow from year to year. Therefore, the possibility of successful settling of foreign fabricants and craftsmen, in cities where Jews live - diminishes, even with all the support.”].
    (Bericht vom Dezember 27 1785. Archiv des Ministeriums des Inneren”, Wien V.G. [“Report of December 27 1785. Archives of the Interior Ministry”, Vienna V.G.], Carton 2968 from 12 February 1768. Return
  29. Archive of the Interior Ministry (A. d. N. d. J.), Protokolle Galitsien [Galitsian Protocols] 1776, December No. 30. Return
  30. Ibid, 1778, January No. 28, March, No. 9. Return
  31. Ibid, June No. 29, Vienna. Return
  32. N. M. Gelber “Statistic fon di yiden in Poilen, sof 18 yarhundert” [“Statistics of the Jews in Poland at the end of the 18th century”], Shriftn fur ekanamik on statistic” ['Writings on Economics and Statistics”], YIVO volume, Berlin 1928, p. 188. Return
  33. IV T. 1, Judenansiedlung {Jewish Settlements] c.a. 1792, carton 2580. Return
  34. Archiv des Ministeriums für Innere's, Wien. [Archive of the Interior Ministry, Vienna], Galitzien IV T., ex 1822. Return
  35. Archiv des Ministeriums für Inneres, (Wien), [Archive of the Interior Ministry, Vienna], IV T., ad Carton T. 11 e. a. 1787, Carton 2658 No. 147. Return
  36. Anton Mosler served as the district minister during those years. IV T. 11, Carton 2658. Return
  37. Hofkammer-Archiv, Wien, im Archiw des K.u.K Ungarn u. Galizien [Imperial and Royal archive of Hungary and Galitsia], fasc. 57 as 5, January 1782. Return
  38. Slightly different numbers are mentioned in the census from 1791 - Archiv des Ministeriums für Inneres. Wien [Archive of the Interior Ministry, Vienna], IV T., ad Carton 2580 (1792 -1804). Return
  39. The following is the content of his decision:
    Sämtliche Schänkarenden sind den Juden in Galizien ohne mindeste Termin-Verlängerung sofort abzunehmen. Die Dominien aber, die wieder diesen Verbot derlei jüdische Pächter beibehalten, sind mit der bestimmten Geldstrafe ohne alle Rücksicht anzusehen. Wien 29.1.1787. Josef” [“Jews are to be removed from all taverns in Galicia immediately without any extension of the deadline. The estate owners, who would again violate this ban on those Jewish lessees, are to be fined without any consideration. Vienna, January 29, 1787. Emperor Josef II”].
    Archiv des Ministeriums des Innern, Wien IV T. 11 Carton 2568 (1786 – 1792) Nr. 37.
    Also see - Mikhael Stöger: “Darstellung der gesetzlichen Verfassung der galizischen Juden” [“Representation of the legal constitution of the Galician Jews”], Lemberg [Lviv], 1833 I pp. 154 – 159. Return
  40. Protokoll Galizien 1791 – 1793 Dezember, Nr. 159. Return
  41. IV T. 1 Galizien, Carton 2580 (1792 – 1804), Fasc. 277 – 278 (1828 – 1848). Return
  42. In the rest of the district communities the following people served as teachers:
    1. Yeshaia Rosenbush in Zbarazh (his annual wage -150 florins).
    2. Levi Tornauer in Hrymailiv [Grzylavow] (200 florins).
    3. Khaim Handek in Myukulyntsi [Mikulince] (150 florin).
    4. Aharon Balk in Terebovlia [Trembowla] (150 florins).
    5. Hirsh Urban in Budzaniv (150 florins).
  43. Korytowski's letter from 25 March 1812, was published by Israel Weinlez' “Historische Schriften”, YIVO, Vol. I, p. 811 Return
  44. Archiv des Ministeriums für Unterricht und Kultur [Archive of the Ministry of Education and Culture], Wien 23, a ad 70 ex Mai 1816 Isr. Freischule zu Tarnopol. Return
  45. The cities were: In the district of Ternopil - Ternopil, Terebovlia [Trembowla], Zbarazh, Skalat, and Husiatyn, and in the district of Zalishchyky - Zalishchyky and Yazlovets. The towns were: In the district of Ternopil - Myukulyntsi [Mikulince], Strusiv, Hrymailiv [Grzymalow], Khorostkiv, Kopychintsi, Yablonovy, Suchostav, Dolina [Yanov], Budzaniv, and Ihrovytsy. [No district is mentioned for the following additional towns:] Borshchiv Ustechko, Khorostkiv, Zvebyhorod, Horodok, Yahilnytsya, Ozeryani [Borshchiv subdistrict], Korolowka, Krzywcza, Korerintza, Pidbuzh, Skala, Tovste [Tluste], Ust'ye, and Biskopia. Return
  46. Yitzkhak Iganz Bronstein was the son-in-law of Ternopil District's rabbi, R' Shmuel Falkenfeld. During the Russian regime in Ternopil, he purchased the Zalishchyky's estates. He converted to Christianity in 1815. He acquired for himself the title Baron Bavari which was later approved by the Austrian government in 1918. His wife, Rachel, daughter of Rabbi Falkenfeld, refused to convert to Christianity and remained Jewish with her two daughters. She was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Zalishchyky. The daughter of his son Leon – Malvina, was married to Victor Bilinski and was the mother of the famous Austro-Polish scholar and politician, Dr. Leon Bilinski (1846 – 1923). Return
  47. Archiv des Ministeriums des Innern IV T. (1815 – 1828) ad. 115, April 1818 (32420 / 3665): “Grundbesitze der Tarnopoler Juden” [“Land ownership of the Ternopil Jews”]. Return
  48. Staatsarchiv Wien [State Archive, Vianna] SA / 1545, 25 February, 1818, “Hausbesitz Tarnopol “[“Ternopil – Ownerships]. Return
  49. A report of the Austrian Commissioner in Ternopil, Stutterheim, from 21 November 1815, as quoted at:
    Jan Leszczynski: “Rzady rosyjskie w Kraju Tarnopol-skim 1809 – 1815, [“Russian rule in The Tarnopol Region 1809 – 1815”]. Krakow-Warsaw 1903].
    (monogarfie w zakresie Dziejow Nowozytnych Wydawca Szymon Askenazy) Vol. III p. 138, 254 [“Monographs on Modern History” - publisher Szymon Askenazy, Vol. III, P. 138, 254]. Return
  50. He was a stern lease holder. In 1820, four Jews submitted a complaint against him.
    Archiv Min d. Innern, Wien, Protokoll Galizien 1820.
    Also, the archive of the commissioner in Lviv: “Protocol Präsidialakten” [“Protocol Presidential File”], 1820 No. 3488. Return
  51. His sermon from 1838. Parts of the sermon were published in the book by Weinlez: “Yosef Perl's Yiddish Writings”, p. LXIII. Return
  52. Dr. Nathan Horwitz: “Joseph Perl, Eine biographische Skizze” [“Yosef Perl, A Biographical Sketch”].
    J. Busch: “Kalender und Jahrbuch der Israeliten”, [“Calendar and Yearbook of the Jews”], 1846 / 47, Vienna, p. 216 – 217. Return
  53. Dr. M. Letris: Memory in the Vienna book, 1869, pp. 98 – 99. Return
  54. N. M. Gelber's article about Mendel Lefin, in his book: “Aus zwei Jahrhunderten” [“From two Centuries”]. Return
  55. Published in Dr. Philip Friedman's article: “Yosef Perl Vi a Bildungestuer un zein shul in Tarnopol” [“Yosef Perl as an Educator and his School in Ternopil”], YIVO Bletter [YIVO Journal], 1948, Actn un Documenten [Acts and documents], pp. 188 – 189. Return
  56. Ibid pp. 132 – 137. Return
  57. As he mentioned in his letter from November 11 1826, to Leon Landau in Odesa Published in Wienlez p. XVII. Return
    1. According to the report of the first school's principal – Neiman. A manuscript in Perl's library in Ternopil. It is quoted in the article by Dr. Philip Friedman (mentioned above [in note 55]), p. 141.
    2. Perl's letter to Leon Landau in Odesa from November 9, 1826. The letter was published in I. Weinlez: “Yosef Perl's Yiddish Writings”, p. XVII.
  58. Dr. Horowitz: “Jahrbuch Busch” V., p. 217 Return
  59. The students were 1. Betsalel, 2. Khana Mirel Stern, 3 and 4. Two Perl's children, 5. Yosef Hirsh, 6. Yitzkhak Dinish, 7. David Tzvi, 8. Leah Frantsoiz, 9. Lipa, 10. Yehoshua, 11. Yokheved, 12. Rakhel Atlas, 13. Falk Regel, 14. Moshe Kohenberg, 15. Leib Bronstein, and 16. Yitzkhak-Hirsh Weintraub. Return
  60. Neiman managed the school until 1817. After Ternopil returned to Austrian hands in 1816, he lobbied the Austrian authorities about school matters. Return
  61. Born in Kolikiv in 1779. He was a German, French and Hebrew teacher. In 21 September 1854, the celebrated his anniversary with the school in splendor. He received a medal of excellence - “Goldenes Verdienskeiz”. Algemeine Zeitung Des Judentums [Jewish General Newspaper], 1854, 534. Return
  62. Yitzkhak Mikhael Meniyes was a Hebrew author who participated in “Kerem Khemed”, in which he published the translation of four letters by Euler about physics and an article about the blessing “Bring him into the covenant of Avraham our father” (II pamphlet 23).
    He also published scientific news under his name, Shmuel-Leib Goldenberg. He published the article “Questions and Answers about Customs” in “Yerushalayim”, Zhovkva, 1844. He was a known Torah scholar. He served in Perl's school for more than 25 years. He died in Ternopil in the summer of 1844. He left a Hebrew translation of Euler's letters, the book “Mishlei Ya'akov from Dubna” [“Proverbs of Ya'akov from Dubna”], and a book about esthetics.
    Written about him in the “Orient” p. 407, and in Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums”, 1846, pp. 105 – 106.
    He corresponded with the RIVAL [Yitzkahk Ber Levinzon]. His letters were published in “Be'er Yitzkak” [“Yitzkhak Well”], EWarsaw 1899, pp. 90, 105, 121 – 122. Return
  63. Aryeh Leib Kinderfreind was the student and trainee of the Hebrew author Ya'akov Gelber-Eikhenbaum, the author of the poem collection “Shirim Shonim” [“Miscalenous Songs”], Lviv 1834. He was a very skilled linguist. He wished to help another teacher, Yitzkahk Erter, join the school. The latter came to Ternopil for that purpose, but for some reason, his hiring never materialized. Return
  64. The reason why the students learn the “Deutsche-Yudeshe Shparkh” [“German-Jewish language”] was explained in one of the textbooks: “Since the Jews do not have their own language, they always use the language of the nation they reside with. However, for the written language, they use Hebrew letters, particularly, that is the custom used by the Jews who speak German. Since the five books of the Torah and Psalms were translated recently into German, using the Hebrew letters, it was useful for the youth to study form these books for religious studies.” (Dr. Friedman p. 163 – 164). Return
  65. After the liberation of Ternopil, a fable was circulated in Russia that [Tzar] Alexander the 1st said (ostensibly) that “because of that Jew (Perl), it was hard for him to give Ternopil up”.
    Dr. M. Weissberg: “Die neu hebräische Aufklärungs-literatur in Galizien, (Monatsschrift für Geschichte und Wissenschaft des Judentums)”, 1928, Heft 1-2 p. 83 [“The New Hebrew Enlightenment Literature in Galicia, (monthly journal for the history and Judaic studies“), 1928, issue 1-2 p.83]. Return
  66. IV. T. 2 carton 2661 ad. 238, July 1816. Return
  67. IV. T. 2 carton 2661, No. 158. January 1816. Return
  68. Staatsarchiv, Wien SA/1545, 25 February 1818. Return
  69. Archiv des Ministeriums für Innern IV. T. 1, 15 April 1818. Return
  70. According to Dr. Horowitz, in his biographic review about Perl:
    Since Ternopil was separated from Lviv, Perl obtained a permit to establish a printing business there. He later sold it to Finlish. The Yiddish translation of the book of Proverbs by Mendel Lefin was printed in that printing house in 1813. Perl's calendar for the years 5574 [1813/14], 5575 [1814/15], and 5576 [1814/15], the book “Rosh Emuna” [“The Pinnacle of Faith”] by Abarbanel, and the Perl school's publications were also printed there. Return
  71. The article by Dr. Meir Balaban about the Hebraic publishing in Poland in “Soncino Blätter” III, H. 1, and the article by A. M. Haberman: “The Hebraic publisher in Ternopil, and the list of published books”, published in “Alim” [“Leafs”] for bibliography, Vienna, 5695 [1935], pp. 24 – 31. Return
  72. IV. T. 7, Carton 2627. Return
  73. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, Wien [Archives of the Ministry of Culture and Education, Vienna], 23 a ad. 70 ex., May 1816. Return
  74. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus [Archive of the Ministry of Culture], 23 a, 1816 (“Israelitische Freyschule zu Tarnopol” [“Ternopil Free Jewish Day School”]). Return
  75. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, Wien [Archives of the Ministry of Culture and Education, Vienna] SA/6265 ad 21 August 1817, “Israelitische Freyschule zu Tarnopol und deren Erhebung zur Hauptschule” [“The Jewish Free Day school and its upgrade to a secondary school”]. Return
  76. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, 23a, 213 ex September 1817. Return
  77. The delay was caused by the resistance of the people in the community, most of whom were Hassidim, who did not want to pay an ongoing contribution. Because the community leaders and a few prominent Jewish families joined the agreement, the authorities in Vienna were encouraged to direct the provincial government to approve the agreement, against the Hassidim's will. Zhbarazh community committed itself to contributing an amount of 450 florins annually.
    Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, SA/8173, 20 December 1819. Return
  78. The resolution by the emperor was worded as follows:
    Ich genehmige, dass zu Tarnopol gemäss den von der Studien Commission, gemachten Anträgen eine Israelitische Hauptschule errichtet werde und ernenne zum Direktor derselben den Joseph Perl, welchen Ich zugleich die Erlaubniss erteilte, seinen Stellvertreter und seinen Nachfolger, wie auch taugliche Lehrer, Solange er das Amt eines Direktors besorgen wird, unter Bestätigung der ordentlichen Behörde zu ernennen. In Anschnung der gemachten ansehnlichen Aufopferungen und des bezeigten lobenswerthen Eifers verleihe Ich dem Joseph Perl die mittlere Goldene Ehrenmedaille mit Ohr und Band um Deren Ueberkommung sich an Mein Oberstkammerant zu wenden Ist” [“I authorize the establishment of a Jewish secondary school in Ternopil according to the proposal made by the Studies Commission and appoint Joseph Perl as director of the same. I also grant him a permit, for as long as he holds the position of a principal (with the approval of the proper authority), to appoint his deputy, his successor, and qualified teachers. In recognition of the considerable sacrifices made and the praiseworthy zeal shown, I award Joseph Perl the Medium Golden Medal of Honor with Ear and Ribbon, the code for which, will be addressed by my Upper-Bureau]. Troppau 16 November 1820.FRANZ
    Perl's annual salary, as the principal of the school, was 600 florins. However, he refused to receive it (Dr. Horowitz Jahrbuch V pp. 219 – 220). Return
  79. “Die Erziehung der jüdischen Jugend in Galizien wie sie ist und wie sein sollte.” [“The education of the Jewish youths in Galicia as it is and as it should be”], Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, Wien SA/ 5049, 1826, 16 August.
    Also found in the file: 23 A 5213 October 1830. Return
  80. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht und Kultus, SA/5049. Return
  81. Dr. Horowitz pp. 223 – 224. Return
  82. M. Weissberg MS f. G. u. W. d. J. 1927, p. 83. Return
  83. Archiv des Ministeriums für Innern, V T 1, “Duldung der Juden in Galizien” [“Tolerance of Jews in Galicia”], 1815 – 1828. Return
  84. IV T 1, 1815 – 1828, kt. 781/179 February 1826. Return
  85. In his letter to SHI"R from 30 November 1825, published at I. Weinlez, pg. XXXIV. Return
  86. Archiv Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, 23 E, 169, 5 July 1836. Return
  87. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, 23 a, 14 July 1833, Z. 12049.
    H. Reitman who published, after the death of Perl, the review: “Joseph Perl und die Schule zu Tarnopol” [“Yosef Perl and his School in Ternopil”], In the journal of Dr. Avraham Neiger: “Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für Jüdische Theologie” [“Scientific Journal for Jewish Theology”], pp. 312 – 318, 1839. He writes that the proposal was submitted by Perl in 1836, however, archival documents show that it was actually submitted as early as 1833. Return
  88. From his letter from 20 February 1826 to Friehling, published by I. Weinlez p. XLIX. Return
  89. Archive of the Galitsian Commission in Lviv: Fasc. 11 Juden Algemeine Sachen, Nr. 14690, 1830. Return
  90. Staatsarchiv Wein, S. A. 4200 ex 4 July 1832. Return
  91. The Viennese government objected to that paragraph for the fear that it would “die Einschleichung fremder Individuen erleichtert werde” [“facilitate the incursion of alien individuals”]. The government changed the paragraph to read that only wealthy members can join the association. Return
  92. Vortrag über den Vorschlag des Direktors der israelitischen Hauptschule zu Tarnopol Joseph Perl wegen Gründung eines Vereines zur Verbreitung nützlicher Gewerbe unter d. galizischen Judenschaft” [“Lecture on the proposal of the director of the Jewish secondary school in Tarnopol, Joseph Perl, regarding the establishment of an association for the expansion of useful trades among the Galician Jews”].
    Archiv des Ministeriums des Innern: Polizeiakten [Archive of the Ministry of the Interior: Police files] No. 3348. Return
  93. Gerson Wolf: Joseph Wertheimer, Vienna 1860, p. 105. Return
  94. Dr. Aharon Paries from Lviv: “The history of SHI"R in [the periodical] “HaShakhar” [“The Dawn”], 5629 [1868/9], p. 26. Return
  95. The translation to German of the full text of two boycotts. One boycott of SHI"R (Sh. Y. Rappoport), Avraham-Banyamin-Tzvi Natkis, Yehuda Pestor and Yitzkhak Erter. The second boycott of Brody and Ternopil were attached to the file:
    Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus und Unterricht, IV T 5, ad 26, September 1816. Return
  96. Archiv des Ministeriums für Kultus, ad ex 194, November 1819. Return
  97. Akt 106 ex August 1827. Return
  98. Dr. P. Friedman: Di Ershte Kampen Tzwishen Haskalah un-Hassidim in Galitsye – Fun Nanten Avar” [“The First Battles between Haskalah [Enlightenment] and Hassidim in Galicia - from the Recent Past”]. Vilna, booklet 4. Return
  99. Dr. J. Nakht: “Ein unveröffentlichtes Aktenstück von Josef Perl” [“An unpublished document of Josef Perl”], M.G. W. d. J., 1927 [pp.] 308 – 311. Return
  100. Dr. P. Friedman “Yosef Perl vi a bildungs-tuer un zein shul ein Tarnopol” [“Joseph Pearl as an educator and his school in Tarnopol”], YIVO Bletter [YIVO Journal], 1948 pp. 171-172. Return
  101. In his sermon on Shabbat Nitzavim Torah portion, 1838. Published by I. Weinlez p. 8. Return
  102. “Die Juden in Galizien“ [“The Jews in Galitsia“], Lepzig, 1845 p. 21. Return
  103. A unique impression, which he never forgot, made on him the riot by the Hassidim, in 1815, when they broke into the new school building and broke the glasses and destroyed the windows (B. Goldenberg, “Ohel Yosef, Toldot Perl VeBeit Sifro” [“Yosef's Tent. The History of Perl and his School”], Lviv, 1866, p. 4. Return
  104. Archiv des Ministeriums für Inneres, Wien, Polizeiakten [Police Records] e.a., 1816 Nr. 2328. Return
  105. Brünn [Brno], 1823 Volume II pp. 197 -259
    Beer specifically wrote that he received from Yosef Perl from Ternopil and from the preacher Nishka Hassidic books, and that he made significant use of the essay that Perl had sent him (Vol. II p. 205). Return
  106. The manuscript was sent to the censor as early as 1816. Return
  107. According to Dr. Nathan Neteh Horwitz (Jahrbuch V, p. 222), this is about the book by Peter Beer. However, Beer's book. However, that book was published in 1823, while “Megaleh Tmirin” was published in 1816. Undoubtfully, this is about the article: “Uber das Wesen der Sekte der Chassidim” which Perl submitted to Hauer in 1816. According to Dr. Philip Friedman (in his article “Di Ershte Kampfn Tzwishen Haskalah un-Hassidism” in “Fun Naetn Avar”, Vilnius, 1838, pp. 261 – 263). Perl possebly referred to the Polish translation “Shivkhei BESHT” [“Praises of the BESHT”], about which Shmuel Bik wrote on 15 Iyar 5579 (1819) to Mendel Lefin, who resided in Ternopil at that time. According to Bik, the translation was popular among the Polish nobility. Return
  108. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 1839, No.. 32, p. 46-47. Return
  109. Allgemeine Zeitung Des Judentums, 1839 No. 90 (21.9) pp. 483 – 484, 92 (5.10) pp 511 – 512). Return
  110. It is interesting that in Jost's “Israelitische Annalen”, published after Perl's death, an article appeared in which the following was said about the book “Bokhen Tzaddik“:
    Seine jüngste Schrift verdient der Vergessenheit übergeben zu werden. In diesem Buche werden zum Theile harmlose und dem und ruhige Personen ohne Grund angegriffen und dem Tadel preisgegeben auch die Galizier mit Unrrecht öffentlich blossgestellt, so dass er allgemeinen Umwillen auf sich zog und man ihn hasste wegen seiner Träume und Reden. Daher hat den auch sein Tod nicht den erwarteten Eindruck gemacht und weniger Trauer erregt als wir anfangs vermuteten. Ja, wir haben selbst zu unserrem Leidwesen hören müssen, dass seine früheren Verehrer jetzt sein Ableben als Glück betrachten.
    So hat sein Alter Manches Werk seiner Jugend verdorben. Ja, seine Schrift hat das Volk um mehrere Stufen zurückgeworfen in dem es danach die Aufklärung beurtheilt und noch stärker zu vermeiden strebt. Nicht blos das gemeine Gesindel der Chassidim, welche am Abend über seinem Grabe (!) vom Branntwein berauscht herumsprangen und in roher Freude über den Tod ihres Feindes an diesem Ort des Friedens sich tummelten, sondern wir gesagt auch viele Bessergesinnte theilen die Ansicht, dass Buch besser nicht geschrieben wäre
    ” [“His most recent work deserves to be destined to oblivion. In this book, harmless and calm people are attacked without reason. The book unjustly exposed in public the faults of the Galicians. Thus, he attracted general displeasure, and people despised him because of his dreams and speeches. Therefore, his death did not generate the expected impression and caused less grief than one can expect. We were sorry to hear that his former admirers have cheered the news of his death. Thus his age has spoiled many works of his youth. Yes, his writing has set the people back several years in judging the Enlightenment Movement. His latest work caused people to avoid enlightenment even more than before.
    The Rebbe and his followers, the Hassidim, danced around intoxicated on his grave (!), a place of peace. They romped in a raw joy over the death of their enemy. Many open-minded people just shared the opinion that it would have been better if the book had not been written”].
    (Israelitische Annalen 1839 Nr. 44 p. 346).
    A few years ago, an unknown manuscript written by Yosef Perl (from his school library in Ternopil), written in the format of stories of Rabbi Nakhman of Bratslav (in the books “Shivkhei Ha'RAN [“Praises of Rabbi Nakhman from Bratslav”], and “Likutei MAHARAN” [“Collection of Rabbi Nakhman's Teachings”]). The manuscript is in Jerusalem and would be published soon after the publishing of the Yizkor Book. It would include an introduction and scientific commentary by H. Shemrock, one of the workers at the general Jewish archive in Jerusalem. Return
  111. New York, 1942, p. 30.
    Dr. Mahler describes the Hassidic rebbes and their followers as people who hated the lessees of the tax collection and considered themselves as savior and faithful warriors for the benefit of the masses. He ignored the fact that there were tax collection lessees, even among the Hassidim, who exploited people like other lessees. We should not forget that there were also enlightened people who detested the lessees and their methods. Return
  112. The same Hassidim and rebbes who fought against the tax collection lessees did not shy away from trying to get collection leases for themselves and their followers. In a letter from 1833 to SHADAL [Samuel David Luzzatto], Sh. Y. Rappaport [SHI"R] wrote about the details of his fight to secure the position of a secretary in a kosher meat tax collecting corporation. He had to fight against the lessees who objected to his candidacy because they were from “an evil Hassidic sect” (Ben Tzion Dinaburg, SHI"R's Letters, “Tzion”, Booklets a and b, Jerusalem, 5687 [1926/7], p. 49). Return
  113. His sermon in the House of Prayer in Ternopil in 1838 (see Weinlez, p. LIX [59]). Return
  114. More about him in N. M. Gelber's book: “Vorgeschichte des Zionismus” [“From the Prehistory of Zionism”], Vienna, 1927, pp. 92 – 124. Return
  115. 1.c.p. 117 – 124. Return
  116. Dr. R. Mahler p. 216, Addendum VII. Return
  117. “Kerem Khemed”, 5596 [1835/6] II, pp. 16 – 36. Return
  118. In Ust'ye-Zelenoye [Ushitze] (Podolia), two informers, Yitzkhak Oksman and Shmuel Schwartzman, were killed based on the decision by the district communities and with the agreement of Rabbi Israel of Rozhin. The trial required huge sums of money (R' Shaul Gintsburg: “Ma'aseh Ushitz [“The Story of Ust'ye”] published in “Historisheh Verk” [“Historical Works”], volume 3, New York 1837). Return
  119. Dr. R. Mahler pp. 178 – 180 and Addendum VIII. Copies of those documents were also found in the Archive of the Ministry of Interior in Vienna (IV T I Fasc. 278). In connection with the escape of Rabbi Israel Friedman [of Rozhin] to Bokovina see N. B. Gelber's book: “Aus zwei Jahrhundreten” [“From Two Centuries”], Vienna 1924 p.p. 116 - 121: Zur Geschichte der Dynastic Sadogora” [“On the history of the Dynasty of Sadogora”] Return
  120. The assumption by Dr. Mahler that R' Israel Friedman [of Rozhin] was arrested because of Perl's memorandum (the content of which was given to Podolia governor, Lashkarev), is unsubstantiated. Despite the harsh accusations, the central authorities in Austria refused to extradite him to Russia when he escaped to Bukovina in 1841, despite Russia's forceful requests. Return
  121. Perl's memorandum and the authorities' instructions were published in Dr. R. Mahler's book, Addendum X, 1-50. pp. 232 – 237.
    Perl justified his request to eliminate the ritual baths by claiming that underage sex solicitations occurred there. He witnessed such an event in 1790 when he was still visiting the baths. The RIVAL [Rabbi Yitzkhak Ber Levinzon] reported about a similar case in Radyvyliv [Radzivilov], in 1820, in his letter to Perl (see the article by Dr. Simkha Katz in “Moznaim”, Tel Aviv, 5712 [1951/2], issue a-c, pp. 266 – 276). Return
  122. According to the notes by [Leopold Ritter von] Sakher-Masoch, who served in the government in Galitsia at the time: “Tages Notizen” [“Daily Notes”] v. 28. V. 1838. Archiv Ministeriums des Innern, Politzeiakten [Police Files] Fasc. 1460. Return
  123. An article about the election and arrival [of SHI"R] in Ternopil: Algemeine Zeitung, 1838 No. 22 (20.II) p. 88, No. 23 (22.II), p. 91. In the article from 20 February 1838, (signed Mektram), the following was written about the Hassidim and the zealous' outrage:
    Was für ein Zetergeschrei für einen Wehruf, als ob die Welt untergange hat das Gelichter der Fanatiker ausgestossen, als die Wahl desselben (S. I. Rappaport) abgestimmt wurde. Ein gellender Schrei Der Wut, der Entrüstung enrfuhr ihnen. Sie glaubten dadurch ihn einzuschüchtern, seine innere Berufsstimme zu betäuben, damit er entweder ab-geschreckt werde oder wenigstens nach seiner Erwählung nichts zu ihrem Nachteile unternehme, was ihnen bei so Vielen schon gelang.” [“What a clamor for a cry of defiance, as if the world is coming to an end. The response by the fanatics, following the election of the same (S. I. Rappaport). They sounded a shrill cry of rage and indignation. They believed that by intimidating him and silencing his inner professional voice, he would either be deterred or at least do nothing to their disadvantage, which they had already succeeded in doing to many other people.”]. Return
  124. A. Poros, “Toldot HaRav R' Shlomo Yehuda Leib Rappaport” [“The History of Rabbi Shlomo Yehuda Rappaport'], “HaShakhar” [“The Dawn”], (in a special pagination), pp. 37 – 40. Return
  125. In an article from 22 February 1838, Ternopil role was specifically mentioned:
    Tarnopol scheint von allen anderen Gemeinden Galiziens vom Schicksal ausersehen in siegreichen Kampfe gegen Orthodoxie und Chassidismus ihren Mitschwestern mit glänzenden Beispiele Vorauszugehen.” [“Ternopil seems to have been destined by fate to precede its sister-cities by providing shining examples in its victorious struggle against Orthodoxy and Hassidism.”]. (Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums., 1838, p. 91). Return
  126. Dr. Mahler addendum IX p. 229. Return
  127. Die Juden in Galizien, Leipzig, 1845, pp. 38 – 41. Return
  128. The proclamation in the file: “Tages Notizen Sakher-Masoch, Polizeiakten [Daily Notes Sakher-Masoch, Police Files], Fasc. 1460. Return
  129. In the archive of the Ministry of Religious Affairs and Education, IV T 27662 ad 5/838, I found the following report about the controversy in Ternopil:
    Die erfolgte Wahl des als hebräischen Litteraten Lemberger Israeliten Salomon Leib Rappaport zum Tarnopoler Rabbiner und die im polizeilichen Wege Verfügte Sperrung der dortigen seit jeher bestehenden fanatisshen Partei, hat zu Ausbrüchen des Ieidenschaftlichen Hasses gegen den neuen Rabbiner u. d. Schuldirektor Perl Anlass gegeben. Die schändlichen Auftritte der Chassidim verursachten die Versperrung einiger.
    Der Führer dieser Umtriebe namens Silberfeld wurde zu achttägigen Arreste verurteilt. Was die Winkelbethäuser betrifft, wird nur erzählt von einer Brodyer alten Frau, wie es zu öfters zu solchen überraschenden Szenen kam, dass inmitten der grössten Andacht war man den plötzlichen Eindringen von Polizisten ausgesetzt die die betenden auseinander trieben, die Wohnung und die Teilnehmer mit schwerer Strafe belegten
    ” [“The TERNOPIL DISPUTE. The election of the Lviv Jew, Salomon Leib Rappaport, a Hebrew literary figure, as the rabbi of Ternopil and the police blocking off the fanatical party that had always existed there, gave rise to outbursts of passionate hatred against the new rabbi and the school director Perl. The disgraceful performances of the Hasidim caused the blocking of some.
    The leader of these activities, named Silberfeld, was sentenced to an eight-day jail term. An old woman from Brody said that there were often some surprising scenes in their houses of prayer - amid the greatest devotion, the worshipers were often surprised by a sudden intrusion of policemen, who dispersed the praying people and punished the participants with severe punishment.”]. Return
  130. Portions are published in the book by I. Weinlez: “Yosef Perl's Yiddishe Ktavim” [“Yosef Perl's Yiddish Writings”], pp. LXV – LVII. Return
  131. See N. M. Gelber's book: Aus zwei Jahrhundreten” [“From Two Centuries”], Vianna, 1924. Return
  132. Tages Notizen Sakher- Masoch, Polizeiakten [Daily Notes, Sakher-Masoch, Police Files] Fasc. 1460, from 23 October 1838. Return
  133. Yehoshua Heschel was the permanent correspondent of the magazine “Algemeineh Tzeitung des Judentums” [“The General Gazette of Judaism”] from 1835. The advisor Krieg wrote about him in a report of Lviv's police from 28 September 1835: “H. Schorr ist der jüngere Sohn des Brodyer Handelsmannes Schacher Schorr. Er hat kein Gewerbe, beschäftigt sich mit Lektüre, soll eitel und eingebildet sein und unter Juden als Schönheit gelten.” [“H. Schorr is the younger son of the Brody merchant Schacher Schorr. He has no trade and occupies himself with reading. He is said to be vain and conceited, and is considered a fine man among the Jews.”]. Weiner Polizei-Archiv [Vienna Police Archive], Fasc. Nr. 1478. Return
  134. Dr. Mahler, Addendum XI, pp. 238-239. Return
  135. Dr. Mahler, pp. 193 – 201. Return
  136. Even in Lviv, while being ill, he was involved in public affairs. He met with Lviv's enlightened and proposed that they build a modern synagogue. He told them to turn to the emperor for help. His proposal was accepted, and Dr. Rapoport initiated the planning for building the Temple Synagogue in Lviv. Return
  137. Her husband was probably the relative of the printing house's owner in Ternopil, Nakhman Finlish, one of Perl's friends. I received from his daughter Sheindel compelling correspondence from 1821 – 1825 with her friend, Moshe Inlender, a known enlightened in Brody. These letters were supposed to be published shortly with an introduction and note, after the publishing of the Yizkor book. Return
  138. An article by Sh. L. Goldenberg in the “Orient”, 1840, pp. 267 – 270. Return
  139. Dr. Jost's Isrelitische Annalen, 1839, No. 44 (1.IX).
    Dr. Julius Heinrich Dessauer: Geschichte der Israeliten, Braslaw, 1870, p. 532.
    Dr. Leopold Löw called him “Mendelson of Galitsia”. He claimed that thanks to Perl's school, “Ternopil became one of the centers of the enlightenment, or the Athens' Galitsia”: Ben Chanania, 1861, No. 13. Return
  140. “Kerem Khemed”, 5601 [1841/42], pp. 163 -169.
    The German monthly journal in Lviv “Mnemosyne” [the source of the name - in Greek mythology, the goddess of memory] published in 1839, 12/X, an article of appreciation about Perl. The article was later published in “Allgermeine Zeitung des Judentums”, 1839, No.r. 99, 103.
    Obituaries were published in “Israelitische Annalen” as early as in 1839. One Obituary is particularly interesting. This obituary, which is full of personal stinging remarks, was published by Y. H. Schorr in Dr. Jost's "“, 1839, No. 44 p. 346: “Er war in der That ein vortrefflicher Mann wiewohl wir uns nicht verhehlen, und zu unserem Schmerz gestehen müssen, dass auch er seine Fehler hatte und menschliche Unvollkommenheiten an sich trug. Zunächst ist zu bedauern, dass es ihm an geordneter Schulbildung gebrach und er in keiner Sprache sich eigentlich gut und richtig ausdrückte.” [“Indeed, he was an excellent man, although we must not hide and painfully admit that he also had his faults and human imperfections. First of all, it is to be regretted that he lacked a proper school education and that he did not express himself well and correctly in any language.”].
    Later on, Schorr published his criticism on Perl's book “Bokhen Tzaddik”. The enlightened Schorr could not forgive Perl, who insulted Brody enlightened and its merchants in that book. Return
  141. Published in the “Orient”, 1840, p. 355. Return
  142. According to the custom, people stay awake that night and read the “Tiqun of Leil Shavuot.” [“Rectification for Shavuot Holiday Night.”]. SHI"R followed that custom. SHI"R woke up the next morning, tired from a lack of sleep, and asked the young cantor, Yehoshua Abrass, to sing some Niguneim [traditional melodies] for him to relieve his sleepiness. A zealot Hassid who heard the melodies in the street shouted: “They are playing Christian song at the rabbi's house”. Pandemonium ensued and the Hassidim attacked the rabbis' house (Poris, pp. 46 – 47). Return
  143. An article by Sh. L. Goldenberg, “Orient”, 1840, pp. 260 – 261. Return
  144. Hirsh Goldenberg, a person with a broad general education, knew Greek well. He turned to SHI"R to inquire about as to whether his translation of a word borrowed from Greek in his article about Nathan from Rome [Rabbi Nathan, son of Yekhiel], is correct. Return
  145. SHI"R connected with Ternopil's enlightened, during his years as a Rabbi in Ternopil through the journal “Algemeineh Tzeitung des Judentums” [“The General Gazette of Judaism”].
    The following article appeared in 7 April 1838, Vol. 52., p. 165,
    Seitdem Rapaport in Tarnopol ist, haben sich die sonst isolierten und zersprengten jüdischen Gelehrten in der hiesigen Gemeinde zu einem Gelehrtenkreis um ihn gesammelt uzw. Samuel Goldenberg, Isaak Monies der neueste und naivste hebräische Parabeldicher, der Ordensritter Joseph Perl, Moses Chaim Katz, Lehrer an der Perl Schule, Dr. Horowitz, Arzt schrieb in der “Zephira.”” [“Since Rapaport has been in Ternopil, the otherwise isolated and scattered Jewish scholars in the local community have gathered around him to form a circle of scholars. Samuel Goldenberg, Isaac Monies, the newest and most naive Hebrew parabolic poet, the knight Joseph Perl, Moses Chaim Katz, teacher at Perl's school, Dr. Horowitz, physician, who wrote in “Tzphira.””]. Return
  146. A eulogy article by Hirsh Reitman in “Algemeineh Tzeitung des Judentums”, 1846, pp. 104 – 105. Return
  147. See “Be'er Yitzkhak”, a book containing the correspondence between Yitzhak Levinzon and scholars of his period in different times, Warsaw, 1899, p. 90. Return
  148. A letter from 24 Sivan, 5602 [June 2, 1842], p. 90. Return
  149. Zhovkova, 1844, p. 9 – 21 Return
  150. “Kerem Khemed” II, No. 23. Return
  151. “Igrot SHADAL” [“Shmuel David Luzzatto's Letters], Krakow, 1900, p. 93. Return
  152. Dov Ber Nathanzon, “Sefer Zikhronot” [“Book of Memories”], Warsaw. 1875, p. 8. Return
  153. According to the letters of Sheindel Finlish, the daughter of Yosef Perl. The letters were supposed to be published in “Reshumot” [the gazette of record for the State of Israel], after the publishing of this Yizkor book. Return
  154. Fedder wrote rhetorically. Among his writings we need to mention the following: 1.“Sefer Bayit Ne'eman” [“The Book of the Faithful Home”] (Berlin 1794). 2. “Beit Tuvya” [“The House of Tuvya”] about grammar (the manuscript was lost). 3. “Lahat HaKherev HaMit'hapekhet” [“The Flame of the Turning Sword”] (Vilnius 1866) written against the erroneous commentaries by Aharon Wolfson to the Books of Kings, and that of Yitzkhak Aikhel in his book “Seder Tfila” [“The Order of Prayer”]. 4. “Zohar Khadash LePurim” [“New Allure for Purim”], a humorist parody for the holiday of Purim written in the language of the Zohar, printed by Moshe Tenenbaum from Ternopil in Shaltiel Gerber's “Otzar HaSifrut” [“The Literary Treasure”], Yaroslav, 1888/9 (1889/90). Tenenbaum had many unpublished letters of Fedder. A. B. Gotlober published his poems (1877) in his journal “HaBoker Or” [“Morning Light”]. Return
  155. Ya'akov Shmuel Bik wrote about him after his death: “The poet R' Tuvyahu Fedder, may he rest in peace, was hated during his life for his custom of fiddling with his rhetorical sword on his thigh like a commander in the army when a rival or a cripple passed by. However, Bik respected him as a poet and wrote about him that “when the sun of [Yehuda Leib] Ben Ze'ev has set, the sun of Tuvyahu shined” (“Kerem Khemed”, I, p. 96), Letris – “Mikhtavim BeIvrit” [“Letters in Hebrew”], p. 123. Return
  156. Dr. Shlomo Rubin – Introduction to the book “Malkhut Shaddai” [“Kingdom of Heaven”] (Part 3 of the Hebrew translation of “Moreh Nevokhim” by M. M. Lefin)
    In the monthly magazine “Nogah HaYare'akh” [“Moonlight”] by Berish Goldenberg from Ternopil, Lviv, 5632 (1871/2), issue 4-5, p. 27, remark. Return
  157. Yosef Perl's copy book, in his library in Ternopil. The following is the writing on his Lefin's gravestone: “Here buried, the old exalted scholar, our teacher, Menakhem Mendel Lefin who was born in Satanov in 5509 [1749]. He authored the books - “Igerot HaKhokhmah”[Letters of Wisdom”], “Sefer Refuat Ha'Am” [“The Book of Popular Healing”], “Sefer K?eshbon HaNefesh” [“The Book of Moral Accounting”], “Sefer Makhkimat Peti [“Book of Making the Foolish Wise”], and “Elon Moreh” [“An introduction to Moreh Nevokhim”], in addition to other delightful essays. He authored commentaries for the books of Lamentations and Ecclesiastes, as well as Sifrei Emet [Psalms, Proverbs, and Job]. He also rewrote [translated into Mishnaic Hebrew] the book “Moreh Nevokhim” [“The Guide of the Perplexed”]. He passed away on Tuesday, 6 Tamuz 5586 [1826]. Return
  158. Published by Dr. Sh. Rabidowitz: “Kitvei RANAK” [RANAK's Writings”], Berlin, 5684 [1923/4], p. 430. The relations between RANAK and SHI"R soured when SHI"R tried to secure the rabbinical position in Prague. Rabbi Tzvi Hirsh Khayut also applied for the same position, and RANAK supported him. SHI"R left Ternopil on 14 Tamuz 5600 [15 July 1840], and RANAK died on the first of AV 5600 [31 July 1840]. After RANAK's death, SHI"R published a eulogy in which he highlighted his admiration for his late teacher. Return
  159. Israelitische Annalen, 1840, No. 36, pp. 301 – 302, No. 39, p. 328. Return
  160. Reitman published the first review of Perl's school: “Perl und die Schule zu Ternopil“ (Dr. Abraham Geiger's: Wissenschaftliche Zeitschrift für jüdische Theologie [“Perl and the Ternopil School“ (Dr. Abraham Geiger's: “Scientific Journal for Jewish Theology”] , 1838, p. 316). Return
  161. “Kalender und Jahrbuch für Israeliten“ [“Jewish Calendar and Yearbook”], Bd. V, Vienna, 1846, pp. 209 -232. Return
    1. Participated in the journal “HaMaggid” of David Gordon: “HaIvri” in Brody.
    2. In “Kokhavei Yitzkhak” Volume X, he published a translation of the poem “Der Jude von Kampf” [“The Jew of Struggle”], the story “HaZe'ev VeHaro'eh” [“The Wolf and the Shepherd”], and two articles with commentaries to the Bible.
  162. “Kokhavei Yitzkhak” XXII pp. 78 – 79. Return
  163. From the date 13 Shvat 5690 (11 February 1930), [the Hebrew date in the article 18 Shvat 5504 seems to be an error], “Kerem Khemed” I, issue 30. The answer by Reggio was published in issue 31. Return
  164. “Neuzeit” [“Modern Age”] (Vienna), 1875, No. 42, p. 341. Return
  165. According to paragraph 31 of the 1785 “Jewish Regulations”, Jews were allowed to hold any profession which they were forbidden to hold under special laws. There was no prohibition for a Jew to be a pharmacist or to own a pharmacy. However, years later, a regulation was issued according to which it was forbidden for a Jew to be a pharmacist or to own a pharmacy. Return
  166. Among the leaders of the Lviv's community. A friend of Yosef Perl. Return
  167. The letter from Sheindel Finlish in Ternopil to Moshe Inlander in Brody from 29 February 1824 (From the collection of her letter that the author has). Return
  168. Staatarchiv Wien: Kabinetsakten [State Archive, Vienna, Government Cabinet Files], 1827, No. 395. Return
  169. Ibid. Return
  170. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 1844.
    Dr. Julius Barasch's article: “Wanderung durch Krakau, Galizien, Bukowina, Moldau und Wallachei” [“Wanderings through Krakow, Galitsia, Bukovina, Moldavia and Wallachia”, pp. 439 – 441. Return
  171. “Neuzeit” (Vienna), 1862, 1/VIII. Return
  172. The archive of the commission in Lviv, Gubernialdekret [Governor's decree], v. 1.XII.1843, Zl.967.
    The following is the full text:
    Ueber das im September 1843 unmittelbar beim hohen Landes-gubernium angebrachte Gesuch der Tarnopoler israelitischen Gemeinde um Ertheilung der Wahlfähigkeit gum städitischen Ausschusse an einzelne Judemeinde-Glieder ist mit hohem Dekret v. 1 Dezember 1843 Z. 70966 anher bedeutet worden, dass sowoklm in Betreff des Bürgerrechts der Juden als auch in Betreff ihrer passiven u. aktiven Wahlfähigkeit zum städtischen Ausschuss sich lediglich nach jenem Gesetye zu benehmen sei, welches unterm 5 Oktober 1792 Z. 29081 bekanntgegeben wurde und dass jeder Zweifel in dieser Bezichhung durch die neueste ah. Entscheidung gelöst, sonach ohne weitere Anstände nach dieser Vorschrift zu verfahren sei, ferner, dass die Judengemeinde hierzu weder eines eigenen Privilegiums noch einer besonderen Bew lligung bedürfe und dass ihr das was sie anspricht unter keinem Vorwande vorenthalten werden kann. Rücksiehtlich der allgemein besorgten Beeinträchtigung der christlichen Bevölkerung wurde im bezogenen hohen Dekrete insbesonders bemerkt, dass diese Besorgnis bei genauer Betrachtung des Sachverhältnisses schwinde, denn das Gersetz bestimmt, dass nur jene Juden das Bürgerrecht anzusprechen berechtigt sind, die Besitzer von bürgerlichen Realitäten oder Gewerben sind, an solche aber, die nicht zu dieser Kategoric gehören spricht das Gesetz aus, dass die Magistrate nicht verhalten werden sollen, das Bürgerecht zu verleihen. Es bleibt daher ywar dem Magistrate freigestellt, auch Juden der letzten Kathegori, wenn sie in sonstiger Beyiehung, desselben würdig erscheinen, sloches zu verleihen. chieht es aber nicht über die Verweigerung beim Kreisamte beschweren. Durch die Erlangung des Bürgerrechts allein werden aber die Juden noch nicht zu Ausschussmännern wahlfähig sondern hierzu müssen sie nicht blos Inhaber einer Realität oder eines Gewerbes sein, sondern nebstbei auch beine höhere Bildung besitzen, unerlässlich aber nachweisen dass sie Normalschule mit gutem Erfolge zurückgelegt haben. Hieraus ergiebt sich schon, dass die Zahl derjenigen, die zum Ausschusse wahlfähig erscheinen, keineswegegs bedeutend sein kann und dass nicht zu besorgen sie, dass Leute ohne alle Vorbildung in dem Ausschuss gewählt werden könnten. Dass dagegen die Stimmfähigkeit kein Nachteil, und vielmehr zu wünschen sei, dass Juden auch bei der Wahl christlicher Ausschussmänner ihre Stimmen abgeben, ergiebt sich daraus, da sie von der Moralität und Fähigkeit christlicher Ausschussmänner ebensogut untterrichtet sind als die Letztern u. die Würde eines Ausschussmännes nicht gerne einem Individuum zuwenden werden das kein Vertrauen verdient, daher mit Grund zu erwarten ist, dass tauglichere Individuen in den in den Ausschuss gewählt werden dürfen wenn die Jüdischen Mitbürger mitwählen, als wenn sie von der Stimmgebung ausgeschlossen sind. Bei den Christen ist zum Bürgerrechte sowohl als zur Wahlfähigkeit, weder der Besitz einer Realität noch eines bürgerlichen Gewerbes vom Gesetze gefordert. Es können daher Aerzte, Lehrer Pensionisten Künstler und dgl. Individuen ohne Realitäten zu besitzen, Bürger und Ausschussmänner sein, so bald sie nur ihren fixen Wohnsiz in der betreffenden Stadt aufschlagen. Die Tendenz des Gesetzes geht vorzüglich auf die Würdigkeit des Charakters und die höhere Inteligenz, daher es besonders angedeutet ist das Lehr-Personale für den Anschluss zu gewinnen und die Lehrer and den Haupt-und Normal-Trivialschulen haben auch wesentliches Interesse zum Ausschusse zu gehören und die Vermögens-Gebahrung der Städte zu Kontrollieren, da nach den neuesten Bestimmungen die Stadtkassen die Gehalte, Pensionen und Schulauslagen theils ganz theils grösstenteils zu tragen haben. Es ist Kaum zu zweifeln, dass auch die Jüdischen Stimmführer sich füur solche Individuen entscheiden werden, wenn sie durch Charakter und Intelligenz dessen würdig erscheinen.
    [“The following is the response to the application of the Tarnopol Jewish community to grant individual members of the Jewish community the right to vote in the municipal committee, which was submitted directly to the high state governorate in September 1843: The High Decree no. 70966, from December 1, 1843, states that in the matter related to the civil rights and the right to vote or be elected to the municipal council, it is only necessary to act according to the law, which regulates the right of the Jews to obtain citizenship and their right to vote and be elected to the municipal council. The law (item 29081) was promulgated on October 5, 1792. Any doubt in this matter should be resolved by the most recent High Decree no. 70966. Furthermore, the Jewish community requires neither a special privilege nor a special permit for these rights. Any of those rights cannot be withheld from the Jews under any pretext. Concerning the general concern that the Christian population would be adversely affected - it was noted in the High Decree that this concern is should be extinguished if the facts of the matter at hand, are examined more closely. The law stipulates that only those Jews who are owners of civic real estate or those who possess trades are entitled to apply for citizenship. Law - item 29081 states that the magistrates should not be required to grant citizenship to those Jews who do not belong to these categories. The magistrates are free to confer the right of citizenship on Jews of these categories if they appear worthy of it in other respects. A refusal to grant citizenship can be contested by submitting an appeal to the district office. However, the acquisition of citizenship alone is not sufficient for a Jew to be eligible to be elected as a council member. To be elected, Jewish citizens must have higher education. They need to prove that they have successfully completed general schooling. Imposing those conditions means that the number of Jews who are eligible to be elected to the committee can by no means be significant. Therefore, there is no reason to worry that people without education could be elected to the committee. Awarding the Jews the right to vote should not be considered a disadvantage. The public, as a whole, benefits when the Jews are allowed to cast their votes in the election of Christian council members. The Jews are just as informed of the morality and ability required from a council member. They would not award the honor associated with the role of a council member to an individual who does not deserve their trust. It is therefore reasonable to assume that more suitable individuals may be elected to the committee if the Jewish citizens are allowed to vote, than if they are excluded from voting. In the case of Christians, neither the requirement of possession of real estate nor of a civil trade is required by law for civil rights or the ability to vote. Physicians, teachers, pensioners, artists and the like can be citizens and council members without possessing real estate, as soon as they set up their permanent residence in the city in question. The law's objective meant to address the worthiness of characters of the council members and ensure that they possess high intelligence. Therefore, it encourages the teaching staff of the general elementary schools to run for council membership. The law also encourages ownership of the real estate. That allows according to the latest regulations, the people who pay the taxes and the city treasuries a better control over the school budgets (salaries, pensions, and school expenses) either partially or completely.”]. Return
  173. “Orient”, 1845, p. 118. Return
  174. Allgemeine Zeitung des Judentums, 1845, p. 688 Return
  175. The cantor of the house of prayer, Yehoshua Arbass, from among the well-known cantors of that period (Born in Brody in 1820, and was the student of Zulzer), also left Ternopil after he served there during the years 1837 – 1844, He was accepted as a cantor in the Temple Synagogue that was established then in Lviv. Return
  176. The archive of the Governate Commission in Lviv. Fasc. 11, Juden Allgemeine Sach? No. 728. Return
  177. The archive of the Galitsian Governate Commission, Fasc. 11/2, Juden. Return
  178. I. Busch-Letteris: “Oesterreichisches Zentralblatt für Glaubensfreiheit, Cultur und Literatur” [“Austrian central newspaper for freedom of faith, culture, and literature”], Vienna 1848, No. 22. Return
  179. His sister, Tauba, was the wife of Mikheel Perl. She died in 1867 at the age of 64 (“Neuzeit”, 1867, p. 399). Return
  180. Archiv des Ministeriums für Innern IV T. 11, ZI 23472 c.a. 1854. Return
  181. Staatsarchiv, Vienna, 1860, ZI 2796. Return
  182. “Orient” 1848, p. 185. Return
  183. An estate lessee in the district of Ternopil in 1852, paid an annual tax of 1700 florins for his estate. Return
  184. He submitted a request in 1856, to allow him to purchase the house of the heirs of Arzem Pirutzki. Graf Agnor Golokhovski and the justice minister Bakh supported the request and provided recommendations. The emperor gave the permit to register the property under the name of Dr. Atlas on 8 February 1856 ([Archiv des Ministerium für Innern] IV T/2 2310/57). Return
  185. Archiv des Ministeriums für Innern IV, T/2 Besitz c.a. 1850 – 1860. Return
  186. Staatarchiv 2796 / 1860. Return
  187. “”, 1859, p. 91. Return
  188. “Neuzeit” 1866. Demant: “Briefe aus Galizien” [“Letters from Galitsia”] p. 43.
    The high level of the school's teachers is highlighted in the article as follows: “Der grössere Teil hat wissenschaftliche Bildung und bringt die Freistunden mit dem Studieren der Klassiker zu oder ruht sich von der Arbeit aus in der biblischen Exegese order im Labyrint des Talmuds lustwandelnd” [“The majority of them have a scientific education and they spend their free time studying the classics, resting from their work in biblical interpretation, or wandering in the labyrinth of the Talmud”. Return
  189. In 1866, the community's rich man, Meir Bik, who did not have any heirs, passed away. He left a fortune of 160,000 florins. From that he left a quarter to his late wife's family. He banished his own family from the inheritance (“Neuzeit”, 1866, No. 1 p. 5). It is unknown what happened to the rest of the property and as to whether it was left for social needs). Return
  190. The report was published in “Neuzeit”, 1875, No. 38 p. 306. Return
  191. Articles in the Journal “HaShakhar” [“The Dawn”], third issue, p. 2, 5631 [1870/71] p. 2, 5632 [1871/72] pp. 88 and 181. Return
  192. The following is the list of Jewish officers and physicians who served in the professional Austrian army during 1849 – 1911
    1. Shpeizer Aharon, born in Ternopil in 1826. Recruited in 1846. 1866 – He served as a Second Lieutenant, 1875 – Lieutenant (Aberlieutenant), 1883 – Captain (Haftman). Participated in the war against the Hungarians (1848). Died in Fagaras in 1892.
    2. Grold (Goldberg) Yosef. Born in Ternopil in 1868. 1891 – Second Lieutenant in a calvary battalion, 1895 – Lieutenant.
    3. Rapoport Aharon. Born in 1859. Graduated from an officer school (Kadettenschule), 1879 – Second Lieutenant. Left the army in 1882.
    4. Rapoport Johan. Born in 1856. 1879 – Second Lieutenant.
    5. Shapel Marian Igen (Shmuel Markus). Born in 1863. A graduate of the officers' school in Lubzov (?). 1888 – Second Lieutenant, 1899 – Lieutenant. Left the army in 1897.
    6. Wahl Heinrikh. Born in 1859. A graduate of an officers' school. 1878 – Second Lieutenant. Participated in the war in Bosnia (1878). 1883 – Lieutenant. Committed suicide in 1888.
    7. Emil Adler von Kolischer. Born in Ternopil on 20 September 1856. His father, Karl Kolischer and his mother Rosa (maiden name Kornfeld). Served in the army from 1879. He was awarded a noble title in 1909 by Emperor Franz Joseph 1. Died in 1909 with the rank of Field Marshal.
    1. Reis Markus. Born in Ternopil in 1814. Served as a deputy physician (unterärtzit) during 1851 – 1859.
    2. Dr. Ya'akov Hirshhorn. Born in 1848. In 1879 – he served as a Senior Physician (überärtzit), 1892 – Regiment Physician (regimentärtzit), 1899 – Staff Physician (stabestärtzit), 1909 – Senior Staff Physician] (überstabestärtzit).
    3. Dr. Shimon Freudenthal, born in 1849. In 1882 he served as a Senior Physician, 1885 – Regiment Physician, and 1909 – Staff Physician.
    4. Dr. Oscar Lazarus, born in 1872. In 1879 he served as a Senior Physician, and in 1900 –
      1905 as a Regiment Physician.
    5. Dr. Kantz Wilhelm, born in 1863. In 1889 he served as a Senior Physician, and in 1892 – as a Regiment Physician.
    6. Dr. Goldberg Adolf, born in 1822. In 1849 he served as a Physician. Participated in the wars of 1859 and 1866. In 1877 he served as a Regiment Physician. Died in 1888 in Brasov.
    7. Marmurek Yosef, born in 1838 in Ternopil. During 1859 – 1861 he served as a Deputy Physician.
    8. Perl Mikhael, born in 1835, served as a Deputy Physician in 1862.
    9. Freudenthal Shlomo, born in 1832. During 1857 – 1871 he served as a Military Physician. Participated in the wars of 1859 and 1866. Died in Braslaw.
    10. Dr. Yosef Finlesh, born in 1840. In 1860 he served as a Physician. In 1880 – as a Regiment Physician. Participated in the wars of 1866 and 1878. Died in Vienna in 1892.
    11. Dr. Finlesh Yosef, born in 1843 in Ternopil. In 1864 he served as a Deputy Physician. In 1874 – as a Senior Physician. In 1880 – as a Regiment Physician. Died in 1894, in Nei-Markt . Participated in the wars of 1866 and 1878.
    12. Dr. Zilberman Herman, born in 1838. Served as a Senior Physician. Was taken as a prisoner of war during the Prussia-Austria war. Died in Theresienstadt [Terezin] in 1867.
    1. Tau Yosef, born in 1847. Served as a Deputy Veterinarian (untertierärtzit) during 1878 – 1880.
    1. David Shponberg, born in 1851. In 1883 served as a Accountant- Lieutenant (rechnungsleutnant) in 1888 –Accountant Senior Lieutenant (rechnungsüberoberleutnant) and in 1895 –accountant captain (rechnungshauptmann). Died in Lviv in 1907.
    2. Weinberg Julius, born in 1830. In 1863 he served as an Accountant Officer, in 1880 – 1891 he served as an Accountant Senior Officer. He died in Vienna in 1899.
    This list was organized based on:
    Moritz Frühling: “Biographisches Handbuch der in der K. u. K. Oesterr. Ung. Armee und Kriegsmarine aktiv gedienten Offiyiere, Aerzte, Truppen-Rechnungsführer und sonstigen Militärbeamten Jüdischen Stammes” [“Biographical Handbook of Officers, Physicians, Troop Accountants and Other Military Officials of Jewish Origin Serving in the Imperial and Royal Hungarian Army and Navy”], Vienna 1911. Return
  193. Dr. N. M. Gelber: “Die Juden und der polnische Aufstand 1863” [“The Jews and the Polish Uprising of 1863”], Vienna 1923, p. 221. Return
  194. Rabbi Dr. Sh. D. Tauber served before him for a short time. Rabbi Tauber came from Iasi. In 1889 he eulogized, in the house of prayer, the Lviv's Rabbi Bernhard Lowenstein from Ternopil. He was offered the rabbinical position in Belovar Croatia (Ch D. Lippe's Lexicon, 1899, p. 368). Return
  195. Lippe's Lexicon, Chapter D, Vienna 1899, p. 368. Return
  196. During 1918 – 1919, Dr. Shalom Okser managed the school. During 1919 – 1935, Mark Gotfried, and during 1935 – 1939 – the school teacher Mrs. Rakhel Kita'ee. During the last period, the school staff included 11 teachers (8 females and 3 males). The number of students grew in 1936 – 1937 to 378 students. Return
  197. “Przyszlosc”, 1893, No. 23, P. 261. Return
  198. “HaMaggid”, 1894, Issue 4, p. 372. Return


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