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[Page 179]

The Rayvitsers in Israel

By Hayim Shmuklerman

Translated by Moshe Porat

(The town's name written in Polish is “Rejowiec”, in Yiddish its called “Rayvits”)

Some hundred and fifty families made Aliya from Rayvits and live now in Israel. Their bread earning comes from work, artisanship, business, contracting and small industry. They use to assemble at the “ Rayvits Descendants Organization”, which is managed by three Committee chosen members: Hayim Shmuklerman, Mordakhay Foorer and Isroel Shpeizman. Actually, they are simple office workers with very little help from the Organization members. There exists “The Rayvits Descendants favors weaning fund” placed at the “Business Credit Bank”, on Rotshild Avenue 6, in Tel Aviv. The Committee members have the signature right to grant loans.

ten179.jpg The first three pioneers (Halutzim) from Rayvits at work in Israel
The first three pioneers (Halutzim)
from Rayvits at work in Israel:

Shmuel Erlichman, Yakov Foyglfooss
and Israel Zilber

The Committee in particular takes care of the Rayvits New Immigrants helping them to settle down. However, the most interesting point of the Rayvits Organization's activity is the fact in which it differs from other villages: The Rayvits Favors Fund consists from Israel members' donations only, without help from abroad. However, there is not a rule without exception. Mr. Manus Tsederbaum from Canada was our exception. He gathered among his local landsleyt 180 (One Hundred and eighty) Israeli pounds and sent it to our Committee. We are thanking him very much and we ask him to continue his blessed activity in behalf of the Rayvits Organization. We ask all our Landsleit Organizations abroad to assist us with important money sums for the New Olim (new comers) from Rayvits.

Oy, What Happened to Us!

(A Tombstone for the Annihilated Rayvits)

Translated by Moshe Porat

Exists there a language, in which it would be possible to describe the starving instant when strangled in gas chamber, a person screams, “My God, My God, why did You leave me?” Avraham, the father of our people father, argued to the Almighty: “The Judge of the entire world will not do judgment?”and for whom? For the Sodomiens did he plead. “Where are you, Avraham, our Tate?” Moreover, is it possible to hear and to see through human ears and eyes, the soul's pain on its last instant of life? When you feel that all born in God's image is cut out with a poisoned knife, thrown in the garbage and nobody is rising to clean it?

Should it be the pangs of redemption, the pain of birth? How much strength should we have to overpower the vigor of our Sages of blessed memory R' Yohanan, R' Olan and Rabhan, who when hearing the Messiah's steps, announced, “Should he come and I will not see him!” Would we be stronger as the three? Our answer is yes--because the despair call of the three we had already absorbed inside our soul long ago and with this scream we strode over our greatest destruction to the State of Israel where we will take out from the spoiled garbage the human image of God and we will clean it out with “Isroel”(Israel) and in unity with “The Entire Isroel”.

Therefore, we had heard the unheard and we have seen the unseen. Moreover, with clean hearted heartiness we had heard the last “Shmah Isroel”(Hear us Israel) said by those who strode for us to Sacrifice.

Would those pages be a memorial tombstone on our holy Rayvits Congregation's Graveyard without graves? Would they start the payoff of our debt to them. Our children and grandchildren should know that only with holiness should they approach the Holy martyrs.

Therefore, this Tombstone should be in each house where a Rayvits person lives, in order to fulfill the Pentateuch testament “Remember what Amalek had done to you!” It is not only a testament but a permanent revenge war as our Torah did command: “Fight Amalek from generation to generation for God's name!”

Comfort, comfort yourself, my people!

[Page 180]


By Gad Zaklikovski

Translated by Moshe Porat

ten180.jpg Gad Zaklikovski
Gad Zaklikovski

Rayvits, which was a most religious community, differed from other similar shtetls by the lack of quarrels between elderly and young inhabitants. There were some minor disputes but never a serious quarrel.

For this reason, the young Rayvitsers were not embittered against the adults and did not attack them with sophisticated irritations. Both sides established friendly relations between them. So, when it became necessary to reconstruct the school, which the Russians destroyed during the First World War, the Zionist organization, which gathered many “free” (not religious) young inhabitants, initiated and provided the financial means to accomplish the work.

Therefore, pious parents sent their children to study in the Zionist school, not the religious school, where the teachers did not emphasize secularism.

Here I would like to explain the current saying “Silence like in Rayvits” (which Yizchak Leyboosh Peretz' mentioned in his novels). Historically this saying has a relation with Chmelnitski's pogroms in the 17th century. For some reasons the town did not suffer during those killings. Therefore, when one wanted to refer to a quiet shtetl, he would say, “this place is quiet like Rayvits”.

However, there were different explanations. The old R' Motl Zonshein told me once that it comes from the great discussion between Izbishitse and Kotsk “an almost bloody quarrel” about an azure string “Techelet” in the Taless Koton (four fringed garment). When someone wanted to speak with irony about a false quietness of a noisy shtetl, would he say “Quiet like in Rayvits”. Therefore, the quietest town in Lublin district obtained this bad nickname because of a quarrel between two pious parties.

Another explication was told to me by a local patriot of Chelm. “Such as on the way to Chelm one must pass Rayvits, and the Chelmer are full with wisdom and as the limit of wisdom is silence; therefore Rayvits' silence is guarding Chelm's cleverness. For this reason was born the saying “Quiet like in Rayvits”. Let it be so!

ten181.jpg Photo taken in 1922 on the Aliya of Gad Zaklikovski
Sarah Appletzvoyg, Boshe Shenker, Freyde Ziglboym, Zisha Doblman,
Hadassah Mints, Volfish Epstein, Sarah Shmuklerman
Photo taken in 1922 on the Aliya of Gad Zaklikovski

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