Wolozin; the Book of the City
and of the Etz Hayyim Yeshiva

(Valozhyn, Belarus)

54°05' / 26°32'

Translation of
Wolozyn; sefer shel ha-ir-shel yeshivat “Ets Hayim”

Edited by: E. Leoni

Published in Tel-Aviv, 1970




Anita Frishman Gabbay


Emeritus Coordinator: Moshe Porat (Perlman) z”l


This is a translation from: Wolozyn; sefer shel ha-ir-shel yeshivat “Ets Hayim”;
Wolozin; the book of the city and of the Etz Hayyim Yeshiva.
Ed. E. Leoni. Tel-Aviv, former residents of Wolozin in Israel and the USA, 1970 (H,Y,E)

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Introductions 2
Volozhin Isser Yehuda Unterman, Chief Rabbi of Israel 3
The Power of Volozhyn Rabbi Tsvi Neriya 7
The Book of Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni (Ben David) 11
The History of the town & the Yeshiva “Ets Hayim” Eliezer Leoni 19
Origins for the Jews history in Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni 66
The History of Yeshiva “Etz Hayim” & its leaders Eliezer Leoni 75
Rabbi Hayim Volozhiner Eliezer Leoni 77
Rabbi Hayim's annals Eliezer Leoni 77
Rabbi Hayim & his Teacher R' Eliyahu the genius from Vilna Eliezer Leoni 79
The Yeshiva in its first days Eliezer Leoni 82
The value of Torah Study Eliezer Leoni 88
R' Hayim as Yeshiva Head and great Educator Eliezer Leoni 90
Rabbi Hayims moral personality & wisdom Eliezer Leoni 93
Rabbi Hayim's demise Eliezer Leoni 95
The text engraved on Rabbi Haym's tomb Eliezer Leoni 95
R' Davids from Novaridok funeral oration over R' Hayims grave Eliezer Leoni 97
R' Itsele's & his son in law R' Eliezer Itshok Freed's Period Eliezer Leoni 99
R' Itsele's personality, his cleverness and sharpness Eliezer Leoni 99
Dr. Max Liliental, his expedition to Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni 103
R' Itsele, his journey to the Rabbinic session in Petersburg Eliezer Leoni 105
Rabbi Eliezer Freed Eliezer Leoni 108
The text on R' Eliezer Itshok Freed's memorial in Vol. Eliezer Leoni 111
The Naziv R' Yosef Dov & R'Haym Soloveytshik's Period Eliezer Leoni 112
Hanatziv (Harav Naftali Zvi Yehuda Berlin) - history Eliezer Leoni 112
Renovation of the Yeshiva Eliezer Leoni 114
HaNatziv's wonderful devotion to the Yeshive students Eliezer Leoni 116
The Order of Studies Eliezer Leoni 119
The Secret Societies “Nes Ziyona” and “Netsakh Isroel” Eliezer Leoni 120
The Pilpul dispute between Hanaziv and Rabbi Yosef Ber Soloveytshik Eliezer Leoni 124
The ignoble dilation on the Naziv Eliezer Leoni 127
Rabbi Yehoshua Heshl Levin's rebellion Eliezer Leoni 128
Hanaziv's moral elevation and educational model Eliezer Leoni 129
The big uprising at the yeshiva Eliezer Leoni 131
HaNatziv is heartly sorry Eliezer Leoni 133
The summit years of the Volozhyn Yeshiva Eliezer Leoni 134
The persecutions of the Yeshiva and the minister's decree Eliezer Leoni 135
The Yeshiva Closure – “The Destruction of the Third Temple” Eliezer Leoni 138
Midnight mourning beside the Yeshiva Eliezer Leoni 140
HaNatziv's death and the shocking funeral orations Eliezer Leoni 142
R' Refoel Shapiro's Period Eliezer Leoni 145
The Volozhyn Genealogy Chain Eliezer Leoni 152
Among the Great “Ets Hayim” Yeshiva disciples Eliezer Leoni 160
Rabbis and Yeshiva leaders Eliezer Leoni 160
Poets, Writers and public figures Eliezer Leoni 166
Origins for the history of Volozhyn “ets Hayim” Yeshiva Eliezer Leoni 169
Writings On “ets Hayim” yeshiva and its leaders Eliezer Leoni 169
Daily press Eliezer Leoni 173
The Rabinnic School in Volozhyn Rabbi Shimon Langbert 188
The Yeshiva during Rabbi Refoel Shapiro period Dr. Hirsh Leyb Gordon 197
The Volozhyn Scholars 202
The three Tora pillars in Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni 205
Rabbi Yosef Dov Halevi Soloveytshik Eliezer Leoni 205
Rabbi Hayim Soloveytshik Eliezer Leoni 209
Rabbi Hayim Berlin Eliezer Leoni 215
Hagaon R' Hilel Freed Haykl Lunski 221
Hagaon R' Refoel Shapiro Itshok Reevkind 224
Harav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro Shimon Zak 230
Harav Meir Bar-Ilan (Berlin)- “The noble of Volozhyn house” Shimon Zak 233
Harav Shmuel Avigdor Derechinski's House Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 238
In the Cedar shadow of the Volozhyn Rabonim House Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 238
The Volzhyn Rabonim House remnants Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 239
My Father Harav Avigdor Shmuel Derechinski Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 239
The Rabanit Freydele Derechinski, born Freed Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 242
Moshe Zalman Ben-Sasson - Luntz Yona Ben-Sason-Derechinski 243
Savants Conversations Eliezer Leoni 246
The Volozhyn graduates - tradition followers Eliezer Leoni 277
The Editor-writer's foreword Eliezer Leoni 277
Mordehay Eliyashberg- Publicist Eliezer Leoni 278
Moshe Mordhay Epstein Eliezer Leoni 281
Yehuda Leyb Don-Yihya Eliezer Leoni 284
Alter Droyanov-Writer, “Book of Jewish Jokes” author Eliezer Leoni 285
Klonimus Zev Visotski Eliezer Leoni 288
Leyb Yaffe - national poet Eliezer Leoni 289
Mordhay Gimpel Yaffe - among Ekron settlement founders (1883) Eliezer Leoni 292
Shmuel Mohaliver - among Ekron settlement founders (1883) Eliezer Leoni 294
Essar Zalman Meltzer Eliezer Leoni 298
Mordehay Nahmani - among Rehovot settlement founders (1902) Eliezer Leoni 300
Itshak Nisenboym - “nezah Isroel' society's Chairman (1892-94) Eliezer Leoni 301
Yosef Zundl Salant - ascended Jerusalem ((1837) Eliezer Leoni 302
Shmuel Salant Eliezer Leoni 303
Avraham Itskhok Hakohen Kook - Jerusalem Yeshiva “beyt Harav” founder Eliezer Leoni 305
Itshak Ryvkind-Volozhyn Yeshiva's history investigator Eliezer Leoni 307
Itshak Yaakov Rayness-Founder off the “Mizrahi” Movement Eliezer Leoni 310
Origins for the above Graduates chapter Eliezer Leoni 312
Part two - VOLOZHYN the SHTETL
A bundle of memories - before the First World War Osher Malkin 317
Volozhyn Topography Osher Malkin 317
Volozhyn Economics -parnosses Osher Malkin 318
Post and telephone in Volozhyn Osher Malkin 321
Volozhyn barbers Osher Malkin 321
Charity Osher Malkin 322
Shuker's “private” Zionist organization Osher Malkin 323
Revolutionary circles in Volozhyn Osher Malkin 323
Melamdim, learning institutions and theater Osher Malkin 323
Reb Refoel der Goen ( Rabbi Rafael the genius) Osher Malkin 326
The Perelman Family Osher Malkin 327
Ore Polak Osher Malkin 329
Childhood and boyhood happy years Osher Malkin 329
Inside Volozhyn Avraham Halevy 330
The Kippa Avraham Halevi 330
The Livelihood of the Jews of Volozhyn Avraham Halevi 330
The Argument over the Secular School Avraham Halevi 331
My Last Place Stay in Volozhyn Avraham Halevi 331
The Volozhyn Yeshiva and Town during the Time of Rabbi Raphael Schapiro Aharon Zvi Dudman-Dudayi 332
Looking back (Memories from the Time of First World War) Yehuda Chaim Kotler 333
The Flour Mill, Electricity and the First Movie House in Volozhyn Michael Vand-Polack 336
Estate Owners in Volozhyn Meir Shiff 338
Flour and Torah in Volozhyn Chaim Zvi Potashnik 340
Market Days in Volozhyn Israel Levinson 342
Volozhin during the First World War Reuven Rogovin 343
Argumentations at the Yeshiva Reuven Rogovin 344
The Economic situation in Volozhin Reuven Rogovin 345
The War did not follow our “Masters of Strategy” Reuven Rogovin 347
The Refugees are flooding Volozhyn Reuven Rogovin 349
A terrible thing happened in Volozhyn Reuven Rogovin 350
Under the Bolshevik Rule Reuven Rogovin 351
Self Defense Rueven Rogovin 353
The Fire Fighting Brigade Reuven Rogovin 355
The Community Leadership Committee (VAAD) Reuven Rogovin 357
The Founding of the Jewish bank Reuven Rogovin 359
A Nekrasov story in Volozhyn Reuven Rogovin 361
Volozhyn at the end of World War One Sara Perski (Meltzer) 364
Volozhin Memories Shoshana Nishri – Berkovich 365
I Shall Remember You, Volozhin Pesach Berman 370
Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro and Simchat Beit Hashoeva in the Yeshiva Pesach Berman 370
Groups of Scholars Pesach Berman 371
The Sundial and the Renovation of the Yeshiva Pesach Berman 372
Rabbi Yaakov Shapiro's House, his Death and Funeral Pesach Berman 372
The Volozhyn Youth and the Educators Pesach Berman 374
The Zionist Youth Movements and the Love of Eretz Israel Pesach Berman 375
Purim and Pesach in Volozhyn Pesach Berman 376
The Food We Used to Eat in Volozhin Pesach Berman 377
Bread Winning [Livelihoods] in Volozhyn Pesach Berman 377
Mutual help in Volozhyn Pesah Berman 379
Pleasantry Pesah Berman 380
Volozhinka – the town stream Yakov Kagan 381
Zabrezhe Moshe Eliyashkevitch 382
Mijeyki (hamlet) Barukh Tsivony (Farberman) 385
Yuzefpol Estate Benyamin Kutshovski 386
Volozhin Stories Benyamin Shafir (Shishko) 388
Complaint of a Jews hater in Volozhyn Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 388
A story about a Naziv disciple and a rustic Jew Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 388
The house shall be respected with a besom Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 388
A Volozhyn subverter Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 389
Why the Jews do not own a state Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 389
Din Tora judgement in Volozhyn Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 390
Volozhyn version Austerity Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 390
The Zionist movement 392
Tseyirey Zion (Zion's Youngsters) in Volozhin Shlomo Bunimovits+Z Rogovin 393
The “Hakhaluts” (Pioneer) in Volozhin Group of pioneers 396
Hahshara (training) of Pioneers in Yuzefpol Lea Nahshon (Shif) 405
The Hakhshara group of the “Hakhaluts Hamizrakhi” Ariye Haruts 405
Beytar in Volozhyn Group of Beytar members 410
“Shomer Hatsayir” Hakhshara in Volozhin Rachel Knaani (Berman) 422
Keren Kayemet L' Israel (JNF) in Volozhin Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 425
Education & Art 430
The Hebrew Tarbut School Group of graduates 431
Culture war in Volozhyn Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 440
The Volozhin Kindergarten Miryam Levitan (Rosbberg) 443
The Library Fruma Guzman (Yuzefovitz) 445
Religious Education in the Thirties Menahem Mendel Potashnik 446
Polish schools in Volozhyn Miryam Levitan (Rosbberg) 451
“The Sale of Yossef” show Reuven Rogovin 454
Plays that I recall Fruma Tzevner 456
“Maccabi” football team Reuven Rogovin 460
Figures & types 463
Emissaries, Rabbis & Shohat's   464
The Volozhyn “Shadar's” - Rabbi's emissaries Eliezer Leoni 465
Harav Zvi Namiot “Der Sheliver” Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 470
Harav Shmuel Freed Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 471
My father, Harav Yehoshua Hakohen Kaplan R' Meir Hakohen Kaplan 472
The Volozhyn “Shoyhets” before World War 2 Moshe Eliyashkevitsh 473
Rabbi's wives (“Rebetsn”)    
Feyga Unterman, Rabbi Unterman's wife R' Israel Shapiro 474
Rayne Bashe Berlin, HaNaziv's First Wife R' Baruh Hlevi Epsteyn 475
Batiya Miryam Berlin, born Epstein, the spouse of Hanaziv, Meyir Bar-Elan's mother By Meyir Berlin 476
My Grand Mother Miryam Tova Berlin - Papish 479
Teachers & Melamed's 480
Reb Bezalel der Melamed & his heyder Rachel Rogovin (Rubinsteyn) 482
Our Melamdim Reuven Rogovin 483
Reb Moyshe Fayve the Melamed Reuven Rogovin 483
Reb Kalb the Melamed Reuven Rogovin 484
The Melamed and Teacher, Rabbi Avraham Gorellick Reuven Rogovin 484
My father, Reb Moyshe Shloyme Volkovitz the Melamed Mendl Volkovitz 485
Yakov Lifshits, The Tarbut school manager and teacher Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 486
Noah Perski the teacher Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 487
The teacher Reb Eliyahu Shvarzberg One of his disciples 488
Public Activists 490
Avrom Berkovitsh Fruma Zitrin (Rogovin) 490
Yaakov (Yani) Garber Lea Baksht (Faygenboym) 492
Reb Isroel Lunin Shulamit Golovenchitz-Berger 493
My Grandfather Reb Menahem Mendl Potashnik Hayim Ashlagi 495
Doctor Avrum Zart Shoshana Nishri (Berkovitz) 496
Memories of Avrum Zart Shoshana Nishri (Berkovitz) 497
Shneur Kivilevitsh Reuven Rogovin 498
Grand Father Rabbi Aharon Rapoport Miryam Levitan (Rosenberg) 500
Folksy persons 501
Reb Avrom “Asher Yozer” Yaakov Kagan 501
Rabbi Moshe Eliyahu Bunimovitsh Rabbi Dov-Natan Brinker 502
Rabbi Shlomo Hosid (R' Shlomo Shepsnvol) David Kohen 505
Figures I knew Reuven Rogovin 506
Eyzer Der Raznoshtshik (postman) Reuven Rogovin 506
Reb Hayim der Shnayder (the tailor) Reuven Rogovin 507
Reb Itshe der Balegole (coachman) Reuven Rogovin 508
Reb Avrom Hayim Marshak Israel Ben Nahum (Goloventtsitz) 510
The GrandMa Rohe Reyze Israel Ben Nahum (Goloventtsitz) 511
Ptsholke - the boarding house owner A. Litvin 513
Dov Ber Kaplan Yehuda Hayim Kotlar 515
The Buisness without foundation story Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 517
Mere Shnayder - “Merke Ele's” Dina & Lea Faygenboym 519
We shall remember them… Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 520
R' Shlomo Brudno & his wife Pesie-Reyzl Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 520
R' Ishayahu Kahanovitsh Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 521
R' Avraham Horvitz Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 522
R' Yakov Tabahovitsh Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 522
R' Dov Potashnik Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 522
The midwife Tsviya Zart Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 523
R' Dovid Itshok Kabtorovitsh Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 523
R' Sholom Leyb Rubinshteyn Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 524
R' Yakov Shmuel Ruhamkin Benyamin Shapir (Shishko) 524
Before the Shoa - Volozhyn in the Shoa shadow Bela Saliternik (Kramnik) 525
The Soviet regime Period 527
Under the Soviet regime Rachel & Reuven Rogovin 529
Volozhyn Under the Soviet regime Mendl Goldshmit 532
During the Soviet rule in Volozhyn Pnina Hayat (Potashnik) 533
The Russians Are Coming M. Perlman 533
S H O A 534
The destruction of Volozhyn Yosef Shvarzberg 535
“The German Thunder” The Editor 541
The Destruction of Volozhyn Mendl Volkovitsh 542
Atrocities at the Volozhin Jews extermination Hesl Perski 546
The Big Slaughter Mendl Volkovitch 548
What I have seen with my eyes Pnina Hayat (Potashnik) 550
The first and second “Actions” Pnina Hayat (Potashnik) 550
The evasion from Vol' Ghetto to Kaldiki village Pnina Hayat (Potashnik) 551
The noble paysan Kovalski saving the Jewish girls Pnina Hayat (Potashnik) 552
Pages about the Volozhin Holocaust Fruma Lifshits (Gapanovitsh) 554
A girl's memoirs on the Shoa Sonia Puter (Perski) 561
A Ballad About Shneur Kivelevitch Mendl Volkovitch 562
In the Ghetto and in the forced labor camps Luba Volkovitsh (Girkus) 569
Franz Karl Hess - The Volozhyn hangman From Soviet trial-Minsk 1946 576
The judges, prosecutors & accused From Soviet trial-Minsk 1946 576
Hess's participation in Volozhyn mass slaughter May 42 From Soviet trial-Minsk 1946 577
The verdict and its application From Soviet trial-Minsk 1946 579
In the Volozhin Ghetto and in revenge actions Yaakov Kagan 580
Nissan Perski's death Simhe Rogovin 583
On the suffering route Mendl Volkovitsh 584
Wandering and struggling Rachel & Reuven Rogovin 586
My life as partisan Hesl Perski 588
Partisans - Volozhiners who died in battle Hesl Perski 589
Yishayahu Bernsteyn Hessl Perski 589
Miryam Goloventshits Hessl Perski 590
Tsvi (Hirshl) Lunin Hessl Perski 590
Yosef Sklut Hessl Perski 591
Mordekhay Kaganovitsh Hessl Perski 591
Our post war visiting Volozhin Rachel & Reuven Rogovin 592
Volozhin as I saw it in 1945 Moshe Eliyashkevitsh 593
Izkor (remember) - The flames Sara Shlomovitsh (Rapoport) 594
Calendar dates of World War Two Eliezer Leoni 596
Calendar Dates of the Volozhyn Shoah Eliezer Leoni 599
The Germans entrance in Volozhyn-25/06/1941 Eliezer Leoni 599
Establishment of the Ghetto - August 1941 Eliezer Leoni 599
The first Mass Slaughter - 28/10/1941 Eliezer Leoni 599
The second Mass Slaughter - 10/05/1942 Eliezer Leoni 599
The third Mass Slaughter - 29/8/1942 Eliezer Leoni 599
Liberation of Volozhyn by the Soviet army - 6/07/1944 Moshe Porat 599
The Hanging of Franz Karl Hess 30/01/1946 Eliezer Leoni 599
Izkor - Remember 601
And those are the holy and pure names of the Volozhyn born Eliezer Leoni 603
Dear Mother! Yehuda Khaim Kotler 604
Volozhyn - Martyrs (1275 names) Editorial team 605
From Generation to Generation and to Eternity 617
Bar Elan University & it's President prof. Pinhas Hurgin Eliezer Leoni 619
The kibbutz “Ein HANAZIV” Eli Avisar 624
Israel Rogozin Itshak Yakobi 628
History of the Irgun Yotsey Volozhyn in Israel (IYVI) Eliezer Leoni 630
The first knowledge about the Volozhyn Shoah Eliezer Leoni 630
The reception of brothers & sisters from Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni 631
The establishment of a charity fund Eliezer Leoni 633
Bringing books from the Yeshiva Book Treasure to Israel Eliezer Leoni 634
Yearly Memorial services of the Volozhyn congregation Eliezer Leoni 635
The IYVI integration in the “SHOAH Cellar” memorial Services Eliezer Leoni 649
A memorial plaque in the Jerusalem “Shoah Cellar” Eliezer Leoni 652
The Volozhyn literary commemoration Eliezer Leoni 656
The USA Izkor book committee Eliezer Leoni 660
And You Shall Love Volozhyn Eliezer Leoni 635
The fallen Volozhyn sons at the Independence War Editorial team 664
Benyamin Perah - Ind. War Editorial team 664
Hayim Perski- Ind. War Editorial team 665
Eliezer Rogovin - partisan, decorated as USSR Hero-Ind. War Editorial team 666
To Eliezer Rogovin's memory Yaffa Abramovitsh 667
Volozhyners in America (Page 15 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 669
Prologue (Page 15 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 669
Acknowledgements (Page 15 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 669
Introductions (Page 16 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 669
Commeration (Page 17 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 671
American Committee (Page 25 Eng.) Dr. Avraham Yoblons 677
Editor Thanking the helping team Eliezer Leoni 679
The Destruction of Volozhyn (Page 30 Eng.) Mendl Volkovitsh 685
I remember Volozhyn (Page 26 Eng.) Irving Bunim 689
Pictures of Volozhyners killed in Shoah attachment 702
Volozhyners dead after the war in Israel, America, Volozhyn attachment 728
Table of contents Editorial team 743
End 747
Supplementary material
Volozhin at the end of the 20th century:
Volozhin 2000 - Map, legend, description
Ets Hayim Yeshiva - Kulinaria, Memorial plaque. Photos, description
First mass slaughter Memorial (Sport Stadium) - Photos, description
Second mass slaughter Memorial (2000 victims) - Photos, description
Third mass slaughter Memorial (Volozhinka Stream Bed) - Photos, description
The Ancient Cemetery - Schema, Legend (Yr. 2000)
The Ancient Cemetery - Sheep Pasture field - Photo's (Yr. 1988)
Volozhiners at the tombstones, photos (Yr. 1998)
Old tombstones-Gitl Bunimovitsh, Tsart, Sonia Perski -(1998 & 1988 photos)
Victims mass graves on the cemetery (1988 & 1998 photos)
Cemetery Memorials to the Volozhin congregation and to Rabbi Hayim Volozhiner
Volozhin Martyrs Memorial in Tel Aviv, Photos & Story (1980) 
Babushka Khaya's letter
Red Cross activity
Our Parents' Saw & Grist Mills - By M. Perlman
Volozhin Memorial inauguration, 1980
Jews who lived in predominantly gentile hamlets neighboring Volozhin
How did I survive - By Leyzer Meltser
The Zionist Movement
A look at the country's history
Childhood In Volozhin
List of martyrs in Cyrillic [From Volozhyn - Martyrs (1275 names)]

See also Memory to Volozhin Region

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