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[Page 125]

family tradition passed from him to his son-in-law, Rabbi Shoel Margalit, who was a rabbi in Michalova (near Byalistock). Unfortunately, the branches of the tree were cut off. Rabbi Margalit and his family were killed by the German butchers, may G-d avenge their blood!

        Rabbi Isaac Yaakov Kalenkovich died in the ghetto and was fortunate to be buried in a Jewish cemetery. (For more information, please see the section on the Holocaust – more is written there. Ed.) His wife Michela and their daughter Beila were killed, may
G-d avenge their blood!

        Rabbi Isaac Yaakov had 4 sons and 2 daughters: Moshe (killed in Russia); Menachem (killed in Drohitchin with his family); Sheina Golda, Mrs. Margalit and Beila (killed); Yosef (who lives in New York) and Eliyahu (in Israel).

Information from Yosef Kallen


        Rabbi Shoel Margalit was born in the town of Rotsk, near Suwalki. His father, R. Yehoshua, was an iron dealer, was a learned person and among the honored people in town.

        Rabbi Shoel was educated in the large Lithuanian yeshivas prior to World War I. He spent several more years in the Slabodka Yeshiva, where he was considered to be one of the outstanding students. In the winter of 1923, he became the son-in-law of the rabbi of Drohitchin, Rabbi A. Y. Kalenkovich. For a short time, until he was appointed the rabbi of Michelova-Nezbodka, near Byalistock, R. Shoel was a member of his father-in-law's rabbinical court.

        Rabbi Margalit, who was known as a great scholar and pious individual, was the only heir of his father-in-law's rabbinical position in Drohitchin. Had events been other than they were, he surely would have become the rabbi of Drohitchin. Unfortunately, Rabbi Shoel, his wife and four children (Shmerel, Rivka, Sara and Chana Yehudit) were killed together with his community. May G-d avenge their blood!

[Photos:] Rabbi Shoel Margalit

         Mrs. Sheina Golda Margalit and children. From right: Shmerel, Rivka and Sarah (Chana Yehudit was born later). May G-d avenge their blood!

[Page 126]

Rabbi Yehuda David Goldman (Chicago)

(Rabbi Yossel, the Dayan [Rabbinical Judge])

        My grandfather, and teacher, Rabbi Yosef Goldman was known as R. Yossel the Dayan, from Drohitchin, and was born in Khomsk into a scholarly family in approximately 1825. My great-grandfather, the father of my grandfather, was R. Tzemach, a great Torah scholar. I still have some of his talmudic writings.

[Photo:] Rabbi Yosef Goldman – R. Yossel the Dayan

My grandfather, R. Yossel, once told me that a delegation from Pinsk once offered my great-grandfather the position of head rabbi of Pinsk, but R. Tzemach didn't want to take the position. He justifies his view from the Talmudic maxim: “If a person has lived out most of his allotted years without sinning, he should not then allow himself to sin.” As far as R. Tzemach was concerned, since he had reached old age and had not become a rabbi, he therefore did not wish to become one now. He considered himself as one of those who feared instructing others, meaning that he didn't want to take on the responsibility of being an appointed rabbi. It is also told that when the rabbi of Klomsk would travel to visit R. Tzemach to ask him questions relating to Jewish law, R. Tzemach would hide! His wife (my great-grandmother), Nisha Chana, who was known as a righteous woman, would say, “What do you want from him? He doesn't know anything and is unlearned.”

        My grandfather, R. Yossel, was one of the first students in the newly established Mir Yeshiva, and was known as the Genius of Khomsk. When he got older he became the son-in-law of R. Yudel David Kosovsky of Drohitchin, who I am actually named after, and who was the rabbinical judge of Drohitchin and one of the leaders of the community.

        When the great scholar and rabbi of Drohitchin, Rabbi Zvi Eliyahu, died, two camps developed in town. One group wanted Rabbi Zvi Eliyahu's son, R. Menachem Reichman, to become the rabbi in town. The other group wanted my grandfather, R. Yossel, to occupy that position. After a rabbinical court case, and the judges ruled in favor of R. Menachem, who became the rabbi of Drohitchin.

        I remember that when we were living in Brisk (because my mother, Chaya Liftsha, was from there, and her entire family lived there), a tall Jew with an imposing countenance came to our house from Drohitchin. As soon as the man left, my father said to me, “That Jewish man who was just here was the leader of the group opposed to your grandfather. That man was very arrogant, and his group chose him specially so that he could oppose Grandfather and make him lose his case.”

        My grandfather was a rabbinical judge in Drohitchin for over 60 years. He never made much money from that position, so he studied Talmud privately with some older students. His wife, grandmother Esther, had a store at the town market, and was able to make some money that way.

        My grandfather had four sons and one daughter. One of the sons was my father, Eliyahu, who was a great scholar and educated in secular subjects as well. My father was considered one of the most respected people in Brisk.

        In connection with this, it's worth mentioning the following story: While I was

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