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[Page 175]

all grown up – here he was walking all by himself in the darkness, and he wasn't scared at all. He wasn't far from home when a wind gust blew out his lantern light. Dovidel became seized with fear and started running home. He wanted to shout because he felt that someone was chasing him, but he restrained himself. It wasn't right for him to do it so close to home. It was pitch black, and Dovidel's started imagining demons and ghosts. He was so scared he couldn't find his key, and he started sweating. Inside the house his family could hear rustling at the door as someone opened it. Dovidel rushed in breathlessly.

        It was bright and warm in the house. The sudden contrast from darkness to light impressed Dovidel as he saw his family and neighbors sitting and talking together. He felt like taking revenge on his family; his ego was hurt. He felt pressure on his heart and broke out in loud weeping. Everyone was quiet, but he didn't feel comforted – he went to bed feeling angry.

Dov B. Warshavsky


Eliyahu Zilbergleit, known as R. “Eliyahu Machles” was born in Drohitchin. His father, R. Binyamin Chaim Zilbergleit, was a prominent grain merchant who lived all his life in Nikolayev (Russia), and was scholarly in both Jewish and secular studies. His library, the largest in town, was renown throughout the region, and it was in this home of religious and general knowledge that Eliyahu was educated. For a time, Eliyahu also studied under R. Menachem Reichman, the rabbi of Drohitchin.

        R. Eliyahu was known to be both a scholar and a simple person. He wasn't too involved in business affairs, and his wife, Machle, was the breadwinner (which is why Eliyahu was known as Eliyahu Machles). Eliyahu always sat in the House of Study and studied, including kabbalah. He would immerse himself in the mikvah every day.

        In his youth, R. Eliyahu had an olinitsa [oil factory?] not far from the church. The priest was very unhappy about this, and the peasants burned down the olinitsa, leaving R. Eliyahu and his family penniless. His father in Nikolayev sent him some money, and R. Menachem provided him with house and a store. Machle, R. Eliyahu's wife, was the storekeeper and breadwinner, and R. Eliyahu returned to his studies.

        It is told that one Sabbath R. Eliyahu was teaching a class on the weekly Torah portion in the House of Study. After he finished, a visitor approached him and said, ”I really enjoyed your Torah lecture. I haven't heard a lecture like that in a long time.” Later it was discovered that the guest was the prominent scholar, Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, known throughout the world as the Chafetz Chaim.

R. Eliyahu's father, R. Binyamin Chaim, once printed a difficult passage of the Jerusalem Talmud in Hamelitz, and asked readers to explain the passage. R. Eliyahu was the person who explained it. Hamelitz sent someone to Drohitchin meet the talkative scholar. The representative of Hamelitz offered to take a photo of R. Eliyahu, but R. Eliyahu always refused to be photographed.

        R. Eliyahu also supported Torah scholars. He aided the Kobriner Rebbe, R. Noachka, substantially, and sent money to R. Nachumka of Grodno. R. Eliyahu gave the eulogy for the Osevitz Martyrs, and mourned deeply for R. Sender Osevitzer, who had always been R. Eliyahu's guest whenever R. Sender came to town. There was also the occasion when R. Eliyahu gave the usual Sabbath lecture in the synagogue on the Sabbath between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when R. Menachem didn't feel well and asked R. Eliyahu to speak in his place. In his later years, R. Eliyahu taught children Talmud, and earned a small living from it.

        R. Eliyahu died suddenly from a stroke before World War I. His manuscripts on Torah subjects, unfortunately, were burned during the War. As mentioned, R. Eliyahu was a close relative of R. Zalman Sender of Maltsh.

Information from Gedaliah Kaplan

[Page 176]

[Photo:] Funeral of R. Mordechale Slonimer, 25 Adar, 1916 [trans.: 1916 was a Jewish leap year, so there were two Adars that year. The text here does not specify which Adar the funeral took place on] (see p. 154, “R. Asher Weitzel)


[Photo:] Rabbi Shimon Tarasov

Rabbi Shimon Tarasov, a son of Rabbi Yosef Yehuda, was born in Brisk in 1885, and studied at the Novardok Yeshiva, where he studied together with the esteemed scholar, Rabbi Yaffen. In approximately 1915, he married Fruma, the daughter of Shmuel from Volevel, near Drohitchin, and settled in Drohitchin, where he was a teacher until 1924.

In 1924, Rabbi Tarsov and his family emigrated to the United States where they settled in Chicago. In Chicago Rabbi Tarsov served as a poultry ritual slaughterer, and taught at the Beit Rachel-Leah Talmud Torah (St. Louis Street). At the same time, he served as rabbi of the Yavneh Synagogue (for 3 years), the Horodok Synagogue, and the Kobriner-Karliner chassidic shtibel.

Rabbi Tarasov died on 24 Adar [March 13], 1950 in Chicago.


[Photo:] Yosef Shochet

Yosef Shochet, or Yossel Tchernes, was born in Motele and married in Drohitchin, where he was always involved in teaching. He taught children Talmud, and had a very analytical mind, like a philosopher. Unfortunately, there are no precise details about him. He died before World War I. R. Yossel had seven children: Avraham Shimon (Brisk), Reuven (Yanovo), Moshe (Palestine), Aryeh, Noachke, Hershel and Michel.

R. Yossel's grandson (son of Avraham Shimon) Yaakov was a professor of mathematics at the University of St. Petersburg. Afterwards, he became a full professor at the Navy Academy at Indianapolis, USA. He was also a professor at Ann Arbor University (Michigan) and Pennsylvania (Philadelphia). Yaakov died in the United States at the age of 77.


Shlomo Friedenberg was born in approximately 1880 in Drohitchin. His father, Berl, spent many years in yeshivas, and was known to be a scholar. Later he got married in Bilien (a village near Drohitchin), and went into business, though he was unsuccessful. He moved to town and became a teacher. Until World War I he taught children Talmud, and later taught it to older students at the Moriah School. Shlomo died in 1938 in Pinsk. His wife and children (except for one daughter in Palestine) were all killed. May G-d avenge their blood!

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