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[Page 181]

interested his listeners in whatever he had to say. He decided he wanted to provide a good Jewish education for the children and a solution for parents who had become estranged from Jewish books. Zvi taught Torah, cited scientists and philosophers, and showed how Jews were different than other people. He argued that Jews should go against the stream, and as a result, a development movement would develop, intended to “improve Jews from inside out through economic productivity and intellectual elevation.”

        In 1938, Zvi published a brochure, Development, in which he advocated his idea of a three-fold revolution in the life of the Jewish People: a socio-economic one; a national-psychological one, and a national-cultural one. Schwartz never belonged to any party; he was for a whole Judaism. He wanted a whole Jew a whole people.

        Schwartz over-exerted himself. Despite the warnings of doctors, he continued to speak and explain, dreaming of an organized Jewish community in Buenos Aires, and a trans-national Jewish committee of South American Jewry. Some of his dreams were actually realized. He was a co-founder of the organized Jewish community in Buenos Aires, and co-founder of the rabbinate; he organized courses on the Sabbath and Sunday. He was the senior co-founder of the YIVO archive and Central Library, to which he contributed a treasury of books and documents, etc. For his service, the YIVO administration named a study room of the Central Library after him.

        On the 900th birthday of the biblical commentator, Rashi, Zvi Schwartz and writers Yedidyah Efron, Nachman Gezang and Yosef Mendelson published the Rashi commentary in three languages: Yiddish, Hebrew and Spanish. The writer, Shachne Resnick translated the book into Spanish. At Zvi's suggestion, the book of Jewish philosophy, Kuzari, was translated into Spanish.

        In June, 1942, Schwartz began publishing Writings, a monthly publication about “Integral Judaism,” with a selection of classics of old and new Jewry. Each edition was 80 pages long, and was a fountain of Jewish teachings and knowledge. In his final years, Zvi Schwartz was very weak, suffered from heart trouble, and couldn't move. The destruction of European Jewry only worsened his health, and as he lay on his deathbed, Zvi wrote a will and testament about how to save the remnant of the Jewish People.

        R. Zvi Schwartz died on January 7, 1945 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Melech Ravitch writes: “At his funeral at the cemetery, his wife Leah eulogized him. It was a classic speech from a real Jewish Woman of Valor.” Leah Schwartz continued publishing Zvi's Writings since June 1942 to the time of this writing, with the active collaboration of writers Avraham Golomb, Yisrael Efroiken and others.

        Information about the great Zvi Schwartz was taken from the monograph written by Pinchas Bizberg. Also see the reviews by Dr. Moshe Merkin in Die Yiddishe Zeitung, November 29, 1949, Argentina, and by Melech Ravitch in the Freie Yiddish Tribuna, December 1946, London, England.

Kehat Kliger

The Ballad of the Death of R. Zvi

And when the Angel came for the heart of
the great Jew, R. Zvi Schwartz,
R. Zvi said: “In a minute, and his face was bathed
with the light of the Divine Presence.

The sun set; the summer evening played around
with cherubim and seraphim angels
on R. Zvi's unfinished book.
The entire room was enveloped in pink.

But R. Zvi smiled, his eye deep and wise,
drank down heaven like a blue jug.
R. Zvi smiled, his body and soul sang the prayer:
“The soul is Yours, and the body is Yours”

And Leah, R. Zvi's companion, the quiet dove;
understood his smile and heard his praise.
She didn't cry, but she saw. R. Zvi leaves this
earth, like the sun and final glow.

The angel says, “R. Zvi, let's go!”
And the angel rustles its white wings, like ivory,
its hand on his shoulder, the two of them as if
off to a family celebration.

But in kheder, with an open book,
R. Zvi's eternal light never goes out.
The light shines brighter in the morning blue,
and sings, “Blessed be He and blessed be his Name.”

[Page 182]


7 Iyar, 5694 [April 22, 1934]
The Talmud Torah

The Talmud Torah, Torah Ve-Da'at, founded with the money of R. Yitzchak Avigdor and Elka Telekhansky of Chicago. (See p. 220). This photo was taken in 1934. Seated, from left to right: Sender Shapiro (teacher), Zusha Warshavsky, Rabbi Kalenkovich, Zechariah Schmid (Committee), Shmuel Rock, Chaim Shulman (teacher) and two female teachers: Valevelsky-Charsel and another one.

Sender Shapiro

Sender Shapiro, known as the Odrezhiner Teacher, was born in Libeshei, near Pinsk. He studied in the House of Study following his wedding in approximately 1908 to Michla, the daughter of Nachum Pomerantz of Odrezhina, near Pinsk. Shapiro then settled in Drohitchin and opened a kheder for new Talmud students.

        From 1924 until World War II, Shapiro was a teacher in the Talmud Torah. He and his wife had 5 children, however, no one survived. They were all killed. May G-d avenge their blood!

Shmuel Rock

Shmuel Rock was born in Kamenitz, and studied in the Slobodka and other yeshivas. He worked as a teacher at the Moriah School during his first stay in Drohitchin, but later left Drohitchin to become a teacher in Rozhinoy, where he also got married. He then returned to Drohitchin, and worked as an administrator of the Talmud Torah, where he also taught Talmud to older children.

        Shmuel Rock was a capable person with a strong personality. He did a lot for the

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