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[Page 217]

she would go and fetch a block of ice or fill a prescription – she behaved like a real nurse.

[Photo:] Seated, from right to left: Hershel Chaim and Khasha Levin, Moshe Naftali Bronner Walinsky and Chaikel Milner. Standing from right to left: Dina Kharsel, Tenenbaum and his wife Golda; Feitsha Vichnes and Moshe Naftali's grandson. The children in front: Berele Vichnes and Chaikel's grandson. R. Moshe Naftali had 10 children: Yeshayahu, David, Yitzchak, Leib Chaim, Khasha Levin, Chava Milner, Sarah Kharsel, Liba, Golda and Feitsha Vichnes.

        Khasha worked with superhuman powers during the typhus epidemic during the First World War. She didn't worry about contracting the terrible disease and would sit day and night with patients in the hospital and private homes to try to alleviate their suffering. She showed the same concern for a poor bride to help her with her outfit or for getting food for a poor Jewish family.

        A couple of years after the First World War, Hershel Chaim and Khasha emigrated to Palestine and settled in Rishon Lezion, where they continued their holy work. Rabbi Yisrael Halevy Beeri (Kolodner), the rabbi of Nes Ziona in Palestine wrote us about Khasha's life and death in Palestine:

        "On Wednesday, 26 Shevat 5713 [Feb. 13, 1953], the great righteous woman, Khasha Levin, passed away while she was carrying a glass of tea for a lonely woman in a nursing home; Khasha suddenly fell and died. She was a wonderful person who never lived for herself, but only for others. Anyone who knew her will praise her name.
She'll be remembered by her nephews who she brought to Palestine and married off. She'll be remembered by yeshivas and charity institutions for collecting large sums of money; she'll be remembered by the synagogues in Rishon Lezion for her contribution for a Torah scroll and expensive Vilna edition of the Talmud. She'll be remembered by guests who used to come to Rishon Lezion and receive food, drink and lodging at her home, etc."

        R. Hershel Chaim died in Tevet [January], 1937 in Rishon Lezion. He was originally from the town of Khomsk.

Chaikel Milner

Chaikel Milner, a son of Yisrael David and Chana Milner, was born in Drohitchin in 1870, and was educated by religious tutors in town. In 1890 he married Chava, the daughter of R. Moshe Naftali Volinsky. Chaikel and his brother-in-law, Yisrael Eliezer Charsel, were the owners of a large steam mill, the first in the region. Chaikel was a member of the administration of the Folks Bank, the Community Council, the burial society and other organizations. Since 1934 Chaikel [has been living] in Tel Aviv.

        The Milners had six children: Golda Wisotsky, Yosef, Ze'ev, Shifra Saratshik, Yitzchak and Shmuel. Yosef was in Renenkampf's Russian army when it entered East Prussia, and was killed in action.

[Page 218]


David Warshavsky was born in Drohitchin in approximately 1880 to his parents, Mordechai (Motya) and Tsippa. On his father's side he was descended from the family of the kabbalist, R. Dovidel Yaffe. He attended kheder and studied under religious tutors in town.

        After serving in the Czar's army for 4 years, David married Chaya Reizel Ratnovsky of Strelnoya (a village near Yanova). In 1905 he left for Chicago, where he stayed for three years before returning to Drohitchin. He then opened a hardware store (in Yoel Leib's store) and was on his way to an independent life when World War I erupted in 1914, leaving everything in a heap. David was drafted into the Russian army, and his store and merchandise were burned to the ground.

        Other people were also drafted at that time (1915) together with David Warshavsky: Zelig Tennenbaum, Eliyahu Milner, Shalom the carpenter and Nahum “the truant.” All of them were sent off to the front. Eliyahu and Shalom were wounded and sent home, but David (and the others) was taken away by the retreating Red Army. During the entire period of the German occupation no one heard anything from him.

        Eventually, when his family (who had been living under harsh conditions in the village of Bilinka during the occupation) had just about given up on him, David wandered through various war fronts with the Russian army. He passed through many areas and cities of Russia, and finally served as a soldier in the revolutionary Russian army in Yekaterinberg, where the Czar and his family were shot. At that time, while at the fortress, the historic tragedy played out as David stood guard outside.

[photo:] Seated, from right to left: Shepsel, Chaya Reizel (mother), David (father) and Alter Friedenberg (son-in-law). Standing from right: Bluma, Leizer, Reuven, Shmuel and Sheina Leah (Alter's wife). The children from right: Shlomo, Rivka and Yonah (grandchildren)

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