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[Page 207]

Chapter 5

Personalities, Families, Figures

My Parents' House - The Orzechovsky family

By Nahum Naor Orzechovsky

Translated by Nate Kolodny

Edited by Sara Mages

I will always remember the town of Maytchet. I was born there and there my childhood passed, and there is where I left the dearest to me – my parents.


Yonah and his wife Kriena Orzechovsky and their daughter Hanna-Mara


My father Yonah, blessed be his memory, was born in Maytchet to his parents, Osher and Shaina Orzechovsky. My father was an educated man and a scholar. In his youth he studied in the Novogrudok Yeshiva and later completed his studies in Russian Schools. My mother Kriena, may she rest in peace, was born in the town of Novaya Mysh (Mush) to her parents Leib and Tovah Vilbensky.

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After their marriage, my parents settled in Maytchet together with my father's parents. They had three children--my older sister Hanna-Mara, myself, and my younger sister Chasha. The family earned a living from the iron trade and that was the reason that my grandfather Asher was called “Reb Asher, iron shop owner” (Der Aizenkrammer). Later on my parents became fabric merchants and while my grandparents still dealt in iron, my parents sold fabric in the shop.

Both my parents came from large families. My father's parents had two sons and four daughters. My father lived in Maytchet all his life, but his brother Nathan immigrated to the U.S. shortly before W.W. I. He had a large family and lived to see many grandchildren before passing away in 1964.


Mrs. Feiga-Rachel Weisbord née Orzechovsky


Three of my father's sisters also immigrated to the U.S. They are Fanny, who lives near Chicago, Chasha Freyda who lives with her husband Julius Kolodny in Los Angeles, and Chaya Sarah, may she rest in peace, who married Baruch Ross (Razvetzky) from Zhetl in Novaya Mysh (Mush) before immigrating to the U.S. My father's fourth sister was Bedna Margolin who built her house with Reb Aryel Leib in Maytchet.

My mother's parents came from Novaya Mysh (Mush). Her parents Leib and Tova Villenky had seven sons and one daughter. My mother's brothers were Mordechai, Yoel, Herschel, Yitzhak, Dov and Yosef.

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With the exception of Ashe and Yosef who stayed in Mush, the rest of them moved to Baranovichi. All of them were in the meat business. My mother had an aunt in Maytchet, Etta, the sister of grandmother Tova and the wife of Yitzchak Gilrovitch. They (Etta and Tova) were the daughters of Nachum Mordechovsky, who was also called Tseshler because he owned land in the village of Telsia near Slonim. I was named after him.

I did not know all of them very well because I was still young when the Nazis came. I cannot but mention them here, hoping that these few lines will serve as a kind of a memorial to honest and innocent soul that were special in their own way and that in their death left to me and my family a great spiritual heritage.

I was the only survivor from all of my family, except those who immigrated to the U.S. The rest of the family, who are still alive in Israel, are my cousins Nachum Margolin and his sister Freidel Makarensky and Ethel Villensky, daughter of my Uncle Mordechai Villensky. My two other cousins, Rachel and Brania, daughters of Dov Villensky, live in the U.S.


Yoel [Julius] Kolodny and his first wife from the Orzechovsky family


We are the only ones amongst many youngsters in our family who survived the Holocaust. Each one of us went through a long journey of suffering until we reached a safe place.

My own youth in Maytchet was very much like that of any other child. I studied with a Melamed (Jewish teacher) Koppel Gorsky and then continued my education in Horeb School.

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For a short time I was a Yeshiva student in a small yeshiva that was founded in Maytchet in 1935, and later I graduated from the ORT School (vocational institute). I continued my studies in the ORT school in the town of Brest nearby.

W.W. II broke out during that time and, following the Ribenthrop-Molotov Pact, Brest became a Russian territory. The Russians converted the Ort Institute into a government technical institute and I stayed there until June 1941.

On June 7, 1941 some of the students, including myself, went to participate in advanced courses that were given in Vitebsk, Russia. Two weeks later war was declared between Russia and Germany. On that same day I tried to return to Maytchet. I failed, as did all my attempts to go back.

I shall not describe in full detail the path of suffering and blood I've experienced, like other survivors of the Holocaust, until the victory of the allies over Nazi Germany. At the end of the war I joined the Bricha (Escape) organization that took care of refugees.

I arrived in Israel in 1947. The memory of my last farewell from my parents and family in 1941 is still fresh. The days before the war were mentally and economically difficult and so was our farewell before I had left for Vitebsk. None of us knew that this would be our final farewell.

These words are published in the memorial volume for Maytchet community thirty years after the events occurred. Today, in the 1970's and in the State of Israel, I believe that our children should be given the opportunity to learn more about the struggle of the past generations of the Jewish people--especially the terrible period that had so much to do with the formation of the new State of Israel. I am pleased to know that my grandfather's presence in this book will contribute to this educational effort.

Nahum Naor Orzechovsky

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The Dvorzecky Family

By Dr. Meir (Mark) Dvorzecky

Translated by Ron Rabinovitch

Edited by Sara Mages

My father, Dov-Ber Dvorzecky, was born in Maytchet. His father, Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Dvorzecky, was also born in Maytchet and lived there until he immigrated to Israel. His grandfather, Rabbi Shemaryahu Yehuda Dvorzecky, lived and died in Maytchet.

The following is the Dvorzecky Family:

Rabbi Shemaryahu Yehuda Dvorzecky was a wood merchant in Maytchet. His wife's name was Sima but some people called her Liba.

Their son Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Dvorzecky was a wood merchant also. He was one of the Zionist activist in Russia who was a delegate to the second Zionist Conference in Basel, Switzerland. You can read about this in the Zionist newspaper - “Di Walt”, by Dr. Theodore Herzl. On the delegate's list he is listed as one of the representatives of the Basel second Zionist Conference. He immigrated to Eretz-Israel and lived in Rehovot from 1926 until his death in 1932.

He married Chana Gele Landoy, daughter of Eliyahu Landoy from Lida. I remember some of her brother's names: Michael Landoy who died in Vilna, Nathan (Natte) Landoy who died in Lida, and Joseph Landoy who died in Rehovot. My grandmother, Chana Gele Dvorzecky, came to Eretz-Israel with my grandfather, Rabbi Yechiel Isaac, and she died in Rehovot in 1928. They had 3 sons and 5 daughters: Dov, Jacob, Isaac, Mechle, Malka, Sonia, Hadassa, and Sima.

I. My father Dov-Ber received his ordination as a Rabbi at the Slonim Yeshiva. He married my mother Tzivia. She was well educated, knew several languages and worked as a draftsman. She was the daughter of the Rabbi and architect, Rabbi Eliyahu Rumanov from Vilna, who dedicated his life to preparing an accurate map of the Temple. He drew sketches of the Temple and its sacred objects, which was published in Vilna. My late father was actively involved in the Zionist movement during his entire life as well as the Jewish community of Vilna. I heard stories that he was imprisoned when the Czar's police saw him holding a blue and white flag in a demonstration which was held 1905. He was an educated and proud Jew and had large library of religious books.

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His first occupation was a wood merchant in Maytchet and the nearby area. Later on he audited the accounts at the Jewish community in Vilna. He became ill while in the Vilna Ghetto and died on the last candle of Chanukah,1941. My mother was transferred at the time of the German Aktion, September 23rd – 26th 1943, to an unknown place (possibly Ponary or Majdanek).


R' Dov-Ber Dvorzecky z”l and his wife Tzivia hy”d (née Rumanov)

a. Lisa graduated high school in Vilna and the Pharmacology department at Vilna University. She married Zev Lifshitz from Baranavichy and moved to Baranavichy. During the war her husband was transferred to Krasnoye Camp near Maladzechna (Molodeczno) and he died there. Lisa and her daughter Madzia moved to Maytchet and they were killed there with their Uncle Jacob Dvorzecky at the time of the mass killing, July 15, 1942.

b. Sima graduated from the Klutz high school in Vilna. She married Aharon Ginzburg from Vilna. During the Soviet regime she was transferred to Siberia. She came back with the “Riphariation” movement and immigrated to Israel in 1948. She died Tamuz 23rd 5728, July 19, 1968. Her son Isaac married Yaffa of the Kleingrob family and they have 3 children: Vardit, Sima and Uri. They are now living in Tel Aviv.

c. Meir (Mark) Yehuda Shemarahu (the author). I was one of the survivors of the Ghetto Vilna and of concentration camps in Astonia, Stutthof and Dautmergen (near Natzviller).

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I received a medical doctor degree from Vilna and a PHD of History from Paris. Presently I lecture about the Holocaust at Bar Ilan University in Tel Aviv. During the war I was an officer and fought in the Lvov Defense Battle. Later on I was captured by the Nazis near Krakow but managed to run away to Vilna. I was a member of the underground in the Vilna Ghetto as well as in the camps. I managed to run away from the camps to the Salagav Forest in Germany. I married Chasia Geffen. We have a son Dov who is an assistant Physicist at Ber Sheva University and is married to Esther Artman from Haifa. We also have a daughter Tzivia who has a master's degree in history from Tel Aviv University.

II. Jacob graduated from the High School of Pharmacology and he owned a pharmacy in Maytchet. He was highly educated in the fields of history and literature. He was loved by everyone, both Jews and Gentiles. He married Helena Starlatzki and they both went to their death at the time of the German Aktion in Maytchet July, 1942. I understand that some Chiristians wanted to save him but he didn't want to leave his family and fellow Jews. They had 3 children:

Edie graduated from the Polytechnic in Warsaw. He was an engineer and his wife's name was Ella and their daughter was named Miriam.

Vita graduated the high school pharmacology department in Warsaw. Witnesses say she was able to escape from Maytchet and joined the Partisans. Unfortunately she did not survive the war but I am not sure how or when she met her death. Perhaps she was killed in a battle or possibly died from typhus while hiding in the forest with the partisans.

Eliyahu was transferred to Bedzonys near Vilna. (We received one letter sent from Bedzonys to the Vilna Ghetto). He was murdered there during the mass killing in July 9, 1943.

III. Isaac (Isadore) graduated the higher school of pharmacology. He immigrated to Eretz-Israel before the war and there he married Miriam Olkin. They had one daughter, Shoshana and she married Abraham Melnikov. Isaac died and was buried in Rehovot on Tevet 12th 5726 April 1, 1966.

IV. Mechle lived her entire life in Maytchet. She was married to Tzvi Hirsh Barashinsky. They were both killed by the Nazis in Maytchet. Their children:

Shemaryahu – Possibly killed in Maytchet.

Elkana – He finished high school and lives in USSR.

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Eliyahu – He was a student in Vilna University and later in the University in Paris. He was killed in Paris by the Nazis.

V. Malka was married to Shmuel Rabinovitch, an ardent Zionist who immigrated to Eretz-Israel before the First World War. They settled in Rehovot. Shmuel Rabinovitch died in Rehovot in 1939; Malka died in Rehovot on the eve of Hanukah in 1971 at the age of 92 or possibly 97. Their son Joshua (Chalamish) graduated Hertzelia High School; he lived in Rehovot and was one of the guards in the “Hashomer” and the “Hagana” movements.

VI. Sonia married Zev Liberman. She died in Rumania and her husband died in Rehovot. Their children are:

Arie (Yakir) – he graduated high school in Belgium. At the present time he lives in Rehovot and is the head secretary of the municipality and was a member of the Hagannah. He married Rina Finger and their daughter Gila married Dr. A. Yochtman from Tel Aviv University. They have a daughter Iris and three sons named Ofer, Jacob and Doron.

Leyuba was in France during the war. After the war she immigrated to Israel and married an engineer by the name of Eliyahu Solel Soloveitzik. They live in Tel Aviv.

VII. Hadassah (Dashe) married Nachum Rabinovitch from Warsaw. She was killed in the Warsaw Ghetto. Their children were Leyuba and Eliyahu. Hadassa, her husband Nachum and daughter Leyuba were killed in the Warsaw Ghetto. Also Eliyahu moved as a refugee to Maytchet and he was killed there by the Nazis.

VIII. Sima graduated high school in Russia, married Shaul Luria and died in the USA in 1970.

I have been told that Moshe, brother of Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Dvorzecky, lived in Drohichin and had two daughters: Sima and Rivka.

The following tale of the immigration of Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Dvorzecki was told in Maytchet:

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On the day after Yom Kippur, Rabbi Dvorzecky's house was burnt down. He didn't allow anyone to stop the fire and said “It is God's way and we have to leave the Diaspora immediately and immigrate to Eretz-Israel.” The next day he packed his possessions and immigrated to Eretz-Israel with his wife.

The people in Maytchet said that he was an ardent Zionist and had planned for many years to immigrate. But he could not afford to do so because of the difficult economic conditions. The long delays disappointed him and many people suspected that he himself burnt the house to enable him to leave the Diaspora.

Sara Rivka, the sister of Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Dvorzecky, married Nachum Abramovski. Their children:

  1. Tehila was a dentist in Russia.
  2. Shemaryahu was killed in Maytchet.
  3. Shalom was killed in Maytchet.
  4. Dov –Berel was a dentist. He was killed in Maytchet.
  5. Musya married Baruch Reiter. They immigrated to the USA and had two sons. She died in New York in 1972.
  6. Sima immigrated to Eretz-Israel where she married Elkana Ben-Chur Yentis. They had three sons: Nachum- a surgeon, Betzalel – a publisher with his father and Amos – an engineer. Sima died in Tel Aviv July 24, 1965.

Michael Landoy, the brother of Chana Gele Dvorzecky from Maytchet, had three sons and two daughters: The sons were Isadore, Salomon and Joseph. Joseph settled in Rehovot and had two sons, Eliyahu and Shmuel; both of them became farmers. Michael Landoy's daughter Chasia died in 1962. The daughter of his other daughter (name not given) married Moshe Kaganovitch who came from the Vilna Ghetto. Today he works as a scientist at the Weitzman Institute located in Rehovot.

As recorded in the tales, the Dvorzecky family lived at first in Drohichin and their name was Shlovski. At the time of the Drohichin riots, one relative of the family (Shemaryahu-Yehuda or his father) killed one of the rioters in self defense after he was attacked by them. He had to escape from Drohichin and changed his surname to Dvorzecky. From this tradition all the Dvorzecky family saw themselves as part of the Shlovski family from Drohichin.

After the war I heard about four heroic partisans from the Shlovski family in Drohichin: Avigdor was killed in a battle near Dravnaya road, Sima was a Partisan- nurse and was killed by the Vlasov army, Feige was killed in the forest and Shlomo was killed in a battle in the forest.

The Russian name of “Maytchet” is Molchadz, and the following is the explanation I heard, when I was young boy, of how the town got its name: One day the Russian Tzar, together with

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a convoy of his army, were in the area. The inhabitants went to greet them with water and salt. They complained about their poor life under the squires and about the heavy taxes they had to pay. The Tzar became very upset with the greeting he was given and shouted at them: “Maytchet!” (Be Quiet!) And from that time on the town was called “Maytchet”.

At the time of the First World War my parents, Dov and Tzivia Dvorzecky, moved from Vilna to Maytchet.


Town elders
Sitting from Right: Yechiel Yitzchak Dvorzecki, Tzvi Boriszanski, A. Rabinovitz
Standing from right: Sh. Boriszanski, unknown


I began my education with Rabbi Jacob Ginzburg, who taught me grammar, Bible and Rashi. He wanted us to know all the words in Hebrew, so he forced us to memorize the words that appeared in the book “Gulat Hakoteret”. That book had a lot of letters and in each one there

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were single words. He told us that the pupil who knows all the letters by heart, would know perfect Hebrew.

Every morning we came to his house with lights and every evening we came back with the same lights. I can still remember the running lights in the streets of the town when there was snow.

Later I learned Bible (Eyov, Mishley, and Kohelet) with Rabbi Jacob Liberman who was a serious student of the Torah. He was the father of Zev Liberman who married Sonia Dvorzecky; they are the parents of Arie Yakir (Liberman) from Rehovot. One relative of Jacob Liberman is the famous Rabbi and Professor, Shaul Liberman.

At the time of the First World War there was a Zionist movement in Maytchet and I had the honor of being a member of this group. Its name was “Flowers of Zion” (Pirchei Zion). Some of my friends who were also members of the group were: Leibel Gilrovitz, Eliyahu Borishansky and Arie Yakir Liberman. We decided to establish a Hebrew theater in Maytchet. We performed a Hebrew play “One” (Echad) and we even established a small choir. (I remember one of the songs written by Isaac Katzenelson).

At the end of World War I, some of the men organized a self-defense organization in Maytchet. Among the members were Shemaryahu Borishansky, Shemaryahu Abramovsky and Berl Abramovsky. The secret meetings took place at the home of the pharmacist Jacob Dvorzecky. They bought weapons and were trained to shoot while riding galloping horses. My mother Tzvia transported the weapons from place to place in baskets.

To this day I really do not know where I was born. Some of my documents say Vilna as my birthplace but most of the others say Maytchet was my place of birth.

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Reb Nathan the son of
Reb Asher Orzechovsky of blessed memory

By Yisrael Neiten

Translated by Jerrold Landau

A Maytchet personality


Nathan Naten, and his wife Chana Lea Naten


Reb Nathan Orzechovsky (Naten), a native of Maytchet, was a typical Lithuanian Jew[1] - one of the remnants of the previous generation. He had the splendid countenance of a scholar with excellent character traits. He was pleasant in his mannerisms, and very discreet and modest. With him, the words of our sages were fulfilled, “Everyone who meets the approval of his fellow man also meets the approval of G-d”[2]. He was loved by all who knew him, -- old and young, men and women.

Reb Nathan was born in Maytchet around the year 5655 (1884) to his mother Sheina and his father Reb Asher Orzechovsky, one of the town notables, who earned his livelihood in his time by running a shop for iron implements. Reb Asher provided his children with a proper Jewish education. He sent both of his sons to study in the famous Yeshiva of Nowogrodek. Aside from Reb Nathan, Reb Asher Orzechovsky had one other son and four daughters. His son Reb Yonah, may G-d avenge his blood, also studied like his brother in his youth in the Yeshiva of Nowogrodek, and excelled as a great scholar. He married Kraina of the Volinski family

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of Nowa Mysz, and established his family in Maytchet. They had one son and two daughters. All of them perished in Maytchet in sanctification of the Divine Name during the Nazi Holocaust, except for their son who succeeded in escaping from the Holocaust. The daughters were as follows[3]: 1) Mrs. Badana Margolin may G-d avenge her blood, who established her family in Maytchet with her husband Yehuda Yitzchak, who was called Liba Asher's[4]. They had five sons and two daughters, all of whom perished in Maytchet in sanctification of the Divine name, except for one son and one daughter who succeeded in escaping from the Holocaust: 2) Mrs. Feiga Rachel Weisbord who established her family in the United States and has one son and grandchildren; 3) Mrs. Chaya Sara of blessed memory (died on 17 Cheshvan 5724 / 1963) who also immigrated to the United States along with her husband Reb Baruch Ross (Rozovski), a native of Zhetl who lived for some time in Maytchet until they went to the United States. They settled in Chicago where he serves as a shochet, prayer leader and teacher to this day. She left behind three sons, one daughter, and grandchildren 4) Mrs. Chasha Kolodny, the wife of Mr. Yoel Kolodny, who also lives in America and has a son, a daughter, and grandchildren. As noted, all established wide-branched family of righteous people who proudly bear the crown of their pedigree from Reb Asher of Maytchet.

As has been mentioned, Reb Asher sent his son Nathan to study Torah in Nowogrodek with the Gaon and Tzadik Yosef-Yozel Horowitz of holy blessed memory (5608-5680 1848-1920), where he amassed a comprehensive knowledge of Talmud and its commentaries and reached the level of an eminent scholar, to the point where he was numbered among the excellent students of the Yeshiva. In Nowogrodek, he befriended the man who later became famous as a great Gaon and Orthodox leader, Rabbi Elchonon Wasserman, may G-d avenge his death, who later served as head of the Ohel Torah Yeshiva of Baranovichi, and served on the world Council of Torah Sages of Agudas Yisroel[5]. Rabbi Elchonon was his contemporary, and resided together with him in a room that they rented together. They would sharpen each other with Halachic discussions and became very close friends.

As has been mentioned, Reb Nathan was immersed in Torah studies during his youth, and even obtained rabbinical ordination. However, when it became his turn to enlist in the Russian Army (known as Prizev in the vernacular) he was worried about the difficult challenges that would await him with regard to observing religion in the army. Therefore, he quickly left Russia and immigrated to the United States in the year 5671 (1911).

There, he married Chana Lea Ginzberg, the daughter of Reb Moshe Baruch of Riga, who served as a shochet in the community of Chicago. Due to the circumstances of the place, he was forced to seek his livelihood in business. However, first and foremost, Reb Nathan concerned himself with his ability to observe Torah and the commandments appropriately. Therefore, he occupied himself with private business that would not have the issue of Sabbath violation, despite the many difficulties in America at that time. This was considered as a great challenge at that time, and he withstood it with fortitude.

His wonderful family grew with the passage of time. He had six sons and one daughter: Yaakov Yosef, Yisrael, Yehuda, Nachum, Isser, David, and Liba. All of them were well educated and successful, in a way that any Jew could be proud. His acquaintances and relatives appreciated his talents. Even though he was very modest and taciturn, pearls, fine words, fundamental ideas, wonderful explanations on the Torah portion, and the like, came forth whenever he opened his mouth. His Torah and commitment to truth were beloved by everybody, for they were blended together. To his children he was not only a good and dedicated father, but also a friend and a true comrade who tried

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with all his soul to imbue them from his rich spiritual treasury. They returned his love in a boundless fashion.

Like his father Reb Asher, Reb Nathan also attempted to impart to his children Torah and the ways of the world. Despite his difficult material situation, he encouraged all of his children to be diligent in their studies. He would constantly tell them and remind them that as long as they study, he would do everything to ensure that they would not be forced to interrupt their studies. Indeed, all of his children studied, and Reb Nathan could take pride that the adage “The ways of the fathers are a sign for the children” was fulfilled.


Baruch and Chaya-Sarah of blessed memory (nee Orzechovsky) Ross


In 1964, when he had reached the age of 80, the song of his life was silenced, and his soul departed in purity and joy, in accordance with the verse, “she laughs at the last day”[6]. This took place on the holiday of Purim. That morning, he prepared to go to the synagogue to hear the reading of the Megillah. He walked slowly through his house, and as he passed by his son Rabbi Yaakov Yosef, he suddenly slinked into his arms lifeless, in supernatural peace, as someone who dies through the kiss of Heaven. May his memory be a blessing.

Yisrael Neiten

Translator's footnotes

  1. Lithuanian here being used in the broad sense of the term. Return
  2. Pirke Avot 3:13. Return
  3. Now referring back to Reb Asher's four daughters. Return
  4. The possessive case nickname was frequent among the Jews of Eastern Europe. This name means that he was the son of Liba and Asher. Return
  5. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elchonon_Wasserman Return
  6. Proverbs 31:25. Return

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Sima Ben-Hur (Abramovsky)

by Dr. Nachum Ben-Hur

Translated by Ron Rabinovitch

Edited by Sara Mages

My mother, Sima Ben-Hur, was born in the Lithuanian/Polish town of Maytchet, which is near the town of Baranavichy. Her parents were Rabbi Nachum and Sara Rivka Abramovsky. She had a pleasant childhood growing up in a home that was filled with a warm Jewish atmosphere. The town was located at the edge of a forest, which was a resort area for tourists throughout the year. In this pastoral area, people found an escape from their problems. The teenagers especially found the forest a quiet place to gather their thoughts and think about making plans to immigrate to Eretz Israel; for redemption and the revival of the nation of Israel.

My mother's father Rabbi Nachum Abramovsky was a dignified and well educated man, who was a lecturer at the synagogue. He was very bright and knowledgeable in the contents of the Bible. He tested the Torah students in town and arranged for all their needs. Because he was so wise, he was in charge of many important public affairs. My mother, Sara Rivka, was known for her beauty and wisdom. Their house was where the intellectuals and the Zionists gathered to discuss and implement their ideas.

My mother was born into a well to do home filled with a love of Torah; her parents taught her high moral standards. From the early days of her youth she absorbed the importance of education as a path for her life. Her parents made sure she had a good secular education as well. Despite the difficulties for Jews in those days, she was able to complete the Russian high school, culminating her education with a pharmacy course. When she immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1924, she worked in a pharmacy in Jaffa and also in Tel-Aviv, which at that time was a small town.

In Israel she met Elkana Ben-Hur, a descendant of Rabbi Betzalel and Rabbi Dov Yentis from Lodmer (Volodymr-Volynskyy). Elkana also came from a home filled with love of Jewish tradition. An active member of the “Hachaluz”, (Pioneer movement) he was the first in his family to implement the Zionist idea, immigrating to Eretz Israel in 1923. He came with his mother Frieda, who was the daughter of Rabbi Elkana and Chaya-Rachel (Weitzman). In 1927 Elkana and Sima married in Tel-Aviv where they established their home.

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They encountered many difficulties during their forty years of marriage. These years were a period of struggle between the few Jewish people in the settlements seeking to find a way to be a nation and a free country. The few Jews in the land faced Arab riots during the 1920's and 1930's, the German threats during World War II, the invading Arab armies during the War of Independence; and the terrorist attacks during the Sinai campaign. But Sima and Elkana stood together striving to establish a generation that absorbed their thinking and feelings. My mother always gave her children a strong education that emphasized the need of knowledge of the world that surrounded them. Sima, who was born into a wealthy home, always told her children that money is not the unique thing in the world–the real wealth that brings a person happiness is knowledge and education. This is how she directed the path of her three sons: Nachum who is a surgeon, Betzalel who runs the family printing company and Amos who is an engineer.


R' Nachum and his wife Sara-Rivka Abramovsky z”l


She was known for her wisdom, her good advice, and her charity. She loved to talk with educated people; especially about the Russian poems and songs she learned in her childhood. She always conceded and gave way to other people and everyone admired and loved her.

She died on 27 Tamuz 5725 (July 24, 1965). A large crowd escorted her body to the cemetery. She left behind a loving husband, three sons, grandchildren and many relatives who would remember her forever.

May her soul be bound up in the bond of life

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More information about the Sima Ben-Hur family

My grandfather, Rabbi Nachum Abromovsky, was a religious and kind man with a good Soul who was very hospitable.

My grandmother, Sara Rivka, was the sister of Rabbi Yechiel Isaac Hacohen Dvorzecky. She was a very active and temperamental woman who was smart and sharp and made all the decisions in the house.

My mother's oldest sister, Tehila became a dentist, and at an early age moved to the middle of Russia, leading a difficult life.

My mother's brothers that were killed in the Holocaust and left no one behind:

Shemaryahyhu (Shmerel)---he was a very religious man.

Shalom---he was very handsome, tall and kind and was loved by everyone.

Dov-Berel--- the youngest brother was a dentist and a beloved man.

Her younger sister, Musya, remained in Maytchet and was a “carbon copy” of her mother. She married Baruch Reiter who immigrated to the U.S.A. She joined him there later. They had two sons; one of them is a Zionist and lived in a kibbutz for 10 years before going to the U.S. to complete his studies. With the publication of this book we were informed that Musya and Baruch Reiter had both passed away.

On Tuesday, 10 of Sivan 5732 (May 23,1972) Elkana Ben-Hur died. He was buried on Thursday, 12 of Sivan 5732. Accompanying his body were his 3 sons, their families and many relatives, including the “The Star” Freemasons of which he was a founding member of.


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Updated 14 Nov 2014 by LA