“Rageliai” - Encyclopedia of Jewish
Communities in Lithuania

Translation of the “Rageliai” chapter from
Pinkas Hakehillot Lita

Written by Dov Levin

Published by Yad Vashem

Published in Jerusalem, 1996



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This is a translation from: Pinkas Hakehillot Lita: Encyclopedia of Jewish Communities, Lithuania,
Editor: Prof. Dov Levin, Assistant Editor: Josef Rosin, published by Yad Vashem, Jerusalem.

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(Page 625)


In Yiddish, Ragole

Written by Dov Levin

Translated by Shimon Joffe

A village in north eastern Lithuania, 10 km south of the district town Rokiskis. In 1859 it had 174 inhabitants and 15 houses. The Jewish population concentrated around the Beth Hamidrash Hagadol (the Great Synagogue). It appears that the economic situation of most of the Jews was fairly good. Perhaps that is the reason why they were given the nickname Ragaler Varemens (Rageliai hot pot), or Ragaler Mittik (Rageliai lunch). According to the articles published by Yitskhak Pinkhas Vilentsik in Hamelitz, the community was blessed with public and social enterprise. Among others, a story is told of fifty educated girls who founded, in 1888, an Agudath Gmilut Khesed (charitable loan society). They contributed a weekly contribution in order to keep it solvent. Inspired by the local rabbi, Rabbi Zvi Yehuda, son of Benyamin Rabinovich, a sum of 93 Rubles was collected to help those who had suffered from the conflagration in Cekiske. Shortly afterwards, (December 10, 1887) the Rabbi died aged forty four. His son, Rabbi Yaakov, born in Rageliai, eulogized him. He too, served as a rabbi in the town and eventually emigrated to Eretz Yisrael and settled in Jerusalem. The well known Rabbi Eliyahu son of Yaakov Regoler also served as the town rabbi.

In 1923, during the period of Lithuanian independence, Rageliai had a population of 214, one third being Jewish. It would appear that the number decreased over time. In 1820 the town had 24 purchasers of the Shekel for the 19th Zionist congress. During World War Two the remaining Jews shared the fate of their neighboring brethren; they were all murdered by the Germans and the local Lithuanians in the autumn of 1941.


Yad Vashem Archives, files 55/1788, 55/1701, 13/15/131, Z-4/2548.
Hamelitz [The Advocate] - (St. Petersburg), 28.8.1887, 8.12.1887, 14.4.1888.

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