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[Page 324]

The Families of Tykocin {cont.}

Translated by Selwyn Rose


Nathaniel Silberstein – Born in Wysokie Mazowieckie (Visoka–Mazovietzk). He settled in Tykocin in 1912.

He was educated in the Mir Yeshiva of Volozhin (Vałožyn) soaking up Torah and knowledge. While still a young man, he had mastered Hebrew and even written articles for “Ha–Tsfira“.

A Jew who's love for everyone and special love for Zion was his guiding light and influenced his every deed. He was a member of the Mizraḥi movement for ever drawn to immigrate to Palestine but failed to realize his dream; the Second World War slew all his dreams.

He brought up his children to love all of creation and a love for Zion.

He was educated and knew literature; even on his last walk on the way to gas–chambers of Auschwitz, he went with a book in his hand. May G–d avenge his blood.

His wife Devora (née Ulsha), was born in Tykocin. She was the epitome of a Jewish mother in its fullest meaning. She always rushed to give healing and food to the sick and impoverished.


Nathaniel and Devora Silberstein


In performing her good deeds for the sick her warm smile and lively laugh caused them to forget their pain and troubles for a while.

While rearing her four children and her housewifely chores she never missed an opportunity to give anonymous assistance to the poor and needy. She perished in Auschwitz. May G–d avenge her blood.

Malka, her daughter perished in Auschwitz. May G–d avenge her blood.

Belah (today, Czieslar) – a graduate of the Tykocin branch of “Ha–Shomer Hatza'ir“, immigrated to Palestine in 1936, now lives in Tel–Aviv.

Fischel and his sister Seivel (today Yona Brenner), were also members of “Ha–Shomer Hatza'ir“ in Tykocin. Together they survived the horrors of the war and immigrated to Israel in 1950.

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Eliyahu Mendel Zachrawitz – He was a simple all–the–year–round Jew; He was well known in all the surrounding villages from which he made his living.

Eli–Mendel Zachrawitz very G–d–fearing with a long beard, a member of the congregation “Old Friends”.

His wife, Mindl (née Glatzinski) gave birth to four children; she perished in the Shoah. May G–d avenge her blood.

Baruch – the eldest, presently living in Chicago in the United States.

Dov–Ze'ev (Berl–Wolfe'le), he perished, together with his wife and child, in the Shoah in Tykocin. May G–d avenge their blood.

Bendt – a businessman together with his father and brother. On the bitter day of destruction of the Tykocin community, he escaped from the Market Place and hid in the forests. In 1944, he was discovered and murdered by Poles. May G–d avenge his blood.

Sarah–Malka – an active member of the local Tykocin branch of Ha–Shomer Hatza'ir. She perished in the Shoah in Tykocin. May G–d avenge her blood.


Ya'acov Moshe Zaltzman – He was born in Vysokaye (Vysokoye, Wysokie Litewskie, Visoki Litovsk) in the county of Brest, avoiding conscription by fleeing to Bialystok. While there, he met Dov Teivel Altshuler who brought him to his safe hiding place in the forest close by Tykocin. Two years later, he opened a tavern in a small nearby village.

He married Devora (née Kaplan).

Their daughter, Yenta–Reyzl lived in the United States and died there. Their son, Fischel lives in Jerusalem.

Yehudit and her husband, Arieh–Laibel Ribetzki, their sons Aharon and Yosef and their two daughters, perished in the Holocaust in Bialystok. May G–d avenge their blood.

Shabtai and his wife, Daba (née Zilaza), their daughter Sheina–Sarah and their sons, Ya'acov and Moshe all perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Mordecai and his wife Marisha (née Zarensky) and their children Sarah–Feygl, Yerimiyahu, Ḥanna–Sheina, Ya'acov, Litman and Zalman perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

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Yosef Zack – A wise scholar, one of the conspicuous Zionists in the Jewish community of Tykocin, a member of “Mizraḥi”, his home was also a house of enlightened Zionism. His influence on what went on in the community was significant. He later stood at the head of the local movement.

Mr. Zak tied his future to Zionism and immigrated to Palestine with his family in 1936. He settled in Kfar Saba and opened a grocery store.

His wife was an excellent house–keeper and stood by her husband loyally and was loved by the whole town, helping him in running his fur– and shoe–shop in Tykocin.

Yosef Zak and his wife died in Israel in 1954.

Ḥaim, who lived in South America, was killed in Cuba.

Moshe – an active member of the Zionist movement in Tykocin and the local theater, and his wife Tzirel née Choroshuka and their children Avraham and Yeshiayhu perished in the Holocaust in Tykocin – May G–d avenge their blood.

Shalom – from among the graduates of “Ha–Shomer Ha–Tsa'ir”, and a graduate of the Teachers Seminary in Warsaw, immigrated to Palestine within the framework of the pioneering movement in 1930. He was a member of “Egged[1] and was active in the “Hagana”. [2] He was killed in an accident in 1947. He left behind his wife, a son and daughter.


Moshe Zakim – Among the distinguished graduates of a Yeshiva and a scholar of note with a distinguished looking face adorned with a magnificent long beard.

His house was among the more luxurious homes in Tykocin and situated between the synagogue and the Study House where he prayed all his life.

He owned a factory processing hogs' hair intended for export to the river–shipping quays of Leipzig and the port of Hamburg, and dealt in furs and skins.

His wife, Leah née Schwartz, from Ostrów, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge her blood.

Their first–born, Eliezer, married a girl from Zambrow and settled there, dealing in furs and the processing of hogs' hair. He perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge his blood.

The second son, who owned a delicatessen in Wysokie Mazowieckie where he prospered, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge his blood.

Fasche – married to Asher Cohen, an iron merchant in Bialystok. She perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge her blood. Her son, Meir, immigrated to the Land of Israel and lives in Kibbutz Ein Ha–Mifratz

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Raḥel – married a Zionist, teacher and business man from Ostrów named Schwartz and gave birth to a boy and a girl and perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge her blood.

Rivka – remained with her parents. After the death of her father, she continued to manage his business. She perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge her blood.


Ḥaim Szarenski was a resident of a village close to Tykocin. There, he worked a plot of land and sold the produce. He was also engaged generally in the marketing of field produce.

He was honest and good–hearted. During the First World War when the surge of refugees began to arrive in the villages of the area, he opened his house to them and cared for their needs. He perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge his blood.

His wife, Rashke was also good–hearted and performed much charitable work. She died in 1934.

Their son Shlomo, who traded in field produce, and his wife, Sheva perished in the Holocaust together with their children, Yirmiyahu, Avraham, Avigdor and Slova. May G–d avenge their blood


Moshe Zaranski


Moshe, who lives in Chicago, was among the founders and activists of the Chicago chapter of “Organization for Survivors of Tykocin Jews Committee”. At the time of his visit to Palestine in 1947, he founded the social charity fund “Ha–Gamaḥ”, [3] the local branch of the Tykocin Survivors and continued to donate generously to it and especially to new immigrants who survived the Holocaust. He was killed in a road accident when he was on his way to welcome his sister Libah who was arriving in America on a visit. He left a wife and four sons,

Hertzk'eh – He was also engaged in the produce trade. He was always satisfied with his lot and was loved…

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…by his community. He passed away in 1938. His wife, Leah née Zachrawitz, and their children, Yirmiyahu, Dov Ber, Haya–Shoshanna, Bilha and Rashke, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Bezalel (Tzelka), he, too, traded in produce and perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge his blood.

Dov Ber, a Yeshiva graduate, intellectual and well–versed in literature. He, his wife Gittel and their children, Rashke, Bilha and Yosef, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Marischa married Mordecai Salzman who also traded in produce. They perished in the Holocaust together with their children, Sarah–Feygl, Yirmiyahu, Ḥanna–Sheina, Ya'acov, Litman and Zalman. May G–d avenge their blood.

Leah married Mordecai Goldman who, like all the Zarensky sons, was engaged in the field produce trade. They and their children Yosef and Rashke and their baby perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Shabtai–Meir died in childhood.

Ḥanna married the miller, Yosef Kurtz. They perished in the Holocaust together with their daughter Rashke. May G–d avenge their blood.

Libah (today Steiglitz), in the United States.

Zippora (Zacahariash), and her son Yirmiyahu, Holocaust survivor, today living in Israel.


Tzvi Choroshuka – (Hershel “Kaddiches”) – among the honored and respected residents of the town, learned in Torah and G–d–fearing, fulfilling the entire Commandments, large and small.

He was among the wealthy businessmen of the town. He had a factory and saw his work as a blessing.

His wife, Feygl, née Rozenblum, died the year before the outbreak of war. Tzvi Choroshuka perished in the Holocaust of Tykocin. May G–d avenge his blood.

Yehoshua–Michael – among the outstanding young men in town, a graduate of the Slabodka and Bryansk Yeshivot and an excellent example to all. G–d–fearing and modest. He dedicated most of his time to deeds of kindness exemplifying the principles of “Ha–Gamaḥ” as presented to him by his father–in–law Rabbi Baruḥ Sorevitz. He and his wife, Leah and their children, Esther–Malka, Baruḥ and Yosef, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Tzirel – married Naḥman Palgon. They and their son Kaddish and their little girl perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

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Feygl née Rozenblum
Tzvi Choroshuka


Naḥum – one of the senior Torah specialists in town, his beliefs were deeply entrenched in Creation. He led a private “Ha–Gamaḥ” foundation. He and his wife Devora and their children perished in the Holocaust of Bialystok. May G–d avenge their blood.

Ziskind–Leib – he, his wife and his children perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.


Moshe Choroshuka“Moshe Kaddishes An observant Jew, obeying all the Commandments of the Torah, participating in charitable organizations in town especially those connected with visiting and caring for the sick.

Moshe Choroshuka was deeply influenced by the attributes of Yehezkiel Sarah Malkes, the well–known Tykocin personality and character. From the example he saw, he performed in the same way – and after they immigrated to Palestine, it was Moshe Kaddishes who filled his place and was among the chief celebrants dancing at their wedding and congratulating the bride and groom. He adopted the generous nature of Yehezkiel and saw him as a shining example.

In spite of the fragile economic situation of his life this was not to be seen in his perpetual happy, cheerful and good spirits.

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Ḥaya, his wife, the daughter of Yisrael Meir Cohen, was a pious and modest woman; open handed to the needy and of significant help to her husband in running his grocery store. Moshe and Ḥaya Choroshuka perished in the Holocaust of Tykocin. May G–d avenge their blood.

Meir, their first–born, a graduate of the Łomża Yeshiva founded a Torah school and perished with his family in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Arieh Perished with his family in Bialystok. May G–d avenge their blood.

Natan–Netta and Ra'ale perished with their parents in Tykocin. May G–d avenge their blood.


Moshe–Yisrael Choroshuka“The Black–Sheep”, the son of Ziskind–Leib Choroshuka, a respected community member. Moshe–Yisrael, his wife Feygl and their three children lived in his father's house.

In 1919, after he was suspected by the authorities of revolutionary activities, because he was educated and erudite and well–read in Zionist literature, he was removed from his family and exiled to Russia.


Moshe–Yisrael Choroshuka and his wife Feygl

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Tzirel, daughter of Moshe–Yisrael Choroshuka
Eliezer Vinter and his wife Teivel née Choroshuka


His wife, caring for their three little children, followed after him and reunited with him hiding in one the towns in central Russia. His wife, a worthy woman, supported him while he was chased from place to place and worried about the care and sustenance of the family.

In 1920, the Choroshuka family returned to Tykocin as Polish citizens. The exile and hard conditions in the Russian prisons severely impacted his health. Once again, Feygl was required “to sustain the family and provide bread for all according to their need.” [4]

Moshe–Yisrael Choroshuka, weak and bedridden was a good father and a faithful friend to his daughters. He was dedicated and diligent in matters of their education and a partner to all their experience and concerns, encouraging them with their social activities and gladly accepted their participation in the “Ha–Shomer Ha–Tsa'ir” movement. In spite of his illness and his desire to see his children have them close to him, he acquiesced in his daughter Idka's decision to immigrate to Palestine.

On the Sabbaths, he used the remains of his strength to go to the Study House for prayers. In 1936 his strength failed him and he passed away returning his soul to his Creator.

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His wife Feygl took on the task of picking up the reins of running his factory in the market square, together with the help of his girls. She bravely carried the burden that fate had laid upon her and continued to care for and maintain the cultural atmosphere in the “Moshe–Yisrael –the black–sheep” home, well known in Tykocin with his pretty and educated daughters.

Teivel, the eldest of the girls was active in “Ha–Shomer Ha–Tsa'ir” in Tykocin but didn't want to discontinue her studies, left the movement and Tykocin and moved to Warsaw where she completed the course in midwifery. She married Eliezer Vinter and returned with him to Tykocin where she worked in the hospital.

They, together with their three children: Shalom, the son, and Rashke and Marsha, the twin girls, perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Tzirel also flew the nest, finishing school in Bialystok and dreamt about continuing her studies in Palestine. She married Menachem Turek. She and her daughter Myra perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Perle, while still in Tykocin dedicated herself to Zionism and education but her thirst for education brought her to the Teachers' Seminar where she finished the course and moved to Novgorod working as a teacher.

With the outbreak of war, she returned to her mother's home in Tykocin. She and her mother perished with the rest of the community. May G–d avenge their blood.

Idka (today Ben–Asher), remained faithful to the “Ha–Shomer Ha–Tsa'ir” branch and in 1935 fulfilled her dream and in the framework of the movement immigrated to Palestine and settled in Ein Ha–Mifratz.


Shimon Choroshuka – a quiet man, a man of the people. He was inconspicuous in his public Zionist or business activities. He was troubled all the days of his life by his fragile economic situation. At first he opened a small factory in his home but later worked in a bakery

He was blessed with many children. He searched for additional sources of income and, helped by his wife Sheina opened a small restaurant in his home.

On 21st August 1941, he happened to be in the market place with the rest of the population of Tykocin; they were taken somewhere and never seen again. May G–d avenge their blood.

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Shimon and his wife Sheina Choroshuka


Eliezer, their eldest child learned tailoring with Yona Brainsky the master–tailor, later managing his own small workshop helping to sustain the home.

After the horrors of the war, his wanderings and activities with the Partisans in the forests of Poland, he arrived in Palestine in 1945. He joined the Hagana fighting in the War of Independence.

Idka, Sarah, Fascha, Bluma, Yisrael and Avraham, the children of Shimon and Sheina Choroshuka, received the usual education in Tykocin, educated in the spirit of Lovers of Zion and joined the activities of Zionist movements in Tykocin, especially those of “Ha–Shomer Ha–Tsa'ir”. They perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.


Ya'acov Choroshuka – One of the wealthy lumber merchants of Tykocin. He prayed with the “Congregation of Mishnayot” and in the Great Synagogue on Shabbat and Festivals. He donated to the charitable organizations and as one of the respected members of the community council, took part in all decisive meetings and decisions. He perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge his blood.

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Ya'acov Choroshuka, his wife Rachel,
their daughter Tzirel, her husband Moshe Zak and their son


Avraham (left), and Yeshiayhu Zak


His wife, Rachel, an intelligent woman, realized there was no future for youth in Poland and sent her children overseas.

Tzirel and her husband Moshe Zak, among Tykocin's young men, perished in the Holocaust with their children Avraham and Yeshiayhu. May G–d avenge their blood. Avraham, Isaac, Nisan and Shmuel immigrated to North and South America.

Ethel married Yehuda Yozvitz of Tykocin and now lives in Kfar Saba.

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Moshe Choroshuka – A timber–merchant and one of the few Tykocin Jews who engaged in agriculture. A G–d–fearing Jew, observant of the Commandments both great and small, he was active in the charitable organizations and the treasurer of the “Mishnayot Congregation”.

His wife, Devora (Dabushka), née Slotitzky, today in Israel.

Their son, Arieh–Leibel is a delicatessen owner and an agriculturalist like his father. His wife Fruma and their sons Moshe, Yosef, Yehuda and their daughter Sarah all perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Their daughters Malka–Reyzl and Sara – are in Israel.

Ḥaim Meir and Tzila are in Israel.


Shmuel Chaluta – “Rabbi Shmuel the Slaughterer” – a central figure in the Tykocin community and a respected citizen. A leading figure in every public activity, a leader and teacher to the flock, loved and valued.


Rabbi Shmuel Chaluta


Rabbi Shmuel Chaluta was born in a small village near the town of Wołkowysk. In 1907, he was called from Chernovtsy and invited to come to Tykocin to be the Ritual Slaughterer and Inspector. Very quickly, he gained the trust of the whole community who turned to him with all their troubles. His name went out and he was praised throughout the area and his home was known to be open to all who came to his door whether as a guest, a passer–by, or a delegate from a rabbi.

As one who had absorbed Torah at the Mir Yeshiva, he was diligent and assiduous in spreading it and instilling it…

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Avraham Mordecai Choroshetz and his wife, son–in–law of the Slaughterer Rabbi Shmuel on the right


…at all levels. There were many demands from the congregation and the community in general for his sermons and teachings on the Torah in his lessons on the Gemara, Mishnah, Halaḥa, parables and the weekly portion or “Jacob's Well”, all deeply enriched with popular proverbs and legends rendered in a penetrating voice. Many of the young people from town went on to the great Yeshivot and the chairman of “Agudat Yisrael” in Tykocin laid the foundation–stone of the “Beit Ya'acov” school in Tykocin.

On the Sabbaths, he read the Torah in the Study Hall but during the High Holydays, he was the intercessor for the entire congregation before the Holy One, blessed be He, prostrating himself before Him in prayer and supplication.

For more than thirty years, Rabbi Shmuel was the faithful shepherd of his Tykocin flock and together with them, he made his final walk. May G–d avenge his blood.

His wife Rachel gave birth to their only daughter Naomi who married the handsome and talented learned Rabbi Avraham–Mordecai Choroshetz, the Rabbi of Łomża (Lomzhe), Father of the Rabbinic Court and head teacher in its Yeshiva. Rabbi Avraham–Mordecai and his wife, Naomi perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Shlomo–Leib, their son, a graduate of the Baranowitz Yeshiva, married a girl from Zambrow. They perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

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Fried'l married the ritual slaughterer who was later appointed Ritual Slaughterer and Inspector in Tykocin. They perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.

Fasch'a was educated in Łomża where she died of typhus.

Elka (today Shtark), was educated in her grandfather's house in Tykocin and with his encouragement immigrated to Palestine in 1938 and today lives in Jerusalem.

Together with his second wife Mira, Rabbi Shmuel the Slaughterer perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge their blood.


Yitzhak Ya'acov Ḥarlap – born in Molchad (Mołczadź, Maytshet) he settled in Tykocin after being apointed there a cantor and ritual slaughterer while still a brilliant student. Licened as teacher by Rabbi Aizel Ḥarif of Slonim.

Very good–looking with a patriarchal appearance, Rabbi Yitzhak Ya'acov was accepted by all Tykocin. An ordinary old man, who was well–behaved, his long beard was well–cared for and his voice pleasant. He was as one with the minds of the people. On the High Holydays, he would stand before the Holy Ark.


Rabbi Yitzhak Ya'acov Ḥarlap, his wife Ḥaya Lifsha,
their sons Eliezer–Yehezkiel and Yisrael–Arieh and their daughters Ḥanna–Adel and Esther

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His good deeds complemented a personality saturated by, and with fear of, the Torah. Fearing Heaven, he behaved modestly, acted righteously and spoke truthfully from the heart; thus was Rabbi Yitzhak Ya'acov Ḥarlap all the days of his life.

He was welcome in all the homes in Tykocin and followed with interest and concern the development of the children whom he introduced to the Covenant of Abraham our Father.

A member of the town council he was active for the benefit of the needy. He was supportive with all his might of the Zionist ideology.

His wife, Ḥaya Lifsha, was the daughter of Rabbi Moshe–Yehoshua of Molchad, a capable woman, honest and noted for her noble and charitable qualities. She was known for her welcoming of guests.

Their daughter Ḥanna–Adel, mother of seven daughters, was murdered by the Nazis. May G–d avenge her blood. Her daughter, Sheyndl Fingerhut is in Israel.

Dov–Ber a well–known Cantor and ritual Circumciser is now living in Canada.

Moshe–Yehoshua, died young and his daughter perished in the Holocaust. May G–d avenge her blood.

Eliyahu–Yehezkiel was at one time cantor and Ritual Slaughterer. He lives in the United States where he became a successful businessman, faithfully supplying the needy public. He reaped the pleasure of seeing his grandchildren.

Leah died while still young.

Mordecai–Pinḥas – a circumciser and teacher in a Talmud Torah [5] in Canada, intelligent and well–read, the father of two sons.

Esther–Yenta – a modest good–hearted woman, educated and public–spirited she was active in different societies in New York, the mother of a son and daughter.

Yisrael–Arieh – At one time, he was a Ritual Slaughterer and Inspector and is now engaged in business. He has many fine qualities and like by all who know him.

Ya'acov Teperovitz – the patriarch of a branch of the Teperovitz family, one of the veteran families in Tykocin. A couple of decades previously, he uprooted himself from Griva (Grive) and moved to Tykocin with his wife Ḥaya–Sarah.

Yitzhak, the eldest son, returned to the family's original town but didn't stay long and wandered the world until at the beginning of the century he arrived in Palestine. Here he was one of the founders of the first Jewish town in the country, and among the rest, he built…

Translator's Footnotes

  1. Egged” was – and is – the major inter–urban co–operative bus service. Return
  2. Hagana” means “defense” and it was the pre–State military force later becoming the Israel Defense Forces Return
  3. An acronym for Gemilat Ḥassadim, literally meaning “the giving of loving–kindness,” is a fundamental social value in the everyday lives of Jews. It is bestowed on ALL those in need of any form of loving kindness and unlike charity which is intended mainly as a financial aid for the poor, Gemilat Ḥassadim is granted to all – rich and poor alike – such as sick visits and food distribution to those physically compromised. Return
  4. The Hebrew text uses a cryptic and literary version of which this is a simple transcription. See Genesis 47:12 Return
  5. A traditional primary school Return


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