|Yitzchak (Tzvi) Lipovsky|
Sadly, I never personally met my father-in-law, blessed be his memory. He died in Beirut during Hanukah 1915. He was a director of the Anglo Palestine Bank there and died six months before I married his daughter in Tel-Aviv.
All those who knew him and came into contact with him would tell of his value as a Zionist, Hebraicist and a fine man. He was a cultured man, well educated, a lover of peace and truth. I got the more important details of his life from his family.
He was born in Drohyczyn in 1868. His father was the merchant Menachem Mendel, the son of Shmuel Lipovsky. Later his father lived for several years in Poltava and Yekaterinoslav. At the age of thirteen the young Yitzchak went to live with his wealthy grandfather Shmuel in Brest. There he received his spiritual and secular education. He befriended several of the Chovevei Zion (lovers of Zion), Feinstein, Padua, and others. He married the daughter of a merchant and businessman, Reb Moshe Kwiatkowski, blessed be his memory.
Yitzchak Lipovsky at first wanted to become a flour merchant, but his spiritual side interfered with this decision. When he was already a father of several children he had to travel to distant lands to seek his fortune. However, even in America, things did not work out with him and after several years he returned to Brest with empty hands, but enriched with knowledge of the world and the English language. After his return to Brest he was employed as a tutor in the home of the Finkelsteins. From that time on, teaching became his profession. He excelled in languages as well as Russian and Hebrew, which he learned in his youth, he had a good grasp of French, German and English. Both Jews and Gentiles were his pupils.
In that time there were the first years of the Zionist movement, and Lipovsky was one of the few young people in the city to support and help this new movement. He participated in this work together with Noah Finkelstein, Ben Zion Neumark, Mordechai Sheinerman, Leon Horoditz and Moshe Levantin. None of them are alive anymore. Lipovsky was especially involved in the development of the Zionist movement. In the evenings he would give classes to yeshiva students free of charge.
Through Moshe Levantin he met the famous banker Zalman David Levantin who would visit Brest to see his son Moshe and son-in-law Reb Shabtai Papeh. When Zalman David Levantin was invited to run the Colonial Bank in London, he asked the language expert, Yitzchak Lipovsky to accompany him to London to work with him.
Yitzchak was very attracted to this offer, not only because of the postion but also because of the Zionist nature of the work, and that he could get closer to his ambition of living in Eretz Israel.
Therefore, he went by himself to London, and when it was decided to open the Afik Bank in Israel, he travelled together with Levantin and arrived in Jaffa in June 1903. They were to found the bank and affect all the necessary arrangements. In the spring of 1904, he brought his family to Israel. Over the next two years he worked with Levantin in Jaffa and later transferred to Jerusalem as deputy director of the bank. In 1908 he was sent to Beirut as deputy director off this branch that had been founded by Victor Jacobson.
Afterwards Jacobson was delegated as an emissary for the Zionist movement in Constantinople and Genoa, and Lipovsky became the director of the bank in Beirut until his death.
This branch of the bank was founded through economic and political reasons in the capital of the Levant, which was like a gateway into Israel. This area was under French domination and required a man with a refined appearance who knew how to conduct himself with ministers and diplomats. There was no better man than my father-in-law to serve this purpose. He indeed fulfilled this task to the highest degree as his ability and personal character perfectly suited this mission.
After the beginning of W.W.1 he became ill with cancer. Even in the heavy days of his severe illness he made great efforts that the bank should give financial assistance to the poverty-stricken settlements in Israel. At that time his oldest son and daughter were already living in Jaffa -Tel-Aviv. The son was an employee of the bank, and the daughter was employed as a teacher in the girl's school funded by the Odessa committee. Yitzchak Lipovsky was building a beautiful new home for himself in the new quarters of Tel-Aviv and intended to live there after the war. These dreams, however, were unfulfilled due to his death.
Amongst his remaining documents there was an exercise book in his handwriting that I found. He had begun to write his memoirs from his very first days in the land of Israel. From that narrative we can see his boundless and deep devotion to the holy Zionist cause that he loyally served.
At five years of age I already learnt Chumash and Rashi. I had already learnt Mashli and knew almost every chapter by heart. At the age of seven my parents brought me to a cheder where there was no shortage of good teachers to learn Gemarrah. I advanced in my studies and it was said of me that I was a great future talent. According to the advice of my parents I continued my study of the Tanach and slowly I also learnt to write beautiful and expressive letters. My good parents were pleased with me and hoped to see me sit on the rabbinical chair as one of the greatest in the land.
Higher education could not penetrate this small town that was a nest of Polish Chassidism I would always spend time with them I would listen to their stories and I also got to like them.
I was married at the age of 15 to the daughter of an important merchant called Michael Lipsker of Bialystok. God granted me to live with this clever woman for many years. Whilst in Bialystok I was also surrounded by Chassidim who wanted to drag me into their group. But since coming to this town, I forgot these childish dreams and my eyes were opened to a new world the world of education and practical matters. I now saw the foolishness and aimlessness of the Chassidic customs and stories that I could no longer tolerate.
For five years I boarded with and was supported by my father in law, and was immersed in studying the Gemarra and chapters with deep debates. Over many months I wrote Shulchan Aruch, Hoshan Mishpat which I knew almost by heart, and that made me very happy as I regarded it as deep wisdom for the aspects of the Torah of our Sages, Blessed be their memories.
Beside my love of expressive poetry I tried to become acquainted with the 'European' (secular) teachings but I did not have a taste for foreign languages. I regarded those merely as skills that had no connection with wisdom.
Work and a trade was a disgrace in the eyes of such wealthy sons as myself who thought that they would always live at the expense of their wealthy fathers and fathers in law, dining at their tables and living off their large dowries. But nothing eventuated of all my hopes because I finished my board at my father in laws house and became ill with a disease that was common amongst Torah students and could not be avoided a nervous disorder. The doctors forbade me from participating in Torah study. My father in law, whose sole aim had been to anoint me with the rabbinical crown, was most unhappy about this.
At this time my father in law's material circumstances deteriorated greatly and I was forced to return to the home of my parents in my hometown. There I would sit and do nothing all day until I recovered and went into business. I had no success and lost money in bad transactions. Finding myself in difficult situation, I chose to get a job. I accepted a post with a wealthy businessman, a merchant from Bialystok who knew of me and my abilities. He treated me with respect and took me into his firm as an administrator and his agent.
Seeing my progress and because he liked me, he rewarded me generously with a good wage. I was happy with that and moved from Domachevo to Brest where my parents had once lived and built a nice house, and were respected burghers. Due to my position that demanded that I came into contact with the nobility and high officials, I had to learn Russian, Polish and German. I did not have a great flair for this, but after a certain time I learnt them. For 12 years I worked at different commercial and government enterprises. Like a bird I roamed over the nation until the years of and saw that with all my actions, all the endeavors that I had carried out faithfully and with all my abilities, my situation had not improved and I had not become rich. Then I asked myself: when will I do something for myself? I reminded myself of the Hebrew literature that I had abandoned. The people of the city wanted to elect me as a gabbeh - to conduct the affairs of the kehilla as an official, but the important leaders blocked me and stopped me from becoming a community worker and activist.
In 1870, after the publishing of my interpretation of the Haggada, the Jews of Brest became convinced that the campaign against me was not a righteous one and that there were no heresies in my writings. Again they wanted to elect me as gabbeh, but the well-known Rebbitzen Sarah Diskin opposed me and again I was forced to withdraw.
In 1875 there was issued a government decree to nominate an elected representative who would supervise the Jewish community affairs and I was selected. I was elected to the town council with the consent of the entire Jewish community of Brest. In vain Rabbi Joshua Lieb Diskin sent his beadle to interfere with these elections, no one would listen to him .
On the same day, they stole a great deal of money from the Rebbitzen Sarah Diskin that had been donated to her. Then the rabbi and his family left Brest. Over the next ten years I conducted all the community matters and everybody was happy with my orderly administration. It was all written in the newspapers. Everything I did was to promote the standing of the Jewish community. All the residents of Brest knew this. It was manifested in my book Ir Tehila (City of Glory) which was published in 1885.
However, my implacable enemies multiplied from within, and the more good I did for my people, the more they envied me and the enmity towards me grew. Nevertheless, my hands were not weakened and I finished whatever I undertook with the help of God. Except for the building of a new hospital and mikvah, which until today, they have stopped me from building. In 1885 my opponents arose once more and tried to distance me from the decision-making powers of the community. This time the Mayor of Brest, became angry and turned against me through gossip, and became my enemy. It was not enough that they demeaned me through their control over the accounts, but they also slandered me to the authorities and tried to take me to court.
Their auditor investigated me thoroughly and acknowledged my accounts as correct and without any errors. I was absolved and cleared and remained as a city councilor.
From then on I lost my pride and strength and got fed up with it all. Now that I was free of this pride, I took up the pen. As well as articles that I have written to various newspapers, I have translated several books:
New Interpretations of the Tanach
New Commentaries on the Tanach, Talmud and Midrash with Revisions.
With God's help, I will shortly publish these. These are the details of my life until now. Other experiences and stories will, with God's help, appear in a special journal or book with plenty of details.
These are the lines etched in stone on a gravestone in my memory that I have prepared for after my passing in a cemetery for which I have spent so much effort. In the free Yiddish translation, according to the tombstone, the first letters
Aryeh Lieb Feinstein. When I was still alive I had many disappointments and pains. My enemies multiplied whilst I did accomplish some good things. There will be days when my deeds are etched on a tablet. Today I rest in peace from my sorrow and have found peace from my anger. Not for me, but for the holy people of my nation here, make an effort to build a fence and wall here. No uncivilized shall pass into it. No cattle's feet shall tread. Here then rests my body and that is my entire reward.
When Dr. Shereshevski made aliyah to Israel, he settled in Jerusalem. He was encouraged by Eliezer Ben Yehuda and David Yellin in his work and published his book Surgical Stethoscope and Wider Implications
Wanting to study further, he went to Vienna but could find no peace there and returned to Jerusalem. During the period of his wandering, he did not cease to perfect his scientific style in Hebrew, so that there was syntax of clarity and scientific accuracy. In 1888 he left Jerusalem and went to Russia. After further wandering he settled in Odessa. There he finished his wonderful work: 'Six Books of Science' which Bialik helped him publish in 1901. In this small booklet there is a collection of the main fundamentals of several important branches of science with details of their basic laws: Mechanics, physics, chemistry, biology, ethics and anatomy. Every subject was a treatise in itself, on the power of Gravity, the Brain, etc.
For the next 25 years Dr. Benjamin Shereshevski labored at sharpening and refining his book. With a devoted and capable hand he put down the foundations for the definition of an absolute Hebrew scientific style. In a style that was old but new, disregarding the dry scientific content, it is still a work of the high artistry and exceptional achievement. There was not one superflous word and it is a marvel how those six branches of science found their way into such a small book.
Yakov Grynberg studied at City College, New York. Then he went to Paris to study. Warburg supported him and enabled him to graduate at his expense. Returning to New York, he began working and earning income, and with much gratitude he repaid his loan.
For over 40 years he was a teacher and headmaster at schools and a writer of schoolbooks. He reformed and improved the methods of studying and teaching. He received awards and medals of distinction for his books on the subjects of History, Latin, Philosophy, Experimental Psychology, and for a time he translated French. He was an official advisor to France, Italy and Israel on educational matters. He collected a large library that he donated to the state of Israel, and the Israeli association gave him a Tanach in gratitude.
Dr. Grynberg received distinctions from the Academie Francaise. He edited pedagogic works and textbooks. He took part in editing books for schoolteachers and principals. He also organized training courses for teachers. He founded a Hebrew course in which he familiarized over 25,000 teachers with Hebrew and the State of Israel.
Yakov Grynberg founded cooperative courses for teachers through the United Nations, for China, the Atomic Energy Commission, and founded academies for Greece and Israel. He worked tirelessly for teacher's rights and introduced pensions for teachers. He was very active in the UJA for over 20 years.
For more than 20 years Dr.Grynberg was deputy chief inspector of the Schools Directory in N.Y. He was the first Jew in the history of this directory to be appointed to the ranks of Inspector of Schools. In New York City there are about 700 schools with 40,000 teachers and over one million students.
Born Kislev 1869 in Satche, Pinsk district, Minsk Gubernia (Province). He was a descendant of Chacham Tzvi. He studied Torah with his teachers in his village. By the time he was 13, he had trained himself to study and pray at the same time. At the age of 15 he changed his name to Tzvi Har-Zahav. Thereafter he initiated writing in the Hebrew alphabet only, even for foreign words. He began speaking Hebrew with his teachers and would not answer in any other language to those who could speak Hebrew. All this occurred before he had ever heard of Eliezer Ben Yehuda.
Whilst still in his youth he made several literary advances, he translated a calendar by himself, wrote several articles and songs and studied Arabic from the book of Kaspari.
He created an eternal calendar for Jews, Karaite Christians and Moslems. In 1899 he published a large article about the necessity to use the language of the Mishnah. Later this was put into a book called Lashon Doreinu (The language of our generation).
He was active as a Hebraicist in Horodok in the Vilna district, and Lubachov, Minsk district, forming Hebrew associations in both towns. When he married Malka Hendler in Brest, he set her only two conditions:
1. To speak only Hebrew at home.He opened his school in Brest and founded a Hebrew association. His school was a modern one and on the walls were posters about the Jewish National Resurrection. There were placards with messages about hygiene and cleanliness, and slogans about chapters of religion, literature, and language.
2. To make Aliyah to Israel.
When teaching Hebrew he introduced the Sephardic accent in his private lessons, but had to teach in the Ashkenazi accent in his public classes in the school. This school existed until 1915 when the Russians expelled the civilian population from the city of Brest.
Between 1917-1921 he taught at schools in Siedlice, before returning to Brest. He stayed there for two years before going to Warsaw. In the year 1925 he made Aliyah realizing his longtime dream. He studied Arabic and Semitic languages in Jerusalem that he then introduced into his work about adapting the grammar of the Hebrew language, to which he devoted all his time and efforts. In 1934 he went to Tel Aviv and became a proofreader at the Hebrew newspaper 'Hapoel Hatzair'. He edited the dictionaries of Tzvi Sharfstein, Klenitzky-Klein and the Hebrew section of the English -Hebrew Dictionary by Dr. Kaufman.
In 1930 his discoveries and research appeared in the publication of his book Lashon Doreinu (Language of our Generation).
On his 70th birthday a committee was formed with the participation of the Writer's Union, linguists and scientists, in order to publish his research and writings. In 1950 he finished his life's work The Grammar of the Hebrew Language in 5 volumes, which was published 1951-1955.
Tzvi Har-Zahav passed away on the 30th December 1956.
He also edited 'Polesie Nayes', followed by 'Polesie Express'. In his newspaper he wrote editorials and stories, which he signed with various pseudonyms.
The Heroic Character of Russian Literature.His sister Zenaide Wengerow was a famous translator of foreign classics such as Heinrich Hesse and Goethe.
The Main Highlights of the Writings of the New Russian Literature.
In 1920 he received his professorship. He was mentioned by Professor Delman in his book Grammar of the Aramaic Language, and mentioned by Professor Lazarus for all the assistance he gave him.
(See pages 222-23 about Esterke his mother).
Born in 1876 in Brest, he was one of the founders of the Bund. In 1899, he worked at the Warsaw newspaper Arbeiter, and was assistant editor of The Awakener. From 1916 he was the chairman of the Jewish community Administration in Warsaw. He was chief editor of the Bundist daily newspaper in Poland that was called Lebensfrage. He published Memories of a Jewish Socialist in 1921 and a great deal of this book was devoted to Brest.
Poland Warsaw 1912.He was also co-editor together with Y.L.Halperin of East Broadway, a literary collection in 1916, and co-editor with S. Niger of Tallith, as well as the weekly newspaper Woch with H. Levitch and L. Shapiro in New York 1929-30. Yiddish a weekly newspaper with H. Levick, Leder, Lubitsh, Dr. Chaim Lubsky and David Pinsky in New York 1931.
A Link in the Chain -New York 1915
Velvet New York 1920
Zavel Rimmer- Warsaw 1923
The Gilgul - Vilna 1927
The Shepherd, a drama Vilna 1932
The Crisis in Yiddish New York 1940
The Walker - New York 1943
He passed away in New York in 1949.
During W.W.11 he served in the French army and was active in the French resistance against the Nazis.
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