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[Page 254]

Personalities and their activities


The Poet Yaakov Rimon (Granat)
His Life and Activities

(Excerpted from the Encyclopedia of the Pioneers and Builders
of the Yishuv
[2], by David Tidhar[3])

Translated by Allen Flusberg

He was born in the town of Dobrzyn in Poland on the 3rd of Tevet, 5663 (beginning of 1903)[4], to his father R.[5] Ephraim Eliezer[6] and his mother Esther Chava (Granat) Rimon. In Dobrzyn he attended a cheder[7]; and by the age of five he had acquired the Hebrew language from his father. His father even taught him to sing Songs of Zion from Kinor Tzion by the writer and researcher R. Avraham Moshe Luncz[8], a blind resident of Jerusalem. At the age of six he immigrated to the Land of Israel with his entire family, settling in Yafo [Jaffa]. Here he attended the Torah-Cheder “Tachkemoni”[9], the Talmud Torah[10] and the Yeshiva Shaarei-Torah that is in Neve Shalom[11]. And afterwards he attended the Tachkemoni school in Tel Aviv. He left Yafo with the other people expelled by the Turks to Kfar Sava and from there to Samaria. During these wanderings he lost his mother Esther Chava, who died in Zichron Yaakov on 1 Nisan 5678[12] from the typhus epidemic of the First World War; and only a few short months after they had returned to Jaffa he lost his father, as well.[13]

In the year 5679 [secular year 1918-19] he founded a student association called “Bonei-Haaretz”[14] to promote using products produced in the Land. This association lasted for several years, and in its name he edited two promotion pamphlets: “Paamon”[15] and “Tuv Haaretz”[16]; and he also worked on distributing them from house to house.

In 5681 [1920-21], he was accepted as an official of the Jewish Communal Council of Yafo and Tel-Aviv; afterwards he was transferred to the Department of Social Welfare of the community. He worked for many years as department administrator, and upon the merger of the community with the municipality of Tel Aviv he served for 11 years as secretary of the United Department of Social Work. Because of a serious eye disease he left this position and transferred to the position of Administrator of Economy and Supplies in this department.

He married Bracha, who was a daughter of Shmuel Halevi-Lezkovski and Miriam Esther (née Walter) from Kutno, Poland.

In his social work, routine office activity was not enough to satisfy him; but rather he invested heart, emotion and enterprise into his work. He also contributed a great deal of enterprise and activity to organizing and promoting work, outside the framework of the department, to support individuals who started associations and institutions for assisting those in need. Among the institutions that he participated in founding and administering were: “Ezrat Cholim” of the Sefardi Jews, and its infirmary; “Bikur Cholim veLinat Hatzedek”; “Beit Hachnasat Orchim”; “Beit Hamachsah Lenechim”; “Beit Hahavraah Shalva”, named for Yehoshua and Olga Henkin; and others.

He participated in the founding of “Hapoel Hamizrachi in the Land of Israel”, and he was active in it as a member of the local and land-wide administrative committees, as well as a speaker, lecturer and essayist for the party newspapers. He also participated in the founding and editing of the ultra-Orthodox weekly “Hayesod”.

In 5687 [1926-27], he headed the Hebrew Youth Association of Unaffiliated Young People. In 5695 [1934-35] he participated in the founding of the Association of Religious Writers in the Land of Israel, and he was active in the leadership of its Tel-Aviv branch. In 5690 [1929-30] he joined the Association “Bnei Tziyon”, and he was active in its leadership and in its cultural work. For years he served as president of the “Moshe” bureau, and also as the secretary of the board of “Bnei Tziyon” in Tel Aviv. In addition he joined the “Bnei Hayishuv” association, and he was selected to its leadership; he was active in the Organization of Young People for the Study of Judaism in Tel Aviv.

In the year 5690 [1929-30] he established his house in the Montefiore neighborhood near Tel Aviv, and he participated in activities, in founding and managing community institutions in the neighborhood (the state-religious school named for the official D. Tz. Pinkus of blessed memory; a kindergarten; the “Amen” gardening of the Mizrachi Women; the parents' committee; the infirmary; the neighborhood committee; the cultural committee; the review committee; and others). Likewise he founded and administered a branch for the association “Bnei Hayishuv” in the Montefiore neighborhood, a branch for the sports union “Elitzur”, a branch of Poel Hamizrachi, and others. Similarly he founded a league advocating annexation of the neighborhood by the municipality of Tel Aviv, and he successfully administered its activities until it was victorious.

He had already begun his literary work at a young age. He started with publication of articles in the daily newspaper “Doar Hayom”. And then he published articles and literary notes, poems, liturgical sketches, and stories in newspapers, both in Israel and abroad.

Works of his that have appeared in print are as follows: His first book, Sultana (5684 [1923-24]); a collection of liturgical poems “Hishtapchut” (5685 [1924-25]); a collection of poems “Artzi” (5688 [1927-28]); “Artzenu Hakdosha”, a collection of stories and sketches (5694 [1933-34]); a book of poems “Sneh”, which was published by “Bnei Tziyon” on the 25th anniversary of his literary work; and the collection of notes “Yeladim Beoni”, published by David Tidhar. This collection contains the impressions experienced by a kindly social worker during his office work. “Chulyot Basharsheret” (5717 [1956-57]) consists of stories and legends, and “Shachar Ran” (published by Mordechai Newman, Jerusalem -Tel Aviv) contains poems for children and youngsters. And in addition a monograph about Rabbi Benzion Meir Chai Uziel, the Chief Rabbi of the Land of Israel, z.tz.l.[17]; “Hanetziv Hayehudi”; and “Yehudei Teiman beTel Aviv”.

Several of his poems, put to music, have been distributed throughout the community. About sixty-two poems were recorded by the “Kol Yisrael” Radio, with various interpretations and musical composers. So also some of his songs were recorded in “Hed-Artzi”. Popular songs include the songs “El haNegev”, “Haroeh Bagalil”, “Nerot Shabbat”, “Horeh Birushalaim”, “El Hakfar”, “Tirtzah”, “Rina Bat Harim”. He published several pamphlets on topics of public interest. His literary poems and notes are continually published in “Hameasef” of the Association of Hebrew Writers in Israel; “Moznaim”, a monthly of the Writers' Association “Hatzofeh”; “Hatzofeh Liladim”; “Shearim” (an organ of the Municipality Workers of Tel Aviv-Yafo); “Hadoar”; “Hapoel haTzair” (Tel Aviv); and in the monthly “Sinai”, which had been founded by Rabbi Y.L. HaKohen-Maimon z.tz.l., and others.


The poet Yaakov Rimon (Granat)[18]


Translator's Footnotes

  1. From My Town: In Memory of the Communities Dobrzyn-Gollob, edited by M. Harpaz, (published by the Dobrzyn-Golub Society, Israel, 1969), pp. 254-257. Return
  2. Yishuv = Jewish population of the Land of Israel Return
  3. This source is available (in Hebrew) at the following link (retrieved August 2016): http://www.tidhar.tourolib.org/tidhar/view/1/103. Although the text of the Yizkor Book article is not identical, there are a large number of excerpts. Return
  4. 3 Tevet 5663 corresponds to 2 January 1903 in the Gregorian (present-day) calendar used by the Poles. The corresponding date in the Julian calendar, still in use then by Russia, was 20 December 1902. Thus some sources give the year of his birth as 1902. Return
  5. "R." stands for Reb, an honorific similar to "Mr." in English. Return
  6. An article written by Yaakov Rimon about his father Ephraim Eliezer Granat appears on pp. 176-179 of this volume (reference cited in Footnote 1). Return
  7. cheder = Jewish elementary school for boys with intensive religious study and little, if any, secular learning. Return
  8. Avraham Moshe Luncz (1854-1918) was a prolific author and geographer of the Land of Israel. His published songbook Kinor Tzion (=Harp of Zion) contained 50 Hebrew-language songs, full of yearning for the Land and promoting Jewish nationalism. See the following links (retrieved August 2016) for more details: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Moses_Luncz (in English); https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%90%D7%91%D7%A8%D7%94%D7%9D_%D7%9E%D7%A9%D7%94_%D7%9C%D7%95%D7%A0%D7%A5 (in Hebrew, with additional details). Return
  9. Cheder-Torah Tachkemoni was a boys' elementary school in Jaffe (and in a branch in Jerusalem) with an emphasis on Jewish religious studies; secular subjects were taught as well. See the following link (in Hebrew, retrieved August 2016): http://www.jerusalem-love.co.il/?page_id=10126. Return
  10. Talmud-Torah = a religious boys' high school. In the present context "yeshiva" refers to a school of advanced religious study. Shaarei-Torah was extended to Yeshiva (post high-school) study for the brightest students. See the following link (in Hebrew, retrieved August 2016): https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A9%D7%A2%D7%A8%D7%99_%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%94_(%D7%AA%D7%9C%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%93_%D7%AA%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%94_%D7%91%D7%99%D7%A4%D7%95) Return
  11. Neve Shalom was a Jewish neighborhood that had been established outside the walls of Jaffa in 1890; it was later incorporated into Tel Aviv. Return
  12. 1 Nisan 5678 corresponds to 14 March 1918. Return
  13. For more details, see the article in this volume cited in Footnote 6. Return
  14. Bonei Haaretz = Builders of the Land. Return
  15. Paamon = bell Return
  16. Tuv Haaretz is roughly equivalent to "the fat of the Land" Return
  17. z.tz.l. = zecher tzadik livracha = may the memory of the righteous be a blessing Return
  18. From p. 255 of reference cited in Footnote 1. Return


[Pages 257-258]

Ask, Jewish People…[1],[2]

by Yaakov Rimon

(Excerpted from “Sneh[3])

Translated by Allen Flusberg

Ask, forlorn Jewish People[4], whither the Eternal People are headed,
Where Moriah's light shines not upon the wounds of your despairing sons,
Sinai's radiance does not illuminate their gloomy lives bereft of salvation,
The lawgiver's covenant stays not the scythe of death as it reaps outside…
Terrifying darkness has covered all the demolished Jewish homes,
And the pathways to life are sealed, shut within the prison of evil,
Martyrs are burned upon Torah scrolls,[5]
Scorched with tufts of wool in a fiery burial.
Akivas and Tradyons in the killing fields
With tefillin[6] straps on the severed arm and split skull…
In torn tallitot[7], Death walks about as if in shrouds,
And books by seers lie stinking on dung of the uncircumcised…
An infant's entrails co-mingle with its mother's upon mutilated breasts
And corpses of great sages, luminaries of Torah, are vultures' feed.
With his own hands a son buries his father alive before the savage oppressor's eyes
And a mother casts her children into the pouncing beast's mouth…
Somewhere lies a head severed from its body, with lopped-off beard and sidelocks,—
What does it whisper in the pools of blood, what does its tongue utter
As it licks the dust? And he who hisses toward heaven, his laughter pierces
The Almighty's throne and the tears in the gouged-out eyes congeal
In refuse, from which dogs lick up the remaining blood.
Ask, oppressed Jewish People, where are the boundaries of Man in the dark gloom,
What is the sword driven into her heart, which could not bear it…
And still Sabbath candles are lit on ground red with blood—
Memorial candles for human skeletons, shadows of the terrifying atrocity…
Ask, Jewish People, consumed by all the fiends' fire
When will it be that dawn appears on Mount Horeb[8],
And God's light blazes in the soul of all mankind,
And from Mounts Amana, Senir and Hermon[9] the Almighty's call
Rings out to redeem the world's heart, crushed in blood?


Translator's Footnotes

  1. From My Town: In Memory of the Communities Dobrzyn-Gollob, edited by M. Harpaz, (published by the Dobrzyn-Golub Society, Israel, 1969), pp. 257-258. Return
  2. This poem, apparently an elegy for victims of the Holocaust, echoes language of Shaali Serufa Baesh (= Ask, You Who Has Been Consumed by Fire), a medieval poem lamenting the public burning of Talmud manuscripts by French authorities in 1242 CE. Shaali Serufa Baesh is in turn modeled after an earlier poem by Yehuda Halevi, Tziyon Halo Tishali Lishlom Asirayich (= Zion, Do you Not Inquire After the Welfare of Your Captives). For many centuries both of these medieval poems have been recited in synagogues on the public fast day of the 9th of Av. Return
  3. Sneh ( = Bush), a collection of poetry by Rimon, published in 1946 (see entry “Jacob Rimon” in Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 14, p. 187). Return
  4. Hebrew Knesset Yisrael, literally Assembly of Israel, i.e. the Jewish people personified, here translated as “Jewish People” Return
  5. Beginning with this line many images echo the medieval poems Eile Ezkera (=These I shall Remember) and Arzei Halevalon (= Cedars of Lebanon), elegies on the martyrdom of leading rabbis at the hands of the Romans in the 1st and 2nd centuries. Among the rabbis were Akiva and Chananya son of Tradyon; both are referred to here. These medieval poems are recited in synagogues on the fast days of Yom Kippur and the 9th of Av, respectively. Return
  6. tefillin = phylacteries Return
  7. tallitot = prayer shawls Return
  8. Horeb is another name for Sinai. Return
  9. Amana, Senir and Hermon are Lebanese mountains mentioned in the Song of Songs 4:8. This verse is interpreted allegorically as referring to messianic redemption. Return


[Pages 259]

These Days (Poem)[1]

(From “Sneh”[2])

by Yaakov Rimon

Translated by Allen Flusberg

Human traces are obliterated, the world transformed into a dense forest.
Every house looks like a tree, and between them—beasts burst forth.
City streets—just trails of forests and wilderness,
Extending from desolation to desolation within the green wasteland...
When a car passes by somewhere, the horn sounds
Like an angry spirit, slicing the expanse with its sorrowful call…
And the newspaper vendor who goes by wearily, advertising the paper,
Sounds to me like an angry lion, roaring fearsomely, blood seeping…
In each tree with peeling bark, I see in its bareness the untended wounded,
And in every chimney on a roof—the muzzle of a thundering cannon…
The days are strung together link-to-link, like on a rusty chain,
Soon they will break apart, in a moment be as naught…
And the skies look like a can full of explosives,
Just touch it and it blows up, destroying all…
These days the beast, with its black fright, is pouncing on Man,
As if from hidden caves, like a terrifying monster, a world to devour!


Translator's Footnotes

  1. From My Town: In Memory of the Communities Dobrzyn-Gollob, edited by M. Harpaz, (published by the Dobrzyn-Golub Society, Israel, 1969), p. 259 Return
  2. Sneh, a collection of Yaakov Rimon's poems, was published in 1946 (see Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 14, p. 187, “Rimon, Jacob”). Return


[Pages 260-262]

The Warshawski Family of New York[1]

Zippora Warshawski, Daughter of Daniel Itche's (Kohn) of Dobrzyn
And Her Husband, Nachum Yisrael Warshawski, Born in Rypin

by Yehuda Rosenwaks

Translated by Allen Flusberg

At first sight, what do Zippora Warshawski and her husband have to do with a Yizkor Book? They have, after all, been living in New York for ages—and may they continue to until a hundred and twenty. But in fact this book would not be complete without celebrating their great devotion, as well as their many actions, in support of the State of Israel and their brethren who hail from Dobrzyn and Rypin.

Already in her youth Zippora stood out in Dobrzyn as a lively and active Zionist. In the household of Daniel Itche's (Kohn)—a Zionist, intellectual home that was warm and open to anyone interested—she, the eldest child, was the spirited one. She did not spare any effort to win people over to the Zionist idea.

In those days the Zionist movement of the town was still in its infancy. It was a time when the heads of the religious community alienated themselves from it and were even persecuting it. They viewed the young people, who were taken with the Zionist idea, as heretics, may the Merciful One save us[3]—unbelievers who were denying the pure faith and were trying to bring about the End of Days before its appointed time[4]. But their struggle did not have the power to keep the young movement away; it continued to capture more and even more hearts, ceaselessly. In spite of, and in defiance of those who opposed it, the Zionist movement of the town was gathering strength, capturing the elite among the young people and even some of the adults. The contribution of Zippora Warshawski to this state of affairs was significant.

Some 50 years ago she and her husband immigrated to the United States; but even there, in the New World, they did not forget their people: they continued, and still continue, to this very day, working for and remaining active in support of the Land of Israel.

Success smiled on them in the United States: they did well and are considered to be among the wealthiest people of their community. However, wealth did not blind them and make them forget, even for a moment, those who hailed from their towns, Dobrzyn and Rypin, and now live in the State of Israel.

I had the opportunity to meet them during their visits to Israel; and I was glad to see for myself, once again, how very interested they were in the people from their towns, and particularly in the State of Israel and its development.

And indeed, the Warshawski family is among the honored benefactors who are dedicated to all the funds that raise money for the State of Israel. Only very recently, during the Six-Day War, they contributed the sum of $110,000 to the Emergency Fund.

We are glad to know that Zippora and Nathan Warshawski, originally from Dobrzyn and Rypin, have continued along the path that they had started on in the town, with a love for and devotion to their people still burning in their hearts.


Mrs. Zippora Warshawski (née Kohn), New York[5]


Reception for guests from the United States. Center: Max Goldfeder[6]


Mrs. Milka Plotnirsh (née Shulsinger) of Chicago speaking during the reception[7]


Translator's Footnotes

  1. From My Town: In Memory of the Communities Dobrzyn-Gollob, edited by M. Harpaz, (published by the Dobrzyn-Golub Society, Israel, 1969), pp. 260-262. Return
  2. Rypin is a town 25 km due east of Dobrzyn Return
  3. Aramaic rachmana litzlan, an expression that might have been appended by an opposition figure mentioning heretics Return
  4. Hebrew lidchok et haketz, from Babylonian Talmud, Ketuvot 110b-111a . The rabbis who opposed Zionism interpreted this Talmudic passage as an admonition against trying to reestablish a Jewish State in Israel before the miraculous advent of the Messiah. Return
  5. From p. 261 of reference cited in Footnote 1 Return
  6. From p. 262 of reference cited in Footnote 1 Return
  7. From p. 262 of reference cited in Footnote 1 Return


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