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[Page 42]

Translation of the Document

“From the Kremenets Castle Books of April 16, 1753”

English Translation by Thia Persoff

[Translation Editor's Note: In the Yizkor Book, this section is a Hebrew translation of the Latin section that appears on pp. 40–41. There appear to be minor differences, especially in names.]

Appearing before me in the presence of the hunter Antonius Mikhael Checheniovski of Chekhnov, who is substituting for the one in charge of the Kremenets castle, and the current Kremenets castle office and its record books, are the well-known Yohanes Pavlovits, the vice president of the council, and Mikhael Yorkevits, the city mayor, representing themselves and all the Magdeburg Council members of Kremenets and its judges, and the nonbeliever, the Jew Volf son of Leyb Chazan, representing himself and all the members of the Kremenets Jewish community. They came to protest the unseemly, and false, accusation and the unlawful, vilifying slander that was cast upon the town by the accused honorable monastery, to be mentioned here; they removed themselves from it and declared themselves pure of heart, accusing instead the aristocrat Borshkovski. They declared that this nobleman, Borshkovski, wanted to deliver a final blow on the town and cause the complete destruction of the Jews. In the village of Pishchatinets, when the night was at its darkest, he grabbed his daughter, Maria Anna, diapered and wrapped in a cloth, then stabbed her with a knife, once under her eye and twice in her two legs. He hid her – this girl who is his own daughter – in the stable so that the owner, Leyzerovits the nonbeliever, would not see her dead, and left her there tied in a sack. But the injured child did not make a sound and slept throughout the rest of the night. In the morning, this father who wanted to kill his daughter through starvation took her from the stable and laid her on the doorstep of the Reformed monks' monastery, and proceeded to the town of Kremenets. There, the man Vasek Kukhen, a known resident of Teofilpol, will witness that he saw the girl lying in the stable and the father taking her, telling that man that he was taking her to the doctor. But what he did was to take her out of her sleeping place in the stable and throw her on the monastery steps. To contradict and demolish such a libel, the defamation and the fraud, the community of Kremenets presented the said daughter to the City Council, the Magdeburg Court, and the Kremenets castle. They repeated their rational arguments against him and his unlawful, defaming accusation and in declaration requested that their statements be accepted. This was granted.

[Translator's Note: The Magdeburg Court was an autonomous city council.]

It was signed by the vice consul, Yohanes Pavlovits; the mayor, Mikhael Yorkevits, who signed with the sign of the cross; and Volf Leybovits.

After those words, Military Governor Voznik agreed personally on behalf of the Minister General, and Stefan Papayuk, the sexton of the communities in charge of checking complaints, appeared to testify – in public, of his free will, declaring truly and honestly: He was personally present on April 16, 1753, during the court's inquiry and investigation of the known Kremenets citizens, as were all the members of the Magdeburg Court and its judges, all the community, and also the nonbelieving Jews of Kremenets and its residents. In the presence of noble personages who are trustworthy, the noble Frantsiskus Kuvetski and Yakov Piotrovski were added to the town's Magdeburg Court at this trial for the purpose of strengthening the evidence. When he was there, together with the additional noblemen mentioned above, he saw the girl thrown and then put with the hands of her very own father on the steps of the reformed monks' monastery. The girl's name is Maria Anna, and she is just over three years old. She was injured at the hand of her father, who used a small knife, once under her left eye and also on her legs.

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That girl testified in a childish voice against her father and explained that the wounds were made by him. I saw that poor child was very weak and sick. With the said attending noblemen, I examined her and affirmed it. Then, after returning, he, the clerk, testified before me to what he truly saw and examined, and the current general sexton affixed the sign of the cross to this document, because he does not know how to write.

This section, taken from the books and documents, has the seal of Kremenets castle and was written in Kremenets.

[The place of the seal.]

This copy of the declaration that was made in Kremenets castle was compared by the Apostolic Notary Public whose signature is at the bottom with the true and correct, complete and unfragmented original that was presented and given to me. There is no reason for worry or suspicion, as it is equal to the original word for word, and to this I testify. In Lvov, January 22, 1754

So it is. Yosef Avgustinovits, Doctor of both Law and Philosophy, public notary under the authority of the Holy Apostolic, in his own hand.


Addendum 3

The Magid of Kremenets, R' Yakov Yisrael Son of Tsvi HaLevi

English Translation by Thia Persoff

The Magid R' Yakov Yisrael of Kremenets is one of those people who do not receive sufficient attention. It is known that the sermons of the magidim and ethics literature in general in large part reflect the society's way of life during different eras. A contemporary of the Magid of Kremenets was the Magid of Dubna, R' Yakov Krants, whose name was famous in the Jewish world. Although R' Yakov Yisrael was not proficient in composing folk parables, as the Magid of Dubna was, there is no doubt that echoes of the events around him are heard in his sermons, so it is worthwhile to pay special attention to them.

R' Yakov Yisrael was a student of the “the Gaon Kabbalist Rabbi Yitschak, head in the court of the holy community of Belza” (A Tribe of Israel, paragraph 64, verse 6, and elsewhere). His writings are evidence of this – one can see that the Magid of Kremenets was proficient in the Six Orders of the Mishna, the Midrash, and the Zohar. He often quotes the ShL”H and the Talmudist R' Shmuel Eydels, and also the book The Tribe of Judah. Even in 1758/1759, he was preaching to the people, as we learn from his quotation: “I gave this parable at my sermon during the burning of the Mishna, heaven save us, in 1758/1759.” He mentions the official edicts against the Talmud in connection with the debates against the Frankists in Kaminits and Lvov. He was a witness to the dread engulfing the eastern regions of Poland when “in 1768, the depraved nation called the Cossacks rebelled against the Polish nation, murdered the people and the Jews living in eastern Ukraine, and plundered and pillaged their properties. Then there was destruction and desolation in the cities of Uman, Tetiev, and countless other towns and villages. Of the two curses, there was not one that did not come true at that time … through His anger, blessed be His name, He remembered mercy as He promised us and made the rulers of Moscow and Poland have pity on Israel, favoring them by catching the rebel leaders and punishing them severely. Then the people of Israel had some help in their stumbling; from the far places the refugees returned to their masters, each person to his town and his country; and not much time had passed, but the wrath of the 'crocodiles' had not abated; that very winter, thousands were slaughtered, and those who escaped were deported again, owing to our great sins, and Yakov was very scared and troubled. A new war then began between the Ishmaelites and the large, strong nation of Moskovi. It was a whirling storm on the rebels and a balm for the aforementioned” (Bundle of Moss, part 2, p. 22, side 1. See also A Tribe of Israel, 56, sentence a). Afterward, the affair passed through these districts, and the magid was forced to flee Kremenets and stayed for some time in Berestechko.

[Translator's Notes: In Hebrew, A Tribe of Israel is Shevet MeYisrael. The Zohar is the book of Jewish mysticism. ShL”H stands for Shney Lukhot Habrit (Two Tablets of the Covenant), a book of morals. In Hebrew, The Tribe of Judah is Shevet Yehuda. Yakov is another name for the people of Israel, and the “nation of Moskovi” refers to Russia. In Hebrew, Bundle of Moss is Agudat Ezov.]

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Concerning an epidemic in Kremenets, he remarks, “And Israel had made a vow: God, if you save this town in which I dwell, grant mercy on the town in the morning, in the morning this thing will awaken awe, love, and worship toward you, and God's wish will be successful by my hands.”

R' Yakov Yisrael provides a lively response to general political events, and especially interesting is his reaction to the first partition of Poland: “And it came to pass in 1772, when my book A Tribe of Israel was published, that the land of our birth was partitioned and split to the four winds of the heavens, and from then on God's people were in decline, and an activity (the printing of religious books) that had been increasing before then began to decrease more and more” (Bundle of Moss, part 3, p. 1, side 1).

He was still a magid in Kremenets in 1787.

R' Yakov Yisrael lived in the era when the Hasidic movement was spreading. It is possible that these words against the study of the Zohar and separate minyanim were said in connection to that and the well-known 1772 ban in Brod: “… and so we should consider why such a thing happened in our time. Know for certain that this wickedness came upon us because there is much disease among our people; because the young, who have not yet reached their twenties, busy themselves with matters that are of worldly importance and delve into the depth of the secrets. Even the uneducated among the people, whose bags are empty of bread or a piece of clothing, who are shaken out and empty of any knowledge, will forge toward the Lord to seek the knowledge of the Kabbalah ... And now, because of our many sins, the fence of the world has broken open, the sealed book is now with the uneducated ignorant, and our faces turned sickly; because of this, they left the straight and narrow and fell into bad ways and heresy ….” (A Tribe of Israel 64, 9). “People who were sword makers came from nearby to the world to come, and each of them was deemed worthy – because they had prayed in a minyan. Therefore, I said, I will uncover their ears to find fault with those who pray at home but not with those who pray in a synagogue” (Words of Truth, p. 6, side 2, and p. 7, side 1).

[Translation Editor's Notes: A minyan is a prayer quorum of 10 people – in this case meeting in a location other than the synagogue. In Hebrew, Words of Truth is Sfat Emet.]

R' Yakov Yisrael speaks against the modern innovations of the time, too. He speaks of theaters in which people do amazing things with fiery flames and all sorts of inscrutable tricks that fools think are nearly miraculous deeds, and they rush to these games on the Sabbath and the holy days. “I said, fool, what is this merriment, that you violate the Sabbath and forget the time for praying, as I saw, because of our many sins” (A Tribe of Israel, p. 2, side 1).

But R' Yakov Yisrael did not preach only about fear of heaven alone. His sermons contain a deep social message. The following parable depicts the social relations prevalent in the Jewish community of that time quite realistically: “And we knew, as we sensed from the morals of the royal court and the ministers, that they would renew harsh decrees not only for the poor and destitute, but that they would spread their claws, saying that the decrees are on the wealthy, too, for the benefit of saving the poor. In the end, the poor are trapped while the rich escape. It is like when a net is cast on the water. Since it is the nature of the small ones to dwell on the bottom, where their food is, the small fish get caught, even though the one who casts the net claims to have aimed for the large ones. Yet the large ones who swim on the water's surface escape, for when the net is cast, they swim down to the bottom, causing the small ones to get scared and swim away from their [bottom] place upward, where they then are caught. The parable is about a villain who says he is doing this to the wealthy, and it ends with the wealthy ones demeaning themselves, taking the poor's livelihood into their own hands and claiming that they are the ones who carry all the burdens. Now all the small ones are caught, and they [the large ones] escape. It is clear to anyone who is well aware of the ways of the world that ten different interpretations may be found for this parable” (A Tribe of Israel, p. 7, side 1). The magid opposes all those who, while claiming reforms and protection of the poor, suggest to the rulers plans that will undermine the socioeconomic bases of Jewish society. Whatever their aims may be, the end result will worsen the conditions of the lower economic classes. In truth, given the tense background of the community of his time, it is possible to interpret his parable in “ten different ways,” each of which reflects a reality of the time.

Additional articles are said to be written by R' Yakov Yisrael. Yosef Perl tells in Bochen Tsadik (Prague, 1838, p. 70): “Surely you remember that, after the death of one ritual slaughterer who lived in a village near Premisla, they found books that he composed, filled with Kabbalah and devotion, and that during his life no one knew if he had even a spark of holiness.”

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“Some heretics among them [from Galicia] even said that it was the magid of Kremenets who had authored the book under the name of said ritual slaughterer; and only because he [the magid] was not considered important by our sect did he put out the word that those treatises had been left behind by this ritual slaughterer.” He also refers here to the magid R' Yakov Yisrael (1803): “I searched in the bags of my late father, my master, my teacher and light, the great rabbi and famous magid, whose name was well known and recognized in all the Diaspora of Israel, our teacher and rabbi, R' Yakov Yisrael HaLevi, of blessed memory, who was a magid in the holy community of Kremenets, where he excelled in the Torah; his fame had spread throughout the Jewish communities, and I found one book and saw that it was clearly written by one of the wisest Kabbalists of our time, the Holy Light, our teacher Yitschak Ayzik, who was a ritual slaughterer in the village of Zorovits about a half-mile from the holy community of Premisla, whose fame had already spread as a righteous one unique in his generation with his book Trustworthy Mysteries.” From the foreword to R' Yitschak's book, it appears that R' Yakov Yisrael also had published a book called Trustworthy Mysteries. The details in Perl's story are similar to those of R' Yitschak Ayzik, the ritual slaughterer from Zorovits, and to those of R' Yakov Yisrael. We did not succeed in getting the book Trustworthy Mysteries in Jerusalem (according to ben Yakov: Lvov, 1790), so we have no means of verifying Perl's references.

[Translation Editor's Note: In Hebrew, Trustworthy Mysteries is Raza Mehemna.]

It is worth mentioning here that he was not considered “important” by the Hasidim, a fact that was known many years after R' Yakov Yisrael's death, and in that connection it is interesting to note the rumors that R' Yakov Yisrael had used the name of an obscure ritual slaughterer so that the Kabbalistic book that he authored would have readers.

We have given just a few signs here that the Magid of Kremenets and his writings are surely worthy of attention and even some special research.


Addendum 4

The Troubles of the “Unregistered” in Kremenets

Hamelits, January 12, 1881

English Translation by Thia Persoff

“Kremenets, November 20. As is well known, the law decreed long ago that the Jews who were not registered as residents of the towns within 50 versts of the Russian border would be deported from there.” The authorities, though, ignored the law and did not bother to check carefully. They did not pay attention to honest and forthright people who settled here and in the other towns in this area, because they had compassion for those heads of families and did not want to take away their livelihood. But malicious people rose from among us, and out of jealousy or vicious hatred, they wrote letters of to the district governor accusing some people who had recently come and settled among us and stating that according to the ancient law, which is current, those people were not permitted to settle here. That resulted in a rapid reply from the governor with an order to deport from the Russian border all Jews who were not lawfully registered residents of towns within 50 versts of the border. This order caused a great panic in our town, as there were about 2,000 people in that situation, including well-to-do merchants, craftsmen, and laborers. This is the way of our people: wanting to take revenge on the offenders, they did not bother to think of what it might lead to – that it could harm many and in that way reawaken and bring back harsh decrees that have long been forgotten. – Anonymous”



[Translation Editor's Note: These endnotes correspond to numbered in-text footnotes in the original Yizkor Book.]

1. Chronicles, Year 1226; …. Moscow 1915, pp. 29–31. Return

2. Lyubavski, M., Historical Essay on the Lithuanian-Russian State System of the Lithuanian-Russian Union. Return

3. Ibid., pp. 166–167. The governor of Kremenets carried the title dyerzhavtsa [prefect]. In the 1420s, the title was changed to starosta [elder]. Return

4. Archives of Southwestern Russia, part 5, vol. 1, p. 3 (hereafter ASR). Return

5. Relying on Svidrigaillo's privilege-document, it was thought to date the onset of Jewish settlement in Kremenets as 1438. See E. Ringelblum, “The Jews in Kremenets before the End of the 18th Century,” Landkentnish [Geography], 1934, p. 68, also reprinted in the Yiddish collection Kapitalen Geshikhte, Buenos Aires 1952, p. 146; also see Shatski, The Decrees of 1648–1649, Vilna 1938, p. 159. A thorough study of the documents from that period does not justify this assumption. Return

6. In this document, Acts of Western Russia, vol. 3, pp. 111–112, only the Jews of Truk, Hororna, Brisk, Lutsk, Ludmir, Pinsk, and Kubrin are mentioned. Return

7. “... the Jews living in the city of Krzemieniec partake of these freedoms, but in spite of these freedoms, should not and will not disturb or interrupt commerce or trade by whatever means.” Archiwum XX Lubartowiczów, vol. IV, p. 26, ródła dziejowe: vol. V, p. 172. Also ASR, part 5, vol. I, p. 42. Return

8. Acts of Southern and Western Russia, vol. 1, pp. 133–134; Reading v. Social History in Ancient Russia from Moscow University, vol. 199, p. 46. Return

9. ASR, part 7, vol. 2, p. 30. Return

10. Ibid., pp. 42–63. Return

11. Kiyev Central Archive of Ancient Acts, Book 1516. Return

12. Baranovich, O., Population of Ukraine, Kiev 1930, p. 36; ródła dziejowe, vol. XIX, p. 64. Return

13. According to the Polish historian Yablonovsky, the estimate for a “house” or a “head” (family) is at least five people; p. 67. Return

14. According to Russian-Jewish Acts (RJA), vol. 2, p. 119. Return

15. Ibid., pp. 184–185. Return

16. ródła dziejowe, vol. XIX, pp. 64–67. Return

17. “… we have pronounced that all – subjects of whatever origin, nation, or religion, who are taking white Ruthenian salt by the ancient and customary routes through our military camp of Krzemyenyecz – will be free and exempt from all tax payments ….” Archiwum XX Lubartowiczów-Sahguszków, vol. III, p. 312. Return

18. Litterae a dominis consulibus civitatis Posnaniae scriptae, 1535–1545, 40. L. Koczy, Handel Poznania do połowy wieku XVI, Poznañ 1930, p. 274.

18a. Wierzbowski, Matriculum Regni Poloniae Summaria. Warsaw 1905, IV 3, 225. Return

19. RJA, vol. II, pp. 58–61. Return

20. Since 1542 we have known of Queen Bona's edict that forbade Jews and people in the suburbs to manufacture alcoholic beverages (Ringelblum, op. cit.); similar forbidding edicts were given by Sigismund August II in 1564 (Balinski-Lipinski, Starożytna Polska, vol. II, p. 897; ródła dziejowe, vol. V, p. 180), 1569 (ródła, ibid., p. 173), 1571 (Balinski-Lipinski … op. cit.), and 1572 (ródła … op. cit., 173). Return

21. RJA, vol. II, pp. 62, 69, 79, 156. Return

22. Kiev Central Archive, Book 1479, Act 56. Return

23. RJA, vol. II, pp. 79–80. Return

24. Ibid., pp. 138–139; Bersohn, Dyplomataryusz, No. 544. Return

25. Ibid., p. 133. Return

26. ASR, part 7, vol. II, p. 74. Return

27. Ibid., pp. 51–55. Return

28. Bersohn, Dyplomataryusz, No. 120; RJA, vol. II, pp. 119, 184. Return

29. ASR, part 7, vol. II, p. 71. Return

30. RJA, vol. II, p. 259.

30a. Bersohn, op. cit., no. 152. Return

31. ródła dziejowe, vol. XIX, p. 64. Even before that, there is information (Archiwum Skarbowe, Dz. I pobocowy, 112) that 106 gold coins were received from the Jews of Kremenets as a tax. We thank Mr. A. Feldman, who gave us a copy of this information as well as the information in Note 18a. It is interesting to point out that in 1576, King Stephan Batory released the rabbi, cantor, house of worship, and Kremenets cemetery from the protowszczyzna tax (Bersohn, ibid., no. 149). According to Shipper, this tax was collected from all Jewish communities for the privilege of having a house of worship and a cemetery, and from all the magnificent holy places because of the bureaucrats in the community. See History of the Jewish People, vol. 9, p. 307. Return

32. ródła dziejowe, op. cit., p. 148. Return

33. David's Offspring, 1573; Fridberg, Memorial Tablets, p. 9. His answer is found in New Responsum 28, note on the women's gallery. Return

34. David's Offspring, 1592; Fridberg, The History of Hebrew Printing in Poland, Tel Aviv 1939, p. 145. R' Mordekhay Yafe was called Ba'al haLevushim [master of clothing] after his articles and many books about clothing, Jewish law, the Rambam's philosophy, and the Kabbalah. He was admired by rabbis but had opposition, too. See, for example, Masat Binyamin and others. Return

35. Y. Halperin, Register of the Council of Four Lands; Memorial Tablets, p. 16. Return

36. Halperin. Return

37. Fridberg, Hebrew Printing. Return

38. Scroll of Hate, by R' Yom Tov Lipman Heler, Breslau 1817. Return

39. M. Brann, “Additions à l'autobiographie de Lipman Heler,” Revue des Etudes Juives [Review of Jewish Studies], vol. 21, p. 274.

The signatures on the letter are:

“Chayim, son of my master, my father, our teacher Shmuel Ish Tsvi

Eliezer son of my master, my father, our teacher Barukh, may his memory be for a blessing in the world to come

Shlome son of my master, my father, Rabbi Yisrael Isarel, may his Rock preserve him and keep him alive

Yosef, son of my master, my father, Rabbi Aharon

Moshe and Yitschak, son of my master, my father, our teacher Shmuel, may he live a long and happy life, amen

Avraham son of my master, my father, my honored teacher Tsvi Hirsh, righteous Kohen, may he live a long and happy life, amen“

R' Yitschak, son of Shmuel, whose signature is on this letter, may be the same R' Yitschak of the holy community of Kremenets who was eulogized by the one of the “Citizen Eytan.”See Responsa Citizen Eytan, last pamphlet, Nitsavim portion, p. 58. Return

40. Yitro portion, p. 48. Return

41. Y. Halperin, Register of the Council of Four Lands, 198. Return

42. Y. Halperin, Ibid. Return

43. Ben-Yakov, The Book Treasury, p. 63, #121–2. Return

44. “and me … Aharon Shmuel the small, son of my master, my teacher, the pious one, our teacher, Rabbi Moshe Shlome, the holy, righteous one of blessed memory, from the holy community of Kremenets, in the country of Russia, may God keep it forever, as God led me astray from the home of my father, my teacher, the righteous one of blessed memory, and from my native land, my country. From diaspora to diaspora I was expelled, from vessel to vessel emptied. Insecure, no rest or peace did I have because of certain bad things that were visited upon me … .” Man's Soul, Introduction. Return

45. Epilogue, by Olma Zelikman. Return

46. Responsa Citizen Eytan, last pamphlet, Vayeshev portion, p. 42, side A. Return

47. A. Yaari, Israel's Emissaries, p. 271. Return

48. W. Tomkiewicz, Jeremi Wiœniwiecki, Warsaw 1933, p. 215. See app. A and Abyss of Despair, Venice 1653, p. 6. Return

49. N. Kostomarov, Bogdan Chmielnitski, St. Petersburg 1884, vol. 1, p. 341, and the comment in Stressful Times connect the fall of Kremenets with this siege on Lvov, which began in early October 1648. Return

50. Stressful Times, by R' Meir of Shebreshin, Venice 1655, p. 8, col. 2. This source, of utmost importance, was left out of the bibliography on Kremenets during the decrees of 1648 found in Y. Shatski's introduction to the Yiddish edition of Abyss of Despair (The Decrees of 1648, YIVO, Vilna, 1938, p. 195). Note that this list is faulty and is missing many details. Return

51. Abyss of Despair, pp. 8–9. Return

52. Quoted from The Suffering of Many, Fridberg edition, Lvov 1906, p. 11. In the British Museum manuscript (p. 103), the city is called “Kremnik.” Gurland (The Occurrence of the Decrees, booklet, p. 16) corrects this to “Kresnik,” but this correction has no basis, since the story of the children's slaughter agrees with the one about Kremenets in Stressful Times and Abyss of Despair. There is no doubt that this quotation is also about Kremenets. Our thanks go to the administration of the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish People, which made the abovementioned manuscript available to us. Return

52a. This story is also mentioned by N. Kostomarov, Russian History in Biographies, St. Petersburg 1874, vol. II, pp. 243–244. It is interesting to note the connection between the sanctification of God's name and kosher slaughtering (“anyone with a sharp knife should inspect its blade to see that it does not have any deficiencies and should slaughter in the name of the Holy, Eternal One”; Decrees of Germany and France, Jerusalem, 1946, p. 31, and similar descriptions elsewhere in the same source) in the stories about the decrees of 1196. The chroniclers of the 1648 decrees regarded the entrusting of this holy task to gentiles and the differentiation between kosher and nonkosher as a mockery. Return

53. Deep Mire, by R' Shmuel Fayvish, son of the sage, our teacher, Rabbi Natan Faydel of Vienna (The Occurrence of the Decrees, booklet 6, p. 22). Return

54. Handwritten collection III, p. 30. Also, the martyrs of Kremenets are mentioned in the Memorial Book of the holy community of Furth; Jahrbuch der jüdisch-litararischen Gesellschaft, Frankfurt am Main, XVI, p. 246. Return

55. Y. Halperin, Register of the Council of Four Lands, p. 462. Return

56. R' Moshe Naral was the son of R' Eliezer Velshim, who arrived in Poland in his youth and finally settled in Kremenets as a doctor. R' Moshe was apparently born in 1598 in Kremenets and was a student of our teacher the rabbi Shmuel Eydels. During the decrees he was the head of the rabbinical court in the holy community of Naral. From there he escaped westward and was chosen as a rabbi in the holy community of Metz (Gurland, The Occurrence of the Decrees, booklet 3, pp. 8–9, and the literature cited there in note 4).

Along with R' Moshe Naral, other rabbis grew up in Kremenets: his brother, R' Yisrael Kohen Naral, whose insights on the Torah are cited in Good Blessings by his brother R' Moshe, and R' Yakov, son of R' Pinchas of Kremenets, head of the rabbinical court of the holy community of Pintshov, who is mentioned several times in Good Blessings. He was killed during the decrees (Girondi, History of the Scholars of Israel and Sages of Italy, Trieste 1853, p. 156).

The son of R' Moshe Naral was R' Tovye the Doctor, who is famous for his book Tovye's Deeds (Tsinberg, vol. V, pp. 169–173). Return

57. The Occurrence of the Decrees, booklet 3, p. 15. Return

58. Halperin, Register of the Council of Four Lands, pp. 79–80.

59. Ibid., p. 87. Return

60. ASR, part 5, vol. II, p. 109. Return

61. Dov of Bolikhov notes in his memoirs that in his city, one-third of the Jews were not counted in this census. Published by M. Vishnitser, p. 89. Return

62. The following are the populations of the Jewish communities in the Kremenets district in 1765 (the numbers include the community and its vicinity). Communities marked with an asterisk were known to have a Jewish settlement before 1648. We do not list towns without an independent community separately. Return

*Konstantinov Stari 1,801 Lubar 467
*Vishnivets 664 Shepetovka 390
Verba 181 Slavuta 246
*Ptitsha 112 Labun 678
*Polonne Stare 897 Oleksinets 317
Polonne Nove and *Ostropol 544 Volotshiska 774
Sudilkov 397 Vishgrodek 668
*Zaslav 3,891 *Kozin 332
*Lachovtse and *Kornitsa 860 Lanovtse 85
*Radzivilov 298 Kuzhmin 232
Lezhnov 494 Kultshin 288
Horinka 203 *Bazalia 240
Yampol 476 Krasilov 273
*Zbarazh 910 Kremenets 1,029
Krupets 114 Kunov 325
Tofipol 516 *Khritsov 86
Shumsk 170 Ozhakhovtse 317
Rachmanov 170 Zaloshtshe 644

63. All the numbers and calculations are based on ASR, part 5, vol. II; O. Baranovich, Population of Ukraine. Archiwum Komisji Historycznej AU w Krakowie, vol. VIII; J. Kleczynski and F. Kloczycki, Liczba glow zydowskich w Koronie z Taryf roku 1765. Return

64. Ringelblum, Kapitalen Geshikhte, pp. 147–148. Return

65. A. Zaluski, Epistolae historico-familiares, vol. III, p. 333. Return

66. ASR, part 3, vol. I, pp. 599–601. Return

67. Ibid, pp. 681-682. Return

68. ASR, part 5, vol. I, p. 236, in the editor's notes. Return

69. Ibid. The following cities are mentioned: Lachovtse, Zaloshche, Yampol, Stari and Novi Zaslav, Polonne, Vishgrodek, Kunov, Zbarazh, Leshnov, Slavuta, Labun, and Sudilkov. Return

70. Documents and Inscriptions, vol. III, no. 2176. Return

70a. A Bundle of Hyssop, by R' Yakov Yisrael of Kremenets, part 2, p. 22, col. 1. Return

71. I. Galant … 1747. Jewish Past, vol. 5(1912), pp. 202–218. Return

72. See Addendum. 2. It is interesting to note that a similar attempt in the same year near Zhitomir ended tragically for the accused Jews. Return

73. M. Balaban, History of the Frankist Movement, vol. 1, pp. 105–106; Halperin, op. cit., pp. 418–424, 428. Return

74. A. Berliner, “Gutachten Ganganellis (Clemens XIV),” in Angelengenheit der Blut Beschuldigung der Juden, Berlin 1888, p. 47; C. Roth, The Ritual-Murder Libel and the Jew, London 1935. Return

75. Talmudic Fables…. Return

76. Yu. Gessen, History of the Jewish People in Russia, Leningrad 1925, vol. I, pp. 98–99. Return

77. Ringelblum, op. cit., pp. 149-150. Return

78. Mentioned by A. N. Frank, The Townspeople and the Jews in Poland, Warsaw 1921, p. 57. Return

79. T. Korzon, Internal Events of Poland, Warsaw 1897, vol. I, p. 221. “X. The city elders do not allow the execution of decrees drawn in soviet or communal courts, specifically preventing Jews from executing such decrees by military force, etc. The Jews are not willing to forgive the contractual obligations, are resisting feeding the soldiers, engage in trading prohibited goods and commerce without authorization from the city, refuse to pay taxes to the city coffers, do not pay taxes for road and bridge repair, obstruct city streets with their buildings and build in prohibited areas, do not pay taxes for city workers and students sent to Krakow schools….” Return

80. Ringelblum, op. cit., p. 151. Return

81. Halperin, op. cit., pp. 93-94. Return

82. Ibid., p. 105, XXII. Return

83. Ibid., p. 469. Return

84. ASR, part 5, vol. I, pp. 221–223. Return

85. Halperin, op. cit., p. 277. Return

86. Ibid., p. 300, XLVIII–XLIX; according to the list of obligations and Kremenets city records. Return

87. Ibid., p. 462. Return

88. D. Weinryb, Studies in the Economic and Social History of the Jews in Poland, Jerusalem 1939, pp. 40, 62. It is known that during this time the rabbi of Kremenets was R' Arye Leyb son of Shmuel, who was also a trustee of the Volin district. Return

89. Halperin, op. cit., p. 313; Greater Dubna, p. 47. Return

90. M. Bersohn, Dyplomataryusz etc., No. 305. Return

91. Ibid. Return

92. Documents and Inscriptions, vol. III, no. 1973. Return

93. Ibid., no. 2058. Return

94. Ibid., no. 2060. Return

95. Ibid., no. 2059. Return

96. Ibid., no. 2229. Return

97. His signature at the Yaroslav fair in 1663 shows him already as the rabbi of Dubna. Afterward he served as the rabbi of Belz. He died in 1674. On him, see Halperin, pp. 98, 126; Pesis, The City of Dubna, pp. 15–17; Knowledge of the Holy Ones, p. 152; Men of Renown, pp. 172, 239. Return

98. Perfect Beauty, 117. His book was published after he died in 1669. Return

99. Ibid.; Girondi, p. 210. Return

100. Halperin, ibid., pp. 121, 462; Fridberg, op. cit., p. 145. Return

101. His signature appears in the Council of Four Lands at the Lublin fair in 1678 with those of his father and the rest of the leaders of the Lands on an approbation of the publication of a Bible with a Yiddish translation, published by R' Yosef Atiash, Amsterdam 1678, and on an approbation of the Lands of the holy community of Tiktin's request for a permanent representative at the “table of the Four Lands.” Halperin, ibid., pp. 163, 165; Men of Renown, p. 85; Perfect Beauty, section 1, 85; section 2, 95. Return

102. Loewinstein, Key to Approbations, Frankfort am Main 1923, no. 1864; Halperin, ibid., pp. 213–214; Fridberg, op. cit. Return

103. Loewinstein, ibid., no. 1603; Fridberg, ibid. Book of Horns is a book of Kabbalah published with a commentary by the famous Kabbalist R' Shimshon of Ostropol, who was killed in 1648. Return

104. Halperin, ibid., pp. 277, 279, 280, 528. Return

105. Ibid., p. 500. Return

106. Fridberg, op. cit. Return

107. Bersohn, op. cit., no. 305. Return

108. “The insignificant Arye Leyb, son of the rabbi, the illustrious great light, my great teacher and rabbi Shmuel, the pious one, of blessed memory, who dwells in the holy community of Kremenets and the district and is trustee of the House of Israel, may his Rock preserve him and keep him alive.” Halperin, ibid., pp. 360, 373. Return

109. R' Yakov Emden, Torat ha-Kenaot, p. 64. Return

110. Remembrance of the Great Ones of Ostra, p. 169. Return

111. Fridberg, op. cit.; Loewinstein, op. cit., no. 241. Return

112. Remembrance of the Great Ones of Ostra, p. 98. Return

113. See Addendum 3. Return

114. R' Meshulam Fayvish and R' Dov Ber, magid of Mezeritsh (who was the head of the Hasidim after the death of the Ba'al Shem Tov) were the respective fathers of a married couple. R' Avraham Malakh, the magid's son, married R' Meshulam Fayvish's daughter. See Praises of the Ba'al Shem Tov, Horodetsky Publishers, Tel Aviv 1947, p. 88. Return

115. V. Levanda, The Complete Chronological Collection of Laws and Legal Positions Concerning the Jews, Petersburg 1874, no. 124. Return

116. Ibid., no. 475. Return

117. Ibid., no. 484. Return

118. Ibid., no. 608; also 618, 716. Return

119. This Landsberg was apparently Duvid Ayzik Landsberg, who published articles in Hamelits and who is mentioned by Aleksander Tsederboym-Erez as being one of the city's enlightened during the disagreement that broke out in 1865. Regarding that, see below. Return

120. Levanda, op. cit., no. 619. Return

121. Ibid., no. 816. Return

122. See Addendum 4. Return

123. The area of the Polish province of Volin was larger than that of the Russian province (gubernia) of Volin, so the increase was that much greater. However, we must remember that the percentage undercounted in the 1765 census was certainly much greater than that in the general population census of 1897. Return

124. The area of the district (powiat) of Kremenets in 1765 was much greater than the area of the district (yezd) of Kremenets under the Russian government. A portion of the district of Polish Kremenets passed to Austria, and in another portion two new districts were added: Zaslav and Konstantin Yashan. We compare the Jewish settlement in the district during Russian rule with that of 1765 only for the communities included in the Kremenets district during the Russian era. Following are the populations of the various district communities:

  1765 1847 1897
Aleksinets 317 613 1,515
Berezhtsi -- 627 428
Belozerki -- 360 1,070
Vishnevets 664 3,178 3,294
Vyshgorodok 668 1,018 1,078
Katerburg -- 1,465 693
Kremenets 1,029 3,791 6.539
Krupets 114 103 --
Liakhovets 860 523 1,174
Pochayev -- 401 1,371
Radzivilov 298 3,054 4,322
Rachmanov 170 306 93
Shumsk 170 1,101 1,962
Yampol 476 1,724 1,482
  4,766 18,264 26,965

Totals include villages that are not listed. Regarding the numbers for 1765, see note 62. For those of 1847 and 1897, see Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. IX, p. 832; vol. V, pp. 739–743. Return

125. Yu. Gessen, History of the Jewish People in Russia, Leningrad 1925, vol. I, p. 84. Return

126. Pages of History, Warsaw, vol. III. Return

127. See the article by Hasan in Experience, vol. III, pp. 15–16. Return

128. Hamelitz, June 12, 1897. Return

129. Materials for a History of Anti-Jewish Pogroms in Russia, vol. II, p. xxi. Return

130. Jewish Encyclopedia, vol. V, pp. 739–743. Return

131. Fridberg, op. cit., p. 146; The New Names of the Greats, Warsaw 1889, p. 36. Return

132. Fridberg, ibid.; Knowledge of the Holy Ones, p. 185. Return

133. The New Order of the Generations, Lvov 1858, p. 24, col. 1; The New Names of the Greats, p. 97. On him, also see Glory of the Righteous One, Warsaw 1909, p. 49. Return

134. Exposer of the Hidden, Vienna 1819, p. 39: 2. There is no question that this letter is authentic and that the aliases mentioned in the body of the letter are meant to be discerned using gematria (codes). R' Nechuri of Reketsits is R' Mordekhay of Kremenets, and the Judge Rekme son of Tan Yetz of Greater Tsidon is Judge Moshe son of Yechiel Mikhel of Ternopol. Return

135. Ibid., p. 40, col. 2: “I also received information that in the holy community of Reketsits (= Kremenets) the Mitnagdim took one heavy man and dressed him up like the rabbi, and just as our kind takes the local rabbi to the bathhouse every Friday, they also take their rabbi, and since they saw that the real local rabbi has a special skullcap with which he goes to the bathhouse on Friday, they bought their own rabbi a special skullcap just like it, and they brought him to the bathhouse with this skullcap; every Sabbath they eat three meals with their rabbi, and they gather there, and he tells them words of Torah called Hasidic Torah, and everything the local people do for the local rabbi, those clowns also do for their local rabbi, and no one protests, and one can imagine the spectacle this causes.” The reference here is to R' Mordekhay, because Exposer of the Hidden was written and even submitted to the Austrian censor before 1817 (R' Y. Weinles: Yosef Perl, His Life and Times, Yosef Perl's Yiddish Writings, Vilna 1937, p. XXVII.

In RYB”L's “Valley of Giants,” the second section of his renowned Yiddish composition in Topsy-Turvy World, which investigates the community's routines, a character named R' M... is tested in Hell for acts of “subterfuge” (“Valley of Giants,” in RYB”L Anthology, Warsaw 1878, p. 128). It is clear that R' M... is R' Mordekhay of Kremenets, and the proof is that in the Yiddish edition of “Valley of Giants” the city is called “Ketsar Enayim,” an anagram of Kremenets. Return

136. Quoted by D. B. Nathanson, Memorial Book, Warsaw 1881, p. 11. Return

137. Topsy-Turvy World, quoted by Z. Reisen, From Mendelssohn to Mendele, p. 260. Return

138. As he writes, “several partners from our community.” RYB”L Anthology, p. 14. Return

139. Hamelits, March 23, 1865, the list of Erez; Reisen, Lexicon, vol. 2, p. 954. Return

140. Tsinberg, in YIVO Pages, vol. 11, p. 325. Return

141. Tsinberg, ibid., and M. Weinreich, Archives of the History of Yiddish Theater, pp. 175–238. Return

142. Hamelits, 1865, pp. 303–306, 397–398,455–456, 497–499. Return

143. From 1808. Fridberg, ibid., p. 145. Return

144. From 1827; see below. Return

145. From 1846. Memory Book, p. 78. Return

146. Manus Goldberg, in Gazit, year 8, vol. 9, p. 2. Return

147. RYB”L Anthology, p. 15. Return

148. See the correspondence from Kremenets in HaMagid, 10 Tevet 1890, vol. 1; Hamelits, 1891, vol. 69; 1893, vol. 13. Return

149. In the Sons of Moshe files in the Central Zionist Archives in Jerusalem are the preserved letters of L. Pinsker, M. L. Lilienblum, Z. Opshteyn, and others to Tsvi Prilutski as well as an interesting letter from Prilutski to the Yeshurun office in Warsaw on the second day of Chanukah 1883. These letters deal with suggestions to advance the settlement of workers in the Land of Israel, among others, and an anonymous donor from Kremenets who gave 100 rubles for this purpose. Return

150. See the abovementioned letter of Prilutski to Warsaw. Return

151. Tcherikover, Anti-Semitism and Pogroms in Ukraine, Berlin, 1923, p. 198; M. Goldenberg in Gazit, year 8, vol. 10, p. 13. Return

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