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[Page 10]

Upon the Publishing of the Book

Translated by David Goldman

Since the Holocaust, interest in the Old Country and the shtetl has grown much stronger and more attractive among the Jewish people. People who had quickly given up interest in the shtetl years ago, or who had thought of the word shtetl as referring only to their own family, have found, since the deaths of their own relatives, substitute family from among survivors of their shtetls – a person from the same town turns into a family member. They started longing for their parents and siblings, and if they were no longer alive, they wanted to find people who saw them or who spoke to them last.

In addition, those growing older began longing for the “good old day” of their childhood and youth. They didn't want to lose the life-long memories that the butcher had tried to wipe out. This is why many emigré associations, institutions and memorial books developed.

Of course, our Lipkany was never a major center of Jewish life or an exceptional community among the Bessarabian shtetls before the Holocaust (except for the surprising concentration of genius in the images of its scribes and scholars – a veritable treasure trove for such a faraway shtetl). Lipkany, like all the rest, had always been involved in the usual worries of earning a living (commerce, crafts, brokerage), bringing up children (cheder, synagogue, yeshiva) and marrying them off. The spiritual life was synagogue, righteous leader (tsaddikim), chassidim, rabbis, ritual objects, ring leaders, disputes, character traits. Charity, anonymous charitable contributions, assistance for various problems. Faith, trust in G-d, forgiveness, accepting physical suffering, pure family life. With the Enlightenment, there were the gymanzia, political parties and not enough modern institutions. From time to time, normal daily life was interrupted by evil decrees and persecutions: cholera, crime, “rushed” weddings, fires, wars – and then back to normal daily life, busily engaged in personal and community life – until the arrival of the Holocaust.

Unfortunately, we don't known very much about the history of our shtetl. Relatively speaking, Bessarabia has a young history. Of course, we almost never had the usual elements in other Jewish communities: community councils and records. These didn't exist in either under Romanian or Russian rule. We have to make due with the small amount provided to us by our associate, Yankele Tamir (Berger).

Our book has several goals:

  1. A “gravestone” for the destroyed shtetl, as written in the Torah, “You shall tell your sons….” to revive and restore the story of life in our shtetl for our readers, especially for our children and grandchildren, and to describe its spiritual and material life and the trauma caused by its destruction. Despite the presence of a remnant of some 30 families, we don't see that life being restored in Lipkany.
  2. To prevent the memory of the Holocaust from fading, as is written in the Torah, "Remember what Amalek did to you…."
  3. To describe the community life of Lipkany emigrés in their new places of residence: the United States, Brazil and especially Israel, where the guardian angel of Lipkany brought together its pitiful remnants and restored their souls.

This book does not reflect, and cannot reflect, everything about the community's life in all its aspects, colors and historical periods. This book represents merely a drop in the bucket, but for Lipkany emigrés in Israel and elsewhere it represents a wellspring of unforgettable memories and emotions about their childhood, youth and later lives.

20 years have passed since the Holocaust. The wounds have not healed, and will never heal. May the “gravestone” serve as an eternal memento of our shtetl forever.

Our modest book is now written, including the literary section, by our fellow Lipkany emigrés - simple Jews who are neither professional writers or scribes. They have dedicated the best and finest of their thoughts and feelings to their shtetl.

May those who provided materials, photos and pictures of the shtetl be blessed (especially Nissan Gershenson of Brazil). We offer our heartiest thanks to our friends who were involved in putting the material together: Moshe Zilberman-Silon and Yaakov Berger-Tamir, together with the vital assistance of Notta Roitman. Moshe Zilberman-Silon made corrections together with Moshe Steif. The members of the editorial board were Dr. Menachem Naor, Rabbi Orenstein, Moshe Steif and Reuven Dagan. They gave of their time and effort to improve the book, make it more attractive and a high quality product.

We also wish to thank the members of the book committee each of whom, to the best of his ability and situation, contributed to getting this book published by collecting material and financial resources: Gershon Bronstein, Pedatsur Shreiber, Yosef Beretz, Yaakov Steinberg, Chaim Fichman, Liber Barab, Pinchas Goldenberg, Chonya Wolfson and Baruch Feigengold


[Page 12]

18 Pictures of the Streets of Lipkany

Translated by David Goldman


A section of the Gypsy Street
From Michel Sachman's house up to Michel Lerner's (parents of Dr. Menachem Naor). Chaim Yonah and Nachum Rosenthal can be seen on the left


[Page 13]

Market Day
On the left are the stalls of the pig sellers. Across is the house of Yehoshua Itsi's (Eliezer Steinberg's parents), right up to the bridge on the Potiek River


[Page 14]

Yaakov Kaufman's house
(Parents of Dr. Michael Kaufman). Later it was the Hebrew Progymnazia


[Page 15]

Tamozhny [Customs/Taxes] Street
The taller building is the progymnazia run by Eliezer Steinberg and the teacher, Epstein. The second house next to it is the house of Moshe Sternberg, parents of Yaakov Sternberg


[Page 16]

A section of the Gypsy Street
Britchany Way. One of the houses. On the right is the cheder school of the teacher, Itsik (Yitzchak) Shkolnick


[Page 17]

Britchany Way
One of the houses. On the right is the cheder school of the teacher, Itsik (Yitzchak) Shkolnick


[Page 18]

At the market in front of the guest house
Next to the cart stand Itsik Yerachmiel's and his son Yankele (Yankel Breiman, later a long-time president of the society in New York)


[Page 19]

The Cloth and Linen District/Street
From the Potiek Bridge looking as far as the Butchers' Alley


[Page 20]

The “Shess” [Meadow]
The Techiya [Renaissance] and Maccabi playing field. In the distance is the yard of the Poritz [the nobleman who was the landowner of the town and surrounding villages] overlooking the Great Park    


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