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[Pages 146-147]

by Mayer Refael Zigler – Tel Aviv


Translated from the Hebrew by Jehuda Ziegler I am a child of Sczawnica, a well known health resort in Poland. Among the thousands who came to us for their vacation were Rabbis, righteous people, and talmudic scholars. When Grand Rabbi Chaim Halberstam came to our town and found that its Jews were far from chassidus, he proposed to Faivish Krumholz, a resident of the town, a shidduch for his daughter, Frieda. This resulted in one of his students, Mayer Refael Ziegler, who excelled in torah learning and in fear of G-d, coming to live in our town. Because of this shidduch the towns of Sczawnica and Kroscienko became places of Torah and Chassidus.

Mayer Refael Ziegler took as a son-in-law for his daughter Sarah, the well known great Torah scholar, Rabbi Nochum Baumol, who when he was just nineteen years old was selected by the Jews of Kroscienko-Sczawnica as the Rabbi of their towns. He served in this position for more than 50 years.

After Mayer Refael Ziegler's death, his sons Shimon and Hershel continued in their father's tradition to strengthen the foundations of Torah and religiosity. They sent their sons to learn Torah in the advanced yeshivos and inspired others to do the same. Four of the sons of Rabbi Nochum Baumol and one son of Rabbi Shimon Ziegler, became great in Torah and served as heads of Yeshivos and as Rabbis.

I remember to this day the families of Boruch Mendel Steiger, Hershel Neigershal, Shmiel Barber, Yosef Englander, Yisroel Hecht, Yechiel Mandel, Aaron Tovia Mandel, etc. The father-in-law of Aaron Tovia was Shabsi Weinberger, a Talmud Scholar, who died in his 103rd year, and was counted among the Chasidim of Rabbi Hershel Riminover. Shabsi was the second son-in-law of Mayer Refael Ziegler.

Grand Rabbi Chaim Halberstam, author of the Divrei Chaim, stayed by Boruch Mendel Steiger, who built a large hotel in the town on his advice. Because of his innovative organization and air of chassidus that reigned in the hotel it became famous throughout Europe. Other well known guests at the Hotel Steiger were the Grand Rabbi Avrohom Mordechai of Gur and his family, the Grand Rabbis of Vishnitz, Sokolov, Zavneh, the head of Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin Rabbi Meir Shapiro, Rabbi Menachem Zemba, and others.

After the passing of Rabbi Nochum Baumol, his oldest son, Rabbi Yoel Moshe Baumol, and then his brother Rabbi Naftali Hertz Baumol became the Rabbi of the town. The last Rabbi of the town before the holocaust was Rabbi Yehoshua Baulmol, who was the second son of Rabbi Yoel Moshe and an ordained rabbi from Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin. Although he was young in years he was great in his Torah knowledge. He was selected to be the Rabbi of Kroscienko and then of Opshne.

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