Postcards from Zaludok


Member Robert Craig has donated these translations of 2 of 4 cards in Yiddish handed down in his family.
The translations were done by Rabbi Baum.
The writer Michael Pelovsky, is an ancestor of member Jean Perkin, while the recipient, David Pelovsky, is Mr. Craig's ancestor.  Michael Pelovsky managed to emigrate after the last of the cards [the 2nd on this site] was written, becoming a teacher, minister and herbalist in England.   David Pelovsky's wife Sara nee Mednitsky, whom he met in England, may also have been from Zaludok.

Card III

[The postcard is addressed to Mr David Pelovsky, 69 Great Garden St, Whitechapel, London (England) and appears to be postmarked indistnctly1890 [?] ]

With the help of G-d, Tuesday

Shalom and Mazeltov to my honoured and dear brother the bokher [1] or balabeysel [2] Dovid Yitskhok may his light shine.

I and my wife and all my household also…..Thank G-d we are all alive and well. God grant that we hear from you. Amen.

My dear brother, your letter with the wedding invitation I received properly with great joy. Thank you for your good heart. Don’t take it badly that we are not coming to the wedding because you cannot get a cart just now the road has deteriorated. Up to now there was no snow, now rain and snow are descending even for a (full) rouble a cart you also don’t get. But I reckon that you will any wise with G-d’s help become a balebeysel even without my help. You will not need a horse’s collar put on you. Therefore should you for heaven’s sake send me dry cheese.

Hertsl and Bentsik have today a secret with Leib the mooshahyn [?] After Pesakh Bertsik tore the sides off their minister in the wood so they have given back in secret. Therefore it is not known as yet what will be.

Also I write you news that before Shabbes Vigdor feldsher [3][c] the Halinker travelled through Chodritsa with a Zaludker [4] goy and Chodritsa goyim had an anger on the feldsher so at night 6 goyim Chodritser took him off the wagon to the wood and wanted to kill him unto death but the waggoner raised an alarm and people immediately ran up from town, so he was still found alive. In short the goyim were led away to Stitsin [? probably Shchuchin -IN] by police and the feldsher was sent off to Lida to hospital. They [5] will have catarrh [6].

Also there came on Sunday [a letter from] the bokher Moysha Bentska Shamess. For 3 years previous no letter came. He is in Aufstralia. He took 10 thousand roubles dowry. He already has a child. He writes if his mother is alive he will send her much money.

Also on Wednesday [Sidra] B’shallakh there will be the wedding of Bashka G’rukham’s. For heaven’s sake don’t write any letter to Dovid Broder nor to Berl Rimer nor to Yitskhok Riva’s. Pretend you don’t know - the cholera seize them.

Also I let you know these days the chuppa will be at our sister-in-law’s Dvosha [a] with a genteel young man from Zesl.

Also there will be in mid Shvaht the chuppa at the chosn Shloyma ben Avigdor [b] of Verzbilov. He takes 1000 roubles dowry.

For heaven’s sake write me immediately all the happenings of your wedding, how much it cost you, all properly of every matter and who was present at your wedding, and may the one whose Name is to be blessed send you his benign fortune and for heaven’s sake send me your photographs.

This week Esther the rimerka [7] came. She has been all winter at her sister’s in Moldavia in Galats. She brought up to 300 roubles. None the less I feel a strong tug at the heart that it was bashert [8] to me to see your chasoona [9]. I had not been prepared for this.

From me with kind regards, your brother

Michl R’uveyn Pilevsky

[Note at the side] For the sake of heaven rebuke Joseph Porskiserker why does he not write a letter to the family. She flared out before me. From me. Ditto

NOTES (by Rabbi Baum)
[1] batchelor (Back)
[2] dimin of balaboss ie newly-wed (Back)
[3] unqualified doctor for poor people (Back)
[4] from Zaludek (Back)
[5] ie the 6 goyim (Back)
[6] heavy punishment (Back)
[7] belt maker (Back)
[8] destined (Back)
[9] wedding (Back)

NOTES (from Robert Craig}

[a] Dvosha, diminutive of Dvora, is a sister-in-law of the writer & recipient, married to a brother who'd studied at Yeshiva. (Back)
[b] Shloyma ben Avigdor was Dvora's brother and later the father of the Jewish statesman and Zionist leader Nahum Goldmann (1895-1982).   Another brother of Shloyma and Dvora was Abraham Leib Shalkovich, the famous
Hebrew writer Ben Avigdor.  (Back)
[c] Their father, the Feldsher Avigdor, is the victim of the beating mentioned in this card. (Back)

Card 4

[This postcard is addressed to Mr Devis Pelovsky, 69 Great Garden St., Whitechapel London (England) and appears to be postmarked 1890]

With the help of G-d this eve of Shabbat [1] [Sedra] T’tsahve 2 o’clock

Zaludek, may our City be rebuilt, amen.

Peace and all goodness to my brother, dear and beloved as myself. Young – married - man Mr Dovid Yitskhok, may his light shine with the welfare of his spouse, the modest one, lady Sarah, may she live.

First I write to you my dear brother that I and all my household are Thank G-d alive and well. So may G-d grant to see……..Amen

Sedra Mishpatim before I expected a letter from you I sent you an akritke [2] and you surely got it just for the yahrtzeit 23rd Shevat. Afterwards Sedra T’rooma I got from you a big letter and read it with great joy. But I didn’t reply to you as I was still waiting for a reply from you to the akritke. And as I haven’t yet got from you any reply I come to let you know that I have great distress from you not writing me immediately any letter. For when I don’t get a letter from you soon then all my strength gets worn away. Therefore dear brother, I implore 1000s of times immediately not to postpone and to reply to me. For what I will write you in this akritke I write from the depths of my heart. In short, dear brother as I have here jogged along as a teacher to boys 24 seasons [3] so I have laid down my energies enough. Now for a season with boys and girls of the whole town. I thought perhaps this would be easier, for no person is after all his own enemy. In the end this is even more ugly. I have slaved a whole winter from 6 in the morning up to 12 in the evening. And just about perhaps if they will all pay, then I will have 65 roubles as my share. For the whole yoke [4] of toil has lain on me. As I used to be off from cheder 2 o’clock to give lessons up to 12 o’clock at night there has been nothing left at cheder. For at my partner’s nobody wanted to learn. So it all lay on me, and money he used to take equal to me. Therefore I had it so good [5] I was getting choked and strangled on all sides, and now too.

Therefore I have no choice. I must either before Pesakh or immediately after Pesakh be off to London. Perhaps there the One whose name is to be blessed will show me a way. For our sages have said in the Gemorrah “If one has it bad in one town he shall repair to another town.”  I am prepared to undertake any kind of crushing labour so as to get quit of Zaludek. I understand that even now is the best time to travel to London, for now there is work to be found. But I must beforehand write you a letter for I don’t know at the moment where I stand in the world. For a teaching job with boys I will not get any more in the summer. And girls are altogether mud. For Moyshke Elye’s is now also aiming at a girls’ cheder for the summer. So there will be 3 cats in one sack. But if I should be convinced that London is for me in no wise any good then I must buy a bit of a hut. For what is the good of rented accomodation?

It may be that today Yoshe Riva’s will bring me from Vilna my strachovna money 37 roubles net from 60. For Wednesday I sent the policy along with him to Vilna with the receipts with adovyerenostz so that he should get it back. At this moment he is not yet here. He could come before night so I will still jot you a note about it on the letter.

I beseech you loyal brother, do not be forgetful and at the earliest favourable moment of yours as you were loyal to me when you were in Skidl and write out to me a proper eytsah [6] what is better for me. For if I am to remain here for summer then I will buy myself a little hut and remain an eternal shlepper [7]. The girls are growing up. All the time a bigger spender………..of F…………..have I here today gornisht mit gornisht [8] only troubles and heartache from everyone separately. It is bitter and dark for me. I have nobody to talk my heart out. Chaim Chait has even muttered to me that you wrote him a letter that he come to London and for heaven’s sake not to persuade me to come to London. But I don’t believe Chaim, until he shows it to me written by your hand. Therefore I must know immediately after Purim which way to turn.

Also I might soon have it bad from your priviz [9] Because they did not accept [10] Mikhel for a deceased one, and though it cost me near to 5 roubles to make you nye izvyesne [11] none the less they will call you up to the priviz. Because one needs indeed to make 3 publikahtsyes [12] and I made only one. Therefore they will certainly shtrahfir Mikhel in 300 roubles in simenem spis. So they will certainly get onto me. Therefore the best way out for me in my opinion is to go to London. I will not sit on your head, G-d forfend!

And about Rachel Zlata I wrote to you that Sholevitz Betsakh at Hertsl with the Kretsim document for 100 roubles and Hertzl is thinking it over whether to take [it]. Because Zahyse has laid his head [13] there. And Hertzl has this year not done badly at home. Only that at the beginning it was terrible. In the matter of the pregnancy the wedding was at Shloyme ben Avigdor’s. And the boy Tsvi Y’huda, may he live, has also travelled to the wedding. The orphan is thank G-d doing well, would that it continue not worse though I haven’t seen him since Chanukkah. Also my son Tsvi lay ill for 8 days. He cost me a good few gulden. But now he plays beautifully thank G-d.

Also I let you know that the shokhet from here  Reb Lub [14] died in Y’rushalayim on Shabbes Sedra B’shallakh and before he died he sent word that his grandson Vinsa Elya, the orphan, the tailor came to him (which he did) and he was not with his grandpa there more than one week. And the grandson is still in Y’rushalayim with a certain tailor and his wage is 10 zhuvim (gulden) a week..

These are the words of your brother who sends his kind regards and waits for your letter.

Michl R’uveyn

[Note at the side]  I beg of you a favour. The young man Meir Zalman son of Itse Riva’s is going to London. He can stitch [15] well. For heaven’s sake write whether he needs with this also to sew by hand or not? He begged me much for heaven’s sake to write this.

[Note at the top] My wife and all my household send you kind regards. This letter you will receive on Purim day before the reading of the Megillah. For heaven’s sake beat Haman the Agagite and don’t spare him

NOTES by Rabbi Baum
[1] Friday (Back)
[2] Postcard (Back)
[3] 12 years ? (Back)
[4] Responsibility (Back)
[5]    ie ironical (Back)
[6]  Line of advice (Back)
[7] Tramp (Back)
[8] Absolutely nothing (Back)
[9] Recruitment to army service (Back)
[10] Allow? (Back) It appears that David had been trying to get Michael declared missing or dead for draft purposes, but had failed to follow the regulations precisely, leaving the family open to fines for Michael's failure to appear. -IN
[11] not known? (Back)
[12] advertisements? (Back)
[13] insisted? (Back)
[14]  or Leib (Back)
[15]  machine stitch? (Back)

NOTES  (Robert Craig)

Tsvi Y'huda is the son of  Dvora, and nephew to both the writer & recipient.  It's not clear if the reference to him as an orphan means that his mother had died since Card 3, [only a short time before] or if it means he was fatherless.   He was raised by his maternal grandfather, Avigdor the Feldsher.  Tsvi Y'huda emigrated to the US about 1905, but eventually moved to England to marry a cousin, daughter of his uncle David. (Back)

Copyright © 2000 Robert Craig
HTML by Irene Newhouse, ed. 6/21/2016

Lida District Home Page