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 Compiled by Deborah G. Glassman
First Posting by DGG Dec 2004, Updates July 2005, Nov 2007, Winter 2008, May 2008, Nov 2008, July 2009. Most recent update November 2009 There are around 250 separate pages on this site in 2009, All copyright of each page (unless designated elsewhere on the specific page) is retained to Deborah G. Glassman.
Copyright © 2004, 2005, 2007, 2008, 2009
Deborah G. Glassman

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Biographies from Lyakhovichi - (Investigations into the Jewish History of Lyakhovichi)

This is a page in the Biography section of our website. For a full list of articles in this category just click the button "Biographies" in the table in the left-hand column.

Rabbonim, Rebbes, and Crown Rabbis,
of Lyakhovichi
by Deborah G. Glassman
copyright, 2004, and all updates are also copyright

Note from the author - while I update the table and the notes about the rabbis, I have left the core article as I wrote it in 2004.

I started collecting the names of rabbis connected with Lyakhovichi around a year ago. I was interested in all people who carried that title and whatever documentation I could find, I copied. The sources were books and on-line publications, and whatever could be tracked down with a search engine. The result was a rough list of around thirty people beginning at the end of the eighteenth century and continuing to the twentieth. I submitted it to the long-time researchers on Lyakhovichi, Neville Lamdan and Gary Palgon, and they each made suggestions and the list grew. But this is a very rudimentary database in its earliest stages of development. Lyakhovichi’s earliest days as a Jewish community have not been researched. The oldest synagogue in existence in the twentieth century was said to date from the 1400s, even the late 1390s. The Jewish community helped make up the tax leveled on the Lithuanian Jewish communities in the 1520s and again in the 1560s. Prominent residents of Lyakhovichi appear in the records of the Grand Duke of Lithuania and in those of the municipal court of Kaunas in the 1550s. But for three hundred years, from the late 1400s to the 1790s, we do not yet know the name of a single religious official – rabbi, teacher, scribe, slaughterer, judge, or author. It is appropriate that the very first Rabbi that we documented is claimed proudly by both the traditional and hasidic schools – Rabbi Pinchas Horowitz of Frankfurt, who was rabbi in Lyakhovichi from 1764-1771. Lyakhovichi was in the forefront of Lithuanian modern orthodoxy and it was equally dominant in the role it played in the formative years of the Hasidic movement in Lithuania. Though further research has since moved Pinchas Horowitz out of the "first known" category, he remains a perfect blend of the Hasidic and traditional forms of Orthodoxy that typified Lyakhovichi until the Holocaust. As I toted up the list of the rabbis named in our few sources, Neville Lamdan had this comment – “What also emerges from the list is that Lechowitz had three sets of rabbis - Rabbonim, Rebbes and, in the 19th cent., Kazonni Ravvin ("Crown Rabbis" or rabbonim mi-ta'am). Those last are notable for their absence from your list, even though we know the names of a few of them - Sholom Uzkalin in 1850 or so, my great uncle Shmuel Yosef Mandel in the 1890's and a gentleman called Velvel Brimberg in the early 1900s.”

Three sets of leaders

The first – the Rabbis- were those who led the traditional orthodox community and who in the twentieth century held sway in what would be called the Kalter Shul. They are the oldest group, for three hundred and fifty years, they were the only group. They are the Rabbis, the rabbonim. We would expect to find different levels of scholarship: people who could sit on the Bet Din, people who could declare slaughtering knives fit, people who could write a valid get. Lyakhovichi was also bound by the seventeenth century ruling of the Council of Four Lands requiring that Jewish communities with more than one rabbi maintain a Yeshiva with the students being kept at the expense of the town, and we know of its existence in Lyakhovichi from graduates in the eighteenth century. The term RABBI was properly held by someone who had completed Yeshiva studies, studied with a noted rabbi and received a recognized rabbi’s recommendation for the title. A rabbinical contract would not be offered from any town to a rabbi who did not have those accreditations.

The second, were the leaders of those who followed the Hasidic teachings. In the 1770s, under Dov Ber The Great Maggid of Mezheritch, it was decided to spend considerable effort preaching Hasidus to the Lithuanian Jewish community. The earliest generation in Lithuania were Rabbi Aaron of Karlin and Rabbi Shlomo haLevi of Karlin, supported by their key men Rabbi Asher of Stolin and Rabbi Mordechai of Lechowitz (the Holy Elder of Lechowitz). Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Lyady (the Alter Rebbe, first of the Lubavitcher dynasty) was the able assistant of Mendel of Vitebsk who did the same work for the Northeasten portions of “Lithuania” from Minsk until Mendel emigrated to Eretz Israel in 1777. Mordechai of Lyakhovichi was arrested alongside the Alter Rebbe and Asher of Stolin in the Fall/Winter of 1798 for teaching Hasidim, and it is one of the miracles still cited, that the Czar set them free during Chanukah that year. Mordechai of Lyakhovichi is really the founder of at least three lines – Lechowitzer, Koidanover, and Slonimer Hasidic dynasties. And the Lechowitzer shuls were in towns all over Belarus as the twentieth century commenced. Each Hasidic leader was a REBBE rather than a rabbi. The term Rebbe is to be distinguished from the general title of respect “Reb.” To earn the title Rebbe the person first qualified as a Rabbi – completing Yeshiva studies, studied with a noted rabbi and received a recognized rabbi’s recommendation for the title. But in most Hasidic communities the title Rebbe was tied to the concept of a Tzaddik, a specially gifted leader, often of a family that could demonstrate its ancestral merit by having led a Hasidic group over generations. Lyakhovichi, which had several Hasidic shuls including a Lechowitzer shul, had a little rebbe for each one and each was a pupil and adherent of the Rebbe who led their particular Hasidic group.

The third, were the Crown Rabbis. The Russian government used all sanctioned religions as agents of the state. The Russian Orthodox priest was required to keep a register of births and deaths, the Mennonite minister was supposed to report on the comings and goings of his flock, the Catholic Church had long standing disputes with the Russian government about what they were recording in the registers about tenants on their land holdings. The Russians found the concept of a representative from the religious community who nevertheless was a state employee, a handy one. The person could be held to requirements of Russian literacy. He could function in the role of notary to the municipal authorities and to the justice of the peace (a court that handled cases under a certain monetary amount). He was expected to keep track of his people and to head off problems before they came to the government’s attention. He, like all Russian civil servants, was expected to augment a miniscule salary with hefty bribes but nevertheless, to walk the line which, in the Russian culture still constituted an honest employee. It was frequently claimed that the Russian government tried to foist the unlearned off on the community as “official rabbis.” This was because while the Russian government cared that the candidate have a university degree or had graduated from one of the two or three state “rabbinical” schools, they did not value a traditional rabbinic education. In reality most crown rabbis appear to have been capable, if not exemplary, students of Jewish law who were also conversant in Russian. Because of the low regard in which they were held by the Jewish community on matters of Jewish law, most towns with a crown rabbi also had a community rabbi. This is not to say they were regarded poorly on a character level – the fact that many filled essential Jewish communal posts such as mohel, community clerk, slaughterer, etc. says that they were men of good repute, just not necessarily learned enough for the critical role of community leader and judge. We don’t know much about the particular Crown Rabbis of Lyakhovichi. Elsewhere, they were generally conversant in a number of languages and literate in both Hebrew and Russian. They took fees for behaving as advocates in the lower courts and for creating legal Russian documents for their Jewish constituency. It was the Crown Rabbis who were primarily responsible for the keeping of Jewish civil record books, the metrecheski knigi, but the fines for non-compliance were against the Crown Rabbi, his assistant, and the elders of the synagogue to which the family belonged. Though the laws requiring the keeping of the metrecheski knigi were in effect in this part of Russia since the 1820s, they became the particular task of the crown rabbi in 1857. The Crown Rabbis were, almost uniformly, university graduates, and they were required to fill in paperwork for their position comparable to that of authorized teachers, so reportedly, there were employment files on each, and from the late nineteenth century photographs were taken of each as part of the file. And as state employees, pensions passed to their widows when they died, and claims about some of those pensions in other cities, survive.

Rabbi, Rebbe, or Kazonni Ravvin - appointment to the position of rabbi of a town in any of these roles, was always documented. Negotiations including salary and privileges had to be resolved. Responsibilities and hierarchies had to be established. A town usually had one main Rabbi, and a community large enough for multiple synagogues had rabbis for each of those shuls. A community with a Bet Din had a number of rabbis available at intervals, but some of those rabbis might have lived in surrounding communities and come to a central site at designated intervals. Despite the origin of the appointment, whether by the larger community, a particular shul, or an appointment by the government – all were properly titled Rabbis and that is how they are described below.

As you look at the list that follows, note that the tabulation is not complete in any of its elements. Often I have only the tiniest of sketches of important rabbis, and there are many that I haven’t even begun to detail. There was a Bet Din in Lyakhovichi in 1915, there were students at every one of the Yeshivot and each Bet Midrash, there were books written that I have not listed. Please help. Click on Contact anywhere on any page of our site, and send more info on this important piece of our past. We are trying to add pictures or title pages for each of these rabbis, so please share what you know and make copies of your photos and your book covers for us.

Additions and Corrections to the Table of Rabbis for July 2009
by Deborah Glassman, copyright 2008, 2009

All of the additions being added in this update are from the late nineteenth century and from the twentieth. They are men who served the community in Lyakhovichi; or who took their Lyakhovichi-training to serve as teachers and scholars in other cities; or who proudly referred to their Lyakhovichi roots or training in the biographies they shared with their communities. Some may not have been formally certified as rabbis - "smicha" usually translated as ordination, may not have been received. Others who held a certificate from a noted Yeshiva may have only been rabbis by virtue of their education, they may never have served formally in that capacity.

This set of additions was added in November 2008, it is further increased in number, detail, and some outright corrections in July 2009. Please help us add more. This Additions table is now ordered alphabetically.

  • Rabbi Boruch Abaranok - in Melbourne Australia; Judge Joseph Beder, whose father was born in Lyakhovichi, interviewed this Beder kinsman in the 1970s. Rabbi Baruch Abaranok was a noted Australian leader, instrumental in creating and administering the kashrut certifications that the observant Jewish community relied upon. He is quoted widely in literature related to kashrut and/or Jewish life in the Melbourne, Australia area. In the previous update, I mistakenly referred to Rabbi Yakov Abaranok - Rabbi Baruch was the son of Yakov Abaranok whose father was Morduch b. Isser Abaranok a well-established community leader who appears in the tax lists, the Revision Lists, and the community documents of our town between 1850 and 1884. Rabbi Baruch was born in Lyakhovichi, moved to Baranovichi around the time of World War I, and arrived in Australia in the 1930s. He had studied under the Chofetz Chaim and married the neice of the same great Rabbi. He died in Melbourne Australia at the age of 90 in 2001.
  • Rabbi Benjamin Aduchowsky This gentleman is still largely unknown to me. He came to Cleveland Ohio by way of Montreal in 1906. Three years later when he died at his Cleveland home on Scovill Avenue, his death certificate reported his occupation as "rabbi". We know that he was the son of Wolf Aduchowsky and both he and his father appear in the 1874 List of Males in Lyakhovichi. But we do not know anything else yet. Did he serve an American congregation? Did he in the U.S. give legal opinions, participate in a Bet Din, perform marriages, teach Talmud, pray in a particular shul? As a Russian rabbi, where did he serve, study, teach, decide, preside? Help us learn more!
  • Rabbi Rabbi Samuel James Aronchick appears in the book "Who's Who in Religion" in 1977. He is noted there primarily as a leader of congregations in Los Angeles California, but he was born in Lyakhovichi in 1903 to Abraham and Bessie (Kroshinsky) Aronchik. He immigrated to the US as a small child and was naturalized in 1919.
  • Educator William Chomsky His son's (Noam Chomsky) fame would soon outstrip his, but in the US Hebrew Education programs, this leader of Gratz College in Philadelphia, was renowned. A noted Hebrew educator who appears in multiple Who's Whos in World Jewry. He was born in Kopul but his family came from Lyakhovichi and he was educated in Lyakhovichi yeshivot.
  • Rabbi Shmuel Moshe Eisenstadt, Rabbi of LyakhovichiThis noted leader, was one of the sons of Rabbi Meir Eisenstadt whose father was Rabbi Moshe b Michael Eisenstadt the Av Beis Din of Kletsk at the end of the eighteenth century. When Rabbi Meir died around 1838, his son Rabbi Shmuel Moshe of Lyakhovichi was the first of his noted sons and grandsons. Rabbi Shmuel Moshe was the father of Rabbi Yudel and related by marriage to the saintly Rabbi Baruch Avraham Solaveichik, the Av Beis Din of Smolensk. - The info in this paragraph is paraphrased from the Kletsk Yiskor book which also relates this story quoting as its source its famous native son, the historian Benzion Eisenstadt: "It once happened that the sagely Rabbi Levi Yitzchak of Barditchev traveled from Pinsk (where he was the Rabbi and Av Beis Din). And when he passed by the city of Lyakhovichi escorted by his companions and confidants that morning, he urged the men who were with him to pray shaharit [the morning prayers] right then. They asked him: Our Master, why do you rush us to pray here, are we not also able to pray when we arrive in Kletzk, without being late for the time for prayer and reading of the Shema? Rabbi Levi Yitzchak answered them: - It is incumbent on us to pray before we arrive in Kletzk for the holy Rabbi Moshe is here, so we should arrive to that city entirely prepared … " Source - The Kletsk Yiskor book
  • Rabbi Moshe/Morris Gitlin - rabbi in Windsor Ontario; first formal rabbi of Congregation Shaarey Zedek of Windsor Ontario in 1904. Moshe Gitlin was a bookbinder in his daily life in Lyakhovichi but memories of him leading his group of Hasids in Lyakhovichi survive from the 1890s. An anecdote of this famously quiet, slow to speak Hasid, being celebrated by other members of his congregation in a raucous Simcha Torah event of the 1890s, was mentioned in the memoir in our Biography section Lyakhovichi, pre-1914 aka "My Devastated Shtetl". When the Windsor Ontario congregation succeeded in acquiring a building for a synagogue, they pushed to get a real rabbi, not just a Torah reader, and they offered the position to Rabbi Gitlin who was from Lyakhovichi and who had received smicha in Pinsk. Moshe Gitlin and his wife and children arrived in Canada ready to lead the community here as they had done in their little shteible in Lyakhovichi. But the Windsor community was not as cohesive. According to a history of the community, the disputes among members were so raucous that the police were often called to break things up, and the court news was full of fights, charges, and slanders, from one member of the community against another. Eventually quiet Morris Gitlin decided this was not for him. He had been making his living in Windsor as rabbi, shochet and bodek (kosher slaughterer and inspector), and religious teacher. He moved with his family to Detroit, just across the border, and earned his living with the last two professions there. Source - "The Jews of Windsor Ontario"; the immigration records of Morris and of his wife, "My Devastated Shtetl by Avrom Lev, the property records of Lyakhovichi; more
  • Rabbi Joseph Selig Glick This is another of the rabbis that we can claim by virtue of the drawing power of the Lyakhovichi yeshivot. Rabbi Glick appears in the 1904 "Who's Who in Pennsylvania" as a Pittsburg area rabbi who was born in 1851 in Patzumel, Kovno guberniya, Russia. it specifies that he studied first at the Yeshiva of Keidan, then at the yeshiva of Rabbi Levi Joseph Gordon of Shavel, and finally at the yeshiva of Lechovitz, Minsk guberniya. While living there he married Eva Rabinowitz. He moved to Boguslav, Kiev guberniya in 1871 and taught at the Government School. When he arrived in the US after the Russian anti-Jewish riots in 1887, he started a magazine, a newspaper, and organized the first Zionist Society in Pittsburg, where he had settled on arrival. Since Rabbi Glick married in Lyakhovichi, he may have had aprevious family connection to the town, there were Glicks in Lyakhovichi in the 1870s. Source - "Who's Who in Pennsylvania, 1904"
  • Rabbi Joshua "Avraham Yehoshua" Joffe Genealogies are written not just of families but of ideas. There is a great project tracing the connections between teachers of mathematics that carefully traces those "genealogies." A similar inquiry into lines of smicha, education, and influence, would put this first instructor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City, in a powerful role. Along with the many other students influenced by Rabbi Joshua Joffe, was the later renowned Rabbi Mordechai Kaplan, founder of the Reconstructionist movement. We have a picture of Joffe with his first class of students in the 1890s. Joffe was not born in Lyakhovichi but in Nesvizh; he came to Lyakhovichi to study, and then moved on the Yeshiva in Volozhin, and received smicha in 1881 by the great Rabbi I.J. Reiness. He got additional degrees in Berlin, and the newly established Jewish Theological Seminary felt itself lucky to have acquired such a highly educated and well-regarded individual for its program in 1892. There is a long bio with educational background, writings, and affiliations in the American Jewish Year Book of 1903. The article appears in full below: Joffe, Joshua Abraham. Instructor in Talmud, especially Rabbinical Jurisprudence, Jewish Theological Seminary of America, at New York, since 1902. Born February 2, 1862, Nesvizh, Minsk, Russia. Son of Passah Joffe. Talmudic education received in Nesvizh, Lechowitz, Selvde, and Volosin. Rabbinical authorization conferred by I. J. Reiness, 1881, and the " Hochschule" of Berlin, 1888. Officiated as rabbi in Vishnove, 1880, and in Moabit (a suburb of Berlin), 1889-1892. Pursued courses in philosophy under Paulsen, Zeller, and Lazarus; in history under Erdman and Treitschke; and in Semitics under Sachau and Diteritzi, at the University of Berlin, 1886-1890. Came to America, 1892; preceptor in Talmud and Rabbinical Ethics, Jewish Theological Seminary, 1892-1902; instructor in Hebrew and Jewish Ethics, Hebrew Orphan Asylum, since 1893. Author: Emendationen in Talmud und Midrasch (in Israel), 1885; Zu Rappaport's Erech Millin (in Israel), 1886; Beitrage zur Geschichte der Amoraim (Berliner's Magazin), 1885; En Yafeh (specimens of a Talmudic Concordance not yet completed), 1885; Le-Toledot ha- Amoraim, 1886; Biography of Graetz (Rab Poalim Mekabziel), 1887; Gabra de-Moreh Mesayeh (in Ha-Asif), 1887; Metibe Zaad va-Leket (in Ha-Asif), 1887; Al ha-Halifot ve-ha-Temurot (in Ha-Zeflrah), 1887-1889; M. Lazarus, 1894; H. Steinthal, 1893, and Salvation without Noise, 1898 (in American Hebrew), 1898; Spirit of Judaism (in Hebrew Standard), 1896; Beni u-ben Chomi (in Jewish Exponent), 1901. Correspondence, editorial articles, etc., in various periodicals. Address: 530 West 123d, New York.
  • Rabbi Zundel Karelitz or Karelitzky Rabbi Zundel the son of Shamke [possibly a variant of Samson or Simkha] son of Shaya Shmuel, was called in Lyakhovichi, "Rebbe Zundel Gedaliyah's",because his father-in-law Gedaliah provided the funds for the family's support. Gedaliah's daughter Zipa eventually became the primary breadwinner for herself, her husband, and their large family, when her father retired. Zundel's scholarly knowledge was legendary, but according to Avram Lev, communicating in Russian was for him "like splitting the Red Sea, an impossibility". See this first page of Lyakhovichi, pre-1914 aka "My Devastated Shtetl" which tells of Zundel trying to interact with a Russian police officer in his wife's tailor shop. You can see a picture of Zundel on this page, but a family picture showing Zundel, Zipa, their children and Zundel's father-in-law Gedaliah appears on our page Photos of Lyakhovichi Families
  • Reb Yitzhak Lubetsky Not a rabbi, but a Baal Torah for the fledgling young congregation in Windsor Ontario from c.1899-1904. He had a farm in the Belle River area but the local newspapers referred to this eager young man as the "High Holy day Rabbi" for Windsor before the congregation had a building or had a rabbi with smicha. Source - "The Jews of Windsor Ontario"
  • Rabbi Pinchas Malowicki, the Lechowitzer Rebbe in America aka the Slonimer Rebbe in America Born in 1870 to the Lechowitzer Rebbe, Rabbi Noahke - his brother Rabbi Jochanan became the leader of Lechovicher Hasidim as a whole and Rabbi Pinchas eventually undertook the care of those in America. Both brothers continued the strong ties to the Slonimer Hasidic community that made them part of both family and shared chassidus. Both men married daughters of the household of the Slonimer Rebbe - Rabbi Pinchas marrying Leah, the daughter of the renowned "Divrei Shmuel" Rebbe Shmuel Weinberg (sometimes written as Weinberger). The ties between both groups grew stronger in this period, and Baranovichi, the home of the Slonimer Rebbes, was the home of Rabbi Pinchas as well After World War I when Rabbi Pinchas was asked to reach out to the Slonimer-Lechovicher community that had already settled in the US, he emigrated to the US with an adult daughter and son-in-law (Rabbi Hirsch Landau, the Aliker Rebbe). Full of faith that he would be sustained and that his wife and adult children were well settled, he felt that could do what needed to be done and hopefully, return. Lechovichers and Slonimers in the US were living in cities as far apart as Detroit and New York City, Cleveland and Louisville Kentucky, and seeing this scion of Lechovich who epitomized learning and belief was incredibly important to those fortunate enough to have him stop in their communities. He died in the US while traveling to meet the needs of his far-flung congregation and his wife and children were murdered in the Holocaust, with only occassional survivors among his grandchildren. While I filled in information from newspaper sources of the day, I am immensely grateful to the rebbetzin Elisheva Malowicki who provided a great deal of information on Rabbi Pinchas, her husband's great-grandfather.
  • Rabbi Yehiel Michael Tukachinsky 1872-1955 was one of the great Rabbis of Eretz Israel in the 20th century. His parents were Rabbi Aron Tukachinsky son of Shebsel and Aron's wife Toyba. Michael was born in Lyakhovichi, and he emigrated to Eretz Israel before 1900. He appears in the Russian records from 1874 as Michael Aronovich Tukachinsky. His family was not wealthy, owned no property, and are not among the taxpayers of Lyakhovichi in 1884. Aron Shebshelovich Tukachinsky rented a home on Mislobshskaya Street in Lyakhovichi and in addition to his wife and two reported sons, appears there in 1874 sharing the home with an elder brother and that brother's family. Later that brother appears in the 1884 tax records, but Aron never does. Since Michael eventually named a son with the name Nison Aron, his father may have also had that double name, but Michael's father is too poorly documented in Lyakhovichi records for us to be sure. The other possibility is that Aron died before he was forty and so his name was combined with a close relative's to create a memorial name for a grandchild that was considered more fortunate. We just do not yet know. Michael Tukachinsky became a renowned writer on issues ofimportance to those who delighted in the intricacies of Torah observance while living in the land of Israel. He wrote commentaries on the fallow year, on the infrequent occurence of the opportunity to say the birkat hashamesh, and on issues related to death and mourning that are quoted frequently in internet references today. He was of a Lyakhovichi family that had been merchants in the town since the days of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but his personal scholarship, distinguished his family in his generation. Mordechai and Nechemya Tukachinsky sons of Shevel [Saul] led the community in the early 1900s owning substantial businesses and heading up community charity programs but they were not closer than second cousins to Rabbi Michael. But it was because of his scholarship that he was frequently cited as an example of the excellence of Lyakhovichi Yeshivot, and that scholarship was cited among the reasons he was chosen as s the son-in-law of the Chief Ashkenazic Rabbi of Jerusalem Rabbi Samuel Salant. I had found a Hebrew wikipedia entry on him with a complete bibliography and a photograph different than the one we have on FaceIndex, but my screen shot of it was damaged, I can't find it with my English spellings and I am uncertain of the Hebrew. I am looking for another chance to review it - can you help me find it? I am also looking for a book dedication in which he names his teachers and education. He wrote an article for the Yiskor book that I hope we can translate before the next update. In the meantime, check back at least for an updated publication list that will be added this week.
  • Rabbi Leibel Melamed of Lechowicze in 1759 Sometimes the titles of manuscripts and references are fascinating. In reviewing the Territorial collection of YIVO's Archives, a group of material that included Wolkovisk early 20th century material, had an article about the Frankist disputations of the 1760s. The behaviors promulgated by the those who followed the teachings of Jacob Frank, caused chaos and suspicion throughout the Jewish world and one of those cited who engaged in a Frankist disputation in Lvov [Lemberg 1750](can't tell on which side) is Rabbi Leibel Melamed of Lechowicze. I also can't tell if this is Lechowicze in the Ukraine or ours in Minsk guberniya.

    by Deborah G. Glassman, copyright 2004
    A Work in Progress

    Surname, Name, Dates

    Misc Details

    All of the Rabbis who served between the 1390s and the 1720s

    We might find some listed in the records of the Council of Lithuania which functioned in “the provinces of Brest, Grodno, and Pinsk," from the 1500s. They might have been chosen as representatives from their districts, they might have had a decision overturned, they might have signed a petition from their community, etc. Two manuscript copies exist at the Vernadsky Library which have been microfilmed by the Central Archives for the History of the Jewish people. The historian, Simon Dubnow, wrote a study of this document, but I don’t know whether it includes the names of the rabbis mentioned in the original documents or if there is any analysis of what towns and cities they represented.
    We might find others mentioned in the estate records of the Polish nobility. Typically the house of the rabbi was exempt from tax and further, most nobility supported a deduction by the town for salaries used to pay Jewish functionaries.
    We might find others mentioned in the records of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania functionaries from Wowoides to the Sejm.

    All discoveries will be credited to their finder and published gratefully!

    NO KNOWN SURNAME, Rabbi Asher, rabbi in Lyakhovichi until c.1748

    Mentioned in a ten page article on his successor Rabbi Libla MAGID in article by Dr. Avigdor Grinspan in Lyakhovichi Yizkor book.
    Rabbi Libla Magid and Rabbi Azriel Gavza, began their joint administration in 1748 and both died in 1773. If no overlap in time, Asher ended his leadership in 1748. Said to be rabbi of the "old shul" in Lyakhovichi - the Kalte Shul, which was supposed to date from the 1390s or early 1400s. The Groyser Beis Midrash was built in the mid eighteenth century after the time of Rabbi Asher.

    GAVZA, Rabbi Azriel
    Rabbi Lyakhovichi 1748-1773

    Subject of biography newly written on our website. Go to The Creation of a Torah Academy in Lyakhovichi in 1748 which is in large part, a biography of Azriel Gavza. Several of his grandchildren were called Moshe Azriel, as was a contemporary said to be a cousin of Azriel Gavza’s, so his full name may have been Moshe Azriel Gavza and in the custom of the time, he would be called by his second name.

    His son Shaya is called “son of the Rabbin” in the 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census and later some of his line used the term Rabin-ovich as well as Gavza as surnames. Gavza may not have been a surname for him, but rather a patrynomic –Govzey is one of the forms that Joshua took in the region. Both Azriel and his son Shaya are called by the title "Rabbin."

    He is mentioned in the article on Libla Magid by Dr. Avigdor Grinspan in the Yizkor book, which states that Rabbi Libla Magid was buried next to his friend Rabbi Azriel Gavza who died earlier that same year of 1773. He and Libla Magid are said to be the rabbis who were in place when the Groyser Beis Midrash was built. The new synagogue was designed to house study societies from all strata of Lyakhovichi Jewish life, and Rabbi Eliezer Heifetz, Rosh Yeshiva in Brest-Litovsk, sent both men to the town to open a Torah school and widen Jewish studies among the populace. It is not clear that the two projects – new synagogue and new Yeshiva are linked, but the driving forces were Libla and Azriel.

    Should be found in the 1764 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census Extant for Lyakhovichi; may be mentioned in the records of the Vaad Medinat Lita – Council of Lithuania, if Rabbi Eliezer Heifetz of Brest-Litovsk's Yeshiva, who selected him to head the Lyakhovichi Academy, put out some kind of resolution about the new venture in 1748.

    MAGID, Rabbi Libla
    (b-d1773) Rabbi in Lyakhovichi 1748-1773

    Subject of a ten page article in Yizkor Book by Avigdor Grinspan as told by Rabbi Hersh MAS of Lyakhovich. [still in Hebrew, we could use a volunteer to translate the chapter].
    See the joint biography on Azriel Gavza and Libla Maggid on our website. Go to The Creation of a Torah Academy in Lyakhovichi in 1748 with significant biographical detail on Azriel Gavza

    Grinspan states that Libla Magid was buried in the cemetery of Lyakhovichi next to his friend Rabbi Azriel Gavza. It states that Libla was proceeded by one Rabbi Asher and followed by another Rabbi Asher in 1790.

    Both of the Ashers are specifically mentioned as serving the “old synagogue”, that is the Kalte shul which purportedly dated to the fourteenth or fifteenth century. But Libla Magid and Azriel Gavza’s synagogue is not mentioned. If the report that the Groyser Beis Midrash was built in the mid eighteenth century is correct, and that it was built specifically to hold additional study groups and possibly Yeshiva classes, then Rabbi Libla Magid and Rabbi Azriel Gavza may have been the rabbis who organized the building of the new shul. (See notes on the page of the biography named above)

    Magid is a title meaning "preacher" and it was descriptive rather than as surname for Rabbi Libla.

    HOROWITZ, Rabbi Pinchas haLevi of Frankfort
    Rabbi Lyakhovichi 1764-1771

    A famous scholar and author, subject of biographical articles in a number of encyclopedias and individual studies. He had just three postings after he completed his studies under the Great Maggid, Dov Ber of Mezheritch. First he was rabbi in Vitkova, then he was rabbi in “Lecovitch” and finally in 1772, he accepted an appointment as Rabbi of Frankfurt am main, where he served as “Chief Rabbi” until his death in 1805.
    Frequently called Baal Hafla’ah, that is author or master of hafla’ah, for the title of his most famous book. His books include Hafla'ah and HaMikneh (on Talmud and halacha), and Panim Yafot (on Torah)

    He and his brother Rabbi Shmelke Horowitz, later called “of Nikolsburg”, had studied under the great hasidic leader, Rabbi Dov Ber, the Maggid of Mezheritch Trained and lived as a Hasid, but considered a great traditional scholar. One of his students was the Hatam Sofer (Moses Schreiber) who was responsible for leading the movement of modern orthodoxy. Moses Schreiber inherited the mantle of protector of Orthodoxy from his father-in-law, Rabbi Akiva Eger, who with the Vilna Gaon was the great bastion of traditional studies in the eighteenth century. But he was always considered a light of the Hasidic world as well.

    After this first info was posted in Jan 2005, the Frankfurt Jewish Museum posted a page on him that included the fact that he was born in Lechwitz Poland in 1730 and they cite the work of scholars who documented the origin of many Frankfurt Jews. He has been described by most other writers as having been born in Czortkow in 1725/1730 where his father Zvi Hersh Horowitz was rabbi. A recent claim was made in 2007, that his Lechowitz was the one in Volhynnia, not Poland-Lithuania. Supporting documentation would be a great help in coming to useful conclusions.

    His son who succeeded him to the Frankfurt rabbinate is said to have been born during Pinchas's posting to Vitkova, so Pinchas would have been a young married man with a family when he arrived in Lyakhovichi with his small children running up and down the open spaces of the large new synagogue or looking awe-struck at the carved lions of the Kalte shul. Since his son also was a noted rabbi who left a rich collection of writings, he may have written about his own memories of our town, and material by both men may help us better understand the role of our town in their lives.

    NO KNOWN SURNAME, Rabbi Asher, rabbi in Lyakhovichi, 1770s-until 1793

    The biography of Rabbi Libla Magid by Grinspan, mentioned above, states that Libla was immediately followed by Rabbi Asher who was rabbi here until his own death in 1790.

    There are no living adults named Asher/ Osher or Azer/Ozer in the 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census of our town, though there are a few, as patrynomics. But the first family listed is that of a Zelig ben Shmuil and Zelig is a common Yiddish co-name to the Hebrew name of Asher. Perhaps, when enough data from this census is publicly dispersed we can determine what kind of family was generally listed first. I don’t know anything about the second family, but the third is clearly labeled Rabbi (that of Shaya Gavza, rabbi in Lyakhovichi until his death in 1793. )

    NO PROVEN SURNAME, Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi, the Holy Elder of Lyakhovichi
    (bc1742-d13Shevat 1810 Stolin)
    Rabbi here 1770s-1810

    Mordechai’s children used the surname MALOVITSKY, which was a surname in use in Lyakhovichi by at least one local family from the 1730s.

    "Rebbe Mordechai of Lechovitz" aka Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi (1742-1810) founder of the Lechowitz, Koidanover, Kobrin and Slonim dynasties Please see his biography at Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi
    He was the first of the dynasty of tzaddakim originating in “Lechovitz.” He always told his chassidim that he learned Torah from R' Aharon of Karlin, who taught him Torah from the heart.
    Though he had more sons, he was followed into the rabbinate by his son Rav Noach (Rabbi Noah of Lyakhovichi) who succeeded him, and his son Rav Aron, who died young, leaving small children including a son, Shlomo Haim, who was raised from aged three to thireen by Mordechai.

    He organized Karliner Hasidim’s Lithuanian outreach, he went into exile with Shlomo of Karlin and went to jail alongside the Alter Rebbe of Lubavich. But he did not write down his own teachings, or those he had received from Aaron of Karlin or Shlomo of Karlin in the name of the Baal Shem Tov. His student, Moshe of Kobrin, who studied with Mordechai and then Mordechai’s son Noach, was the first to write the stories.

    Mordechai and his son Noach are called by the last name Perlov in some reference works but his sons Noah, Shmuel, Berko, and Shlomo used the surname Malovitch in the 1816 Revision List of Lyakhovichi, and Malovitsky thereafter. Mordechai is sometimes described as with the patronym of Noah, but I have not seen reference to an autograph or life-time contemporary using that name about him.
    Mordechai appears in Otzar haRabbanim as #OR13901 and is cross-referenced in the entries of his sons Rabbi Noach of Lechowitz and Rabbi Aaron of Lechowitz.
    He is the subject of an article in Lyakhovichi’s Yizkor book "The Holy Grandfather(or Elder) of Lekhovitz and the Gaon Rabbi Israel of Ivenetz” which describes the conflict between the Hasid Rabbi Mordechai and his mitnagid opponent, Israel of Ivenetz, who later became a famous disciple of the Mordechai.

    It lists his pupils as Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin; Rabbi Joel of Tzipli; Rabbi Michael of Bykhov. The next article in that book devoted entirely to him included Rabbi Israel of Ivenitz and Rabbi Abraham of Slonim among his students.

    NO KNOWN SURNAME, Rabbi Israel of Ivenetz
    Rabbi in Lyakhovichi 1770s

    Originally from Ivenetz, then to Minsk. He studied under Rabbi Haim of Volozhin See article in Yizkor Book entitled "The Holy Elder of Lekhovitz and the Gaon Rabbi Israel of Ivenetz.

    Please help me learn more about this scholar!

    MELAMED, Friedman, rabbi? Was definitely a teacher
    In Lyakhovichi in 1770s

    Named in the Slutsk Chevra kadisha burial record of his wife in August 1774 who is described as the wife of Friedman Melamed of Lekhvitch. "Melamed" is the occupation of teacher and there were few people in Lyakhovichi with hereditary last names in this time period, but his sons may have taken their surname from his. A Rabbi, Iser Melamed is named in records in 1807 and 1809 and his sons were reported with that name.

    It is interesting that this first reported melamed comes during a time in which the new synagogue in Lyakhovichi was built and 2 Rabbis were sent to Lyakhovichi to start a Yeshiva. Were Friedman Melamed and Rabbi Israel Melamed, so named because they were teachers at the Yeshiva level?

    When the 1764 Grand Duchy of Lithuania census becomes available, we would expect to see Friedman or its common co-name Solomon, and the title Melamed or Szkolnik in Lyakhovichi. We should also find if other early records of Slutsk, before 1774 exist, as we don’t know when he came to Slutsk from Lyakhovichi.

    GAVZA, Rabbi Shaya
    b c1730-d.by1796, Rabbi in Lyakhovichi 1760s?-1793

    This Lyakhovichi native followed his father into the role of leading Rabbi of Lyakhovichi. He is just called "Rabbin" in the 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania census where he appears with his wife, married son and daughter-inlaw, and unmarried son and unmarried daughter. His usage of the name Rabin gave the Gavza family a double name for over a hundred years: in the 1870s it was documented as both GAVZA and Rabinowitz.

    His actual Hebrew name was Schmuel Isaiah son of {Moshe?] Azriel Gavza, and the Schaya was short for Isaiah. Each of his three sons and known daughters named a son Shmuel Schaya, in his memory. See the chart in The Creation of a Torah Academy in Lyakhovichi in 1748 which has significant biographical detail on Azriel Gavza, his son Schaya, and other>

    Schaya appears as the head of the third family, in the list of householders of the 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census. Shaya Gavza is shown on that census with a wife and three children home including one married son and a daughter-in-law. We know of at least one more son already married in 1794

    MELAMED, Rabbi Y[Yisrael] Iser

    The entries in the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha for Moshe Melamed (Nov 1807) and for Feibish Melamed (March 1809) described both as sons of Rabbi Israel Iser Melamed of Lekhevitch. So, they are probably each using “Melamed,” as a surname rather than an occupation. Feibish Melamed's entry specifically refers to Israel Iser as rabbi, so regardless of the teaching roles of the sons, we know that he played a significant role in the community. We do not yet know whether I. Iser Melamed and the Friedman Melamed who lived in the 1770s shared more than an occupation between them, but Friedman's son may have become a rabbi and passed his father's occupation onto his sons as a surname.

    There are no men reported as Iser in the 1784 Census, but one Izrael is reported as a doctor. If Doctor can be understood as "Doctor of Jewish law" or Yeshiva professor, in this time and place, then they may be the same person.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Israel, “Doctor”
    Reported in 1784

    He one of two men reported as “Doktor” in Lyakhovichi in the 1784 GDL Census. A third man is given the only title clearly connected to medicine. Doctor may be a medical title or it may be more comparable to a Professor or Doctor of Jewish law. In this time period, the Polish usage of this word is often associated with university professors and Lyakhovichi is said to have had a newly constructed mitnagid Yeshiva from the 1750s. If the two men called Doctor are elsewhere title Melamed it might be an indication of a connection. But the name Israel is very common and the fact that there is a known Rabbi named Rabbi Israel Melamed in this period is far from conclusive.

    David son of Leizer “Doctor”
    In 1784

    He one of two men reported as “Doktor” in Lyakhovichi in the 1784 GDL Census and both are reported separately from a third man with the medical title of surgeon.


    The page image places the job title “Szkolnik “ directly after Meir’s first name as if a surname, but it certainly can be an occupational title. Szkolnik can mean teacher or a functionary of a synagogue. Since the name Meir and Feivish are frequently co-names, it is possible that this is the Feivish Melamed [Melamed means teacher in Hebrew] who died in March 1809 in the city of Slutsk, the son of Rabbi Israel Iser Melamed of Lekhevitch. Meir is the only szkolnik listed in the Census for Lyakhovichi in 1784. There is no patrynomic provided. Unless we find him in an 1805 Revision List of Slutsk, or the 1805 Revision List for Lyakhovichi is uncovered, we will probably not determine his father’s name.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Morduch, assistant Rabbi of Lyakhovichi in 1784

    He is listed so far on a single document, and no patrynomic is given to make him easy to identify on other documents that might be applicable – 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census

    Abram son of Juda, chazzan/ Cantor of Lyakhovichi in 1784

    Listed so far only on a single document 1784 Grand Duchy of Lithuania Census . It would be interesting to determine if the surname Chazzanovich in Lyakhovichi traces to a particular Chazzan in a particular time period, as the name Rabinovich traces to the sons of Rabbin Schaya Gavza. Have you done research on Chazzanovich in Lyakhovichi, do you have any info to share?

    Rabbi Noah of Lyakhovichi
    (b1774-d.8Tishri 1832/ 5533)
    He began leading the Lechowitzer Hasidim in 1810 at age 36 and did so until his death at age 58, but since he was educated in the town , he may have spent his entire life in the community.
    The 2 nd Lechowitzer Rebbe

    Key leader in the formation of the Kobrin, Lyakhovichi, and Slonim schools of Hasidim. He was the second leader of the Lechovitzer dynasty. He had been a pupil of his father Rabbi Mordechai the Holy Elder of Lyakhovichi. Noach was called the “Elijah of Lechowitz.”

    He appears in the 1816 Revision List as Nevach son of Mordukh Malovich. He was age 30 in 1811, and is 35 in 1816. His wife Bluma is listed as 32 in 1816 and the 1811 ages of women were not given in this 1816 enumeration. His son-in-law and successor, Mordechai lived with him in this period but it is not clear if it is Mordechai ben Chonon of 1811 or Moshe Mordechai ben Ber of 1816, his son-in-law is given several different patrynomics by his biographers. Noah was supposed to be the oldest child among his siblings, which might be supported by the fact that in the 1811 and 1816 Revision Lists, (after his father’s death in 1810), three younger men with the same surname, some with spouses and children, lived in the household he headed. His brother Rabbi Aron of Lyakhovichi had predeceased their father. It is also worth considering the possible connections to his wife’s family. If you will look at the listing for Shlomo Haim of Koidanov whose marriage was arranged by Noah’s father (Shlomo Haim was the son of Noah’s brother), you will see he took care to bring important Hasidic lineages together. Later Noah was supposed to have wed his daughter to an even better connected Hasidic family (see listing for Mordechai II of Lyakhovichi). So what was Bluma Malovitsky’s heritage? Is there any record of anyone called Rabbi Noah's father-in-law?Do you have any info you can share?

    We know that he studied with his father Mordechai and his brother Aron, and his successors said that education was in the Yeshiva at Lyakhovichi. He did not himself, write down his teachings, which were passed on and written down by Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin. He had many noted pupils including Moshe of Kobrin, Abraham of Slonim, Mordechai II of Lyakhovichi.

    He appears in Otzar haRabbanim as #OR15811 and is cross-referenced in the listing for his father Mordechai. He is cited by his pupil Moshe of Kobrin repeatedly and appears in many contemporary Hasidic writings. He is the subject of an article in the Yizkor Book where he is called Rabbi Noah (the Elder) son of Rabbi Mordechai of Lekhovitz. It quotes the writings about Rabbi Noah of two of his famous pupils Moshe of Kobrin and Abraham of Slonim. He was suceeded in the leadership of the Hasidim by his son-in-law Rabbi Mordechai the Second of Lyakhovichi, but after his death the followers of Noah's father split into more groups. His nephew Shlomo Haim who had been raised by Mordechai of Lyakhovichi waited until Noah died to begin leading what would be called "the Koidanovers," as did those who led the Slonim and Kobrin traditions, Abraham Isaac Weinberg and Moshe of Kobrin.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Rabbi Isaac son of Wolf
    Rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1798

    He studied in Lyakhovichi and possibly also in Karlin. He was the son in law of Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi, the Holy Elder of Lechowitz. First mentioned as an intermediary when Mordechai and his colleagues were imprisoned in 1798, communicating between Mordechai and his followers. Yitzhak served as personal emissary of Rebbe Mordechai of Lechowitz who used him to reach out to the Lechovitzer communites throughout Lithuania including Vilna. He was also a shtadlen, a collector of funds for the Hasidic communities in Eretz Israel.
    If he is the same as the Isaac ben Wolf son of Yankel mentioned in the 1784 Census, then he was unmarried and living with his parents in 1784 in the town of Lyakhovichi. If his bride was around the age of her brothers, then he was probably born in the early 1770s and was around twenty-eight when being given such key responsibilities by his father-in-law.

    Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin
    in Lyakhovichi 1810s-1833

    He was a dedicated follower of Rabbi Mordechai the Holy Elder of Lyakhovichi and later of Mordechai’s son Rabbi Noah. It was not until 1833 that he accepted the role of Amdur of Kobrin, prior to that he spent most of his time in Lyakhovichi.

    The book that he wrote, Imrot Taharot,
    is said to be the first writings of the teachings of Rabbis Mordechai and Noah of Lechovitz. He is considered the founder of the Slonim Dynasty which was led first by his pupil Abraham of Slonim and then by Moshe’s grandson Noah-Naftali of Kobrin.He appears in Otzar haRabbanim as # OR15005 and is cross-referenced to his son’s listing Israel Jacob Paler #OR12225.

    In a story in his yahrtzeit is cited as 1851, not 1858. His last name is given variously as PALER, FALER, PELIER, PELLIER. Some of his descendants are said to have used PALEVSKY which was a surname in Lyakhovichi until the twentieth century. Please see a new Family Tree that includes Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin and his father on our page Ancestor Trees of Jewish Lyakhovichi

    MALOVICH/MALOVITSKY, Rabbi Aron of Lyakhovichi
    He lived in Lyakhovichi prior to his marriage, and then in Stolin.

    He was the son of Rabbi Mordechai the Holy Elder of Lyahovichi. It is said that he was named for his father’s dear teacher and mentor Rabbi Aron of Karlin who died in 1772, in any case Aron of Lechovich is remembered as dying very young in his father’s lifetime.

    He appears in Otzar haRabbanim as # OR1632. He is usually just referred to as Rebbe Aron or as "the father of the Koidanover." He is cross referenced in the listing for his father and in that of his son the first Koidanover Rebbe. That he could achieve a high level of recognition for his Torah knowledge before his death at 28-30 speaks greatly of his talents.

    He married the daughter of the Karlin/Stolin Hasidic leader, Asher Perlov of Karlin #OR3525 who was the son-in-law of Nahum Twersky of Makarov. (This is not Aron the Great nor his grandson Aron the Second). Aron of L echovich died as a young man in his father's lifetime. He left small children including one son, Shlomo Haim, who was raised by Aron's father Mordechai of Lyakhovichi. Aron's son Shlomo Haim had his betrothal arranged by his grandfather, Mordechai of Lyakhovichi, to the grandchild of both of Mordechai's teachers - the daughter of Shlomo of Karlin had been married to the son of Asher of Karlin and their children included the daughter who married Shlomo Haim. Shlomo Haim used her surname Perlov which had also been the surname of his mother. I have not seen a contemporary signature for Aron though biographers tend to call him Perlov as well.

    Aron was probably living in Stolin at his death as his father was said to have been buried near him when Rebbe Mordechai died on a trip to Stolin in 1810.

    STILBENS?, Rabbi Eleazar of Gorodok

    19th century rabbi of Gorodok; educated in Lyakhovichi, Rabbi of Gorodok.

    He is listed in Otzar haRabanim as OR2880 and called there "Neked" (grandson or great-grandson or descendant) of Rabbi Kalman of Halusk who was a descendant of Rabbi Pinchas Zelig who was Rosh Medina of the Klaus of Brisk (Brest-Litovsk) in the 17th century. He is cross-referenced in the OR articles on his father OR17605 and his son OR18210 Rabbi Sholom Stilbens who died in 1869.

    PERLOV, Rabbi Shlomo Haim of Koidanov
    ( 1797- d. 17 Av 1862)
    Raised in Lyakhovichi, studied in Lyakhovichi Lechowitzer Yeshiva but not rabbi there;

    He was the son of Rabbi Aron of Lechowitz, who died when Shlomo Haim was very small. He was raised by his grandfather Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi, from the age of three until he was thirteen. The year he was Bar Mitzvah, he was betrothed in a dynastic match by his grandfather Rebbe Mordechai. The girl was the paternal granddaughter of Rabbi Aaron of Karlin and the maternal granddaughter of Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin, both of the important teachers of Rebbe Mordechai.

    His wedding date is given as the same date as his grandfather's passing - the 13 Shevat 1810, with the explicit statement that Mordechai died the day the wedding was to take place. In addition to the personal insights into Shlomo Haim's life this contributes, a marriage age of thirteen for a young man gives significant data on the practices of the Hasidic community, at least as it relates to the family of the tzaddikim. Shlomo Haim studied largely with his wife's father, Rabbi Asher of Stolin, #OR3510 ,and it was as a descendant of the three major founders of Lithuanian Hasidim that he inherited his claims to leadership when his uncle Noah died. He used the surname PERLOV having taken his father-in-law’s surname which was fairly customary for a son-in-law residing in the same household. His mother had also been surnamed Perlov. He appears in Otzar haRabbanim as # OR18828.

    He was the founder of the Koidanover Hasidim and four of his sons were noted leaders in that group. His son Baruch Mordechai Perlov was his successor. He was mentored by his uncle Noah in Yeshiva in Lechovitz on irregularly scheduled visits and he also studied with the Mezhibozher Rebbe; the sons of the Zlotzchover Rebbe; the Apter Rebbe; The Chernobiler; the Rizhiner; and the Ovrucher. He moved to Koidanov in the 1820s and was living there when his uncle Noah died in 1833 and he became known as the Koidanover Rebbe.

    His first post cited in OR is Tirov and then he was Admor in Koidanov. His particular version of the teachings of his grandfather must have been appealing to very divergent groups including those right in Lyakhovichi because a Koidanover shtibl existed there from shortly after Shlomo Haim's death when his son Baruch Mordechai's son Aron began setting them up. Baruch Mordechai Perlov OR4225 followed his father as Koidanover Rebbe and eight years later when Baruch Mordechai died Baruch Mordechai's son Aron became the Admor as he had previously led the small shteibel in Lyakhovichi. Shlomo Chaim's son Simeon, Admor of Zweikist OR19804 is sometimes attributed to the Yeshivah in Lechowitz also. Shlomo Chaim passed down a strong attachment to the Lyakhovichi tradition and the physical community. His grandson's son-in-law ,Joseph Zilberfarb,saw visiting the Lithuanian yeshivot that had helped form the Koidanovers, as his inherited duty.

    There is no single book attributed to him but a note that he wrote zmirot.

    SCHNEERSON, Rabbi Dov Ber ben Shneur Zalman
    Studied in Lyakhovichi

    The author of Torat Chaim, and Shar haAmunah, Dov Ber Schneerson is most often called “the Mittler Rebbe.” He is the son of the founder of Chabad Hasidim (aka the Lubavichers) and Mittler Rebbe describes his placement in the middle generation of the prominent leaders of the Lubavich dynasty. In a list of students describing the first and second generation of the BESHT, the Mittler Rebbe appears as a resident of “Lachowitz” along with Mordechai “Perlow,” his son Noach “Perlow” and a Mechl, “unknown.” His age makes it clear that he could be the pupil of those taught by the second generation, though the phrase “he was among the disciples of the Second Generation” has been misunderstood that he was their contemporary and only one generation removed from learning directly from the BESHT, founder of Hasidim. His father had been taught by Dov Ber the Maggid of Mezheretch who was a first generation student of the Baal Shem Tov. But Mordechai of Lyakhovichi who was thirty years older than the Mittler Rebbe, was taught by Rabbis Aaron of Karlin and Shlomo of Karlin who had studied with the Maggid of Mezheritch and Mordechai was himself “3 generations” following the founder of Hasidim. Dov Ber Schneerson and Noah of Lyakhovichi, however ,were contemporaries and he did live and study in Lyakhovichi in the time of Mordechai of Lyakhovichi’s Yeshiva and alongside Rabbi Noah of Lyakhovichi and Rabbi Michael of Lyakhovichi.

    He was called the Mitteler Rebbe and his father the Alter Rebbe, and their teachings are continued by their descendants in the Lubavitcher Hasidim. He was succeeded in his dynasty by his son-in-law/nephew Rabbi Mendel who was called the Tzemach Tzedek. He appears in every Chabad source. He is in Otzar haRabbonim as OR4601 and cross-referenced in the listings of his sons and sons-in-law Menahem Nahum Schneerson OR13603; Baruch OR4169; Menahem Mendel the Tsemach David OR13554 and Israel Matsirkes OR10188.

    He is cited as the source of stories on Lyakhovichi by his descendant Joseph Isaac Schneerson.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Rabbi Michael of Lyakhovichi (c.1740s- after 1830)
    In Lyakhovichi 1790s-1830

    Same as Rabbi Michael of Bykhov?

    Rabbi Michael of Lyahovichi figures in a number of Hasidic stories. He has a listing in Otzar haRabbanim # OR13173, no info is provided there except that he was living in 1830.
    He and Dov Ber Schneerson, Mordechai of Lechowitz I, Noah of Lechowitz and Michael of Lechowitz are listed among the pupils of the second generation of the BESHT who were living in Lyakhovichi but see the note on Dov Ber Schneerson, above.

    He lived in Lyakhovichi , studying with Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi and continued studying under the leadership of Rebbe Noah after 1810

    There is a story that when Mordechai of Lyakhovichi died, it was debated as to whether the leadership should go to Mordechai's son Noah or one of Mordechai's earliest colleagues (not student), Rabbi Michael. Michael insisted that Noah was the better choice.

    In the article on Mordechai, the Holy Elder of Lyakhovichi in the Yizkor book, the pupils of Mordechai that are listed include Michael of Bykhov - a town associated with Hasidim from an early day - as witness the repeated intramarriages of the Bykhovskys and the Darbemedigers (family of Rabbi Levi Yitzhak of Berdichev)

    He has not been identified in the 1811/1816 Revision List.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Reb Moshe Dov Ber, a teacher in Lyakhovichi,
    in Lyakhovichi 1770s-after 1812

    A story told by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneerson (1880-1950) from his father mentioned two Chasidic teachers in Lyakhovichi – My father told me about two elder chassidim, both melamdim in Lechovitch: Reb Moshe Dov Ber, a native of Lechovitch, and Reb Yisroel Dov Ber, a native of Homel, who had married into a Lechovitch family. The chassid, Reb Moshe Dov, was older than the chassid, Reb Yisroel Dov — the former had already been [a chassid] in the Alter Rebbe’s day [1745-1812], while Reb Yisroel Dov began his career at the time of the Mitteler Rebbe. Both were great masters of intellectual achievement and masters of avoda, but of different natures: Reb Moshe Dov was naturally joyful while Reb Yisroel Dov was by nature dejected
    He is not clearly apparent in the 1811/1816 Revision Lists or in 1819 Revision List, though he may be there simply listed as a Moshe or as a Ber.
    His period of study and teaching in Lyakhovichi pre-dated the splits in Lithuanian Hasidim, the Lubavichers and Lechovichers were substantially a single unit in this time period.
    In Lithuanian Hasidim by Zev Wolf Rabinowitz, the Lechowitzer Rebbe Mordechai II is called son of Moshe Ber (see note in Mordechai’s listing below) which is disputed in several other sources. But does this mean that there was a leader named Mordechai son of Moshe Ber of Lyakhovichi?
    The Warshal or Varshal family in Lyakovichi, used the combination name Moshe Chaim Ber around the turn of the nineteenth to twentieth century, when Moshe Chaim Ber Varshal, a beer manufacturer had a substantial business and home in the set of streets called the Market Place, in Lyakhovichi.

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Reb Israel Dov Ber, a teacher in Lyakhovichi,
    In Lyakhovichi after 1812

    Sroel Berko MUS?

    See story above about Moshe Dov Ber by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneerson. Israel Dov Ber came from Gomel to Lyakhovichi where he married a Lyakhovichi girl.

    An Israel Ber as Sroel Berko MUS son of Girsh appears in the 1819 Revision List, recorded as aged 24 and “missed” in 1816 and with a wife named Dyna. He is the only Israel Ber and his age and time of appearance does coincide with the story passed on by Rabbi Yosef Yitzhak Schneerson. Like most girls in this period, Dyna does not show up as a daughter or wife, in the 1811 or 1816 Revision List.

    MALOWITSKY, Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi
    “Rebbe Mordechai II of Lechowitz”
    c. 1792-c.1852
    came to Lyakhovichi to study in Yeshiva of Rabbi Noah, was in Lyakhovichi from at least 1816 until his death in 1852/3

    He was the son-in-law and successor of Rabbi Noah of Lyachovichi. Appears in literature as Rabbi Mordechai II of Lechowitz.

    In the 1811 and 1816 Revision list he is one of two 24 year olds named Mordche in his father-in-law’s house. One is named Mordche Rozh son of Khanan who is living there in 1811 and noted as “ran away” in 1813. One is named Moshe Mordche Malovich son of Berko who was marked “skipped” in 1811 and there in 1816. He may be "both" men, if the reappearance in 1816 was to disguise some kind of government evasion in 1813. There are a number of people whose surnames seem to have been changed in this period to disguise such unauthorized absences. In the Yizkor book, he is called “Mordechai ben Moshe Haim” and in the book, Lithuanian Hasidiim by Wolf Rabinowitsch, he is called “Mordechai ben Moshe Ber See the note about the Warshall family above which used the name "Moshe Haim Ber" in Lyakhovichi in 1900.” A family history calls him Mordechai ben Yochanan and his descendants named Yochanan were purportedly named for his father.

    If the claims on Moshe Ber are correct then it is important that there was a Moshe Ber in Lyakhovichi who was an early Hasid studying with the first Rebbe Mordechai of Lyakhovichi before the year 1800 and pre-dating Rebbe Noach’s leadership: see the Moshe Ber, melamed desctibed above. But whether his father was Moshe Ber, Yochanan, or Moshe Haim, a claim about his mother may cast the most light eventually.

    He is said to be a maternal First Cousin (children of two sisters) of Aaron David of Karlin, who was a grandson of the founder of Karlin Hasidim - Rabbi Aron the Great of Karlin. If this is correct, Rabbi Mordechai II's mother was a daughter of Rabbi Yehiel Michael the Zlotzchover Rebbe and this was a very prestigious marriage. His mother's brothers included noted Hasidic figures Wolf Zabarska, Joseph of Yampols, Mordechai of Kremenitz, Isaac of Radziwill, and her brothers in-law were Asher of Stolin and David haLevi of Stepa. His maternal First Cousins that would be his if this is correct, and their spouses, led Jews in a a dozen Hasidic communities including the Zhviler Rebbe; the Libeshai Rav; the Braziner Rebbe; Aron II of Karlin and also his wife; the children of the Neschizer Rebbe; and the Isaac son of Joseph of Yampols that was the son-in-law of the Mezhibozher Rebbe. If accurate, this also gives a lineage with a great deal of cache - it can be traced thru Mordechai's mother paternal lineage to the Altshuler family of Prague which traced itself to a “Davidic” family of Provence from the eleventh through fourteenth centuries. The Karliner lineage tied itself to this family over and over again to unite two "Davidic" families. Again, if the claim is verifiable, it would require a new appreciation of Lyakhovichi's role in world Hasidim – its leading family , that of the Lechovicher Rebbes, from the 1830s until the destruction by the Nazis had close familial ties to most major Hasidic groups of Lithuania, Belarus, and the Ukraine.

    Mordechai II died at the end of his 60th year and was buried in the "old cemetery" of Lyakhovichi at the side of his father-in-law Rabbi Noah. He was succeeded by his son Rabbi Aron Malovitsky.

    The later revision lists of the 1830s and 1850s should resolve the issue of his father’s name but I also have hopes that a picture of his cemetery stone will turn up or perhaps the title page of a book. From his generation forward, his descendants used the surname Malovitsky which he took from his father-in-law.

    Records: The Mordche Rozh son of Chonan who lived with Rebbe Noah Malovich in the 1811 Revision List has been replaced in 1816 List by a same aged man called Moshe Mordche son of Berko Malovich. They could be the same man reported differently to the authorities, both names have been variously applied to Mordechai II of Lyakhovichi.

    ALEXANDROVSKY, Rabbi Isaac Katz of Shershev
    In Lyakhovichi 1826-1832 as student of Noah of Lyakhovichi

    He was the son of Rabbi Jacob Katz ALEXANDROVSKY who was Rabbi of Volpa (Wolpe). Jacob Katz had been a student of Rabbi Shlomo of Karlin and also of Rabbi Jacob Joseph Katz, the Toledot (who first wrote the teachings of the BESHT). Isaac was a pupil of Moshe of Shershev until Moshe’s death in 1826. Then, Isaac became a disciple of Rabbi Noach of Lechovitz. He brought his own son Israel Shlomo Zalman Alexandrovsky to Noach, for him to teach at the same time. He wrote Shaarei Yitzchak which was added to by his son Israel Shlomo Zalman haKohen Alexandrovsky and his grandson Mordechai Sender Alexandrovsky.

    See the title page here.

    HOROWITZ, Rabbi Zeraiah ha Levi
    (1785-d. Lyakhovichi 1820)
    c. 1808-1820

    Rabbi of the Kalte Shul. This mitnagid rabbi of renowned heritage claimied descent from the SHELAH of Prague and back from there to Jewish settlers of Spain in the early Middle Ages. He married the daughter of the Av Bet Din of Disna and his wife was just as notably, the granddaughter of the Vilna Gaon. A biography of him in the Yiskor book and iin a recent book on the descendants of the Vilna Gaon, gives the above info and the note that he died at c. age 35 in Lyakhovichi in 1820.

    Though there were families in Lyakhovichi surnamed Horowitz in the second half of the nineteenth century, and a leading Lyakhovichi rabbi named Horowitz was born in the town the year Rabbi Zeraiah died, there is no family using that last name in the 1811, 1816, or 1819 Revision lists.

    WEINBERG, Rabbi Abraham Elimelech
    ( 1804-11 Heshvan 1883)

    He is called the Slonimer Rebbe, and by the names of his three books – he wrote Be'er Avraham, Yesod Ha'avodah, and Chesed LeAvraham, all of which elaborated on the teachings of his primary teacher Rabbi Noach of Lyakhovichi with whom he studied from the early 1820s until Noah’s death in 1832

    He was among the most noted disciples of Reb Noah of Lyakhovichi. He founded the Slonimer Hasidim, which in his grandsons' days, (1870s) headquartered itself in Baranovichi, a new city built a few miles from Lyakhovichi. Though now located in Eretz Israel and the US, they are still called Slonimer Hasidim for the city in which he settled.

    He appears in Otzar haRabbanim #OR386. Son of Rabbi Isaac Matatiyhu, who was dayan of Minsk but moved in his son’s youth to the much smaller but pivotal Hasidic community of Karlin in 1820.

    He has been the subject of several biographies and I hope to offer more info on him in the future. Can you help?

    ALEXANDROVSKY ,Rabbi Israel Shlomo Zalman
    1810-10Tevet 1877
    1826-1832 student of Rabbi Noah of Lyakhovichi, then student of Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin then Rabbi Abraham Weinberg

    He was the son of Rabbi Isaac Katz Alexandrovsky of Shershev and had been brought to Rabbi Noah to study alongside his own father. Father and son , aged 43 and 16, respectively, were each among Rabbi Noah’s most notable pupils.

    He authored Eigeret Hachaim; Beit Yisrael; Tikunei Shlomo; Zivchei Shlomo; and he wrote the introduction to his father's book "Shaari Yitzhak". He described himself as taught in the Yeshivot of Lyakhovichi, Kobrin, and Slonim. He described the meeting with Rabbi Noah in highly moving terms to his son in a letter many years later. The photo here is from a lovely portrait kept by his descendants.

    He was an expert in the laws of slaughtering and taught schechita to dozens of students.

    We currently have no Lyakhovichi records specifically dating to 1826-1832 so we will need to rely on biographical information in his books and records created in later periods in Lyakhovichi that may relate to him.

    SZKOLNIK, Rabbi Sholom
    rabbi in Lyakhovichi , signed a document in October 1851

    Neville Lamdan found this one for us in the Minsk archives - see the the image on this page for a document he witnessed. Whatever Rabbi Sholom's background, he was not what would soon be called a “crown rabbi,” an official who held his title by virtue of his ability to serve a niche in the Russian bureacracy. That job was not created until 1857 and in any case Rabbi Szkolnik’s Russian skills might have been lacking for that role, as he witnessed an official Russian document in 1851, in Polish and Hebrew.

    Rabbi Szolom Shkolnik and his family appear in the records of Lyakhovichi in their role as community functionaries for more than sixty years. Rabbi Szolom son of Moshe is in the 1811 and 1816 Revision lists with a wife and two young children. But his 5 year old son has the distinctive name of Girsh Leib. So when in the property records in 1886 show Girsh Leiba Szkolnik’s children – one in the house of the Community of Lyakhovichi, which means that a grandson of Sholom Szkolnik was still serving the Jews of the town (the other child owned a “public house” or tavern and could also be described as "serving the Jews of the town!")

    GAVZA, Rabbi Moshe
    Registered with Russian government and serving 1853-1854

    He appeared in list of Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire as a rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1853-1854. No patrynomic appears in that list. The Crown Rabbi ordinance took effect in 1857 but it certainly seems that these were the people who “pre-registered” for that position.

    There were three Moshe Gavzas in the Revision Lists 1811,1816,1819. A twenty-seven year old son of Avigdor son of Rabbi Shaya Gavza in 1816. A three year old in 1811 who was the son of Azriel son of Rabbi Shaya Gavza. A Moshe Gausa, son of Yosel who was only ten in 1819 but he can’t be associated with any Gavza families so far.

    He should appear in the Revision List of the 1850s which was not available when this article was written but is now available for review. We can note that the Moshe Gavza who was the son of Azriel son of Rabbi Shaya Gavza - was the father of another rabbi on this list Rabbi Aron "Lemel Daikhas" Gavza and we have a photograph of Lemel Daikhas' matseva that shows the proud lineage of rabbis back to Rabbi Shaya Gavza who died in 1793. It is not yet conclusive, but the crown rabbi of 1853-1854 could be the 45 year old who appears in the 1850 Revision List. If so, it may require us to look strongly at the way Lyakhovichi chose people for Crown Rabbi, which was not well respected elsewhere. Moshe Gavza son o Azriel was the grandson of the preminent rabbi of the community of the time the Russians took over in the 1780s and 1790s. Moshe Gavza's own son, Lemel Daikhas (Aron Lemel Gavza), would be known as a very learned man into the twentieth century. Perhaps, in this western community, which had long worked with Poles who bought their positions at high prices from the Russians, becoming a government appointed functionary to oversee parts of Jewish life that required documentation sufficient for bueaurocrats, was not perceived as unduly onerous.

    LEV, Rabbi Mordukh Registered with Russian government and serving 1853-1854

    He appeared in list of Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire as a rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1853-1854. No patrynomic appears in that list. See note just above.

    A Morduch LEV son of Leib appears in the regular tax payers list of Lyakhovichi in 1884. There is a Shaya LEV who is recorded as a dayan of the Jewish community of Lyakhovichi in this time period but no relationship has been established.

    NEMEN, Rabbi Elya Registered with Russian government and serving 1853-1854

    He appeared in list of Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire as a rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1853-1854. No patrynomic appears in that list. See note just above.

    Three of his sons clearly marked with the name Elya as patrynomic – Haim, Sholom, and Yudel, appear on the tax and elector’s lists in 1884 but Sholom and Haim appear in the property lists in 1877 and though he was there as Elya son of Laiba in 1874, he does not appear, except as a patrynomic after 1874. His son Berko appears in the 1880 Draft List.

    Did Elya come from Lyakhovichi or settle here after being made rabbi? Leiba son of Chaim Nemen, presumably his father, appears as a sixty year old in the 1819 Revision List, reported as missed in 1811 and 1816. That Leiba is reported with a 20 year old named Mordechai Leizer, other children may have been purposely not reported, just as the family may have tried to avoid earlier registration in the “missed revision lists.”

    OGINSKII, Rabbi Srol Registered with Russian government and serving 1853-1854

    He appeared in list of Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire as a rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1853-1854. No patrynomic appears in that list. See note above.

    Srol Aginsky son of Aron appears as a thirteen year old in the 1819 Census, the only member of his family “missed” in the census 3 years earlier. He is a kinsman of the kahal member who witnessed the 1819 Revision List and his father and grandfather are in the 1811 and 1816 lists with the name of his great-grandfather provided. So for whatever reasons Srol became a rabbi and for whatever reasons he chose to list himself in this register, it was not to compensate for a new arrival in the area. He and his family were well known and established.

    He does not appear by the name Srol in the property records though, inconclusively, a Haim son of Israel Aginsky does (Srol is a diminutive of Israel). We should be able to find him in the 1850 and 1874 Revision Lists and I will report back.

    UZKALIN, Rabbi Sholom
    Registered with Russian government and serving 1853-1854

    He appeared in list of Religious Personnel in the Russian Empire as a rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1853-1854. No patrynomic appears in that list. See note above.
    Though a few of the other rabbis had properties on Pinskaya Street, he does not appear to, unless his name is tied to "Shel utskiy" (shel meaning from in Hebrew) - a person by that surname SHELYUTSKY owns property on the street in 1874 and Utsky seems a possible variant or Utzkalin. We will see if we can find him as the 1850 and 1874 Revision Lists become available.

    AGINSKY, Assistant Rabbi Morduch son of Yankel
    On petition December 1875

    Signed a Petition as Assistant Rabbi to the Lyakhovichi community December 1875. His patronymic on that document is Yankel. A relative (son, father?) Zalman ben Mordechai Aginsky, owned property on Pinskaya Street. Perhaps coincidentally, four of the known Crown Rabbis, in which role Mordechai was clearly functioning when he filed petitions with the crown for his Jewish townsmen, owned property on Pinsk Street including families surnamed LEV, MANDEL, AGINSKY, FEINSTEIN, (and possibly that of UTZKALIN if the name "shel-Utzkiy" is a variant of their name.) The newly wealthy (der nayr noggid) Abraham WENGER who became head of the Kahal in the 1870s is there also.

    Unless he is the Mordechai named in Zalman ben MOrdechai Aginsky's property record, he does not otherwise show up in the Property Records 1870s-1912, and as someone designated "assistant" in that same year, it is more likely that he is the son of that Zalman, than his father.

    MALOVITSKY, Rabbi Aron aka Rebbe Aharle,
    Admur of Lechowitzer Hasidim

    He followed his father Rebbe Mordechai II of Lechovitz as Admur of the Hasidim of Lechovitz. He was affectionatly called Rebbe Aharle, in part to distinguish him from his cousin Aron PERLOW who headed the Koidanovers which had a strong following even in Lyakhovichi. He was followed in the office by his son Noah who was Rabbi in Lyakhovichi from the 1880s to the earliest Soviet days.

    He appears in the Lyakhovichi property owner records in 1874 as Aron b Morduch Molovitsky with property on Kletsk street.

    PERLOW (PERLOFF) Rabbi Aaron of Koidanov

    Rebbe of the Kaidanover Shul in Lyakhovichi , Later Koidanover Rebbe. Was the first to create multiple houses of prayer in different towns to follow the teachings of the Lechovicher Rebbes, Kobrin, Slonim, and Koidanov. He founded the Lyakhovichi shtibel before he became the Koidanover admor.He was the son of Baruch Mordechai Perloff the son of Shlomo Haim of Koidanov and suceeded his father as the leader of the Koidanover Hasidim, just ten years after his grandfather, its founder, died. He expanded the influence of the Koidanover community by building shuls in many towns, though the one in Lyakhovichi was in many ways its flagship. Continuing in this tradition, he founded the Koidanover community in Eretz Israel including a synagogue in Jerusalem described as beautiful and elegant.

    Do you have a picture of him?

    PERLOW (PERLOFF) Rabbi Nehemiah of Baranovichi

    Rebbe of the Kaidanover Shul in Lyakhovichi ; later admor of the Kaidanovers in Baranovichi. After the new city of Baranovichi was built just a few miles from Lyakhovichi, he created a Yeshiva there and headquartered the Koidanovers there, making a clear claim on being the true heirs of the Mordechai of Lyakhovichi heritage, but around the same time Samuel Weinberg son of Abraham Elimelech Weinberg, moved the Slonimer court to Baranovichi and both Slonim and Koidanov were now headed just a few miles from their Lyakhovichi start. A Koidanover synagogue existed in Lyakhovichi until the Holocaust. Annually the Koidanover Rebbe came to Lyakhovichi and the hundreds of celebrants overwhelmed the small Koidanover shul in the Shul Court.

    LEV, Reb Isaiah aka Shaika LEV

    Dayan in Lyakhovichi; his son was a prominent member of the Koidanover Hasidim in the early 1900s, though at this time there is no evidence of Shaika's affiliation. He is mentioned as Shaika the Dayan of Lyakhovichi in materials related to his daughter Rivka Leah Gavza/Rabinovich (a widow who headed a large family) and in information about his son David Shloimo Lev, written for the Yizkor book by his grandson Avrom Lev.

    KAPLAN, Morduch ben Kalman

    In 1874 Property records he is recorded as owning/ living at the “Prayer school” No other info.

    LEVIN, Shai ben David

    In 1874 Property records he is recorded as owning/ living at a “Prayer house on the Shkolnaya (Shul plaza)

    FINDEL, Yankel son of Boruch

    He is described in the property records for 1874, 1877, and 1886 as “at synagogue on the the Shkolnaya (Shul plaza)

    SHKOLNIK, Peisach son of Leiba

    In 1874 he lived in a house owned by the Lyakhovichi Jewish community, an amenity usually reserved for public officials. Since his father is called elsewhere Girsh Leiba, he is the grandson of the Sholom Shkolnik who had been crown rabbi in 1851.

    KOFMAN (KAUFMAN), Aizak son of Shlyoma on Kletskaya

    In 1874 he lived in a house owned by the Lyakhovichi Jewish community, an amenity usually reserved for public officials.

    ZILBERFARB, Rabbi Joseph Zalman
    (1868-1942 murdered in Holocaust)

    He was born in Olesko or Rovno Ukraine, to a noted family of Ukrainian Hasidim that had followed the Trisker Rebbe for a century. He was married, as a very young man, to the daughter of Aaron PERLOFF the Koidanover Rebbe. After he married, he studied in his father-in-law's "court" for a dozen years until Aaron Perloff died. He is the subject of a biography in the Toporow Yiskor book under his Hebrew name Meshullam Zalman Joseph Zilberfarb. He is referred to as the Toporower Rebbe for that community in Galicia that he led after his father-in-law died.

    He felt strongly that he was the recipient of the great tradition of Lithuanian Hasidim that had been founded by his father-in-law's ancestor the saba kadisha Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi. He was known for blending the teachings of the Lithuanian Hasidim with the prayer style of the Galicianer to create a new synthesis strongly connected still to the Lechovicher model. His ties to that tradition were such that he felt it a personal obligation to spend time in the Lithuanian Yeshivot of his father-in-law's ancestors and would regularly visit in Lyakhovichi and Stolin. According to an article about him in the Toporower Yiskor book by A. Dubrovsky, "even the Slonim Hasidim in Baranovichi who had reservations about Koidanovers, admired and liked him and flocked to his prayer services."

    PERLOW (PERLOFF), Rabbi Joseph of Koidanov

    Rebbe of the Kaidanover Shul in Lyakhovichi, Later Koidanover Rebbe

    Called Joseph Perlow of Minsk, he was the oldest son of Rabbi Aaron of Koidanov who was the son of Rabbi Baruch Mordechai who was the son of Rabbi Shlomo Haim of Koidanov (the grandson of Mordechai the Holy Rebbe of Lechovitz) He and his brothers had been in charge at different times of the different shteibels making up the Koidanover chassidus, including Lyakhovichi.

    YELLIN, Rabbi Ch.

    Neville Lamdan's article on Meir (Joshua Meir) Mandel on this webpage lists the witnesses to a Hebrew-lettered signature as Rabbi Ch. Yellin, Malchadsky (the Head of the House of Prayer [“President” of the Shul]) and Kantorowitz (the Tax Collector).

    The name Yellin appears in Lyakhovichi records as Jelin/ Jelina, Gelin/Gelina, and Elin/Elina also.

    KAPLAN, Rabbi Abraham Yankel

    d.1890s Vilna, buried in Vilna

    Rabbi from at least 1860s

    A wealthy member of the community who is remembered not only as the founder of a synagogue (the Beis Yakov) and the father and the father-in-law of the president and rabbi of the Groyser Beis Midrash (his son Pinchas Kaplan and his son-in-law Rabbi Michael Rabinowitz), but himself as rabbi of the Kalte Shul in the time of Rabbi Simcha haLevi Hurwitz and Hurwitz’s son-in-law Rabbi Israel David Ratkewitz. He is the subject of an article in the Yizkor book

    He had a son Pinya Kaplan who was "president" of the Groyser Beis Midrash; had a son-in-law Rabbi Michael Rabinowitz, a noted scholar from the Vilna area who was rabbi in Lyakhovichi (the author of Afiki Yam); had another son Joshua who ran the multi-faceted business enterprises of the family while Joshua's wife established aid programs for poor women in childbirth and set up a program that employed young people to make matzot for the poor at Pesach. He had a second son-in-law Zalman [Zalman Aron?] Wolkin, a lawyer in both Imperial Russia and later Poland who had also received smicha (been ordained as a rabbi) but worked with his father-in-law's wide-ranging lumber business. His grandchildren included Aaron Tseizling, who would become the First Minister of Agriculture of the State of Israel and Rabbi Isaac Rabinowitz rabbi of Valkovisk (Wolkowysk Belarus), who was among those murdered by the Nazis in the town he served.

    He signed the petition to get a new synagogue constructed in 1875 after a previous one burned down leaving the community with only four. He is the Abraham son of Itsko Kaplan listed among the Jewish Townsmen eligible to vote for mayor in 1885. He had multiple business enterprises. He had a lumber business which originally was run from the stone two-floor building he owned on the Market Square though later the family leased the building to several businesses simultaneously, and his residence was part of the "Golden Flag" of the shtetl, the beautiful houses where Pinsk street entered the Market Square.

    See his picture. here

    TSEITLING, Rabbi in Lyakhovichi in 1890s

    Being the son-in-law of a wealthy man, makes it likely that a little bit of your identity will be lost to the general public. But he was not only the son-in-law of the well-known Pinye Kaplan, but the grandson-in-law of the even better known, vastly wealthy, Abraham Yankel Kaplan. By the time biographers got done giving his relative's names, they had forgotten his. He is described both as Mr. Tzeitling and Mr. Zimmering, and further eclipsed as the "brother of the Pinsker Rebbe" in the biographies that appear in the Yiskor book which specify both his wife's father and grandfather. We don't know which Pinsker Rebbe either, can you help? We know that he was rabbi in the Kalter Shul and in the Beis Yakov synagogue which had been founded by Abraham Yankel Kaplan. He is mentioned in the Yizkor Book and in the "Shuls of Lechowitz" with the note that both he and his descendants were living in Israel and that his son, Aaron Tseizling was the First Minister of Agriculture of the State of Israel, so we will go with the information that his name is Tseitling though both Tsimering and Tseitlins appear in Lyakhovichi. It is also possible that casual biographers have run together two sons-in-law of the Kaplans and there were sons-in-law with both names. In Lyakhovichi records we see David Tsimering son of Shimon who is named in the Lyakhovichi 1907 Duma list as 3d rank and in 1886 Moshe Zeitlin [Tseitlin] was a property owner in Lyakhovichi.

    His photo is on this page.

    RABINOWITZ, Rabbi Michael
    (b?. - murdered in Shtutsin August 1941)
    In Lyakhovichi in 1880s until World War I. After WW I he went to Baranovichi

    Yehiel Michael Rabinowitz,author of “Afiki yam". Abraham Yankel Kaplan, a very wealthy man, was able to arrange the marriage of his daughter to a noted scholar: Rabbi Yehiel Michael Rabinowitz. All sources refer to him as a great Lithuanian scholar, his Vilna area education is often cited as proof of a Vilna origin, but the dedication of his book "Afikei Yam" describes his roots much more locally. He was called in Lyakhovichi, simply Rabbi Michael Rabinowitz, later he would be called the Gaon Rabbi, the Afikei Yam of Baranowicze and Shtutin.

    He is listed in Otzar haRabbanim (OR#9316), which does not mention his residence in Lyakhovichi for over thirty years. His son Rabbi Isaac Rabinowitz of Wolkowisk is as clearly identified in the listing as he is in the Yiskor book of Lyakhovichi. Rabbi Michael’s career history is begun there with his 1920s move to Shtutsin after World War I, and ends with the report of his murder in the Holocaust.

    He had been chosen over Rabbi Israel David Ratkewitz when the two scholars went head to head for the
    official title of Rabbi of Lyakhovichi in 1894. Both men were of the traditional schools of Judaism, mitnagdim. Later Rabbi Michael would be described as a young genius and shining star of the yeshiva system.

    He gives his father's name as Rabbi Mordekhai Yonah Shalita Rabinowitz of Slutsk who is in turn described as the son of the Gaon Rabbi Yehiel Michael, Av Bet Din of Ovritsa and Sinyavka - see page on Virtual Library of Lyakhovichi. But he signs himself Yehiel Michael Rabinowitz of Lechovitch, born Slutsk. This same dedication names his wife Liba, his father-in-law Rabbi Abraham Yankel Kaplan, and his own mother Yenta. We can find the burial records of his father Mordechai Jonah in Slutsk in the rabbi's row in 1914 (where he is again called son of the Gaon Rabbi Yehiel Michael Rabinowitz) and of his mother Yenta who is called both the wife of Rabbi Mordechai Jonah Rabinowitz and the daughter of Rabbi Moshe Nisan Orietser [probably not his surname but his town].

    Michael Rabinowitz was considered a gaon during his time of residence in Baranovichi after WWI and many practices that he had instituted in Lyakhovichi were considered signs of his great leadership. He was called to the rabbinate in Shtutin in 1926 and after fifteen years there, he was murdered by the Nazis in August 1941.

    A google search in 2007 produced over 100 hits in a single session on references to his book Afikei Yam.
    See the Biography on our Holocaust Page

    GREENSPAN, Yakov Moshe

    The Slutsk burial society's record of his wife's death in August 1918 records her as Esther Bluma the daughter of mhr Mordechai haKohen and the venerable woman, the wife of r' Yakov Mosheh Grinshpan the "melamed" from Lekhevitch.;



    ZEITMAN, Yudel

    the Shamash of the Shoemakers' Shul and teacher of a Heder that met on Pinskaya Street. He is the subject of an article in Yizkor books on the schools of Lyakhovichi as is his younger son Haim

    PEIMER, Rabbi Meir
    ( 12/2/1839-5/18/1911)
    Rabbi in Lyakhovichi c. 1894 intermittently til 1902, 1902-1911

    Rabbi in Brezin 1868-1875; Slutsk 1875-1887; studied with father who was noted pupil of Rabbi Haim of Volozhin; studied in Slutsk in the Yeshiva of Akiva Altshuler; then in Minsk 1887-1889; Karlitz 1889-1894; Lyakhovichi 1894 for a short time and left to study again,and Lyakhovichi 1902-1911

    He was rabbi in Lyakhovichi from the 1890s until his death in 1911. Not full time until 1902. It was his third real position, he had twice walked away from the demands of jobs that kept him from full time studies and though he was repeatedly approached with contracts for rabbinical office, he was reluctant to accept them.

    His entire career was in Minsk guberniya - and when he refused to take the job of rabbi, he remained in the communities of Slutsk or Minsk as a renowned student. He was head of the Bet Din in Lyakhovichi from the time he returned there in 1902 and was still in that role in 1915. His father Rabbi Joseph Peimer had been Av Bet Din in Slutsk from 1829 to 1864 and Meir's Av Bet Din role in Lyakhovichi seemed to be the one he was most pleased with. His son Joseph Peimer was Head of the Chevra Kadisha in Slutsk in 1911 and wrote a moving eulogy first for his father in 1911 and then for his mother in 1915. Both appear with the records of Lyakhovichi people buried in Slutsk elsewhere on the Lyakhovichi webpage.

    Meir Peimer appears in Otzar HaRabbanim as OR12931 son of Joseph Peimer OR8499 and as father of Joseph Peimer OR8500. Meir was born to a father already close to forty, but this led to him being closely tutored by the father whose learning was renowned. Meir appears in the ordinary records of the area such as those eligible to vote for Duma representatives in 1907. Those records show him with an apartment in both Lyakhovichi and Slutsk. His son says he wanted to come home to be buried in Slutsk when he found out that he was dying. He was buried in Slutsk in 1911 at the side of his famous father in a spot saved for him. His surname has been variously transliterated as PEIMER, FYOMER, PIMER, PYOMER, and PEMER. He appears in an article in the Yizkor Book.

    FEINSTEIN, Rabbi Elijah
    (b Dec1842 in Starobin Minsk –d. )
    On Lyakhovichi Bet Din

    succesively rabbi in Starobin, Kletzk, Karelitz, Khaslavich

    Elijah Feinstein was ten years old when he became pupil of Rabbi Joseph Peimer in Slutsk in 1851-1852, and life-long friend to Rabbi Meir Peimer son of Joseph. He became rabbi in Starobin 1863, Kletsk 1867, Karlitz 1873, Choslovitz, Pruzhany. He was called Rabbi Elya Pruzhaner from that time forward. It was in the time that he was rabbi in Pruzhany that he was often called to serve on a Bet Din for the Lyakhovichi area with his good friend Rabbi Meir Peimer. He is mentioned in Jewish Encyclopedia's article on Pruzhany district of Grodno, and he is described in an article about Starobin in the Slutsk Yiskor book. At the end of this table see part of the story printed there

    Three rabbis of Bilgoria and their Lyakhovichi – most likely in Volhynnia

    Rabbi Yehudah Leibish of Bilgoria and his brother Isaac of Lyakhovichi, both sons of Rabbi Feivel of Lyakhovichi. Since Bilgoria is in the Ukraine and since it is immediately adjacent to the town of Lechowicz that is in the Ukraine (and today includes it),all three of these men, previously reported for our town, are from Lechowitz, Volhynnia. Their descriptive numbers in Otzar haRabanim are OR 7230; OR10793, and OR16809, respectively. I am leaving their information here for the time, but these scholars are not ours to claim.

    HOROWITZ, Rabbi Simha haLevi
    (c.1820 Stolin- d1894 Lyakhovichi)

    Educated in Stolin, served in Krozh, Shadowa, and then Lyakhovichi til his death. Wrote “many books” his letters were published Av Bet Din in Lyakhovich. He is said to have become rabbi of Krozh at age 25 and after the death of his first wife to have become rabbi of Lyakhovichi His eulogy is in Luach Ahiasof, vol 3 p401-02.He is also described in Dor Rabanov v Sofrov by Benzion Eisenstadt pub 1902 on p.13. Though he is described in all of the references as a descendant of the SHELAH, it is not clear if he is closely related to an earlier Lyakhovichi rabbi descended from the same man – Rabbi Zeraiah haLevei Horowitz who died in 1820, the year Simha was born.

    He was the Av Bet Din in Lyakhovichi and head rabbi in Lyakhovichi until his death in 1894. His son-in-law Rabbi Isaac David Ratkovich, had hoped to succeed him, but he was followed instead by Rabbi Michael Rabinowitz, later called the Afikei Yam.
    Rabbi Simha died age 74 and was buried in the New Cemetery in Lyakhovichi.

    Do you have a copy of any of his books, titlepages, forwords, letters, et al? We would like to include excerpts and images and to create a fuller biography.

    MANDEL, Crown Rabbi Shmuel Yosef
    In Lyakhovichi in 1890s

    Crown Rabbi in the 1890s. Misnagid. Emigrated to Eretz Israel in old age and buried in Jerusalem on the Mt of Olives.

    photo on page

    SURNAME UNKNOWN, Rabbi Barukh Mordechai haKohen
    Rosh Medina Lyakhovichi

    In 1918 his daughter Brakha Malashevsky died an elderly woman. The Chevra Kadisha in Slutsk noted that she was the daughter of Barukh Mordechai haKohen the Rosh Medina (noted with the abbreviation r"m) of Lekhovitz. The names may be a coincidence or may indicate a connection to the Koidanovers in Lyakhovichi, which traced their leadership chain back to Rabbi Mordechai of Lyakhovichi through Baruch Mordechai Perlov the son of Rabbi Shlomo Haim of Koidanov. If he was a Koidanover hasid, it would be worth investigating how one of three small Hasidic groups in Lyakhovichi produced a Rabbi who was accepted as the Rosh Medina.

    RATSKEVICH, Rabbi Israel David
    (b.c1868 Timkowitz-d1921 Lyakhovichi)
    AvBet Din in Lyakhovichi 1894; Official town Rabbi 1917

    Educated at Slutsk; then Yeshiva of Volozhin; then in the Yeshiva at Lyakhovichi.
    ABD of Lyakhovichi. He was the son-in-law of Simha haLevi Horowitz the previous ABD. Called Moreh Zedek and Judge of Lyakhovich in 1894 decision in which the claim for rabbi was contested by heirs of Abraham Yankel Kaplan. His patronymic is given as Aron in the 1906 Duma list in which he is shown as an apartment owner in Lyakhovichi; He officially became "Rav" of the city after WWI. He is cited in the Yizkor book for Lyakhovichi. His photo is on this page.

    MEINISHES, Rabbi Edel the Merciful
    Died before WWI

    a Stoliner Hasid from Lyakhovichi; died age 83; Called Rabbi Edel Manish or "Edel Meinishes the Merciful" in the article by Avigdor Grinspan in Yizkor Book; Had a school on Kletsker Street in Lyakhovichi. He built a "hekdeshk" a hospice for the sick and poor, that is remembered as after his death being usually empty and a gathering place for young Zionists. Need someone to translate the biographical article for us and to let us know his surname.His photo is on this page.

    MASS, Rabbi Hersh

    His knowledge of the rabbinate in Lyakhovichi was shared with Dr. Avigdor Grinspan who began collecting the history of Lyakhovichi in his youth. He is the source that Dr. Grinspan quotes on the rabbis Libla magid, Azriel Gavza, Rabbi Asher, and others. He, himself is the subject of a short biography in the Yizkor book for Lyakhovichi.

    He is listed in the Duma list for 1906 as a real estate owner and his father's name is given as Abram. He is similarly listed in the 1884 Tax List for Lyakhoichi. He died in 1914 with no surviving children.

    GAVZA, Aron Lemel aka Lemke Deikes
    (1844-1911 Lyakhovichi)

    Subject of article in Yizkor Book for Lyakohovichi; also called Lemke DEIKES; assistant to Admur Rabbi Aharle Malovitzky and his son Rabbi Noahke Malovitzky; he is the father of Rabbi Avrahamle Gavza who led the klaus before emigrating to Eretz Israel; and his granddaughter Haitza Gavza Busel, an Israeli pioneer of kibbutz Degania, also wrote about him in the Yizkor book. There is a humorous article about him by Nisan Tuckachinsky and a physical fight he got into in 1905. Since he was in the Zionist Socialist party, his friends there got satisfaction for him. He also is the subject of a memorial by his descendants in the Yiskor book along with his wife Bluma and is called there Aron Lemel Gavza. He appears in the chart that accompanies our article on Rabbi Azriel Gavza of Lyakhovichi (1710-1773) which shows that he got one of his names – “Deikes” from his mother’s name being Daicha. One of the articles in the Yiskor book says he was actually named Shaya Gavza but perhaps it meant that he was one of the many descendants of Rabbi Shaya Gavza. His photo is on this page.

    LEVKES, Meir

    Article in Yizkor Book for Lyakohovichi; aka Meir son of Yehuda Leib; said died old and full of days in 1909

    KIRZNER, Elijah “Master of Psalms”, the Kerzner,
    (d.1910 Lyakhovichi)

    He led a school called the Hatter's school (the Groipers) of around thirty students that met in the Shul street; Singer of Psalms in the Groyser Beis Midrash Shul; died “old and full of days in 1910” according to an article by Avigdor Grinspan in the Yizkor Book. He was also known as "the Hatter" and also appears in an article on schools in Lyakhovichi in that book by Yakov Simha Avidor (ne Peker). Elijah was the subject of a biography called Elijah Master of Psalms by Dr. Avigdor Greenspan, translated for us by David Levine. That tells us that in addition to the Groipers school, Elijah was a sought after speaker in all of the congregations, he led prayers and discussion groups.

    Lipa the Cantor d.1910
    Cantor Lippe

    He was the subject of an article in the Yizkor Book; his daughter Mrs. Lipman from Milwaukee WI is mentioned by Neville Lamdan as a correspondent about life in the near-Lyakhovichi-community of Ved'ma in the article on Joshua Meir Mandel elsewhere on the Lyakhovichi website. She said that he traveled to the small surrounding communities to provide religious services. He is also described in the remembrance of the Kalte Shul by Alter Brevda if he is the same as Alter Brevda’s Description of the Cantor of the Kalte Shul - “ the Cantor Lippe was known as the pious maskil (enlightened one) of that time."

    Do you know anything about the Milwaukee Lipmans, Cantor Lippe, or other details we could add?

    Reb Moische of Lyakhovichi-1942

    “Reb Moische of Lyakhovichi” appointed Rabbi in Kletsk in the 1920s, died in the Holocaust in Slutsk. He is described in the Yizkor book of Slutsk.

    MALOVITSKY, Rabbi Noah
    Rebbe Noah II of Lechowitz
    ( -died 1920)
    Rabbi in Lyakhovichi 1881-1920

    Lechowitzer Rebbe and Admor who was followed by the Lyakovitser Hasidim from places all over Belarus like the Lyakhovitcher shul in Bobruisk, until his death in 1920. He is the Nevakh ben Aron Malovitsky in the 1906 Lyakhovichi Duma list.

    See photo. Help us add more details about this Rabbi who presided in the crucial last days of Imperial Russia.

    Rabbi 1920-1942

    Called affectionately Rebbe Yohanitza, he became Admor and Rebbe when he was only eighteen years old. He led the Lechowitzer Hasidim until he was murdered in the Holocaust. He was the son of his immediate predecessor , Rebbe Noah Malovitsky. He was closely tied to the Slonimer Hasidim both in his training and by his marriage to Sarah Weinberger of Slonim Cited in many Hasidic sources. He appears in the Nesvizh Yizkor book, which mentions that before he became Admor, he served as one of the 23 elected to the Hebrew Community Committee Association of Nesvizh in 1919 alongside rabbis from three other synagogues, merchants, and representatives of five different Zionist groups.

    BRIMBERG, Crown Rabbi Wolf or Velvel

    Last Crown Rabbi of Lyakhovichi. His photo appears in Yizkor book as "Velvel Brimberg, the Kazioner Rabbi."


    He immigrated thru Ellis Island Nov 10 1923, going to a congregational appointment in Dunkirk New Jersey. His occupation is cited as rabbi. His nearest relative in the old country was his wife Sara Malowicka. He was 44 and gave his birthplace as Lachowice. He changed from steerage and so appears on two manifests on the same ship. The person who met him in Dunkirk NJ was Manuel Berkowich, but I haven’t determined if he was a Lyakhovichi Berkowitz.

    Eliezer Lipman
    A refugee from Lyakhovichi in World War I, living in Slutsk Jan 1917

    It is not clear that Lipman is a last name, it is a common co-name for Eliezer and the information comes from his wife's burial record which might not have recorded his last name. The burial society in Slutsk, recorded the burial of his wife in January 1917, as "the important woman, Eta Gnesha the daughter of the rabbi mh"r r' Yehuda KHASID, wife of r' ELIEZER LIPMAN "shat [translated as "shaliach tsibur" which meant emissary for charitable purposes or to represent Jewish interests of the community to the leadership of the area] of the city of Lekhevitz. I also have not determined if Eta Gnesha’s father Rabbi Yehuda Khasid is from our town, all information would be welcome!

    HASID, Rabbi Yehuda

    See the note for Eta Gnesha daughter of Rabbi Yehuda Hasid and wife of the shaliach tsibur of Lyakhovichi, Eliezer Lipman. Eta Gnesha died in Slutsk during World War I.

    MEDRES, Rabbi Avraham A refugee from Lyakhovichi in World War I, died in Slutsk

    The Slutsk Chevra Kadisha describes him as among the refugees from “Lakhovits. “Though it calls him the "venerable mhr"r [Rabbi] Avraham son of mh"r Yakov Medres," the description of where he wa,s in what role just reads "who was for several years a" [and the rest is not offered in the English translation because of legibility]. He is not buried in the gaons row.

    VINOGRAD, Rabbi Moshe d. Dec 1916 Slutsk

    In the Slutsk burial society's records he is called "the venerable rabbi mh"r Rabbi Moshe son of the Rabbi mhrr Mordechai Winograd from the refugees of Lekhovitz. He is buried in the gaons row. His picture and his 1916 death date appear in the memorial section of the Yizkor book along with the pictures of his son Zisel and his grandson Elihu and the names of 7 family members who perished at the hands of the Nazis. Photo on page

    CAPLAN, Rabbi Mordechai of Baltimore
    -1947 (purportedly 117 years old!)

    His obit in 1947 said he had come to the US seventy years previously and was 117 at his death. He had been a Torah lecturer in the synagogues of Brest-Litovsk and em to the US after his wife died and his children were grown. He had lost all his papers with his proofs of age in a 1907 trip to Eretz Israel. He settled in Baltimore in the US and though he died in a moshav zekenim, many rabbis from the Baltimore area attended his funeral.

    MILNER, Rabbi Menachem d. Sept.1917

    In the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha he was buried on the row for Gaonim with the description "the venerable and famous in Torah mh"r r'Menachem Milner "melamed" son of mhr R[abbi] Avraham Milner, among the refugees of Lekhevitz."

    MILNER, Rabbi Abraham

    His son a noted melamed was buried in the row reserved for Gaons in the Slutsk cemetery during WW I. See that listing.

    KOHEN, Rabbi Aaron d.Nov 1923

    The burial society in Slutsk recorded his death on the 15th of Kislev and said that "the G-d fearing man the Rabbi Aaron Kohen son of mhr"R. Avraham haKohen, of the refugees from Lekhevich," was buried in the Slutsk cemetery in row 28. It is not the "gaonim row” usually reserved for rabbis but that may have been overcrowded following WWI. Kohen may not be a last name as the Chevra Kadisha society frequently refers to the deceased with just a Hebrew name and titles like Kohen or Levite where appropriate.

    FEINSHTEIN, Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak d. March 1919

    The burial society in Slutsk recorded his death on the 25th of Adar and said that "the elderly G-d fearing rabbi, mhr Rabbi Moshe Yitzchak son of mhr Zisel Feinshtein of Lekhevich" was buried in the cemetery next to two others whose adjoining spaces were held open for a couple of years[ usually per a will request for a scholar neighbor]. He is not buried in the Gaonim row but since he was buried in what had been reserved spaces, it was probably to give a boon to those he would neighbor.

    TSEITMAN, Rabbi Yehuda d. Jan. 1919

    The burial society in Slutsk recorded his death on the 16th of Shevat and said"a G-D fearing man the rabbi mh"r Yehuda Tseitman son of mhr Reuven Tseitman of Lekhevitz who was shamesh of beit-hamidras Isserlin" was buried in the row of the Geonim. Presumably the Isserlin Bet Midrash was in Slutsk but more information would be helpful.

    CHINICZ, Rabbi Abram

    His US immigration record with his wife Malke and son Jakob Moshe in the 1920s lists his occupation as "Rabbin" of Lachowicze and he is going to Congregation Ahavath Sion, 66 Pike St. NYC; He may be the person listed as brother to Scheine Gelfand of Lyakhovichi in 1913 who was going to her son Mordche Gelfand in Chicago, she listed her nearest relative in the old country as Awrum Chinicz of Lyakhovichi;

    SIRKIN, Yehiel Michael, a melamed

    A melamed from Lyakhovichi; His wife's death in December 1918 was recorded by the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha. They note that on the 8th of Tevet, that the modest and venerable woman Leah daughter of mhr R Yehoshua and wife of melamed Y. Mikhel Sirkin of Lekhavits. Don't know whether he taught in Lyakhovichi or Slutsk

    EPSHTEIN, Rabbi Aaron d. Sept 1918

    The burial society in Slutsk recorded his death on Shemeni Atzeret and said "a dear and G-D fearing man the rabbi the "melamed" mh"r Rabbi Aaron Epshtein son of mhr R. Y[Yehudah] Leib Epshtein of Lekhevitz" was buried there. Not in gaons' row.

    EPSHTEIN, Rabbi Yehudah Leib

    See the report of the burial of his son Rabbi Aaron Epshtein, a melamed, which calls him a rabbi

    WEINSTEIN, Cantor Abraham Isaac

    Cantor in Lyakhovichi and in city of Mikashavitz In memorial section of Yizkor book. He is also described as a mohel and a shohet. He is there remembered as the son of Efrem Michael Weinstein and of his wife Eshka Elka dtr of Pesach. photo on this page

    GELFAND, Rabbi Boruch Mendel
    ( 1870 -1958)

    scholar in Lyakhovichi; teacher and rabbi in Philadelphia

    He taught Hebrew and religious school in Philadelphia; led Beth Jacob Congregation in the area of 58th and Chestnut Streets in Philadelphia; not yet sure if his Gelfands came from our Lyakhovichi or the one closer to Pinsk where he married, lived, and had his children prior to emigrating in 1905; he may be the Boruch son of Meier Gelfand who appears in the 1890 Draft List for Lyakhovichi

    MINTZBERG, Rabbi David 1903-1942

    In Lyakhovichi 1942

    Ostrov Masoveitsk; Ostrog Rabbi
    David Mintzberg was born in Likova, in 1903. He was noted rabbi, established 2 Agudah schools in Ostrov Masoveitsk. Was of the Amshinov Hasidm. Became famous head of Yeshivat Chachmei Lublin. Escaped in front of Nazis to Ostrog then to Lyakhovichi. Was forced to Lyakhovichi by WW II. He was murdered there in the cemetery at Lyakhovichi by the Nazis along with the rest of the community. Source – Simon Wiesenthal Center

    KARLITZ, Rabbi Meir 1877-1955 d. Eretz Israel

    In Lyakhovichi 1920s

    Rabbi in Vilna in 1919; in the 1920s in Lyakhovichi; Rav of Lachish 1933-1937

    Brother of the famous Chazon Ish; Son of Shemariah Isaiah Karlitz and Rasha Leah Katzenellenbogen-Epstein. He was born in Kossovo, Belarus. He married Miriam Leah dtr of Shlomo Kahan the Cheishak Shlomo. Was in Vilna after WW I in 1919 and then in Lyakhovichi in the 1920s. Emigrated to Israel where he was in rabbinate until his death in 1955. photo.

    ZARETSKI,Yankel born c. 1905 -died late twentieth century
    born in Lyakhovichi

    Yankel Zaretski was born in Lyakhovichi. He was recruited by Rabbi Eleazar Menachem Schach, to the Kletzk Yeshiva in the 1920s. He escaped Europe under the Nazis via Shanghai and joined in the transition of the Kletzk Yeshiva to Lakewood NJ, under the tutelage of Rabbi Aaron Kotler, the founder of the Lakewood Yeshiva after WWII. Later, he was in Boston.

    GREENSPAN, Nahman Shlomo born in Lyakhovichi

    Pipula shel Torah; pub. London 1935 London Rabbi, author of several books in Hebrew and English; Rosh Yeshiva in London; photo. See photo on this page

    KAPLAN, Rabbi Mendel
    1912-1985 born in Lyakhovichi, died Philadelphia

     Rosh Yeshiva Philadelphia 1950s-1985; A pupil of the Mirer Yeshiva and of Rabbi Jerucham Levovitz; the subject of a book in the Artscroll series; his picture is in our photo section; some of the stories about him appear in the Teachings of the Rabbis of Lyakhovichi article that can be found below the link to this page.

    LIESS, Eliyahu

    Remembered as a great scholar who served as gabai in the Kalte Shul by his brother-in-law Alter Brevda writing after the Holocaust in the 1950s.

    Yakov Leizer (not sure if last name or not)

    Remembered as “ a Jew, a scholar, of uncommonly stately appearance” who , served as gabai in the Kalte Shul by Alter Brevda writing after the Holocaust in the 1950s

    MISHKOVSKY, Herschel (Herschel the scribe)

    Of the Groyser Bais Midrash; not described as a rabbi, described as a man who ornamented the synagogue walls with beautiful calligraphied texts. He is buried in Eretz Israel where he emigrated sometime after 1874. Can you help us find a picture of him? Or of his matseva in Jerusalem?

    Rabbi Isaac RABINOWITZ rabbi of Valkovisk (Wolkowisk)

    Born in Lyakhovichi to Rabbi Michael Rabinowitz and his wife the daughter of Rabbi Abraham Yankel Kaplan. He lived in Lyakhovichi until World War I and settled afterwards with his parents in Baranovichi. He was an only child, was educated by his father and in the Yeshiva in Baranovichi. He was a noted rabbi and he is listed in Otzr haRabbamin OR#11019 with his father’s name given as Rabbi Yehiel Michael Rabinowitz OR#9316, and his father-in-law
    Rabbi Israel Rif OR#12078. He and his father and his father-in-law, all perished in the Holocaust.



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    Rabbi Israel Shlomo Zalman Alexandrovsky
    Educated in the Hasidic Yeshiva of Lyakhovichi, first by Rebbe Noah of Lyakhovichi and after Noah's death in 1832 by Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin.







    wealthy philanthropist, supporter of three synagogues, rabbi and father and father-in-law of rabbis Abraham Yankel Kaplan of Lyakhovichi
    Abraham Yankel Kaplan
    wealthy philanthropist, supporter of three synagogues, rabbi and father and father-in-law of rabbis.

    Mitnagid leader Rabbi Israel David Ratzkevitz, rabbi and judge in Lyakhovichi

    Rabbi Edel Manish, the Compassionate
    Rabbi Edel Manish or Meinishes, the Compassionate
    founded a hospice for poor Jews
    I need more info on this Stoliner Hasid. He got his name from his father Manish according to the property records showing his house on Kletsk Rd in Lyakhovichi. He owned sufficient property when he died at age 83 to donate a building solely for the use of those needing care as they died.

    Aron Lemel Gavza
    called Lemel Deiks for his mother's name Daicha. Frequently called rabbi though he supported himself as a weaver. Great-grandson of Rabbi Shaya Gavza, one of the preeminent rabbis of the eighteenth century in Lyakhovichi.

    Crown Rabbi of Lyakhovichi Wolf Brimberg
    Crown Rabbi of Lyakhovichi - Rabbi Wolf Brimberg

    Rebbe Noah Malovitsky, Lechowitzer Rebbe
    led Lechowitzers from 1880-1920

    Moshe Mates Winogrod died in Slutsk in 1917, called Rabbi son of a Rabbi and buried with honors
    Rabbi Moshe Mates Winogrod
    died in Slutsk in 1917 and the Slutsk Chevra Kadisha gave special honors to the man their register noted was "a rabbi son of a rabbi."

    Former Crown Rabbi of Lyakhovichi, Shmuel Joseph Mandel in Jerusalem
    Shmuel Joseph Mandel
    Former Crown Rabbi of Lyakhovichi in a picture taken in Jerusalem around 1910

    Rabbi of Beis Yakov Shul in Lyakhovichi, son-in-law of Abraham Yankel Kaplan, moved to Eretz Israel

    Lippe the Cantor who also performed weddings in small communities around Lyakhovichi
    Lippe the Cantor
    He is remembered also performing weddings in the small communities around Lyakhovichi

    A melamed - Haim Shifris

    Rabbi Yakov Moshe Greenspan
    with his son Nyama (probably Benjamin) in Russian clothing and his son Haim in a leather jacket.

    Rebbe Yohanan Malowitsky, Lechowitzer Rebbe, murdered by Nazis
    Rebbe Yohanan Malowitsky,

    Lechowitzer Rebbe from 1920 until Holocaust, murdered by Nazis

    Cantor Abraham Isaac Weinstein officiated during the time between the World Wars when Lyakhovichi was in Poland
    Cantor Abraham Isaac Weinstein
    officiated in Lyakhovichi after World War I, a modern Polish cantor. He also served as the mohel of Lyakhovichi in this period. He perished in the Holocaust.

    Title Page of Shaari Yitzchak

    Click on the title and that page also expands if you click on the lower right corner

    Title page for Shaari Yitzchak by Rabbi Isaac Katz Alexandrovsky 1783-1858 who was a pupil of Rabbi Noah of Lechovitz in Lyakhovichi between 1826 and 1832 and of Rabbi Moshe of Kobrin, subsequently. The English annotations are by Jay Lenefsky a descendant of Isaac Alexandrovsky's granddaughter Feiga Alexandrovsky Linevsky. You will want to see the Family Reunion Memorabilia from 1920 in the memory of Isaac Katz Alexandrovsky's son Israel Zalman haKohen Alexandrovsky 1810-1877 (whose picture appears at the top of this page) that Jay also shared. In 1920 this family, whose progenitor had studied in Lyakhovichi and with the most noted of the Lechovitzer schools in Kobrin and Slonim, celebrated an event fifty years after his death and invited their kinsmen to use the happy occassion to fund a moshav zekenim, a home for the aged. In the same time period as the first banquet, descendants of Israel Zalman's son Mordechai Sender Alexandrovsky, used their shared heritage as a reason to support a young pogrom survivor newly arrived in the US. Mordechai Sender appears on the title page of Shaarei Yitzkhak which was written with two credited to Lyakhovichi scholarship -his grandfather Isaac Katz Alexandrovsky and his father Rabbi Israel Shlomo Zalman Aharon haKohen Alexandrovsky. Both documents are supplied by Jay Lenefsky of Israel who is a descendant of Rabbi Israel Shlomo Zalman Aharon haKohen Alexandrovsky. Click Reunion and Banquet.

    Mordechai Sender Alexandrovsky
    son of Israel Zalman

    and see the pdfs listed just above.



    Rabbi Nachman Shlomo Greenspan, Rosh Yeshiva London
    Rabbi Nachman Shlomo Greenspan
    Rosh Yeshiva London

    Document with Rabbi Szolom Szkolnik signature

    click for larger version

    Rabbi Morris Gitlin of Windsor and Detroit and Lyakhovichi
    Rabbi Morris Gitlin
    of Windsor Canada, Detroit, and Lyakhovichi

    Rabbi Joshua Jaffe educated in Lyakhovichi in an 1897 photo
    Rabbi Joshua Joffe
    educated in Lyakhovichi, among first teachers at Jewish Theological Seminary

    Rabbi Zundel Karelitzky
    His wife Zipa supported the family with a store, he studied and taught Talmud. He was called Zundel Gedalyos for his father-in-law Gedalya who first supported his studies and the family.