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RABBI ELIJAH GORDON
HIS LIFE AND WORKS
By
Hirsch Loeb Gordon
copyright 1926

by Rabbi Elijah Gordon

 

Part I:

Region of Calm and Dreaming Lakes

Part II: 

How Myadsiol Adopted Family Names

Part III:

Jews and Lithuanians

 pp. 3-6;19-20

The Myadel Region

The Myadel Landscape

Lithuanian State

Historical Archives

Supplemental Revision  Lists

Revision Lists:

Stary Miadziol 1765

Miadziol 1765

Miadziol 1784

Householder Surnames
Map@1937 Households

Map@1937 by number

HOW MYADSIOL ADOPTED FAMILY NAMES

Part II

One of the Myestetchkos in that region is that of Myadsiol. Its history goes back more than eight centuries and is quite prominent on mediaeval geographical maps. Local legends ascribe to it great prominence in the period of the ancient Lithuanian monarchy. Its Jewish community, numbering about 200 souls, is also of very remote beginnings. Most of them bear the family name Gordon, while the remainder of the surnames are Hodosh. Gordon and Hodosh are still predominating names in the membership list of the Myadsiol Benevolent Association of New York City, the president of which is Mr. L. Gordon, a brother of Rabbi E. Gordon. According to local tradition the surname Gordon was suggested for adoption by one of the Jewish burghers of Myadsiol, a business woman, who on her travels met venerable merchants by that name. But, as a matter of fact, the Gordons seem to be related to the reputed Gordons of Bialystock. The surname Hodosh is said to have been bestowed upon the latter settlers of Myadsiol to denote their recency; Hodosh, meaning "new" in Hebrew.

ELIAHUíS PARENTS AND CHILDHOOD

One of the most esteemed citizens of Myadsiol was David Zeeb Gordon (d. Oct. 24, 1913),*(all dates are according to the Gregorian Calendar) who with his wife Esther Hayah (d. April 12, 1917) represented the ideal type of Lithuanian Jewry. Well versed in the Bible and Rabbinical lore, virtuous and upright above all praise, with almost saintly piety and meekness and with the ever hopeful endurance that sweetened and gladdened their toilful life, they were living examples of the righteous and pious eulogized in the Psalms. On February 27th, 1865, Esther Hayah gave birth to her first child, Elijah, who was immediately consecrated to a divine life. Elijah entered one of the local Heders at the age of five and his unusual intelligence very shortly won for him the fame of a prodigy. The facility with which he acquired the difficult parts of the Hebrew Bible and the keen pilpul (casuistry) of the Talmud, was above any precedent in his birthplace and in the neighboring Jewish towns. After he had been transferred from one Melamed (teacher) to the other, they finally decided that he exhausted their erudition and by their advice he was sent to the Rabbinical school of Smorgoni, about 60 viersts north of Myadsiol, under the presidency of Rabbi Loew  Lichtmacher, His preciosity amazed his new masters and when he reached the age of thirteen he was transferred to the Mayleh Yeshiva of Vilna, founded in 1832. 

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