Monday, October 21, 2013

Teaching Jewish Girls in the Shtetl!

Greiding, Ukraine c. 1900
Binyoumin Kreplach and the class of girls
The girl, top row second from the left is my grandmother Rissel the Ruta (the readhead!) and this picture was taken in Gorodok/Horodok, Ukraine where she was born around 1888. The teacher's name was Binyoumin Kreplach who gained this name having once expressed his yearning for yesterday's kreplach one Yom Kippur afternoon. Small town's don't easily let you live these things down. It seems this didn't spoil the shidduch because the little boy to the left of Mr. Kreplach is his son.

Rissel Schwartz
official ID photo
My grandmother Rissel Schwartz left the shtetl for Odessa where she lived with cousins and studied in a Gymnasium which as I understand was a secondary school, like a high school. I guess she must have learned enough from Binyoumin to hold her own in the school.  She was there during the revolution but immigrated along with her brother to the United States around 1922.

I would love to have asked her questions about her childhood and education but unfortunately she passed away a few months before I was born and I am named for her.


Leora said...

My grandmother also studied in Gymnasia in Odessa. She was born in 1896. She later went to study in Leningrad, where she met my grandfather.

We have a picture of my grandmother's family - it has a similar look to your class of girls photo.

Batya said...

Risa, what a wonderful story. I love the posts about your family history. Actually, I love all of your posts and miss it when you're not blogging.

Anonymous said...

Thank for shearing information about Ukrainian Girls.

Mrs. S. said...

My grandmother a"h also studied in a gymnasia (in Kovno, Lithuania), where all her classes were taught in Hebrew.

Thanks for sharing your grandmother's fascinating story.
Yehi zichrah baruch.

Mr. Cohen said...

Rabbi Avigdor Miller (a popular Chareidi Rabbi, born 1908 CE, died 2001 CE) delivered a free public lecture in the last year of his life, in which he taught that Jews should pray for the Israeli Army.
I personally witnessed this; I was there.

When a Jew recites Tefilat Shemoneh Esrei, he is permitted to add his own personal prayer requests in the middle of the final paragraph, which begins with Elokai Netzor Leshoni MeiRa.

I recently began adding the prayer for the Israeli Army in that part. I know this is not the way it is normally recited, but it is permitted, and I can say it that way in any synagogue.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky of Congregation Bnai Yeshurun in Teaneck NJ told me that I can recite it even on Shabbat and Yom Tov, because it is a communal tefillah, not a private bakashah.


Mr. Cohen said...

Overlooked Psychology of the Arab-Israeli Peace Process
by Mr. Cohen of the Derech Emet yahoo group, 2014/4/27

In a very famous Bible story, King Solomon threatened to cut a baby in half
to satisfy the claims of two women who claimed possession of the same baby
(Melachim Aleph, chapter 3, verses 16 to 28).

The fake mother did not object to cutting the baby in half,
but the real mother begged King Solomon to not do it
because the real mother did not want to see her baby die.

Arabs are very familiar with this Bible story and they apply it
to the conflict over possessing “Palestine.” Arabs believe that
just as the fake mother in the court of King Solomon was
willing to divide the baby, the Israelis are fake owners of
“Palestine” because they are willing to divide it.

According to this logic, Arabs can never agree to less than 100%
of “Palestine” because doing so would make them like the fake
mother in the court of King Solomon who was willing to divide the baby.

Mr. Cohen said...

Refuting the Jew Haters by Mr. Cohen, 2014/4/27,
moderator of the Derech Emet yahoo group,

I do NOT suggest that any Jew waste his or her time arguing
with Jew haters, for many reasons.

First, our obligation as Jews is to serve G_d, not argue with
Jew hating lunatics.

Second, they can be dangerous, and even if you think you
are anonymous on the internet, you are not as anonymous
as you think you are, and they may find you, G_d forbid.

Third, many Jew haters are fanatics and/or lunatics,
who will never listen to anything you say, or even use
your words against Jews in ways you did not anticipate.

Still, there are rare situations when it helps to know how
to refute their accusations against Jews; for example,
when a sincere Gentile co-worker or neighbor is
influenced by the accusations of the Jew haters.

One favorite accusation of the Jew haters is that Jews
have been expelled from many countries and cities.
Jew haters use this to imply that Jews are bad people.

This accusation can be countered.

When a Medieval king expelled Jews from his country,
Jews were usually not able to take their possessions
with them, so all the possessions of the Jews became
the property of the king, including: land, houses,
furniture, gold, silver, jewels, farm animals, etc.

Even if the Jews had some way to take their money with
them (which was far from guaranteed) they could not
take their larger possessions with them. This permitted
the kings to increase their wealth quickly with little risk.

So kings had big financial incentives to expel their Jews,
as did lords and dukes.

Another reason why Jews were expelled many times from
Christian countries was that Medieval Christians did not
tolerate people whose beliefs disagreed with their own.

Medieval European Christians also persecuted other
Christians whose beliefs differed from their own.
For example:

In October 1536 CE, William Tyndale was publicly
executed because he translated the Bible into English,
even though he was Christian.

Most Christians alive today tolerate people with different
beliefs, but this tolerance is around one or two centuries old.

We Jews should THANK G_D that we live in an era
when most Christians no longer believe their religion
wants them to persecute Jews.

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Mr. Cohen said...

Israel-Bashing BDS Movement refuted by Alan Dershowitz:

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