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Translation of pages 506 — 508 of Yiskor Book. Originally written by Reuvin Rogovin

Attached are biographies of two of my ancestors that were translated for me from the Volzhin Yiskor book pages 506-508. Warren Persky

Personalities I Knew

Ozer (Eizer) The mailman:

I knew Reb Ozer the mailman very well, or as the "Goiyim called him: "Grandpa Eizer". A "Yehudi" about seventy years old of stocky build, above average height, with a dark brown square beard (It reminded you of the beard of the Czar Nicholi Alexander). In summer or winter he always wore his cape with his mail bag, overflowing with mail, slung over his shoulder.

With what merit did he get to such a "government job"? By the merit that he had been a "Cantonist", had served as a dedicated and faithful soldier of the Czar, had earned a medal for outstanding service, and on his discharge from the army had received favourable recommendations. As a reward he was accepted as a "Government Worker". He was the only mailman in the entire area.

As he walked, loaded down with his mailbag, all the children would run after him yelling, "Grandpa Eizer, maybe there’s a letter!" He would stop and turn to them in his friendly but stern way and say, "Children! stop bothering!" This warning was enough for us until the following morning.

When the Cantor in the Synagogue sang "The one who gives salvation to kings and the power to rule princes", the prayer for the welfare of the Czar and his family, Reb Ozer the mailman would stand upright, out of awe and respect, until the end of the prayer.

During the First World War the people in the synagogue would engage in heated discussion as to who would be victorious. Would the Germans defeat the Russians or the Russians defeat the Germans? Reb Ozer always remained loyal to the Romanov dynasty and would prove with signs and miracles that the Czar who gave him his daily bread, would be victorious.

Reb Chaim the tailor:

(on page 507 you will find a picture — under the picture is written "Reb Chaim the Tailor (Chaim Tzirulnik) and his wife Chayke translators note.)

The "Sabba" (literally — "grandfather") "Mendel the Book Seller", of blessed memory wrote: "Like Jews are considered among the nations, so the artisans are held in low respect and looked down upon among the Jews." (In those days" Chapter 12). These words do not apply to Reb Chaim "the tailor". Even though he was an artisan, he was counted amongst the more important citizens and held a status close to the leaders of the town.

His family name was Tzirulnik but everyone knew him simply as "Chaim the tailor". he was the son of Ozer the mailman.

I never saw Reb Chaim hold a needle and thread or a thimble. He was the owner of the shop but his two workers did the actual tailoring. One of the two was Hillel Moshe Yudels, a tall, very thin, young man who was so very poor. The other was Yaakov "the weak eye". How he ever was able to thread a needle remains a mystery to me until this very day.

Reb Chaim was busy most of his time with work for the community. he was the head spokesman for the burial society. When any Jew departed from this world and needed to acquire a "place" (in the cemetery) things just couldn’t be settled without Reb Chaim. He always sat at the head table at the annual dinner of the Burial Society that was held every year on the tenth of the month of Teveth.

Reb Chaim also served on the board of directors of the "Folks Bank" as well as one of the community leaders he was always ready to defend those in need of help whether they were artisans or young businessmen.

He was also an ardent Zionist, and supported all the parties who worked for the Land of Israel. The respect he had among the people he acquired because of his honesty and good heart. He was never known to hold a grudge, he hated gossip, and kept himself away from anything that was false. there was always a friendly smile on his face.

After the war between Poland and the "Bolsheviks" he founded a large library in the house of Chaiky from Kreve on Samorgon Street. On the days when books were exchanged — twice a week — Reb Chaim would visit the library to inquire if many people were reading. he was always interested in knowing what was going on in the "world of Literature" and respected and held in high esteem those who read and studied.

Chaim "the tailor" with his wife were swept away in the "destruction of Volozhin" together with all the Jews of the town. I’m sure that even in that tiny dark "ghetto" he was still trying to help all those in need. I have no doubt that even when his request was turned away he was not discouraged and on the following day he returned to ask for a little hot soup for the sick or elderly. I’m sure that he worked for his fellowman even under those inhuman conditions of the "ghetto" until he gave back his soul to the Creator in purity and holiness.