16 January 2022

Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 13 August 1912

This post continues translation of letters and postcards in Yiddish (and, sometimes, Hebrew and a little bit of Russian) sent to Morris Lederman, who immigrated to the United States in 1910. Most of the postcards, such as this one, were sent by Morris' father Levi Yitzkhak. For further background, see the first post in this series.

For links to other posts in this series, scroll to the bottom.
 

Translation is an art. Any comments or clarifications by Yiddish and/or Hebrew speakers/translators are welcome. Despite the best efforts by a talented translator, there are always places where the handwriting is challenging or the meaning confusing.


Postmark:

13 August 1912, Baranovka, Vol. [Volhynia gubernia]

 

Printed on address side of the card: 

Л. Лидерманъ. [L. Liderman]

Addressed to:

America
 
Mr. H. Berger [1]
92 Bllossom street [Blossom street]
Lynn Mass
for Morris Lid.
U.S. of America

Translation

Translation by Esther Chanie Dushinsky

[Notes in blue as well as those at the end of the post are mine. For ease of reading, I have added paragraph breaks in the translation.] 

Baranovka                                         August 12/25, 1912 [2]

My dear son who sweetens my soul, Mr. Moshe'le, should live.

I traveled home today, and when I got home, as usual, I asked whether there was a card or letter from you. And mother, should live, said no. I asked her with this tone, as if she is a _____ to give me a letter from you. And she responds with the tone, as if she's excusing you for me. 

What came out of this, my dear son, is that it's good that we both wait so much for your letters?

I sent you a letter about 2 weeks ago, a sealed one.[3] Usually you have already received it. Perhaps you responded to that already, and it is in transit still, or not?

Today we received a letter from Shepetovka from H. Galperin.[4] The one where Zundel used to manage his _____ _____ [korros fadencia].[5] He writes that if Zundel wants, he can have a job there now. I sent the letter to Zundel'n and to H Galperin. I wrote to ask him he should await until Zundel arrives and he will work it out with him.

I don't have any news to write about us. I, mother, Feiga and Shakhna and the children are wishing you a good and blessed new year.[6] We wish to see you in health and in goodness.

[side 2]

After Yom Tov, we are considering moving to Feiga'n in the rooms.[7] Feiga already has a _____ the neighbor should have an apartment.

Our Sarah has acclimated a little bit to Baranovka with friends already and  she is already a bit _____.

Your father that loves you _____ _____

And your mother that loves you _____ _____ Moshe'le. I am asking that you should a send few _____. If not, I won't be calm. Be well. 

Notes

1. Morris was a boarder living with Harris Berger and his family in Lynn, Massachusetts. For further information, see note 5 for the letter previously posted here. 

2. 12/25 represents the difference between the Julian calendar date (12 August 1912), then used in the Russian Empire, and the same day in the Gregorian calendar date (25 August 1912), then used in much of the rest of the world, including the United States. It was a Sunday. Levi Yitzkhak posted the letter the following day.

3. It is not clear that the letter mentioned by Levi Yitzkhak survived. Most of the correspondence sent to Morris Lederman from his family in the old country came in the form of postcards. A few were letters that had clearly originally been inside an envelope that no longer survives. There are several letters in the family collection, but most seem to have been identified with a date or origin that do not match the letter cited.  

The letters that have survived were clearly sent in an envelope so that more personal issues could be discussed without prying eyes.

4. In the last letter I posted, it seemed as if Zanvel was in the community of Slavuta. Shepetovka is about 12 miles SE of Slavuta. I have looked through the 1906 Duma voters' list that have transcribed for the Zaslav District, which included Shepetovka, and I have not found H. Galperin (there was a Hersh Galperin in Slavuta in 1906).

5. Morris' older brother's name has previously been written as Zanvel or Zaidel. I am not sure why it appears differently here. In several cases in past letters I have been able to figure out the Russian phrase written in Hebrew letters. In this case, however, I am stumped. If anyone has any idea what this means (and in what language) please let me know in a comment below. Thank you.

6. Feiga, Morris' older sister, lived in Baranovka with her husband Shalom Shakhna Grinfeld and their three children. 

7. "Yom Tov" refers to the Jewish festival days on which activities are limited, similar to on the Sabbath. In this case, Levi Yitzkhak was referring to the next important holiday on the Hebrew calendar: Rosh Hashanah (Tishri 1 and 2). In 1912 in the Russian Empire Julian calendar, Rosh Hashanah started on the evening of 31 August. For Morris, in the USA, it started on 12 September. Considering that Rosh Hashanah (the New Year) and Yom Kippur occur in quick succession and are often considered together as the High Holy Days, he may have meant that they would be moving after Yom Kippur (Tishri 10). 

Posts in this Series

 

02 January 2022

Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 4 July 1912

This post continues translation of letters and postcards in Yiddish (and, sometimes, Hebrew and a little bit of Russian) sent to Morris Lederman, who immigrated to the United States in 1910. Most of the postcards, such as this one, were sent by Morris' father Levi Yitzkhak. For further background, see the first post in this series.

For links to other posts in this series, scroll to the bottom.
 

Translation is an art. Any comments or clarifications by Yiddish and/or Hebrew speakers/translators are welcome. Despite the best efforts by a talented translator, there are always places where the handwriting is challenging or the meaning confusing.

Postmark:

4 July 1912, Baranovka, Vol. [Volhynia gubernia] [1]

Printed on address side of the card: 

уполномоченный "еко" [authorized "eko"] [2]

Ш. Гринфелд  [Sh. Grinfeld] [3]

(Утвержденъ Мин. Дел 31 мая  14968) м. Барановка [(Approved by the Ministry of Affairs on May 31, 14968) Baranovka] [4]

Addressed to:

America
 
Mr. H. Berger [5]
94 Blosson street [Blossom street]
Lynn Mass

Translation

Translation by Esther Chanie Dushinsky

[Notes in blue as well as those at the end of the post are mine. For ease of reading, I have added paragraph breaks in the translation.]

Monday, Rosh Khodesh Menakhem Av, 1912, 1/13 Baranovka [6]

My dear and beloved, beloved son Mr. Moshe-Shalom-Mordekhai, should live. My dear son! I received your card and I thank you very, very much, my son. You revive us every time, and we all feel blessed, my son. And you should be blessed too.

From what you wrote in your letter, my son, we understand that you have no money. We aren't even talking about sending money, but what is the reason and why did you decide to buy a watch for $75? You think it's a small thing? 75 dollars! Here it's considered _____ ruble. 

You're allowed to say whatever you want about me, my child and I tell you that it isn't OK. Bottom line, enough, enough to talk about it. For the future, my son, one doesn't need to be such a _____. One should think very well what to do.

We don't have any letters from Zavil, but we get greetings via mouth. Thank God for his health. But he is a _____, meaning from others, not from his own. Of course I would be happy if he'd receive from God's hand directly.

Now Sarah traveled to Slavuta with the goal to see Zaidel'n [or Zavil'n]. It isn't far from Slavuta to Polon [Polonnoe], just a few verst.[7] She left last week, and she will probably come back this week.

I was home this past Shabbos, and now it's Sunday night. I am sleeping at home tonight as well, so I am writing from home. 

Mother, should live, keeps on reading the card that you sent, as well as the card that I am writing now. We are wishing you a good night and it should always be good. Feiga, Shakhna and the children are greeting you three times. 

Your father, _____
 

Notes:

1. Since Levi Yitzkhak later says he is home for Shabbos, it appears that he, his wife, and daughter (Sarah) finally moved to Baranovka, near their daughter Feiga, her husband Shakhna, and their family.

2. Some of the text is probably under the postage stamps and it is not clear what this means. 

3. The last letter of the surname Grinfeld is probably under the postage stamps. Shalom Shakhna Grinfeld was married to Levi Yitzkhak's older daughter, Feiga. The couple lived in Baranovka with their three children: Leya (Leah), Raya (Rae) and Wolf (Robert). In a previous blog post, I discussed Shakhna's murder, probably in the 1919-1920 pogroms. Sefer Zvhil, a yizkor book that included information about Baranovka, identified Shakhna Grinfeld as a community leader. He served as a delegate to the Zionist convention in Leningrad. In addition, he may have worked with community organizations that provided aid for those unable to help themselves (see note 8 in the previously cited blog post).

4. Again, the meaning of this authorization by an unnamed Russian ministry is, unfortunately, not clear. 

5. While the letter is clearly written to Morris, it was addressed to H. Berger (Harris Berger). I have located Harris Berger, his wife Sarah Brenner, and their children (Kava/Kenny, Jenny/Jean and Samuel, Louis, Ruth, Laura and Evelyn) in census records from 1910, 1930 and 1940. For most of that time, Harris was a grocer. Harris and Sarah married in 1903 in Haverhill, Massachusetts. City directories from 1912 and 1913 indicated that Harris Berger, grocer, lived at 92 Blossom Street. In 1911, he was at 108 Blossom Street (the letter posted on 14 April 1912 to Morris was addressed to 108 Blossom). One of their daughters (likely Ruth) was born  on 14 July 1912 when they lived at 92 Blossom Street. I am not sure what to make of the discrepancy in the address except that it may have been a mistake. Levi Yitzkhak's next letter was sent to 92 Blossom Street. Regardless, the letter sent to 94 Blossom apparently did get to Morris.

6. The dates noted by Levi Yitzkhak are a little off. Based on his previous letters, the 1/13 in this card indicated day 1 of the month in the Julian calendar, then in use in the Russian Empire, and day 13 of the same month in the Gregorian calendar (in use now and then in the United States). 

The card was postmarked on 4 July 1912 (Julian calendar).  Later on in this card Levi Yitzkhak noted that he'd written the card on Sunday night, i.e., 1 July 1912, which actually would have been 14 July 1912 in the Gregorian calendar - not 13 July. 

As one might expect, Levi Yitzkhak, a religious man, was correct that it was Menakhem Av as he wrote the card.  Since days in the Jewish calendar start at sundown, the evening of 1 July (Julian) would have been the first day of Menakem Av in 1912. 

7. Slavuta is 34 miles, 54.8 kilometers, or 51.4 verst northwest of Polonnoe. 

Posts in this Series

30 December 2021

Virtually "Back to the Old Country": Planned SLIG Course Now Will Be Available Via One's Home Computer

 
A few months ago, I posted here about a week-long Jewish genealogy course that Janette Silverman, Lara Diamond, Marian Smith and I would be teaching between January 9th and 14th, 2022 at the Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG): “Back to the Old Country: Genealogy of Ashkenazic Jews of Galicia and the Russian Empire.” A few weeks ago, after evaluating the current COVID situation, SLIG decided to go virtual.

Now, one can take "Back to the Old Country" from one's home computer. No additional costs due to airline fights or hotel rooms. The course is geared to advanced beginner and intermediate genealogists who have conducted some research and are familiar with standard research procedures.

Ours is one of 11 virtual courses offered this coming January. To see a description of the Jewish genealogy course and the others, go to https://slig.ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=627. There are still some seats available.

General information abour SLIG 2022 may be viewed at https://slig.ugagenealogy.org/cpage.php?pt=524.

Log in or create an account and register at: https://sligregistration.ugagenealogy.org/

18 December 2021

Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 19 March 1912

I am afraid I misread the date on this one when I was sorting them chronologically for posting in this blog. My last post was a postcard from April 1912. This one is from a few weeks earlier in March 1912. I should have posted it before the previous post.

This post continues translation of letters and postcards in Yiddish (and, sometimes, Hebrew and a little bit of Russian) sent to Morris Lederman, who immigrated to the United States in 1910. Most of the postcards, such as this one, were sent by Morris' father Levi Yitzkhak. For further background, see the first post in this series.

For links to other posts in this series, scroll to the bottom.
 

Translation is an art. Any comments or clarifications by Yiddish and/or Hebrew speakers/translators are welcome. Despite the best efforts by a talented translator, there are always places where the handwriting is challenging or the meaning confusing.


 

 


Company name printed on address side [side 2] of the card: 

контора  Office

Жарской Лесной Дачи и Лесопильн Завода Zharskoy Forest Dacha and Sawmill

Addressed to:

America
 
Mr. M. Lederman
Lynn, Mass.
108 Blossm Street [Blossom Street]

Translation

Translation by Esther Chanie Dushinsky

[Notes in blue as well as those at the end of the post are mine. For ease of reading, I have added paragraph breaks in the translation.]

[side 1]

Zhary forest, which is close to Polonnoe, 20 verst, close to Baranovka, 16 verst [1]

 

Tuesday, Vayikra, 6/19 March 1912 [2] 

 

My dear and beloved son Mr. Moshe - Shalom - Mordekhai, should live. My dear and beloved son, I knew _____ _____ that holding back the fruits of my pen, it's because _____ but the honest truth is that I am not guilty. You know, my child, that I am here at a new job and there is a lot of work, from sun up, until evening. I am very busy and at night I have to write down the details of my job. So, since I came here, now that the way is clear, as it is spring, I am a bit more free. Not entirely, but at least I can take a break and write a card to you.

 

I don't have news to write. Thank God we are alive and in peace and may God help that we should hear from you in peace and tranquility, and calmness.

 

Zavil came home already.[3] Most likely they wrote to you about it from home. _____ my luck, I had to send him 15 once, and then 20 a second time. But I am thinking about bringing him here to me, in Zhary, in the forest as a bookkeeper. I happen to have an opportunity to give him a job here in the winter. But I wasn't sure whether he had a job there.But don't tell him this secret. He only wrote to me about his luck in the last while. That's when I sent him 20 and wrote to him that he should come. But now it's before Pesakh and the ways are very bad and the work here hasn't lessened, he sits at home meanwhile, in Annopol.

 

Moshe'le, most likely they wrote to you from home that the house sold for a decent amount and the Polish Rav bought it. And they had to give him the home, so they moved to the house of Gershon Vidro.[4]

 

[sideways]

The job is of course more pleasant than _____ in _____. And I get paid more. I will receive 40 a month, _____ _____. 


[side 2]

I plan to move after Pesakh to Baranovka.

 

My son, you asked me in the letter _____ that you wanted to send, and I didn't send it to you, because I thought that mother, should live, will write to you. And now, I also don't know _____ the mail. Meaning, to Polonnoe, or Baranovka, or Annopol for Pesakh. I will be home for Pesakh, and we will discuss it and write to you. Bless and wish us, my child, that whatever we will do should be with blessed luck and we should be well and strong. We should hear from you, and you should hear from us. I am wishing you and blessing you, my child, from the depths of my heart. Blessing you, your father that loves you _____ _____. 

 

Notes:

1. Levi Yitzkhak kindly told his son,Morris, where the Zhary forest, in which he was working, was located. A verst was a measure of length in the Russian Empire. It was equivalent to .66 miles or 1.1 kilometers. So, the forest was about 13.2 miles (22 kms) from Polonnoe and 10.6 miles (17.6 kms) from Baranovka. While Levi Yitzkhak did not specify the directions from the two communities, I noticed that there is a placed identified as Zhary on a current map (below). It seems to be in about the correct location. So, the forest must have been east of Baranovka and NNE of Polonnoe.

 

 

2. Levi Yitzkhak wrote both the Julian and Gregorian calendar dates here (6/19 March). He wrote the postcard on March 6 in the Julian/Russian calendar and March 19 in the Gregorian calendar already adopted in the United States and much of the world.  

 

Vayikra is the 24th weekly Torah portion read in the yearly Jewish cycle. It is in the first book of Leviticus 1:1-5:26.

 

3. Zavil (or Zanvel), Moshe's brother, had been trying to get work in Ekaterinaslav (today called Dnipro).


4. I have been transliterating and indexing several district Duma voters lists published in the Volinskiy Gubernskiy Vedomosti (a local newspaper) in 1906 and 1907. The 1906 Duma voters list for the Ostrog district included Gershko Vidra (entry 324), a homeowner in Annopol. I do not know if Gershon/Gershko was a relative.

 

I have not found Levi Yitzkhak Liderman in this same 1906 Duma list that includes homeowners from Annopol.

Posts in this Series