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 correspondence, such as this one, were sent by Morris' father Levi
Yitzkhak. For further background, see the first post in this series.
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. The underlined words in this letter are as written by Levi Yitzkhak.]
Monday, Parshas Vayechi, 2/15 1912 Zhary forest 
My beloved and dear son who sweetens my soul, Mr. Moshe Shalom Mordekhai should live.
I am writing this letter in the forest. It is Sunday evening, Parshas Vayechi, December 2 English December 15. Today the people traveled from the kantur [?] to Baranovka. I gather that they will most likely bring back a letter or card for me, from you.
But right now, I am only writing a response to your earlier letter from 19 November English that you wrote. It arrived to me last week Sunday already. This is a calculation of 8 December English. Meaning, that from when you wrote it, until now is about 18-19 days.
You write in the letter that you met with Baruch Zharlitzer's [son]. You write about your happiness when you saw him and that he really did give you a truly warm greeting. Mother, indeed, told me that the entire time before he left, she asked him, told him that she should greet you and to give over. I, myself, did not see him before he left, as I was not home. Bottom line, my son, when we read something in you letters about your happiness, we feel a lot of pleasure.
It's been a few times that you have written something that you will _____ _____ [travel to?]. But you don't write why and when. What is this? What is this? You wrote to him and you still haven't received a response from him. All your words are obscure, you don't write details.
Can you believe how many times I have asked you in the letters that you should write something of "importance/purpose" - I say purpose - but by the way, I am of the opinion that a person, a human being don't know what purpose is. There is The One Who Created and runs the world, He does things with a purpose and that's what lasts forever. But my dear son, even so, a person can't always keep his hands in the pocket. A person must do and God will help. So my dear son, write something important. What are you thinking? What are you saying about the future. I want to know your opinion.
From Zavel'n, the story is as follows: from the start, I understand that things were hard. That's what I saw in his letters every time he wrote to us. He constantly complained that it was hard for him.
And by the way, Gedalya Eisenberg was here. From the start. The Gabbai is the son, Shmuel Eisenberg's [i.e., Shmuel Eisenberg's son]. He is currently the main manager [?]. Meaning, in Polin and ____ [forkshne or porkshne or similar] he is the organizer - he told me in the beginning that he isn't too impressed with Zavel'n. Meaning, it would, he said, it would be very good if I would write to Zavel'n that he should be more devoted in the shop - you can understand that from what he said, I was already not calm. That's when I sent mother, should live, to be there. I have written about this to you. This still happened in the summer.
But now I was at Chona Eisenberg, and Gedalya was also home. But happens to be he went down to the street then. I spoke about this again. From what Chona said, I understand they are happy with him now. He got used to the shop already. They said that it isn't surprising that a new person takes time to get used to the shop. A few minutes later, Gedalya arrived home and he said the same thing as Chona said.
But from Zavel himself, I did not have any letters about this topic. There were no letters home either. I told G. with wonder - how is it that Zavel doesn't come home this entire time? You think one would want to travel from such a shop? He told me - you should write the address. So I'm writing here. But I think it's better that you write him at our address and we send it to him. This is the address:
Bumazhnovo Polyanskovo Frabrika [plant/factory]
To: Mr. Zeidel Liderman
station [railroad station] Krivin, Volinskava Gubernia 
Greetings to R'David _____ [Wallach?] in my name. Greet Yisrael Pesis [?], everyone we know, all my acquaintances should be sent regards. We ask that if it's possible to do a favor, you should not forget about us.
Greet Baruch Zharizher [?]'s boy in my name.
Your father that worries about you and is awaiting to see you with much nakhas.
1. "2/15" was not February 15, but Levi Yitzkhak's way of recognizing the same day as designated on the two calendars: 2 December 1912 (Julian) and 15 December 1912 (Gregorian).
The Torah reading for Vayechi is Genesis 47:28 - 50:26.
For information on the location of the Zhary forest, see note 1 in this earlier post. Levi Yitzkhak had been working for a private timber company in the Zhary forest.
2. The exact meaning of the transcribed word "kantur" is not clear. I think the word may actually have been "canton" - a small administrative division. This would make some sense as the Zhary forest was not close to any large communities. So, some people from the local area (or, perhaps, his company) traveled to Baranovka (where Levi Yitzkhak's family was living).
3. I have been unable to locate anyone with that surname or something similar. There are several issues.
There is no indication of Baruch's son's first name. And we do not know where he might have been living in the USA. Morris/Moshe was in Lynn, Massachusetts, at this time.
The last name is transcribed with two different spellings in this letter (here and several paragraphs down): Zharlitzer and Zharizher. These renderings could be spelled several ways in Russian (including staring with letters that sound like Zh, Ch, Shch, and Ts). I have checked JewishGen's FamilyFinder and have located no researchers seeking similar surnames.
It is not clear from which community Zharlitzer lived in Ukraine. It could have been Annopol where Morris lived with his parents before he emigrated. Or, it could have been Baranovka where Morris' parents moved. I tried to located a similar name with the first name Borukh in 1906 and 1907 Voters Lists for Ostrog District (for Annopol) and Novograd Volinskiy district (for Baranovka). I found no similar listings.
I search for similar surnames in the Ellis Island manifest database using the Gold Form search box on SteveMorse.org. Similar searches of other immigration databases on Ancestry.com (specifying Jewish collections) were fruitless.
4. Zavel and Zeidel and names for the same person, Moshe's older brother.
5. A gabbai is the synagogue official who is in charge of finances - a treasurer or administrator.
6. So far, we have not been able to determine the meaning of the word forkshne or porkshne.
7. I have looked for Chona and Gedalya Eisenberg (Aizenberg) in Annopol, Baranovka and Polonne and have not found them in Voter's lists from 1906 and 1907.
8. Krivin appears to have been a rural area (just a train station) about halfway between Ostrog and Slavuta.
Thanks to Oleksiy Khrystuch and Nina Vinakovsky who responded to my post on the FaceBook page Genealogical Translations and helped decipher the Cyrillic handwriting.
9. I have not located people with these surnames in Lynn, MA, in the 1910 and 1920 census or the 1912 and 1913 Lynn city directories.
Posts in this Series
"Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 18 January 1911"
"Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 4 February 1911"
"Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 21 February 1911"
"Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 8 March 1911"
"Letters from Levi Yitzkhak Lederman, 27 April 1911"