The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Page 1

A Father to So Many Chassidim

‫אב המון חסידים‬ the story of

Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Moshe Yosef Rubin

A Father to So Many Chassidim

‫אב המון חסידים‬ the story of

Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Moshe Yosef Rubin

A Father to So Many Chassidim The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer by Moshe Yosef Rubin

Copyright Š 2010 Geder Avos Jewish Heritage Group, Inc. 1261 50th Street – Brooklyn, New York 11219 All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form without prior permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages. Designed by Julie Farkas Library of Congress Control Number: 2010916048 ISBN 978-0-615-41457-7 Printed in the United States


The Story Behind the Title

very Sunday morning from 1986 to 1992 (5746-5752), the Rebbe would give a few words of blessing to each

of the thousands of people who waited in line at “770,” together with a dollar to be passed on to a charitable cause. One Sunday in Reb Avrohom’s later years, as he approached, the Rebbe raised his holy hands in welcome and, paraphrasing a verse in Bereishis, greeted him with these words: Avrohom, av hamon chassidim! – “Avrohom, father to so many chassidim!”

T able of C ontents ix Author’s Foreword xiii Prologue

1 Chapter One

5 Chapter Two Shtetl Life in White Russia History of Mayore and the Vitebsk Province Drizin Family Roots The Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch Yeshivah Kremenchug–Poltava–Nevel 35 Chapter Three R eb Avrohom’s Father-in-Law, Reb Zalman Moshe HaYitzchoki 49 Chapter Four 1925-1930 Marriage Arrest of the Rebbe Rayatz Underground Yeshivos in Nevel – Polotsk –Vitebsk – Kiev 61 Chapter Five 1930-1940 Directing the Underground Ye shivos Departure of the HaYitzchokis Organizing Community Life in Greater Moscow Surviving in the Shadow of the NKVD 85 Chapter Six 1940-1944 WWII Wartime in Moscow 99 Chapter Seven 1941-1942 Holocaust in White Russia Destruction of Mayore’s Jewish Community


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

105 Chapter Eight 1944-1946 Life in Uzbekistan Illegal Escape from the Soviet Union 121 Chapter Nine 1946-1948 DP Camps in Germany New Horizons Abroad 151 Chapter Ten 1949-1950 Settling in the Holy Land A Long-Awaited Reunion The HaYitzchoki & Drizin Families in Eretz Yisroel Pioneering Days in Safariyya-Kfar Chabad and Lod The Sun Sets in New York 163 Chapter Eleven 1951-1960 A New Sunrise Reb Avrohom, Educator and Master Farbrenger Festivities and Calamities in the Village Family Events and Hardships 207 Chapter Twelve 1960-1980 Sarah and the Children Leave for New York The Family Is Reunited in Crown Heights Close to the Rebbe Reb Avrohom as Shadar and Mashpia Family Milestones 227 Chapter Thirteen 1980-1991 Reb Avrohom’s Last Decade Mashpia in Crown Heights Community Reaching Out to Other Communities “770” and the Rebbe Family Updates The Passing of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer 245 Epilogue

Table of Contents


Appendices The Pl ig ht of t he Under g r o und Ye shivos NKVD Dossier of Guilt y Cit iz ens, 1935 A Pl ea to Hel p Hung ry S tudent s The Day s of Aw e in Kfar Chabad, 5716 (1955) A Far br eng en: R osh Chode sh Kisl e v, 5742 (1981) “Av r ohom, Av r ohom … ”

313 Glossary 323 Index of Names 332 Family Tree


A fair exchange. Reb Avrohom and the author trade shtekens (canes). Tannersville, NY. 1986 (5746).

A uthor ’ s F oreword 


o write a book on Zeide? Not a simple task, and I question whether these two years of work have done him justice. He passed away when I was just six years old, but my memories of him are among my most precious. During my childhood, my mother – his daughter – would tell me about him and I was fascinated by everything I heard. Even now, years after his passing, his presence is felt in our family, our lives still warmed by his love, moved by the greatness of his rare personality. Just as with Avrohom Avinu came Sarah, our Avrohom came along with his own Sarah, and together they navigated their thorny but satisfying path through life. Having herself grown up in the presence of greatness, in a home glowing with the holy light of Chassidus, Bobbe Sarah in turn radiated this light as she raised her children. This project was begun shortly before my engagement to my wife Chayale and it is now being completed as we welcome our beautiful baby daughter Rachel into this world. The kindness that the One Above has bestowed upon me during this time, together with the experience of researching and gaining


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

a real glimpse into who my Zeide really was, have given new meaning to the way I look at everything in this world. Time and again, the following words have come to mind: Katonti mikol hachassadim u’mikol ha’emes – “I am humbled by all the acts of kindness and of truth.” 1 I am overwhelmed by a sense of gratitude for all the kindness and blessings that I have been shown from Above, and am humbled by the truth of Chassidus, of Lubavitch, of the Rebbeim – the truth that was so overtly manifested in the lives of my Zeide and of the other chassidim whose names appear throughout these chapters. Readers will no doubt be inspired by the story of his life, with his awe of Heaven, his mesirus nefesh, his passionate love of the Rebbe and of Chassidus, his sharp mind, and of course his extraordinary compassion for every fellow Jew.

 This work was blessed to have two superb editors work on it, but before I thank them, I must thank my cousin Estee Schneerson for first suggesting that I get in touch with Rochel Chana Riven, whose input to this project has been invaluable. Her editing is sharp, every word being subject to insightful and honest comments. She in turn suggested that I ask Reb Uri Kaploun to become our final editor, with the result that this biography is now a heartwarming chassidic experience. To my cousin Moshe Drizin, who encouraged me to undertake this project. What a beautiful gift he is bestowing upon our family and upon so many others. I am grateful to my cousin Yosef Kaminezki, whose biography Anashim Chassidim Hayu on Reb Zalman Moshe HaYitzchoki and Reb Avrohom provided me with a valuable blueprint, and who was constantly willing to assist me in every possible way; the authors of the other books and publications that are listed in the endnotes that appear at the end of each chapter; 2 the over 50 people who were interviewed, especially the children (“the siblings”) and the in-laws of Reb Avrohom and Sarah, who for me represent a living link to Zeide and Bobbe, and also the many others who are acknowledged in their respective endnotes; my uncle Reb Chaim Itche Drizin for reviewing the chapters and for his welcome additions; my cousin Julie Farkas, whose design of this book, inside and out, have made the beauty of the vessel worthy 1 2

Bereishis 32:11. Footnotes are indicated in the text by conventional superscript digits. The endnotes that give the sources of information appear at the end of each chapter, and are indicated in the text by superscript digits enclosed in square brackets.

Author’s Foreword


of the wine within; my sister Chaya New, for a lot of constructive criticism and for editing the photo captions; my cousin Chaim Drizin, for his touching Prologue; my cousin, Moshe Kugel, for reviewing the chapters and for his input; my brother-in-law, Dovid Brawer, for being a constructive sounding board; Neria Cohen, for her meticulous proofreading and her painstaking work on the glossary and index; my cousin, Dvora New, for her advice on the cover design; Zalman Alpert, reference librarian at the Gottesman Library at YU, for his generous input; Reb Yehoshua Mondshine, for his sound advice; Reb Michoel Seligson, Reb Yisroel Elfenbein and Reb Shneur Zalman Berger, for providing important information; Reb Boruch Jacobson, for his initial endeavors in assembling biographical sketches on my Zeide; my cousin Yisrael Kugel, for locating interviewees; and any other willing helpers whom I may have forgotten to mention. Credits for the rich collection of photos below, unless otherwise noted, go to the extended Drizin Family Archive. Other photos of special note are those from the archive of the Globerman family in Lod and the Yemei Temimim Archive.

 In the absence of words to express my gratitude to the following, I will merely mention their names: My parents, Reb Yaakov and Leah Rubin; my wife’s parents, Reb Alter and Sarah Bukiet; and my wife Chayale, Rabos bonos osu chayil, v’at alis al kulanah – “Many daughters have done worthily, but you surpass them all.” 3 May we merit to greet Moshiach Tzidkeinu, and be united with all our loved ones, with the chassidim of yore, with the Rebbe and all the Rebbeim – in Yerushalayim, Ir Hakodesh, speedily in our days!

‫השיבנו ה׳ אליך ונשובה חדש ימינו כקדם‬ Moshe Yosef Rubin Rosh Chodesh Kislev, 5771 (November 7, 2010) Brooklyn, New York 3

Mishlei 31:29.


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

P rologue Zeide 

It sort of dawned on us in dribs and drabs as we were growing up. He was your typical kindly grandfather, whose eyes lit up whenever a grandchild would enter the room – and yet, there was something else there. “770” was full of them in those days: older men with lion-hearts who just appeared ordinary. They were the survivors, keepers of the flame: they had stared death in the face without flinching. For some it was the SS and the concentration camps; for others it was the horrors of Soviet repression.


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Reb Avrohom Mayorer, our grandfather, was one of them – and then some. Every day he would come to shul and sit down to daven. Eyes closed, he would concentrate intensely, and from time to time a snippet of a niggun would emanate from his soul. We all took it for granted, because he was so unassuming. Doesn’t everyone’s grandfather do this? Time went by and we realized that Zeide had lived many lives before the present. Friends related what their fathers, grandfathers, and teachers had told them. “What? You never heard that one before?” It seemed as if every midnight farbrengen with this or that old chossid held a whisper of another oft-repeated tale. There were stories of unusual bravery in Stalinist Russia. It seemed as if almost every other friend of his had been executed or sent to the Gulag. Theirs was the crime of teaching in the underground network of chadorim, the secret schools that kept the pulse of Yiddishkeit beating during those horrific times. Zeide had attained an almost mythological reputation amongst the chassidim of his day for his uncanny ability to evade capture. “He slept in the cemetery at night, because that is when the KGB would come to arrest.” “Did you hear the one about when he posed as a beggar and the police agent just looked right past him?” The stories kept coming.... Then there was the discovery that he wasn’t just a bit player on the periphery: he was the menahel, the director, of the entire network – and he hadn’t mentioned anything to us at all….



Stories were gathered. Older chassidim shared them and some of the younger ones repeated them. There were tales of the fabled town of Lubavitch, of closeness to the Rogatchover Gaon, and of formidable Talmudic erudition. There was the older chossid who shared the fact that our grandfather had once repeated from memory a maamar of Chassidus that was so long that his head was aching just from listening to it. The most common tale was the most surprising. “I lived in your grandparents’ home.” “I slept there for two years.” “I ate there every day; I would have starved to death if not for them.” “He saved my life.” It was the frequency of the tale that was astonishing. When the Soviet Union had begun to crumble and he was asked why he didn’t go and visit Moscow – his old hometown, after all – he trembled. None of us had ever seen him do that before. It made us realize that he had been in the crucible and had emerged intact. There was also the unusual dichotomy which all of us took for granted. He was unusually devoted to his family for someone who was so passionate about helping others. An aunt once related – and it left an impression on us – that no matter how tired he was, he would always have time to tell her “scary Baal Shem Tov stories” when she was a child in Moscow. Imagine if you will, a man on the run, the dragnet of the feared secret police closing in on him – and he has the presence of mind and the strength of will to focus on his young child.


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

A friend, whose family spent time with ours in Tashkent/Samarkand during the war years, once told us that his grandmother remembers our grandfather cooking a dish for the family and wearing a vest with several types of spices in his pockets! Head in the spiritual spheres, feet planted firmly on the ground. There were other lives to follow the one in Russia. Two years in the DP camps in Germany, of which only now are we hearing the stories that show that he wasn’t your typical refugee. He was concerned with the rebuilding of Klal Yisroel, as many others, understandably enough, focused on rebuilding their own shattered lives. Eretz Yisroel. Kfar Chabad. Starting over one more time. There was work to be done: a village to be founded, a yeshivah to be run, and chassidim to be inspired. Despite the extreme poverty and deprivation that existed in Eretz Yisroel of the day, he threw himself into his new mission with the zeal and energy of someone years younger. Many people crossed his path during those intense days, and they all reminisce wistfully about the farbrengens at the Kfar or his devotion to his talmidim at the yeshivah in Lod. “They don’t make ’em like that anymore,” was the opinion of an old Lakewood boy who spent some time with him in Tannersville, New York, where he summered in his latter years. He had an appeal that crossed the traditional demarcated lines that we, as Jews, have drawn: chassidim, misnagdim, Poilishe, and Litvishe. They all knew when they encountered someone real – and he was. We all believe that his latter years were his most satisfying.



He lived in close proximity to the Rebbe – his Rebbe, whom he loved with every fiber of his being. He was able to daven and learn to his heart’s content. (Some of us remember his joy when he discovered a new edition of his old favorite, Imrei Binah. It was as if he had discovered diamonds – and perhaps he had.) However, even as he basked in the warm glow of the Crown Heights community and was surrounded by his friends and family, he was working on his next life. As a fundraiser for the Lubavitcher Yeshivah, he traveled the length and breadth of America. We are constantly encountering people whom he touched, shluchim whom he inspired, and impressions that he made. He was also one of the senior mashpi’im of Crown Heights. It was a familiar sight: Zeide, with his long, flowing beard sitting at a table in “770” late at night, with throngs of people huddled around him, drinking in every word, watching the verbal picture that he was painting – the maestro at work. When he was much older, our grandmother once frantically called one of her grandsons to please convince him to come home as it was getting very late and she was worried about him. He was at “770” and was helped home. On his way, he was asked why he farbrenged so often and so long, as it seemed to worry our grandmother. His answer was telling: He said that he had made a reckoning of what was the best way a 90-year-old such as himself could contribute to the ebb and flow of life. “I can’t lift heavy objects,” he said, “nor can I run.” He said that nothing of his seemed to work anymore as it used to, except for one faculty, one talent that he had:


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

“I can farbreng,” he stated with a steely determination, “and I intend to farbreng for as long as I can.” And he did.… They truly don’t make ’em like that anymore.



t the Shivah of Reb Avrohom,1 one of his old friends, Reb Chaikel Chanin, captivated the family with a moving description of the plight of the community of Anash in the USSR under Stalin, who had ruthlessly deprived them of the right to maintain any legal educational institutions.[1] Yet despite the terrors of interrogation, exile, torture and firing squads, that community managed not only to survive but also to retain and pass on its religious and chassidic heritage. This was made possible only by the unflinching devotion of Reb Avrohom and his like-minded colleagues, who served in a variety of capacities, according to need. There were times, Reb Chaikel explained, that the community desperately needed a rosh yeshivah; there were times that they needed a mashpia; there were times that they needed a farbrenger; and at other times they needed a menahel to organize underground yeshivos. In Russia, as elsewhere, such varied roles were filled 1

I n harmony with the informal chassidisher tone of the environment in which Reb Avrohom lived his life, the personal names of even very learned chassidim are preceded throughout this book not by “Rabbi” but by “Reb.” This term does not disparage a person’s erudition; it is fond, but respectful.


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

by a number of people with varied talents – though with one striking exception. If someone was needed to deliver a shiur in nigleh, Reb Avrohom could be relied upon to throw light on the obscurest Talmudic passage; if a mashpia was needed to farbreng or to give a shiur in Chassidus, Reb Avrohom could be relied upon to share his spiritual sensitivity with his eager listeners; and if you needed to organize an underground yeshivah, you could call on Reb Avrohom to take responsibility for its every spiritual and financial need. For a start, then, this is the story of an unusually versatile and courageous soldier for Judaism, the man of the hour who throughout his life was the first to respond to the call of duty. But beyond all that, as a person, Reb Avrohom was a multifaceted diamond. To begin with, he combined two diverse qualities that do not always live together in the same person: a sharp, strong mind – and a kind heart, whose core was unconditional compassion. Here was a happy marriage of seichel and middos. In the same way, he had a burning concern for the needs of others – yet at the same time he was an exemplary family man. For many of his years he was hounded – yet the most threatening clouds never darkened his sunny and resourceful attitude to life; he just looked forward and moved ahead. He adhered uncompromisingly to the requirements of Halachah and Chassidus – yet never sought to impose his stringencies on others. Side by side with his memorable attainments in the public sphere, Reb Avrohom also succeeded in bringing up a large family in the toughest of circumstances. Both of those feats were made possible only by virtue of the educated and determined woman who was his dedicated helpmate, his ezer kenegdo, for 65 years – Sarah Drizin. Only a spirit of self-sacrifice could enable a mother to raise a large chassidishe family in those times, especially since they often had to move to new lodgings whenever the dreaded Secret Service discovered their whereabouts. In fact, her ten children were born in nine different towns! Yet despite all odds, whether in Russia, or later in Eretz Yisroel and in the United States, she imbued her children and grandchildren with chassidic warmth, a genuine love for their fellow Jew, and joy in their observance of the mitzvos. Thus, even though Reb Avrohom’s activities occupy center stage, much of this book is really the story of Avrohom and Sarah. In fact, it is a story of Avrohom Avinu and Sarah Imeinu. Reb Avrohom may have brought home all the hungry guests, but it was Sarah who fed them, even when food was so scarce that her own family would have less to eat. She also provided shelter to men hunted by the NKVD, even when doing so endangered her growing

Chapter One


family. She allowed her husband to travel constantly in order to keep Torah alive in the furthest corners of Jewish Russia, even when she was thereby left alone with the children, under extreme living conditions, for extended periods of time. In the cherished recollections of Reb Avrohom that were garnered from a wide range of people, one quality seems to outshine all others – his spiritual charisma. Whoever observed him talking, or learning, or teaching, or farbrenging, or pouring out his soul when davening, was magnetized by his passionate and contagious love of the One Above, of Chassidus, of the Rebbeim, of Lubavitch. Little wonder, then, that when the famed chozer Reb Yoel Kahan wanted to show the scholarly young men of Borough Park who attended his weekly shiur in Tanya a living portrait of what kind of Jew, what kind of beautiful chossid, the Tanya can produce, he knew where to turn: he introduced them to Reb Avrohom.

 Sometime during the 1970s, a letter arrived at the central office of the Lubavitcher Yeshivah on Ocean Parkway in Brooklyn, addressed to the Yeshivah administration.[2] In that letter, the gabbai of a little Orthodox shul in Houston, Texas wrote that an elderly person named Rabbi Drizin had recently visited their city to raise funds for the Lubavitcher Yeshivah. The gabbai continued: “One evening, Rabbi Drizin came to our shul to daven Minchah. Between Minchah and Maariv he took out a bottle of vodka, sat down with the congregants, and explained to us that this night was a special night. He said it was Yud-Beis Tammuz, the anniversary of the liberation of the sixth Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchok Schneersohn from a big Russian prison. That was in 1927. We sat and listened, but soon it was time for Maariv and we all got up to daven. “After davening, Rabbi Drizin approached me, as the gabbai, and asked if he could remain in shul after Maariv, so I told him: No problem, just let me show you how to lock up. I showed him how to lock up and I went home. “Early next morning I came to shul. Lo and behold, this Jew was sitting in the same place I left him the night before! I asked him, ‘Did you leave at all, or did you stay here the whole night?’ “He answered, ‘No, I didn’t leave; I spent the night here in shul.’ “I continued to prod him. I asked: ‘What did you do for all those hours? Did you learn? Daven?’


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

“He replied: ‘No, no! As I told you, it’s Yud-Beis Tammuz, and on Yud-Beis Tammuz one needs to have a farbrengen. So that’s what I did.’” The gabbai was left perplexed. What was this rabbi talking about? Farbrenging by himself ?! Alone?! So he decided to write to the Yeshivah and tell them this odd story.…

 Where did Reb Avrohom’s mind take him as he farbrenged alone throughout that long night in the little shul in Houston? What memories did he recall? What images did he see? What niggun did he sing? Which of his longlost friends was he saying lechaim to? As he now relived the exhilarating sense of redemption that he and his fellow chassidim experienced on that day in 1927 (5687), did that perhaps remind him of the people of Shushan on Purim? After all, that was how he once described Yud-Beis Tammuz. Was he bringing to mind the golden days in Lubavitch, when as a young student he thirstily waited to drink up each new maamar of the Rebbe Rashab? Was he reliving life in the Soviet underground that was directed and inspired by the Rebbe Rayatz, with its dangers and difficulties, from all of which, thanks to a kind Providence, he himself had been saved? As Reb Avrohom sat and farbrenged in that little shul, was he perhaps waiting – in his mind’s eye – to hear an energizing lechaim veliverachah! as soon as he caught the eye of the Rebbe, who at that very time was farbrenging at “770”? Would anyone say that he was farbrenging out there in Houston alone…? Endnotes to Chapter One [1] [2]

Heard from Reb Chaim Itche Drizin.

Heard from Reb Moshe Bogomilsky, who then worked at the Lubavitcher Yeshivah.


All entries are Hebrew unless otherwise indicated. Entries are explained as used in their immediate context.

ahavas HaShem loving G-d ahavas Yisroel loving one’s fellow Jew

baalei nigleh people outstanding for their scholarship in the revealed planes of the Torah

aliyah (lit., “ascent”) being called to the public Reading of the Torah

baalei teshuvah (lit., “penitents”) current misnomer for late discoverers of their Torah heritage

Anash cordial acronym signifying the chassidic fraternity

batlan an idle or inept person

aron kodesh Holy Ark in the synagogue

bechavrusa (Aramaic) [studying Torah] with one’s academic sparring partner

askan communal functionary

becher (Yiddish) goblet

Avinu our Patriarch

begashmiyus materially

avodas HaShem Divine service

beinoni a person of the lofty spiritual standing defined in Tanya, ch. 12

baal chessed person outstanding for his kindly deeds


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

beis midrash [prayer and] study hall bensch esrog (Yiddish/Hebrew) fulfilling the mitzvah of the Four Species on Sukkos berachah a blessing beruchniyus spiritually bimah the dais on which the Torah is read in the synagogue Birkas Kohanim the Priestly Blessing bitachon trust in G-d Bobbe (Yiddish) grandmother bochur yeshivah student Boruch HaShem Thank G-d! Chabad acronym for the branch of the chassidic movement rooted in an intellectual approach to the service of G-d, founded by Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi; synonym: Lubavitch

Chai Elul (18th of the month of Elul) chassidic holiday celebrating the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov in 1698 and of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi in 1745 chassidish (with variable Yiddish suffix) lit., “chassidic,� but in fact embraces all the positive qualities of character that distinguish the conduct of a person who has internalized the teachings of Chassidus chassidishkeit (Yiddish) a noun corresponding to the above adjective Chassidus the teachings of the movement founded by the Baal Shem Tov, and in this book often signifying the teachings of Chabad in particular chayus vitality, liveliness chazoras hashatz repetition of Shemoneh Esreh (Amidah) by the chazzan chazzan person leading a prayer service chinuch [Torah] education chizuk buttressing



cholent a traditional hot delicacy for Shabbos midday

farbreng (Yiddish) to conduct or participate in a farbrengen

chosson bridegroom

farbrengen (Yiddish) (a) an assemblage addressed by a Rebbe; (b) an informal gathering, often led by a mashpia, at which chassidim, seated around a table with light refreshments and a little strong drink, meet for candid mutual finetuning, via exchanges of insights on chassidic conduct and teachings, stories of memorable chassidim, and niggunim

chozer chossid who reviews from memory a maamar delivered by a Rebbe daven (Yiddish) pray davka (Aramaic) specifically and emphatically der Eibershter (Yiddish) the One Above derashah sermon einiklach (Yiddish) grandchildren Elokus Divinity

frum (Yiddish) pious frumkeit (Yiddish) piety gabbai (a) person who directs communal prayer services; (b) a Rebbe’s organizing secretary

Emunah faith

gadol (lit., “a great one”) an outstanding Torah scholar

Eretz Yisroel the Land of Israel

Gan Eden Garden of Eden

erev the eve of [Shabbos etc.]

gaon a Torah genius

farbaissen (Yiddish) refreshments served at a farbrengen

gartl (Yiddish) thin cloth belt worn during prayer


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

gashmiyus materiality gashmiyusdik (adjective, with varying Yiddish prefixes) material gemach [acronym for Gemilus Chessed] interest-free loan [fund]

Havdalah blessings recited over wine, demarcating the end of Shabbos or a festival hiddurim enhanced and meticulous observances, beyond the letter of the law

Gemora (Aramaic) the Talmud

hiskashrus the bond between chossid and Rebbe

geonim pl. of gaon

Imeinu our Matriarch

geulah redemption

iskafya (Aramaic) self-discipline

golus exile; Diaspora

kabbolas ol acceptance of the yoke [of Heaven’s commands]

Hakkafos celebration with Torah scrolls on Simchas Torah Halachah Torah law Hamapil blessing recited immediately before retiring for the night

Kaddish prayer recited by a mourner or by a person leading communal prayers kallah bride kapitlach (Yiddish) chapters [of Tehillim]

hanhalah administration [of an institution]

kehillah community

HaShem (lit., “the Name”) G-d

kibbud av va’eim honoring father and mother kiddushin (lit., “sanctity”) marriage



kisui harosh a married woman’s head-covering

levayah funeral

kohen (lit., “priest”) a descendant of Aharon

Litvishe (Yiddish) Lithuanian, whether geographically or ideologically

kollel advanced academy for married Torah students

Lubavitch townlet in Belarus which was the center of Chabad Chassidus from 1813 to 1915; a synonym for Chabad

kopke (Russian) a small coin Kosel the Western Wall of the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim Kriyas Shema al HaMitah prayer before retiring at night kugel (Yiddish) a traditional Shabbos delicacy kulle (Yiddish) somersault Lashon HaKodesh the Holy Tongue lebedikeit (Yiddish) liveliness lechaim (lit., “For life!”) a common toast lechaim veliverachah (lit., “For life and for blessing!”) the Rebbe’s usual response to lechaim

Luchos the Tablets of the Law lulav unopened palm branch: one of the Four Species of Sukkot maamar formal chassidic discourse first delivered by a Rebbe machmir undertaking the observance of an optional halachic stringency machnis orach hospitable person maggid itinerant preacher maggid shiur teacher of advanced Torah classes mashal parable mashgiach supervisor of yeshivah studies


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

mashke strong drink over which lechaim is said at a farbrengen mashpia mentor of chassidic teachings and conduct maskil (in chassidic usage) chossid who focuses more on the philosophical (as opposed to the applied) dimension of chassidic teachings; cf. oved

minhagim customs misnaged opponent to Chassidus mivtzo’im outreach activities, such as the Tefillin Campaign mohel circumcisor mosdos [educational] institutions

melamed Torah teacher of young children

moser nefesh self-sacrificing

Melaveh Malkah festive meal that escorts the departing Shabbos Queen

Moshiach Tzidkeinu our Righteous Moshiach

menahel director, administrator menschen (a) people; (b) upstanding people mesechta (Aramaic) Talmudic tractate meshugener (Yiddish) a crazy person middos character traits mikveh pool for ritual immersion

nachas joyful satisfaction, esp. when derived from one’s offspring Ne’ilah the climactic prayer service of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement nebbich (Yiddish) poor fellow! nesius the role, or incumbency, of a nasi, i.e., a Rebbe niggun melody, usually wordless and evocative


nigleh the revealed dimension of the Torah, such as Talmud and Halachah, as distinct from nistar, the mystical dimension, such as Kabbalah and Chassidus Nu (Yiddish) untranslatable multipurpose word used in conversation (as in English, “Well!...”) to express a wide range of meanings, varying with intonation Ohel (lit., “tent”) the structure built over or around the resting place of a tzaddik, and frequented by chassidim and others in prayer oved (pl., ovdim; in chassidic usage) chossid who focuses on the practical application of chassidic teachings to his Divine service, esp. in meditative prayer and in character refinement, rather than on the philosophical dimension of those teachings partisan (English and other languages): member of an ad hoc unit of civilian fighters, esp. against the Nazis peyos sidelocks


pidyon haben redemption of a firstborn son pilpulim intricate legalistic arguments Rabbeinu Tam’s tefillin tefillin whose parchment passages are arranged in the sequence prescribed by Rabbeinu Tam, grandson of Rashi Rabbonim rabbis Rashi’s tefillin tefillin whose parchment passages are arranged in the sequence prescribed by Rashi rebbetzin wife of a rabbi or Rebbe roshei yeshivos academic heads of yeshivos Rov a rabbi ruchniyus spirituality sandak person accorded the honor of holding the baby during his circumcision Sanhedrin (Greek/Aramaic) the ancient supreme court of 70 judges


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Schnell (German) Hurry! seichel (a) intellect; (b) common sense

Shema Yisrael... (lit., “Hear, O Israel…”) a Jew’s ultimate declaration of faith in the unity of G-d

Selichos penitential prayers

sheigetz drastic term for non-Jewish adolescent

seudah meal, esp. a festive one

sheitels (Yiddish) wigs

Shabbos Bereishis the Shabbos after Sukkos: the first Shabbos of the new year

shidduch [marital] match

Shacharis the morning prayer service Shaliach an emissary; in Chabad usage, esp. one dispatched to a community for purposes of outreach Sholom Aleichem (lit., “Peace upon you!”) (a) a common greeting; (b) the song of welcome sung to the ministering angels on Friday evening sharfer mensch a quick-witted person

Shivah seven-day mourning period shlichus the role or mission of a shaliach Shlita acronym wishing long life to the individual whose name it follows shluchim pl. of shaliach shmatte (lit., “rag”) spineless person

Shas (acronym) the Talmud

shmurah-matzah: matzah that has been guarded with particular vigilance against possible leavening

shechitah the slaughtering of kosher meat

shochet qualified ritual slaughterer

shechting (Yiddish/English verb): slaughtering kosher meat

shofar the horn sounded on Rosh HaShanah


shtetl East European township shtiblach (pl. of shtibl) informal places of worship


Tanach acronym for Torah (here meaning the Five Books of Moses), Nevi’im (the Prophets), and Kesuvim (the Writings, such as Psalms and Proverbs)

shtreimel fur hat traditionally worn in honor of Shabbos and other special occasions

Tanna any sage cited in the Mishnah, the halachic statements elucidated in the Gemara

shul (Yiddish) synagogue

Tefillos prayers

shver (Yiddish) father-in-law

Tehillim Psalms

sichos talks (less formal than maamarim) on Torah subjects

tekios the sounding of the shofar

sifrei Chassidus works of chassidic thought

Tomchei Temimim the yeshivah founded by the Rebbe Rashab in 1897 in Lubavitch, or any of its numerous offshoots

sifrei nigleh works of nigleh (see above) sofer scribe taharas hamishpochoh the laws of Family Purity talmid chochom a Torah sage talmidim students; disciples

tomim (lit., “a person of integrity”; pl., temimim) a student at any of the branches of the Tomchei Temimim Yeshivah Tosafists Early medieval scholars cited in the classic Talmudic commentaries called Tosafos tzaddik (a) an utterly righteous individual; (b) a Rebbe


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

tzedakah charity ufruf (Yiddish) the festive occasion on which a bridegroom is called to the public Reading of the Torah on the Shabbos before his wedding Vaad Hatzalah Rescue Committee vort (Yiddish; lit., “a word”) (a) a brief and quotable teaching; (b) celebration of an engagement yahrzeit (Yiddish) anniversary of someone’s passing yechidus private interview (rather: a meeting of souls) at which a chossid seeks guidance and enlightenment from his Rebbe yeshivah Torah academy for advanced students yeshivah bochur a yeshivah student

Yiddishkeit (Yiddish; lit., “Jewishness”) Jewish religious observance (the term is unrelated to the Yiddish language) yiras HaShem the awe of G-d yiras Shomayim the awe of Heaven Yom-Tov (pl., Yomim-Tovim) festival Yud-Beis Tammuz (lit., “the 12th of the month of Tammuz”) festive anniversary of the release in 1927 of the Rebbe Rayatz from Soviet incarceration and capital sentence Yud-Tes Kislev (lit., “the 19th of the month of Kislev”) festive anniversary of the release in 1796 of the Alter Rebbe from Czarist incarceration and capital sentence yungerman (lit., “a young man”; pl., yungeleit) an adult member of the chassidic fraternity of any age whatever

yetzias Mitzrayim the Exodus from Egypt

zecher tzaddik livrochoh (lit., “May the memory of a tzaddik serve for a blessing!”) phrase appended to the name of a departed tzaddik

Yid (Yiddish; pl., Yidn) a Jew

zechus a meritorious privilege

yeshivah ketanah a yeshivah for young adolescents


Blinitsky, Mendel 175, 287

Adler, Risa, see Preminger, Risa

Borovsky, Fayah (née HaYitzchoki) 41, 67, 131, 152, 159, 229

Reb Aharon, the Belzer Rebbe 175

Borovsky, Liba 152

Ailenberg, Shimon 108

Borovsky, Reb Meir 152

Aisenbach, Reb Sholom Leib 174, 239

Borovsky, Reb Shlomo Yaakov 152

Alperowitz, Reb Shneur Zalman (Kurnitzer) 31, 55, 61, 70, 72

Bravman, Reb Dovid 126

Alter Rebbe, the, see Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi

Breinin, Reb Reuven 58

Althaus, Reb Pinchos Todros (Pinye) 154, 156, 281

Butman, Reb Zalman 73

Althaus, Reb Shmuel Betzalel 157, 280-82 Althaus, Tova (née Margolin) 130

Breinin, Reb Avrohom 55 Bukiet, Chayale, see Rubin, Chayale Chanin, Reb Chaikel 1, 106, 114, 115 Charitonow, Reb Mordechai Tzvi 117

Aron, Gita, see Simkin, Gita

Charitonow, Ronya (Tzotze Ronya) 117, 123

Aron, Isaac (Yitzchok) 100, 103

Chazanow, Reb Uziel 96, 105

Aron, Reb Moshe 100

Chein, Henya 115, 208

Astulin, Reb Zalman Leib 80

Chein, Reb Dovid Leib 54, 64, 116

Avidor, Reb Shmuel HaCohen 174

Chein, Reb Dovid Zvi (the Radatz) 17

Avtzon, Reb Gershon 215, 216, 232

Chein, Rivkah (Riva) 54, 116

Avtzon, Reb Meir 71-73, 79, 80, 90, 92, 215, 234, 276-79

Chein, Reb Yudel 110

Avtzon, Reb Sholom Ber 234

Chernobler Rebbe, see Twersky, Reb Meshulam Zusya

Baal Shem Tov, Reb Yisroel 40, 76, 223

Chitrik, Reb Aharon 213

Balshin, Basya 96, 97

Chitrik, Reb Ari 219, 220

Balshin, Reb Reuven 96, 97

Chitrik, Reb Yehudah 30, 42

Bayme, Chanah 12, 59

Chrapkovsky, Dr. Yaakov 96

Bayme, Reb Yehudah (Leibel) 12, 128, 157

Deitsch, Reb Dovid 110

Bayme, Yehudis, see Drizin, Yehudis

Deitsch, Reb Mendel 173

Beliner, Reb Michoel (Michoel der Alter) 20

Deitsch, Reb Sholom 95

Berel der Krumer, see Drizin, Reb DovBer

Deitsch, Sima 103

Berel der Shochet, see HaYitzchoki, Reb DovBer

Denburg, Reb Leibel 91

Bergman, Reb Avrohom Tzvi (the Yassiner Rov) 221

Denburg, Moshe 91 Denburg, Reb Yeshaya (Shaya Szchedriner) 91


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Don Yichye, Reb Shabsai 11

Drizin, Rivkah 88, 94

Rabbi DovBer (the Mitteler Rebbe) 6, 7, 12, 17, 20, 50, 124, 236, 296

Drizin, Rochel, see Pinson, Rochel

Reb Dovid Horodoker, see Kievman, Reb Dovid

Drizin, Sarah (née HaYitzchoki) 2, 40, 42, 47, 49, 50, 51, 57, 59, 63-69, 72-81, 87-90, 93-98, 110, 111, 115, 122, 128, 130, 132, 152, 157, 159, 171, 172, 178, 207-9, 220, 228-30, 239, 242, 243

Drizin, Abba 11, 100, 103

Drizin, Shneur Zalman 11

Drizin, Betzalel 11

Drizin, Reb Sholom DovBer (Sholom Ber) 57, 65-66, 80, 82, 89, 94-95, 104, 106, 115, 122-23, 129-32, 151, 160, 169, 171, 183-84, 208, 217, 220

Dovid HaTzarfosi, see HaYitzchoki, Reb Dovid

Drizin, Bracha 24, 86, 101 Drizin, Reb Chaim Yitzchok (Chaim Itche; Reb Avrohom’s grandfather) 10-12, 157 Drizin, Reb Chaim Yitzchok (Chaim Itche; Reb Avrohom’s brother) 13, 24, 86, 101 Drizin, Reb Chaim Yitzchok (Chaim Itche; Reb Avrohom’s son) 157, 160, 178, 184, 207-209, 212, 217, 221-223, 230, 235, 238 Drizin, Chana (née Preminger) 220 Drizin, Chana, see Morosow, Chana Drizin, Chayah Sarah, see Liflanchik, Chayah Sarah Drizin, Doba, see Kaminezki, Doba Drizin, Reb DovBer (Berel der Krumer) 10-13, 19, 24, 100

Drizin, Shoshana (née Saidman) 131, 208, 220, 241 Drizin, Yehudah Leib (Leibel) 13, 14, 17, 24, 86, 101, 128 Drizin, Yehudis (née Bayme) 10, 12, 24 Drizin, Yehudis, see Levin, Yehudis Drizin, Reb Yisroel 76, 115, 123, 160, 171, 174, 184, 221, 229, 241, 243 Drizin, Zalman 13 Dubiansky, Binah 66 Dubiansky, Tzipporah, see HaYitzchoki, Tzipporah Dubiansky, Reb Yisroel 66

Drizin, Feige (née Reich) 221, 243

Dubinsky, Reb Moshe 67, 68

Drizin, Freeda, see Kugel, Freeda

Dubrawsky, Reb Menachem Mendel 114, 123

Drizin, Leah (née Goldstein) 222, 230 Drizin, Leah Basyah (Reb Avrohom’s grandmother) 10, 11 Drizin, Reb Menachem Mendel (Mendel, Reb Avrohom’s son) 74, 115, 123, 160, 171, 174-76, 184, 220, 229

Dubrawsky, Reb Moshe Chaim 112 Dubrawsky, Reb Yehoshua (Heishke) 106, 107, 114 Dubruskin, Yisroel 179

Drizin, Moshe (Reb Avrohom’s uncle) 11

Dvorkin, Reb Zalman Shimon 31, 44, 114, 123

Drizin, Reb Moshe (Reb Avrohom’s grandson) 56

Eber, Reb Yehudah (Yuda) 29, 30, 44, 45, 55, 58, 61

Drizin, Nochum 11

Elituv, Reb Shimon 168, 171

Index of Names

Engel, Aryeh 103 Engel, Mulle (Shmuel) 103 Esterman, Reb Shmuel Gronem 18, 38, 39 Farkas, Reb Efraim Fishel 221 Farkas, Sarah, see Rubin, Sarah Feigin, Reb Yechezkel (Chatshe) 30, 43, 52, 55, 67, 68 Feiglin, Reb Moshe Zalman 180 Feldman, Basya 116 Feldman, Reb Zelig 22 Fellig, Reb Yaakov 213 Friedman, Reb Yisroel 22, 176 Frierdiker Rebbe, the, see Schneersohn, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak

Gorodetzky, Reb Binyomin 59, 76, 113, 128, 129 Gourary, Reb Shmaryahu (the Rashag) 128, 209, 273-74 Gronem, Reb, see Esterman, Reb Shmuel Gronem Grossman, Reb Yisroel 182, 183 Gurary, Reb Herschel 25 Gurary, Reb Moshe 68, 154 Gurary, Reb Shmaryahu 154 Gurevitch, Reb Nochum Zalman 112 Gurevitz, Reb Eliezer (Leizer) 156 Gurevitz, Reb Zemach 55 HaYitzchoki, Betzalel 66

Futerfas, Reb Mendel 43, 45, 51, 56, 110, 112, 119, 229

HaYitzchoki, Reb DovBer (Berel der Shochet) 37, 41

Gamliel the Elder 36

HaYitzchoki, Reb Dovid (Dovid HaTzarfosi) 36, 37

Glitzenstein, Reb Avrohom Chanoch 156, 157


HaYitzchoki, Eliezer (Leizer) 37

Goldberg, Reb Yosef 56

HaYitzchoki, Fayah, see Borovsky, Fayah

Goldin, Reb Yitzchok 71, 73, 276-78

HaYitzchoki, Gneshe (Neshe; née Reines) 37-42, 45, 50, 58, 65-67, 131, 151, 152, 154, 159, 171, 173

Goldschmidt, Reb Nochum 56, 154 Goldstein, Leah see Drizin, Leah Goldstein, Pearl (née Modewiecka) 222 Goldstein, Reb Yosef 222

HaYitzchoki, Levi 37 HaYitzchoki, Mordechai 66

Gopin, Reb Boruch 160, 175

HaYitzchoki, Rochel (née Ziselson) 37, 41, 50, 67, 111

Gopin, Reb Monye Shneur 160

HaYitzchoki, Sarah see Drizin, Sarah

Gopin, Reb Shaya 160, 178

HaYitzchoki, Reb Shlomo (Rashi) 36

Gopin, Reb Zelig 108, 110

HaYitzchoki, Shlomo 41

Gorelik, Reb Avrohom Shmuel 66

HaYitzchoki, Shmuel (possibly son of Reb Dovid HaTzarfosi) 37

Gorelik, Reb Elazar (Lozer) 71, 73, 80, 276-78 Gorelik, Reb Mendel 71, 73, 112, 276-78

HaYitzchoki, Shmuel (brother of Reb Zalman Moshe) 41

Gorelik, Reb Shneur Zalman 152, 156, 161, 287

HaYitzchoki, Shmuel (Mulle) 37, 40, 42, 66, 131, 151, 152, 157, 159, 177, 229


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

HaYitzchoki, Slava (née Ziselson) 37, 96 HaYitzchoki, Reb Shneur Zalman Moshe (Zalman Moshe) 35-54, 57, 58, 62, 65-69, 131, 151-54, 157, 159, 160, 171- 73, 237 HaYitzchoki, Tzipporah (née Dubiansky) 66, 131, 151 HaYitzchoki, Yisroel 66 HaYitzchoki, Yocheved (daughter of Rashi) 36 Hillel, Genia, see Morosow, Genia

Kaminezki, Reb Reuven 131, 155, 157, 208, 220, 229 Kaminezki, Risha (née Rivkin) 131 Kaplan, Reb Meilech 67, 155, 156 Karasik, Reb Eliezer (Leizer) 68, 154, 156 Kasinetz, Reb Zev 208 Katz, Reb Shmuel (Priluker) 96 Katz, Reb Yankel 213 Katzenelenbogen, Reb Meir (Maharam of Padua) 38

Hillel, Reb Moshe 169

Katzenelenbogen, Sarah 112, 119

Reb Hillel Kolomayer, see Lichtenstein, Reb Hillel

Katzman, Dovid 113 Katzman, Reb Zelig 232

Hillman, Reb Chaim Meir 57

Keinan, Amos 175

Horowitz, Reb Yitzchok (Itche der Masmid) 43, 45, 46, 70, 156, 170

Kesselman, Reb Shlomo Chaim 44, 64, 110, 114, 156, 165, 168, 174, 177

Isserles, Reb Moshe (Rama) 38

Kesselman, Reb Velvel 108-110

Reb Itche der Masmid, see Horowitz, Reb Yitzchok

Keves, Reb Chaim 79

Itkin, Reb Meir 42, 62, 232

Kievman, Reb Dovid (Horodoker) 45

Jacobson, Reb Simon 92

Komisar, Reb Yechiel 19, 183

Kagan, Reb Gavriel 55

Korf, Reb Pinchos (Pinye) 108, 118, 124

Kahan, Reb Refoel 58

Korf, Reb Yehoshua (Shiye) 117, 124, 228

Kahan, Reb Yoel 3, 153, 218, 236-38

Kozvonikov, Reb Zev Dov 78

Kahan, Reb Yonah (Poltaver) 73, 81, 92, 109, 110, 112, 114, 119

Kugel, Freeda (née Drizin) 64, 74, 87, 89, 115, 130-32, 151, 160, 173, 184, 220, 229

Kahaneman, Reb Yosef Shlomo (the Ponovezher Rov) 160, 215 Kaidanov, Reb Nochum 103 Kalmenson, Reb Shneur Zalman 57 Kaminezki, Doba (née Drizin) 57, 64, 66, 74, 80, 88, 89, 93, 94, 115, 116, 131, 155, 157, 159, 173, 184, 220, 221, 229 Kaminezki, Reb Moshe Zalman 131

Kievman, Reb DovBer 46

Kugel, Mira 173 Kugel, Reb Chaim Yitzchok (Chaim Itche ) 107, 173, 220 Kugel, Reb Hendel 173 Kugel, Shlomo 216 Kugel, Reb Yisroel 173 Kuryatin, Gutte Bayle 79, 80

Index of Names

Kuryatin, Reb Meshulam Yedidyah (Shilem) 19, 20, 79

Liflanchik, Moshe 86, 101, 102

Kuryatin, Reb Zalman 20

Lipskier, Reb Leib 55, 154

Landau, Reb Avrohom Avigdor Nochum (the Strikover Rebbe) 22

Livshitz, Reb Mottel 59

Landau, Reb Yechezkel 40 Lein, Reb Chaim Dovid 41 Lein, Reb Sholom Ber 288-89 Lerman, Chaim Ber 25 Lesches, Reb Betzalel 236 Levenhartz, Reb Yonah 116


Liflanchik, Yehudis 86, 102

Lulinski, Ira (Yisrolik) 100, 103 Lulinski, Reb Yosef 102, 103 Maharam of Padua, see Katzenelenbogen, Reb Meir Maharash, the, see Schneersohn, Rabbi Shmuel

Reb Levi Yitzchok of Berditchev 176

Maharil, the, see Schneersohn, Reb Yehudah Leib

Levin, Chanah Michla (née Pewzner) 111

Maier, Herr Handel 126-27

Levin, Reb Abba 71, 73, 276-78

Mandelbaum, Reb Moshe 156

Levin, Reb Binyomin 288-89

Margolin, Tova, see Althaus, Tova

Levin, Reb Leibel (cousin of Reb Mottel Levin) 207

Markovitz, Reb Yosef Meir 125-27

Levin, Reb Mordechai (Mottel) 110, 111, 115, 116, 123, 128, 130, 131, 155, 157, 171, 220, 229

Maskalik, Reb Yaakov (Yankel Zhuravitzer) 63, 69-71, 73, 273, 276-79

Levin, Reb Shmuel Leib 98

Matusof, Reb Shlomo 71

Levin, Yehudah Leib (Leibel) 128, 129, 155, 157

Medalie, Reb Moshe 57

Levin, Yehudis (née Drizin) 51, 110, 111, 115, 123, 128, 130, 131, 155, 157, 159, 171, 173, 220, 221, 229

Meged, Aharon 175

Maroz, Reb Benzion 80

Matlye 11

Medalie, Reb Shmaryahu 57, 58 Michoel der Alter, see Beliner, Reb Michoel

Levine, Reb Yisroel (Lipovitcher) 56

Mirkes, Reb Shlomo Zalman 38

Levin, Reb Yisroel (Neveler) 26, 27, 111, 115, 117, 123, 124, 130, 208

Mitteler Rebbe, the, see Rabbi DovBer (the Mitteler Rebbe)

Levitin, Reb Shmuel 73, 74, 113

Mochkin, Reb Leibel 112, 113, 117-19

Lichtenstein, Reb Hillel (Reb Hillel Kolomayer) 126

Mochkin, Reb Peretz 109, 114, 123, 166

Lieberow, Reb Saadiah 72

Modewiecka, Pearl, see Goldstein, Pearl

Liflanchik, Chayah Sarah (née Drizin) 13, 24, 86, 101, 102

Mondshine, Reb Yehoshua 18

Liflanchik, DovBer (Berel) 86, 87, 102

Mochkin, Reb Yosef 109

Morosow, Brachah 173, 238


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Morosow, Chana (née Drizin) 52, 59, 75, 89, 93, 115, 160, 173, 182-84, 208, 220, 229, 243 Morosow, Reb Elchonon Dov (Chonye) 52, 55, 58, 77, 156, 173

Pinsky, Reb Eliezer 91 Pinson, Luba (née Plotkin) 221 Pinson, Reb Nochum 221, 222, 230-31

Morosow, Genia (née Hillel) 169

Pinson, Rochel (née Drizin) 111, 115, 160, 171, 173, 184, 207, 208, 221, 222, 230, 242

Morosow, Reb Itche 37

Pinson, Reb Tanchum 55

Morosow, Reb Mendel (Reb Avrohom’s grandson) 169

Pinson, Reb Yehoshua 221

Morosow, Reb Moshe 52, 173, 182, 208, 220, 232

Plotkin, Reb Avrohom Elye 114, 123, 222

Morosow, Reb Shmuel 77 Nachmanson 53 Nemenov, Mashe 93 Nemenov, Reb Nissan 31, 44, 55, 61, 64, 73, 92, 93, 106, 114, 115, 122, 123, 129, 130, 181-2, 207, 208

Pliskin, Reb Abba 56, 64 Plotkin, Luba, see Pinson, Luba Poltaver, Reb Yonah see Kahan, Reb Yonah Ponovezher Rov, the, see Kahaneman, Reb Yosef Shlomo Pontileiov (Paltiel), Reb Berel 115 Pontileiov (Paltiel), Risha 115

Nimoytin, Reb Refoel 49, 50

Posner, Reb Sholom 224

Nisenevitch, Reb Shmuel Ber (Borisover) 22, 23

Preminger, Chana, see Drizin, Chana

Nisenevitch, Reb Velvel 56, 94

Preminger, Reb Yisroel Moshe 221

Nisenevitch, Reb Yitzchok 94, 95 Notik, Reb Shmuel 114

Priluker, Reb Shmuel, see Katz, Reb Shmuel

Pahrer, Reb Elye 58, 63

Rabinowitz, Reb Nochum 178

Palmer, Shlomo 154

Radatz, the, see Chein, Reb Dovid Zvi

Paltiel, Reb Berel, see Pontileiov (Paltiel), Reb Berel

Raichik, Reb Shmuel Dovid 222

Paltiel, Risha, see Pontileiov (Paltiel), Risha Peshkova, Yekaterina 53

Ramash, the, see Schneerson, Rabbi Menachem Mendel

Pewsner, Reb Hillel 208

Rappaport, Reb Mendel 114

Pewsner, Ashke (Assia) 208

Rashab, the, see Schneersohn, Rabbi Sholom DovBer

Pewzner, Chanah Michla, see Levin, Chanah Michla

Preminger, Risa (née Adler) 221

Rama, see Isserles, Reb Moshe

Rashag, the, see Gourary, Reb Shmaryahu

Pianko, Reb DovBer 8, 13, 19, 23, 100

Rashbam, the, see Reb Shmuel ben Meir

Pianko, Libbe 100

Rashi, see HaYitzchoki, Reb Shlomo

Index of Names

Rebbe Rayatz, the, see Schneersohn, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak

Rubin, Sarah (née Farkas) 221

Reich, Feige see Drizin, Feige

Schneersohn, Reb Boruch Shimon 156, 182

Reich, Reb Asher 221 Reich, Sosha (née Solomon) 221 Reines, Fayah 42 Reines, Gneshe, see HaYitzchoki, Gneshe Reines, Reb Mordechai Avrohom of Zhebin 37 Reines, Reb Moshe (Reb Moshe, Reina’s) 37, 171 Reines, Riva 65, 72 Reines, Sarah 37, 40 Reines, Reb Yaakov Yitzchok of Lida 38 Reines, Yuda 171, 173 Reizes, Reb Shmuel Itche 79 Reizes, Yoske 79 Rivkin, Reb Zelig 217 Rogatchover Gaon, the, see Rosen, Reb Yosef Roitblat, Reb Eliyahu Chaim 228 Rosen, Dr. Eli 239 Rosen, Reb Yosef (the Rogatchover Gaon) 31, 237 Rubashkin, Reb Getzel 95 Rubashkin, Rosa 95, 96 Rubashov, Shneur Zalman, see Shazar, Zalman Rubin, Chayale (née Bukiet) 117 Rubin, Leah Basyah (née Drizin) 65, 94, 110, 115, 122, 123, 130, 160, 171, 173, 184, 207, 208, 221, 230 Rubin, Reb Moshe Yosef (the Cimpulunger Rov) 221


Schlesinger, Reb Akiva Yosef 126

Schneersohn, Rabbi Menachem Mendel (the Tzemach Tzedek) 6, 7, 11, 15, 17, 24, 32, 37, 156 Schneersohn, Reb Shlomo Zalman 7 Schneersohn, Reb Shmaryahu Noach 7 Schneersohn, Rabbi Shmuel (the Rebbe Maharash) 7, 10, 11, 17, 38, 41, 74, 88, 123, 296 Schneersohn, Rabbi Sholom DovBer (the Rebbe Rashab) 4, 7, 11, 15-17, 20-23, 26, 27, 35, 38-40, 45, 52, 57, 68, 152, 153, 168, 173, 183, 218, 224, 227, 232, 236, 293-96, 299 Schneersohn, Reb Yehudah Leib (the Maharil) 7 Schneersohn, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak, (the Rebbe Rayatz; the Frierdiker Rebbe) 3, 4, 13, 17, 20, 22, 26-32, 35, 40, 43, 47, 49-55, 58-63, 67-71, 74, 113, 126, 128, 132, 153, 154, 156, 158, 160, 163, 164, 170, 177, 209, 213, 214, 218, 222, 224, 242, 278, 295 Schneerson, Rebbetzin Chana 122 Schneerson, Reb Levi Yitzchok (Reb Levik) 32, 59, 78, 122, 156 Schneerson, Rabbi Menachem Mendel (the Ramash; the Rebbe) 17, 26, 32, 45, 59, 126, 128, 154, 163, 164, 167, 172, 178-80, 184, 208, 209, 213-14, 218-20, 222-25, 227-28, 232, 234-5, 236-42, 284, 287-88, 291-99 Schneerson, Reb Zalman 32, 62 Segal, Reb Moshe 154, 174

Rubin, Reb Yaakov 221, 230, 231

Seidman, Devorah 131, 184

Rubin, Rivkah 91

Seidman, Esther 184


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Seidman, Shoshana, see Drizin, Shoshana Seidman, Reb Zev 184

Tchebiner Rov, see Weidenfeld, Reb Dov Beirish

Serebryanski, Reb Zalman 55

Traxler, Reb Moshe 212

Shapiro, Reb Meir 156

Trebnik, Reb Nochum 156

Shaya Szchedriner, see Denburg, Reb Yeshaya

Turner, Hesha 213

Shazar, Zalman 158, 174

Turner, Yanki 214

Sheinin, Reb Leib of Bobruisk 170

Twersky, Reb Meshulam Zusya (the Chernobler Rebbe) 57

Shemtov, Reb Benzion 13, 73 Shifrin, Reb Boruch 63 Shmerel Batumer, see Sosonkin, Reb Shmaryahu

Turner, Reb Shabsi 213

Tzemach Tzedek, the, see Schneersohn, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Varshavsky, Mr. 113

Reb Shmuel ben Meir (the Rashbam) 36

Vechter, Reb Mendel 236-38

Reb Shmuel Ber Borisover, see Nisenevitch, Reb Shmuel Ber

Vishedsky, Reb Moshe 119

Shneur, Reb Monye 160

Weidenfeld, Reb Dov Beirish (the Tchebiner Rov) 156

Shneur, Reb Shaya 160

Wahl, Reb Shaul 38

Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (the Alter Rebbe) 5-7, 11, 17, 20, 64, 224, 236, 285, 292-6, 299

Werner, Reb Simcha 235

Silbershtrom, Reb Simchah 179

Wolff, Reb Ephraim 156, 164, 179

Silberstein, Batsheva 208

Reb Yankel Zhuravitzer, see Maskalik, Reb Yaakov

Simchovitch, Reb Alter 25 Simkin, Gita (nĂŠe Aron) 103 Smordinsky, Reb Mendel 78, 88 Solomon, Sosha, see Reich, Sosha Solowei (Soloveitchik), Chayah 171 Sosonkin, Reb Asher 77, 78, 88 Sosonkin, Reb Shmaryahu (Shmerel Batumer) 76-78, 88, 114 Sternberg, Reb Nochum 166 Strikover Rebbe, the, see Landau, Reb Avrohom Avigdor Nochum

Wilimovsky, Reb Zushe (Zushe the Partisan) 154, 155

Reb Yisroel Lipovitcher, see Levine, Reb Yisroel Reb Yisroel Neveler, see Levin, Reb Yisroel Reb Yochanan HaSandlar, 36 Reb Yosef Yitzchok of Ovrutch 156 Reb Zalman Kurnitzer, see Alperowitz, Reb Shneur Zalman Zarchi, Reb Zvi Hirsch 58 Zevin, Reb Shlomo Yosef 69 Ziselson, Gneshe 37

Sudakevitch, Reb Zalman 116

Ziselson, Rochel, see HaYitzchoki, Rochel

Talker, Leizer 80, 81

Ziselson, Slava, see HaYitzchoki, Slava

Index of Names

Ziselson, Reb Zalman Moshe 37 Zislin, Reb Shaul Ber 24 Zushe the Partisan, see Wilimovsky, Reb Zushe



The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Dovid (HaTzarfosi) HaYitzchoki


Eliezer HaYitzchoki married Slava Ziselson

Levi HaYitzchoki

DovBer HaYitzchoki

Yehudah Leib Bayme


Chaim Yitzchok Drizin

Leah Basyah

Siblings: Abba Drizin, Moshe Drizin, Zalman Drizin, Betzalel Drizin, Nochum Drizin, Unknown (Son), Unknown (Daughter), Unknown (Daughter)

DovBer Drizin

Yehudis Bayme

Avrohom Bayme

Yehudah Leib Drizin married Brachah

Chayah Sarah Drizin married Moshe Liflanchik

Chaim Yitzchok Drizin married Unknown

Avrohom Drizin

Yehudis Drizin married Mordechai Levin

Sholom DovBer Drizin married Shoshana Seidman

Doba Drizin married Reuven Kaminezki

Chana Drizin married Yosef Moshe Morosow

Freeda Drizin married Chaim Yitzchok Kugel

Family Tree

Zalman Moshe Ziselson



Shlomo Aaron Reines




Shmuel Reines


Rochel Ziselson

Slava Ziselson

Siblings: Baylah married to Leib Schapiro, Shmuel HaYitzchoki married Hinda, Dovid HaYitzchoki married Genia Rivlin, Gneshe married Leib Pyesov, Slava married Yaakov Chrapkovsky, Yeva married Chaim Shrira, Yaakov HaYitzchoki married Rosa


Name Unknown

Mordechai Avrohom Reines


Shneur Zalman Moshe HaYitzchoki

Gneshe Reines

Siblings: Moshe Reines, Shmuel Reines, Meir Reines, Yitzchok Reines, Alter Reines, Dovid Reines, Unknown (Son), Riva

 Sarah HaYitzchoki

Shmuel HaYitzchoki married Tzipporah Dubiansky

Fayah HaYitzchoki married Meir Borovsky

Menachem Mendel Drizin married Chana Preminger

Yisroel Drizin married Feige Reich

Rivkah Drizin (died in infancy)

Leah Basyah Drizin married Yaakov Kopel Rubin

Rochel Drizin married Nochum Yitzchok Pinson

Chaim Yitzchok Drizin married Leah Goldstein


The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer

Chassidic artist Reb Zalman Kleiman’s depiction of Reb Avrohom fulfilling the Purim obligation of ad delo yoda in the pioneering days of Kfar Chabad.

Reb Zalman Kleiman’s portrayal of Reb Avrohom as he “bows before his Maker...” (see p. 176).

A Father to So Many Chassidim

‫אב המון חסידים‬

The Story of Reb Avrohom Drizin Mayorer Why would an optimistic and revered Talmudic scholar, a man of legendary spiritual sensitivity who directed a vast educational network, choose to sleep in a cemetery? Reb Avrohom Drizin, better known from the name of his Russian hometown as Reb Avrohom Mayorer, was a fearless general in the silent army of self-sacrificing chassidim who defied Stalin by operating an underground network of chadorim and yeshivos throughout Communist Russia. Thus, in order to elude the dreaded NKVD, the anti-religious Secret Service, he would sometimes have to spend a bitter winter night trying to get a wink of sleep among the gravestones. Yet even the constant threat of interrogation and firing squads never clouded his sunny attitude to life, nor deterred him from sheltering colleagues hounded by the authorities. Reb Avrohom, a devoted chossid of three generations of Lubavitcher Rebbeim, had a strong mind, and a heart so compassionate that he repeatedly risked his life out of concern for the needs of others. Whoever observed him learning with relish, or teaching with gusto, or serenely pouring out his soul when davening, or candidly addressing his earnest listeners at an informal chassidic farbrengen, was magnetized and inspired to action by his softly spoken spiritual charisma. A Father to So Many Chassidim tells the story of his rich and fruitful life.

 This book was published in honor of the Bar Mitzvah of Yossi Drizin '‫שיחי‬ Tuesday, the 16th of Kislev, 5771 the 23rd of November, 2010

With a great-grandfather like Reb Avrohom, Yossi will no doubt be inspired to perpetuate his legacy