The rest of the fax

The rest of the fax

I wrote in the previous posts about pages 1 and 4 of the five-page fax from Shmuel Elchonan. What about the other pages? 

According to Shirley Portnoy, who was so good as to decipher the text, page 3 is substantially similar to page 4, but missing one section. As for pages 2 and 5, I will let Shirley describe them. 

Page 2 is a poem written in Yiddish by Y. Schwartz (?) who visited R' Yitzchak Elchanan when he was a child. It was written to mark some anniversary (print is unclear). The poem was translated into Hebrew by Aaron Zeitlin. It appears to have been included in a piece about R' Yitzchak Elchanan written by Yitzchak Rifkind for the Hebrew newspaper Ha-Doar (hard to read the year-either in 1962 or 1982). The poem describes the elderly Rav and the impression he left on the memory of the young child

Page 5 is the preface to the genealogy that Shmuel's [maternal] grandfather, R' Yehoshua Mordechai ben R' Moshe Avraham Rosenblum, z"l, compiled. The grandfather's name, place and date of birth and death are written at the bottom of the printed page, along with those of the grandmother (?), Itta Marya (unclear), daughter of R' Avraham Shmuel Shlomo Horvitz.  Both appear to have died in Tel Aviv.

He opens with two quotations from the Tanach:

  1. from Isaiah, 51:1, "Look to the rock from which you were hewn."
  2. from Proverbs, 17:6, " The crown of elders is grandchildren, and the glory of children is their parents."

To summarize, he states that in the past there was little change from one generation to another, and families lived in the same countries, in the same towns, for decades and even centuries. In those times families handed down the stories of their families from parents to children, and even recorded them. In the present, he says, after the horrors of World War II, Jews were uprooted from their homes and dispersed far from their ancestral homes and from those people once familiar to them. Even those who were fortunate to come to Israel have been distanced from their familial origins. And so, he says, he has written this ancestral history for his children and grandchildren, based on what he has found in various writings and books (sefarim) and what he recalls from his own memory, so that the new generations will find glory in their family's past.