Friday, January 13, 2006

Photo Essay: Remains Of A Shtetl's Shul

The shul in my family's shtetl before the Holocaust.

A kiosk built after the war standing in its place.

Remains of the shul's original foundation.
immediately to the right of the newly laid bricks

A piece of brick chiseled from the shul's original foundation.

Picture of the shtetl's shul hanging on a wall in my home.

20 Comments:

At January 13, 2006 at 8:45:00 AM EST, Blogger Tamara said...

I once attended an interesting exhibit of photos in which the photographer had projected images onto new buildings of the original buildings which stood there before WW II.

The projected images were of Jewish owned establishments and synagogues. Almost without exception, the new buildings which replaced them after the war's devastation, bore no trace of their Jewish origins.

That exhibit evoked in me the same sense of melancholy and loss the photos in your post do.

 
At January 13, 2006 at 11:13:00 AM EST, Blogger Hirshel Tzig said...

did Sudilkov have only one big shul, or were there more shtieblach? Nice idea, hanging the photo in your home, gives you a sense of constant connection.

 
At January 13, 2006 at 12:08:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Tamara: It sounds like a facinating exhibit.

Hirshel Tzig: To my knowledge, Sudilkov only had one big shul. The Sudilkover Rebbe told me that the building to the right of the shul (first picture) was the Beis Medrash.

 
At January 13, 2006 at 4:21:00 PM EST, Blogger Stacey said...

I loved these pictures. How wonderful that you know so much about your family's shtetl.

 
At January 14, 2006 at 6:28:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thanks Stacey. I actually wish I knew more.

 
At January 15, 2006 at 1:39:00 PM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Did the "Degel" daven in that Shul, or was it built after his time?

 
At January 15, 2006 at 3:51:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yitz: The Sudilkover Rebbe, Rabbi Aryeh Wohl, told me in a phone conversation that the Degel davened at the Beis Medrash next to the shul (to the right of the shul in the picture). I think both buildings were built around the same time, although I cannot say this with 100% certainty.

Asher remembers seeing this building when he was a little kid growing up in Sudilkov. It was dynamited by the Germans in July 1941.

 
At January 16, 2006 at 5:11:00 AM EST, Blogger yitz said...

Wow! There's a Sudykover Rebbe? Where is he? Does he have Chassidim [besides you]? Is he a direct descendant of the Degel and the Baal Shem Tov? Please tell us more!

 
At January 16, 2006 at 6:34:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Yes, there certainly is. Hirshel Tzig of Circus Tent put me in touch with him. He lives in Ramat Bet Shemesh and is a direct descendant of the Degel. He has his own shul, but I am not sure if he has chassidim.

 
At January 16, 2006 at 11:37:00 PM EST, Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I am not looking forward to the day you run out of shtetl pictures to post. I love this series. Where did you locate the picture hanging on your wall? Is the piece of chiseled brick in your home as well? Was there a Sudilkover Rebbe before Rav Wohl? Did the Degel or anyone else refer to themselves by that title?

 
At January 17, 2006 at 6:49:00 AM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

MCAryeh: I am not looking forward to that day either since then I will actually have to write something.

I put the picture hanging on my wall together by enlarging a reproduction of an old hand-drawn postcard that I obtained from an antique dealer in Poland.

Yes, the piece of brick is also in my home. Ukrainian customs officials almost confiscated it from me, but I explained to them that it was "just a rock I found out in the countryside".

Yes, the Wohl family headed the rabbinate in the shtetl before it was disbanded by the Communists.

As for your last question, the Degel is usually referred to simply as the Degel and not the Sudilkover Rebber.

 
At January 17, 2006 at 5:54:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Were you at all concerned about radioactivity in that rock?

 
At January 17, 2006 at 7:16:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

No. Since this shtetl is more than 150 miles west of Chernobyl, I was not worried.

It doesn't glow in the dark ;)

 
At June 4, 2006 at 2:26:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanks for this piece. it's important for us to see these photos...esp when it's connected so personally to you!!

my question is: how can you deal with this material without just being contstantly overcome?? when i look at these types of photos, it just makes me want to be in eretz yisrael, an, forgive me, forget about all of the suffering in europe...i don't mean "blot out' but, it's just so hard to think about..esp if one is sensitive about these things...how do you maintain??? i understand that one can develop a meaningful relationship to this as "living history" that's very much connected to our present and future; however, (sigh) for me, it just gets to be too much too quick...

 
At December 18, 2006 at 5:49:00 PM EST, Anonymous Rich said...

This thread is extremely interesting to me, though pardon me if I make a mistake, as I've never used a blog before. Our family cane from Sudilkov, and we have extensive family records and information, documents, and other materials, including an autobiography written by my great-aunt about growing up in Sudilkov from about 1920-40. I certainly would be interested in comparing notes with anybody else whose family comes from Sudilkov.

 
At December 18, 2006 at 7:26:00 PM EST, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Rich: I would be EXTREMELY interested to learn more about this autobiography that has information about growing up in Sudilkov. What language was it written in?

Please e-mail me at: asimplejew@yahoo.com

Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you.

 
At October 30, 2007 at 10:30:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Remains Of A Shtetl's Shul

I thank HaShem for having guided my to your website. It is our duty to preserve our jewish history and not to forget the past and learn from it and pass it on to our children and children's children.

 
At October 30, 2007 at 10:32:00 AM EDT, Blogger A Simple Jew said...

Thank you for your kind words.

 
At February 21, 2011 at 12:16:00 PM EST, Anonymous Gina Zhdilkov said...

My grandmother, Sonia Grossman, daughter of Nathan Grossman, grew up in Sudilkov until she immigrated to the U.S. in about 1908. I would be interested in any information related to her family. I have found and downloaded, "The Grossman Project." There is probably a family connection there, but my grandmother's siblings (some of them,) settled in Pennsylvania and musch later, California.

 
At November 10, 2011 at 9:19:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I first found out my father's family came from Sudilkov in the Grossman Project. It's fun to see others who had family from there remember it and what happened there, since there are no relatives left there to carry on. I would be interested in hearing from others with family from Sudilkov and what you know from your family histories. Carrie c.long.42@comcast.net

 

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