The Jewish Awakener

(Der Jüdische Wecker)

 Translated by Jessica Cohen

 “Der Jüdische Wecker” was first published in Stanislaw and then in Buczacz in 1905. Following are correspondences about life in the town during those days, which were printed in the newspaper and translated into Hebrew.

“Der Jüdische Wecker” [The Jewish Awakaner] edited and printed in Buczacz in 1906

Stanislaw, 3 Kislev 5666 (1905)   Issue 10

The Buczacz Zion Group

Buczacz, First day of Kislev

Here in the town of Buczacz on Monday, the victims of the pogroms in Russia were mourned in the Great Synagogue. The synagogue was packed full with some five thousand and nine-hundred men and women. Dr. Schor, the Stanislaw district president, gave an extremely impressive speech. All the townspeople fasted, recited “Va-Yachal” and the congregation's cantor sung the “Thirteen middoth” prayer, “El Maleh Rachamim” and “Av Harachamim.

Dr. Schor spoke again at the “Zion Association” house in the presence of all the members, the town president Mr. Abisch Stern and the citizens' leader Bernhard Stern.

The Zion Association collected three-hundred and seventy crowns from its members, and another five-hundred and fifty crowns from outside the synagogue, to benefit the orphans and widows.

Our thanks to Dr. Schor for his work for the benefit of all.

  With blessings of Zion, “The Zion Group”


Stanislaw, 22 Tevet 5666 (1906)   Issue 17

In Buczacz on Sunday, 10 Tevet (January 17th), there was a public meeting with many attendants for the purpose of recognizing the Jewish nation. The meeting was conducted by a committee established for this purpose, composed of all sectors of the population. Mr. Yitzhak Webber, the maggid from Koloma spoke at the meeting. The meeting was held based on Article 2, because the District Governor was unwilling to give permission to hold a public meeting, thereby further proving that he treats us as Jews, a sign that he sympathizes with our ideas.

  Abraham Horn


Stanislaw, 16 Sivan, 5666 (1906)   Issue 29

A truly noble man, not only from birth but also due to his good deeds, his ideas and his gentle and honest sentiments, Edward Ritter P. Gniewosz Aleksaw, has died in Vienna.

We, the Jews, have suffered a great loss in his death. He was a great friend of Israel and a brave fighter against the anti-Semites.

When the Baron Hirsch was about to establish in Galicia an institute in which he had invested millions, he turned to the section leader, P. Gniewosz, and it was he who advised him to establish a network of public schools in Galicia and Bokowina. And he also cooperated with him as curator and vice-president. He fought for the emancipation of Galician Jews with all his might.

The Jewish delegates laid a wreath on his bed, with the inscription: “To the brave fighter for equal rights for the Jews. Galician Jewish delegates.”

The Buczacz community also sent a delegation, lead by the mayor, A. Bernhard Stern, who laid a wreath in the name of the Buczacz community, with the inscription: “To the honorary citizen of the town of Buczacz, in memory of his great deeds for the benefit of Buczacz.”

The manager of the Baron Hirsch institute issued an order to all his schools to hold mourning prayers in memory of the noble man.

“Laziness is the mother of all evils” – this is apparent. The Jewish population of Buczacz represents more than sixty percent of the town's population. Forty-two teachers teach in the town schools, and yet there are almost no Jewish teachers among them. And, after all, there are a number of young Jewish women in the town who have completed their studies to be teachers, and even so they can not get a teaching position in the town schools. And if they do obtain a teaching position, they are sent to some distant village in a rural area, where the pay is poor. The meager salary they receive is not enough even to pay for the most basic expenses. If they could get jobs in the town itself, they could subsist while eating at their parents' tables.

And no one is to blame for this other than the negligence of our brothers, the citizens of the town, who do not stand up for their rights. The town management – which includes a few Jewish members – would not have opposed this. However, to our regret, every one of the Jews of Buczacz is a world unto himself, and takes no interest in the general affairs. One could say that if the Jews of Galicia in general are drowsing, then the Jews of Buczacz are sound asleep and snoring loudly… and thus they are missing out on anything that relates to the good of the people of Israel, even when it concerns the good of their own brothers.

How the Jews of Buczacz can be awakened from their slumber, I do not know.

And those who see the many soda stores in town, might think that the townspeople are so enthusiastic that they have to cool themselves off by drinking cold water. But the indifference and coldness of our brothers, people of Israel, in this town, contradict this assumption. And who knows whether perhaps it is the excessive drinking of soda water that has brought on their inactivity.


Stanislaw, 6 Tamuz 5666 (1906)   Issue 32

Buczacz. This past Sunday, the Buczacz “Zion Association” held a memorial service for the Bialistok casualties in the Great Synagogue. The cantor and his choir prayed “El Maleh Rachamim” and sung “Av Harachamim” and the famous Jewish scholar, Dr. Rokeach, eulogized the dead. His warm and touching words brought tears to the participants' eyes. The synagogue was full of men, women and children, and was also attended by all the members of the presidency and the community president, Rabbi R. Abisch Stern, as well as the Jewish citizens' leader, Bernhard Stern.

  The “Zion” group


Buczacz, 3 Elul 5666 (1906)   Issue 40

Resurrection of the Dead
(A letter from Buczacz)

Our representative, Dr. Nathan Zeinfeld, has finally made his voice heard. Until now he has abided by the rule, “a fence around wisdom is silence.” Now, before the elections, he has decided that he would at least like to “choose death with dignity.”

[translator's note: unclear]. We do not wish to contemplate the way he has behaved until now, but he has now done “an act” for which he deserves commendation.

As is known, the Polish club cheated us, they promised the Jews eight seats. And when the district was distributed, it turned out that the Poles had made a mockery of us. We had only five definite seats, and three that were doubtful. Buczacz was joined with Tlomatz, Sniatin, Zalchetzki and three rural villages. Now there is no doubt that no Jew will be elected here. And I am not surprised that the Jews of Buczacz are silent, for they are silent about other matters too.

And I am even less surprised at the Buczacz Zionists. By removing the Hebrew secretary from the association, because he protested the Jews' Polish politics, they proved that they are politicians… Whereas the Jews of Zalchetzki and Sniatin, I do not understand at all – why do they not hold a protest meeting against joining the three rural villages.

And so our Dr. Zeinfeld addressed the Lvov community with a letter, proposing to convene a gathering of the communities in order to consult over the reaction to the new decree issued by our Polish brother.

The Lvov community has accepted the proposal, and it will convene a “community day” of Galicia during the second half of September. All the Jewish communities, with no exception, will be invited to the occasion. Furthermore, all the Jewish representatives in parliament and in the national representative house in Galicia. Will shall live and learn.

I am a man of little faith, but for now we will stand aside and see how things turn out.

  A landlord from Buczacz

(in the same issue)

The theater troupe “Itztrubal” is in Buczacz at present. They have set up at the “Abar” hotel, and are performing a series of plays. They are presenting the well-known plays: Kol Nidrei, Gavriel, Isha Ra'ah, Akedat Yitzhak, and so forth. The “Itztrubal” troupe has a good reputation. It always has several formidable forces. In the next issue, we shall write further on the matter. For the time being, a few words will suffice. We have already written about “Kol Nidrei” a few weeks ago. At that time, we noted that the playwright Y. Sarkanski was not an appropriate poet to depict this tragedy. However, with his keen sense he managed to select good material, and we accept his gift with love. The troupe performed the play with talent. Young Mr. Leibgold, as the head of the inquisitionists, Mr. Orich as Bartala, Mrs. Steif as Elvira, and Mr. Adler as Benedictus, all played their parts with understanding and great emotion. The audience was riveted and gave their full attention to the plot of the play.

Incidentally, we will devote a special article to the audience, where we will take it to task.


10 Elul (1906)   Issue 41

From the Jewish World

There was a meeting in Buczacz on the matter of the etrogs, and all the gabbaim from the Batei-Midrash, the kloisim and the minyans, as well as private individuals, swore that they would not use any etrogs other than those that came from Eretz Yisrael. And all the etrog merchants will only bring etrogs from Eretz Yisrael from now on.

From the Jewish Theater

The troupe “Itztrubal” (tanentzapf) has captured the hearts of the Buczacz audience. On Saturday evening and Sunday evening, they performed “Daughter of Jerusalem” and “Mishnah for the King.” The theater was filled to capacity. The actors demonstrated their full force and ability, and the audience was completely satisfied. We shall not discuss the plays themselves at present. There is no room for that, perhaps another time. We have said previously that, until this day, we have had no real poets, poets who would draw from their own spiritual sources, from the spiritual source of the people, and create Jewish-national plays which would have the power to seize the soul of the spectator and take hold of his heart. Mr. Auerbach, in his “Daughter of Jerusalem,” integrated Shakespeare, namely Romeo and Juliet, and also plucked a few feathers from “Love of Zion” by Mapu, thus creating a new play for the Jewish theater. The actors were excellent. Young Mr. Leibgold as Cohen, Mrs. Steif as Tirtza and Mr. Orich as Na'aman truly excited the hearts of the audience, and the other actors were also noteworthy. Mrs. Steiner played Katora with great understanding, Mr. Leibgold senior and Mrs. Feder molded the characters of Ovdan and Macha beautifully. Mr. Steiner as the prince was excellent.

In Feinman's “Mishnah for the King,” young Mr. Leibgold played Sebastian and Mrs. Steif played Miriam with great emotion and enthusiasm which left a deep impression on the spectators. Mr. Orich as Alonzo was quite good. Sarafina and Ferdila, the slaves of Sebastian, were played by Mrs. Feder and Mr. Leibgold senior, to the audience's satisfaction and enjoyment, as always. Mr. Adler as Don Antonio and Reiles as Don Fabio played their roles fairly well.

To our regret, the Jewish audience is interested in such scenes. Scenes which are a necessity of the reality in any Jewish play. But this is no fault of the actors. In every Jewish play there must be a few slaves and maidservants who play at marriage like a cat plays with a mouse, and the audience enjoys this and is full of laughter. Even the ostensibly intelligent people take pleasure in these scenes, which would be unbearable to a delicate soul! Only dancing and twirling in great quantities – this is what they desire. Shalom Aleichem's “Shvitat Hakaparot” to them is a comedy so comic as to bring one to tears. Who is at fault here – the playwright or the audience? We believe that only the audience is to blame.

It is clear that the theater is no place for sour faces, but rather, as the poet says: “The stage is the judging place of the world.” The actors must satisfy the landlords, for they wish to live, and they always give the audience more than they take from it. The troupe will remain here for a few more days and promises some more good plays. We shall live and see.

On Saturday evening they will present the most famous play in the world, “Mammon, the God of Money, or the Treasures of Korach.”

The management has ordered new sets for this play.


Buczacz, 17 Elul 5666 (1906)   Issue 42

From the Jewish World

There are four diseases which are prevalent in our town of Buczacz: Typhus fever, rubella, diphtheria and whooping cough. To our regret, the diseases are showing signs of epidemics. The schools have been closed and bathing is forbidden in the Stripa, based on the assumption that this is the source of all these diseases. However, it is strange and dangerous that the municipality allows water from the Stripa to be poured on the streets, for this spreads the germs even further. Lavatories should be built in the lot where the burn victims (from the fire two years ago) live in seven caravans, so that they will not have to pollute the lot, where children from the Baron Hirsch school play. Likewise, the streets should be cleaned every morning, rather than only once a week. There should be a committee of landlords to oversee the cleaning in a stricter manner and if, God forbid, these things are not done, we are in danger of these four diseases taking over, God forbid, for the entire winter, and there will be more victims. Remember, Jews, that “protect your lives” is a great rule in the Torah.

The High Holydays are approaching, the Jewish soul must be clean, and it is good to have a healthy soul in a healthy body.

During the holidays the Batei-Midrash will surely be full of people coming to pray, may the evil eye have no power, and this might also be a cause for the diseases to spread. There must be more “minyans” to avoid crowdedness.

  Zvi L-L

With feelings of love and affection, I bless my friend b”d the venerable author Mr. Haim Czaczkes Halevi and his dear forefathers, on the occasion of his marriage to Ms. Idel Kahn from Podwoloczyska.


Buczacz, Tishrei 5667 (1907)   Issue 45

The Jewish World

Our village (or, as the Jews of Buczacz proudly refer to it when traveling, “city”) has been blessed with a yeshiva. And when I say yeshiva, you must not think that an actual yeshiva has really been established and that students are already studying Torah there – this is not the case! There is no need to always accept everything as it is written, sometimes one is permitted to use cunning language, and the yeshiva mentioned here is no more than various discussions about establishing a yeshiva. The idea is to establish a yeshiva here like the ones that exist in all the Jewish diaspora in Galicia, Stanislaw, Borodshin. The teachers are in an uproar, claiming that their livelihood is about to be lost because their students will be taken away and given to the “yeshiva,” where the tuition will be half-free, and the Jews of Buczacz are most eager to buy things cheaply. The same commotions that were raised against opening the “Tripa Psol” school, are now being waged against the yeshiva, which has not yet been created. Its existence is evident only in various posters and announcements, “calls to action” in the matter of the “yeshiva,” thought up by a few avrechim who eat at the tables of their fathers-in-law and who play at “wolf and goats” on the tables of the Mishnah.

  (an anonymous young man)


Buczacz, 7 Marheshvan, 5667 (1907)   Issue 47

Buczacz. Hashem has finally taken mercy on our dark village and sent down two great luminaries. The “small luminary” is the one from Washington and the “big luminary” is, to differentiate, the yeshiva. From now on the Jews of Buczacz shall have plenty of light. For this world and for the next world.

The person in charge of the small luminary from Washington is a great “goy” and the person in charge of the big luminary is a small Jew, with all due respect.

In order that the Jews may have a place to pray, because there is a shortage of synagogues in the town, small and tiny synagogues, Batei-Midrash, small Batei-Midrash and various kloises of all types, they have established the Kapatchintzi klois.


Buczacz, 28 Marheshvan, 5667 (1907)   Issue 50


Benjamin Baran, Buczacz

Lending for very cheap prices the finest books in the jargon, by famous authors such as Mendele Mokher Sefarim, Peretz, Sholem Aleichem, Spektor, Dinezon, Reisen and Shalom Asch.

Booklet 4 Has Already Been Published

HaYarden, a Magazine

Devoted to Literature, Science and Affairs of Life
By Dr. Elazar Rokeach

Content of Booklet 4

A) Henryk Ibsen by Mordechai Kemper. B) Tears, a poem, S.Y. Czaczkes. C) Avrech – a drawing, Avraham Lebensrat. D) Albert Messin and the Symbolists, Azriel. E) Poem, Noah Sabin. F) “A quick look,” Zvi Srapstein. G) The Pogrom in K., Noah Sabin. H) Will you Understand me, S. Kemach. I) Poem, S.Y. Czaczkes. J) Velvil Seberzier, Meir Ben Mordechai Weissberg. K) Contemplations, Azriel. L) In memory of the painter Adolf Mendel, Noah Sabin. M) Persimmon, Azriel. N) Shneihem Hishalchu, S. Halatnikow. O) Complaints, Mazal Tov. P) Holdover of Wages, Ben Zion Fredkin. Q) Bibliography.

Booklet price is 50 heller   For yearly subscribers 6 – A.
    For six months 3 – A.
First Year Booklet 4
5666 (1906) Menachem Av

Literary and Scientific Magazine

Editor: Elazar Rokeach
W. Dratler Printing House in Buczacz

Typeset with brand new machinery, letters for lashon kodesh, Yiddish, German, Polish, Ruthenian, offers his services for printing essays and books in Yiddish, Hebrew, German and Polish – all for reasonable prices.


Buczacz, 16 Adar, 5667 (1907)   Issue 61

From the Jewish World

Last Monday, the religious studies teacher of our community, Rabbi Gaon Yehiel Michal Brimer, died at the age of eighty-four. He was the son of the Rabbi Gaon Moshe Brimer, senior president of the Rabbinical court from the community of Bodzanow, author of Sefer Zichron Moshe. The late R' Yehiel Michal served as a rabbi for sixty years. Previously, he was a rabbi in Melnica for forty years, then he came to our town and became the religious studies teacher for over twenty years. He was a great scholar, sharp and proficient, as he proved in his proofreading of his father's book, Zichron Moshe.

He was always a well-liked and peace-loving man. He was eulogized by the Rabbi of Monasterzyska, the Rabbi Gaon H. Lipa Meisles, and by two of our town judges, Rabbi Yosef Preminger and Rabbi Feibel Wilig. May his soul be bound in the bond of everlasting life.

The Election Movement

Buczacz. The election movement began its activities last week. The Rada Narodowa [National Council] appointed a committee of twenty members two weeks ago. Dr. Kzizanowski was chosen as chairman, and his deputy is Dr. Auschnit. Eleven Jews joined this committee as members, including five Zionists.

The unaffiliated citizens, on their part, held a voters' rally last Sunday and elected a special committee made up of thirty-five members. And indeed: ten Poles, ten Ruthenians and fifteen Jews, including five Zionists, seven Socialists and three independents, and they are about to approve another five Zionists. One Ruthenian priest is among the thirty-five. Dr. Peller was chosen as committee chairman, his deputies are Dr. Maglanizki and Mr. Yonas Neiman. Dr. Nacht was chosen as treasurer. It is still unclear who the first committee will nominate as candidate. It is said that the mayor, A. Bernhard Stern, is favored for the position, however he has not yet officially announced his candidacy. There are other rumors, namely, that Gniewosz, our neighbor from Potok Zloty, desires to honor us with his representation. However, we do not know how much truth there is to this rumor. The Rada Narodowa intends to offer as our candidate Stefan Maisa. Let us hope that our Jewish voters will manage to run a Jewish candidate in this voting district, and fight for his success.

The second committee wishes to establish contact with Dr. Birenbaum (another Matityahu) and offer him the candidacy. The Socialists have declared that they are willing to elect him, although the Socialist Party directorate favors Dr. Yarosawitz, who served previously as a delegate from the Borszczow district.


Buczacz, 22 Adar, 5667 (1907)   Issue 62

From the Election Movement

Buczacz. The committee of unaffiliated citizens sent a telegram to Dr. Birenbaum to offer him the candidacy. Dr. Birenbaum replied that he will come to Buczacz in the middle of March.

The Zionists in town have been placed in an odd position due to various causes. Some of them, who are members of the unaffiliated committee, are obliged to join forces with Dr. Birenbaum, because they negotiated with him previously.

In the meantime, the Zionists-Day determined last Sunday to present the candidacy of Rabbi Gedalia Schmelkes from Przemysl in Buczacz. Things will likely be settled and both candidates, who are not simply status-seekers who seek prestige at any price, will reach a compromise. But one thing causes us pain, which is that we have remained in Rada Narodowa as a herd with no shepherd. Ever since Lewenstein was insulted in such an offensive manner that he was forced to leave the Rada Narodowa, we are truly left as a ship in the midst of the ocean.

It is interesting to see how our Polish brothers, the Rada Narodowa members, refer to their Jewish brothers: Poles who have stood on Mount Sinai. Prince Statariski calls them simple Jews, whereas Mr. Abrahamowitz calls them by the name “Members of the Old Pact.” Who knows what name Staialowski would have given them if he were also involved.


Buczacz, 12 Iyar, 5667 (1907)   Issue 63

Hapanas [The Torch] was a Hebrew supplement to the newspaper, Der Wecker, issue 63, on 22 Iyar, 5667

Buczacz. The Jewish National party candidate, Dr. Birenbaum, came to Buczacz last Friday, and received a respectful and enthusiastic welcome from the Jewish population. On Shabbat afternoon he spoke before a crowd of voters and presented his platform, which made a great impression on his supporters. The resolutions he proposed were met with great admiration and his candidacy was unequivocally approved.

It is hard to predict whether he will be elected. The most difficult business is prophesizing. After all, it is not known at all which methods the opposing camps will employ against him. There are many emissaries there…

The District commissioner invited our community leaders to meet with him and told them that he would like the well-known Marshall of Snyatin, Stefan Maisa, to be elected and that our mayor, Mr. B. Stern, should give up his candidacy. This means that our mayor is no longer an option.

The end of our mayor's candidacy is extremely tragic! Tragic in every respect. Gloomy from every direction. A disappointment from all sides. If he had given some of his power to the circles closest to him…he would be worthy of congratulations. We do not deal with politics, to the right nor to the left, but our heart aches to see such power, such intelligence, go to waste – with no results. This is even more true when we notice how many people in his opposing camps should have been grateful to him, should rightly have given him many thanks.

Man is ungrateful, that is an old refrain, however “He who is subjected to this, his heart shall break in two.”


Buczacz, 26 Iyar 5667 (1907)   Issue 65


Dr. Birenbaum's supporters are diligently organizing propaganda for him. Mr. Leibel Teubisch also gave a propaganda speech for Dr. Birenbaum. The Ruthenians have their own candidate, Dr. Yarisawitz from Vienna, who is also a socialist, and therefore the socialists support him too. They are also developing vibrant propaganda.

The government candidate, Mr. Stefan Maisa, gave his election speech on Tuesday the 7th, to an audience of invitees in the Rada Paviatowa hall and presented them with his platform.