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Rabbi Avraham Yitzhak Maskil L'Eitan

R. Avraham Yitzhak Maskil L'Eitan (1840-1905) was born in Smolevichi near Minsk. His father R. Aharon , a son of R. Avraham, the author of the famous book "Maskil L'Eitan" (Vilna, 1818). R. Avraham (1788-1848) was a descendant of R. Israel Yaffe, ABD of Shklov and the author of "Or Israel".

At the age of 15 R. Avraham Yitzhak came to Volozhin yeshiva and very quickly became one of its brightest students. In 1858 he married into the family of R. Y. Fishbein, one of important residents of Mezerich, and lined at his house till 1863. For next five years he started to live on his own and tried himself as merchant, but had little success in this business. In 1868 he left for Lida, there indulged in intensive Torah studies, but came back home in 1870. In 1874 he moved to Smolvichi, his native town and took the position of the local rabbi which he occupied for 15 years. In 1889 he was chosen by Chislavichi Jewish community to be its rabbi after his predecessor R. Hillel Mileikovsky quitted for Mstislavl. In the end of 1904 R Avraham Yitzhak moved to Stoibetz, near Mir. He was warmly received there and worked hard to heal the wounds caused by the controversy existed in the community before his arrival. But not for long did his enjoy his success after three months R. Avraham Yitzhak died while his was reciting a lament over other deceased old man, before the whole community.

In 1899 his daughter Rachel got married to R. Reuven Katz, who was previously rabbi in Stawiski and later the chief rabbi, head of the rabbinical court, and Talmudic teacher in Petach Tikva.


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