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location California, USA
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visits member for 3 years, 7 months
seen Aug 26 at 5:57

I am a former computer programmer/technical writer and am currenlty retired. I have been involved in researching genealogy in the Spis Region of Slovakia and certain towns in Poland. Since there are almost no Jews living in the Spis Region now, I have a colleague, an Evangelical Christian, living in Kezmarok, who has undertaken to travel and photograph tombstones in the abandoned/destroyed/neglected Jewish Cemeteries there.

Since 2004, he has e-mailed me these photographs and I have translated and captured relevant information from the tombstones. He has also found birth, marriage, and death records for the same towns, and we maintain spreadsheets of this information. We also published a small book about our findings.

People looking for their ancestors have benefited greatly from this information.

Some of my questions are a direct result from my on-going research and attempts to understand what I cannot find anywhere else.


Jun
18
awarded  Nice Question
Jun
17
asked When/where did the practice of “recycling” names begin?
Apr
30
awarded  Self-Learner
Apr
30
answered Were Maftir Honors in 19th Century different from today?
Apr
30
comment Were Maftir Honors in 19th Century different from today?
Perhaps this answers my own question. I just called long distance to a descendent of the Huncovce Horowitz family and asked him about this.
Apr
30
comment Were Maftir Honors in 19th Century different from today?
In my humble experience, a person given the honor of Maftir, generally also said the brachos and read the navi section. I presumed this was the practice in at least, Orthodox services, and presumably the custom in that part of the world at that time, where the services were also Orthodox.
Apr
29
asked Were Maftir Honors in 19th Century different from today?
Apr
23
comment tying tzitzis together on Simchas Tora
I (as a little girl) also did this with the little boys, in the 1950s. In addition, at that time, for little swigs of schnapps, there were no little plastic cups that we use today, but rather tiny glass "mugs" with handles, and we tied these heavy things to the tzitzit also. Such naughty kids we were then!
Apr
12
comment When did the use of Rashei Tevot, Heh Kuf, הק׳ in writings, books, letters, etc., begin?
Just to be annoying, I have the book אוצר ראשי תבות by Shmuel Ashkenazi and Dov Jarden. The title of the book in English reads: OZAR RASHE TEVOT.
Mar
25
comment How did they establish in the USA, post-WW II, that a Rav had smicha prior to the Holocaust?
Shmuel, Thanks for responding and adding to your answers. Very enlightening!
Mar
25
comment The Ability to Pasken
Thanks, Yaakov!
Mar
23
comment How did they establish in the USA, post-WW II, that a Rav had smicha prior to the Holocaust?
Thanks Shmuel, I did read the various links. I believe the rabbi in question served under the auspices of Young Israel. Wouldn't all rabbis of the Young Israel ilk be capable to pasken and their psakim considered acceptable?
Mar
23
answered Seder advice when with people who aren't interested?
Mar
23
asked How did they establish in the USA, post-WW II, that a Rav had smicha prior to the Holocaust?
Feb
4
awarded  Yearling
Jan
27
comment Why was Rabbi Yitzchok Alfasi known as the Rif - rather than the Ria? (הרי"ף - רבי יצחק אלפסי)
Curiously, A few years ago I asked the one Rabbi Alfasi we knew, who taught at a Jewish day school in Los Angeles, if he was Sfardic. He answerd in the negative, saying he was Ashkenazic and I believe his family came from Poland. (On the other hand, some years ago, Rabbi Berel Wein was visiting LA, and in a lecture mentioned that he had discovered that in his ancestry, he should have been Sfardic). Go figure -- we are such a mixed up people!
Jan
27
answered Where can I find Prenumeraten/Prenumeranten?
Jan
13
comment Kosher Cheese without a posted hechsher
OK, here's either a comment or answer: Check out this website that lists all kinds of cheeses in the USA. Surely some must make it up north: kcheese.com/US.htm
Jan
12
comment Dipping fingers in Havdalah Wine
My father who was born in Slovakia to a father who had smicha from the Pressburg Yeshiva, had the custom of dipping pinkies in the havdallah wine and tapping them to his forehead and pants' pockets. He told me that it was in hopes of not having any headaches (physically or spiritually, I presume) and having parnassah throughout the week. He died when I was 15, so I never had a chance to ask him any other details. But if this is what he learned at home, it must have been quite acceptable.
Jan
12
comment When did the use of Rashei Tevot, Heh Kuf, הק׳ in writings, books, letters, etc., begin?
Actually, in the hand-written letters I have seen, the ה and ק are scripted together, so הק׳ is probably a better way to have written it. That in itself took a while to unravel! Interestingly, I also saw it in a letter that one of my great uncles wrote to his brother, neither of whom were rabbis.