New Sefer Torah for Brisk after 75 years

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Festivities in Brisk – Brest


From Rabbi Chaim Rabinowitz, CHABAD of Brisk

Hundreds of citizens –members of the Jewish community in Brisk celebrated the presentation of a new Sefer Torah, the first after 75 years, to the Brisk-Brest Synagogue.  This  was presented by the Mizrachi, Leselbaum and Perrin families in the illustrious memory of their dear father Reb Pinchas ben Yitzchak Mizrachi of Blessed Memory.

The ceremony of writing the last letters was held in the Hall of the previous Great Synagogue where the renowned Rabbis of Brisk , amongst them the late Rabbi Chaim HaLevi Soloveitchik ע”ה  davened.  This ceremony started with the showing of a video explaining the essence of the Sefer Torah and terminated when members of the Mizrachi family and honored members of the Community were given the Zechus of writing the last letters.

I then  spoke and emphasized the historic occasion – using the Chabad expressions “דידן נצח ‘We have Succeeded’.  In spite of the fact that both the Communists and the Nazis rose up against the Jewish people, and in spite of all that occurred in the past, we celebrate here today the writing and presentation of a new Sefer Torah which signifies that the Jewish people in Brisk are proud of their roots and reawakening their traditions.  We are most grateful to the honorable  Mizrachi Family and warmly thank them for their generosity in presenting this Sefer Torah, the Emblem of Judaism.

 Mr. Yitzchak Mizrachi spoke warm words of encouragement on behalf of the family.

Among the participants in the festivities were Mr. Yitzchak Mizrachi the family representative, my  father-in-law, Rabbi Zusha Goldstein and his family who came from Israel especially to participate in this historic occasion.  The Chabad  Shaliach from Grodna Rabbi Yitzchak Kaufman,  Rabbi Moshe Fima from the town Pinsk who came with the students from the Pinsk Jewish School, the renowned Scribe the Sofer Rabbi Yosef Westman, and  Mr. Shalom Milenkin, Director of the Jewish Congregation.  Dignitaries from the Municipality including the Regional Ministry of Religion,   the representatives from the Brisk Municipality, the Consuls of Poland, the Ukraine, Russia and Azerbaijan, were also present.

After the letter writing ceremony, a wonderful colorful and lively parade escorted the Torah throughout the streets honoring and glorifying in the name of the Almighty.  The entire program was covered by the local newspaper and television, who were overjoyed to be able to report on such a unique occasion.  The most lavish banquet  thanking and giving recognition to the donators was held in the ballroom in of the community as befitting such an occasion.

With blessings

Rabbi Chaim Rabinowitz

If you wish to join and be a partner in the revival of the Jewish Community of Brest please press here.


Rabbi Chaim Rabinowitz
Chabad of Brest – Belarus

For more images, see the JewishGen Kehilalink:

Also The Yiskor book just published:

Brisk Yiscor Cover




Brest-Litovsk – Volume II
Encyclopedia of the Jewish Diaspora
(Brest, Belarus)
Published by the Yizkor Books in Print Projectpart of Yizkor Books Project of JewishGen, Inc.

Translation of Brisk de-Lita: Encycolpedia Shel Galuyot
Original Yiddish Volume Edited by Elieser Steinman Published in Jerusalem, 1958
498 pages, 8.5″ by 11″, hard cover, including all photos and other images


Details:This is the translation of the Memorial (Yizkor) Book of Jewish community of Brest-Litovsk, Belarus.The name of the town, Brest-Litovsk, indicates its link with Lithuania. Although founded by the Slavs in 1017 and invaded by the Mongols in 1241, it became part of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1319, and in1569 it became the capital of the unified Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.The town is also known as “Brisk,” in Yiddish to the Jews who lived and thrived there for six centuries. Jewish “Brisk” had an illustrious history; the famous Brisker Yeshivah attracted scholars from all over Europe. The list of Rabbis of Brest includes such famous rabbis as Solomon Luria and Joel Sirkes in earlier periods, the Katzenellenbogens, and three generations of the Soloveitchik dynasty in more recent times. Brest also produced Jacob Epstein the great Talmudist at the Hebrew University, Menachem Begin, and many other major religious, literary and political leaders.In 1923, Jews, made up 60% of Brest’s population of 60,000.This book was written by Brest survivors and former residents from many countries who contributed their memories of their hometown as a record for future generations, and as testament and loving tribute to the innocent Victims of the Shoah. It is a must read for researchers of the town and descendants of “Briskers.”

Brest, Belarus is located at 52°06′ North Latitude and 23°42′ East Longitude 203 mi SW of Minsk.

lternate names for the town are: Brest [Belarussian], Brest Litovsk [Russian], Brześć Litewski [Polish], Brześć nad Bugiem [Polish, 1918-39], Brisk [Yiddish], Brasta [Lithuanian], Brest Litowsk, Brisk Dlita, Brisk de-Lita, Brześć-Litewsk, Brist nad Bugie, Bzheshch nad Bugyem, Bieraście


Nearby Jewish Communities:

Terespol, Poland 6 miles WSW Chernavchitsy 8 miles N Kodenì, Poland 14 miles SSW Zhabinka 15 miles ENE Piszczac, Poland 16 miles SW Volchin 21 miles NW

Zamosty 21 miles NNE – Kamyanyets 21 miles NNE – Janów Podlaski, Poland 22 miles WNW Charniany 23 miles ESE – Vysokaye 23 miles NW – Biała Podlaska, Poland 24 miles W

Abramovo 25 miles N – Domachėvo 25 miles S – Sławatycze, Poland 25 miles SSW Łomazy, Poland 27 miles WSW Niemirów, Poland 27 miles WNW Malaryta 27 miles SE – Konstantynów, Poland 27 miles WNW Wisznice, Poland 29 miles SW – Kobryn 29 miles ENE – Rossosz, Poland 30 miles SW

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