The Maggidim
Zambrów's Itinerant Preachers

Zambrów is a member of the Museum's World Jewish Communities

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As in all the "shtetlakh" or little towns of Eastern Europe so in Zambrów, too, it was customary for the "maggid", or "wandering orator" to preach in the Beth Hamidrash. The Rabbi was accustomed to deliver a sermon only twice in the year, namely on Shabbath Haggadol (before Passover) and on Shabbath Shuva (before the Day of Atonement). All the other Sabbaths as well as ordinary weekdays (especially the afternoon or evening hours between Minha and Maariv) were utilized by the Itinerant maggidim winding and plodding along from shtetl to shtetl, where they ascended the bimah (pulpit) of the Beth Hamidrash and started their homilies and exhortations. They used to place a plate at the door of the Beth Hamidrash, and everybody put some money for the maggid. This was the only means of sustenance and the livelibod source of the maggidim, who were also termed Piekhotne Maggidim.

We shall talk about five such preachers here: I.R. Eliyakim Getzl, R. Akivah Poltaver Rabinovitch, Alter the Maggid (Roeb Moshe Zalman Horovitch), Shammai-Leiser, and Haim Velvel Pav... next ►►


Zambrów 9




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