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Rabbis and their Supporters
The material here originated with a search of old Hebrew books by Eliezer Makovetsky for names associated with Wysokie Litewskie, people who lived in Wysokie at some time. As all older books to be found were of a religious nature, the names were of Rabbis and their supporters, pios Jews who funded publication of rabbinical books. (Two lists of such donors can be viewed here, and here.)

Along the way, additional information was found from other sources, including a gravestone of one of Eliezer's ancestors, who belonged to a line of rabbis.

The source citations are listed in the Table of Contents at left, often abbreviated --sometimes, unfortunately, beyond practical recognition-- due to space limitations. To search for an individual, refer to the Name List on the following page. You may also use the arrow buttons to page through the material

From these sources we learn these unique facts:

• That a rabbinical court existed in Wysokie at one time.

• That a yeshiva existed in Wysokie at one time.

• That one Beit Hamidrash in Wysokie was known as Khoma, or The Wall, and another was known as Shiv'a Kru'im. (Otherwise, we only know of one Beit Hamidrash in Wysokie, the building now generally known as the Old Shul.)

• Financial support for rabbinical books in one case was drawn from mostly familiar towns in the region: Bialystok, Brisk D'Lita, Lutzk, Siemiatycze, as well as Wysokie Litewskie itself.

A Wysokie descendant, G. B, in the Wysokie Group mailing list: We know a tradesman ... in Haifa who tells me that his mother travelled once a month to Wysokie Litewskie to see the rabbi. This must have been in the 1920's or 1930's. Which rabbi, I don't know. My grandmother also spoke about famous rabbis who lived in Wysokie Litewskie in the late nineteenth century. Has anyone heard similar stories?

About Identification of the Town
The name Wysokie and its variants means nothing more than heights, commonsensically describing a place situated on high ground. Towns of this name are common in Eastern Europe. Much rarer are towns of this name --or a variant-- identified as having a Jewish population.

Some of the references to Visoki in these old books support the identification by clear context, for example, by naming other towns which are, in fact, near our town of Wysokie-Litewskie. In other cases, the contextual evidence is less conclusive.

It seems common practice to identify our town of Wysokie-Litewskie, historically known as Visoki D'Lita, by the short name Visoki (or Wysokie, or a variant) while all other similiarly named Jewish towns are fully-specified. Example: the town named Wysokie Mazowieckie, now in eastern Poland. This tendency supports identifying Visoki, the short name, as Visoki D'Lita. In sum: we cannot be certain that every town identified here as Visoki (or a variant) is in fact Visoki D'Lita, but it seems reasonable that most are.

Most of the books cited here are courtesy of the The Society for Preservation of Hebrew Books, Hebrew Books Website, whose Terms of Use Page appears to support our use of material from the site for our non-commercial, educational purposes. The organization did not reply to repeated requests for explicit permission.

Collected by Eliezer Makovetsky. Compilation, translation, and commentary by Hannah Kadmon. Additional commentary by Eliezer Makovetsky.

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Notes: The Wall: The word may be translated Khoma [חומה] or Kotel [כותל]. This may evoke the Western Wall (הכותל המערבי ) in Jerusalem. Alternately, Khoma evokes a Beit-Midrash built of stone. Visoki D'Lita:Lithuanian Heights, referring to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth established in 1569 and not the modern country of Lithuania. Wysokie-Litewskie is an identifical reference in Polish. The modern name of the town is simply Vysokoye -- again, Heights. Lutkz: According to JewishGen, a town with a substantial Jewish population, located now in western Ukraine, some 220km (135mi) south of Wysokie Litewskie. This town could not be considered in the same region. The second most distant town is Bialystok, less than half that distance to the northwest, and definitely in the same region: the railway line passing through Wysokie led directly to Bialystok.

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