BOREKH-YOYSEF ZAK (1887-June 5, 1949)
He was born in Krasilov (Krasyliv), Volhynia district, Ukraine, into a rabbinical family. He was brought in his youth to Jerusalem. He studied in religious elementary school and yeshivas. After marrying, he settled in Tsfat (Sefad) and there received ordination into the rabbinate. In 1915 when the Turkish government exiled Russian subjects, he lived in Egypt, and from there he moved to the United States in 1916. He served as rabbi in various places, last in the Ezras Torah synagogue in Brooklyn. He published articles in the Orthodox weekly newspaper Dos idishe likht (The Jewish light) in New York (1923-1926). He was the author of Midrash pelia (Midrash of wonder) (New York, 1923), 62 pp., and Sekhel tov (Sound understanding), “ethical thoughts,” in Hebrew and Yiddish (New York, 1925), 72 pp.; the latter was later issued in an enlarged edition as Sekhel tov hashalem (Sound and thorough understanding) (New York, 1941), 110 pp., laws and aphorisms, written in the distinctive Yiddish of Jerusalem. He died in New York.
Sources: Ben-Tsiyon Ayzenshadt, Dorot haaḥaronim (Generation of the later ones) (New York, 1937), p. 87; A. Z. Rand, Toldot anshe shem (Stories of famous people) (New York, 1950), p. 51.
Khayim Leyb Fuks