AVROM-MIKHL LAVSKI (ABRAHAM LAVSKY) (May 23, 1894-November 25, 1957)
He was born in the old city of Jerusalem. He was the son of Khayim-Yoysef Lomzher and a relative of the Brisker Rav, Rabbi Shiye-Leyb Diskin. He studied in the Jerusalem yeshivas of Ets Ḥayim (Tree of life), Mea Shearim (One hundred gates), and Torat Ḥayim (Torah of Life), and he received rabbinical ordination. He also studied secular subject matter. In 1913 he became a teacher in the Haifa school Netsaḥ Yisrael (Eternity of Israel). During WWI he was expelled to Alexandria, Egypt, and there he founded and served as director of a Hebrew school. After the war he returned to Israel and was a school teacher in Reḥovot and Ekron. In the autumn of 1921 he left for the United States, became a rabbi in Greenwich, Connecticut, studied and received his doctoral degree from the University of Indianapolis, and then went on to become a rabbi and preacher at the school Ḥoveve Torah (Love of Torah) in the Bronx, New York, positions which he held until the end of his life. He wrote new interpretations of the law and published them in Hapardas (The orchard) in Chicago and in Pinḥas Grayevski’s Migenazim yerusholaim (From the records of Jerusalem). He also published poetry entitled “Hirhurim” (Reflections) in the journal Darom (South) in Buenos Aires. He wrote articles on Torah issues and Judaica in the Hebrew, English, and Yiddish press in Israel, Europe, and North and South America. In book form he published a collection in Hebrew of articles and essays under the title Yalkuti (Compilation) (Buenos Aires, 1946), 143 pp., and a volume of poetry entitled Nitsane amiri (Buds of trees) (Israel). In book for in Yiddish: Di khashmenoim-heldn oder di makabeyer, original historisher roman fun der tsayt fun tsveytn beysamikdesh (The Hasmonean heroes or the Maccabees, an original historical novel from the era of the Second Temple), “based on historical facts and events, adapted according to a variety of midrashim, compilations, and legends” (New York, 1941), 472 pp. This novel was earlier published serially in Morgn-tzaytung (Morning newspaper) in Buenos Aires (1937), Der veg (The way) in Mexico City (1938), and Idisher kuryer (Jewish courier) in Chicago (1940). He was president of the American council to publish the popular anthology Yalkut hamoadim (Compilation of the holidays) in Hebrew and in Yiddish. He also translated into Hebrew books of Yiddish literature. He had prepared for publication a Hebrew novel Beshaare yerusholaim (At the gates of Jerusalem) and in Yiddish a collection of modern sermons. He died in New York and was buried in the state of Israel.
Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 501-2; Ben-Zion Ayzenshtadt, Sefer anshe hashem beartsot habrit, sefer zikaron (Famous people in the United States, a memoir) (St, Louis, 1933), p. 67; R. Brainin, in Dorem (Buenos Aires) (Shevat [= January-February] 1940), booklet 24; Morgn-tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (January 20, 1940); Idisher kuryer (Chicago) (March 6, 1940); obituary notice in Der shpigl (Buenos Aires) (December 1959); oral information from E. R. Malachi and from the deceased’s friend.