AHARON HALEVI PETSHENIK (AARON PECHENICK) (March 28, 1904-August 9, 1994)
He was born in Ostrov, Volhynia, the son of the rabbi of Dombrovitse (Dubrovitsa). He studied in yeshivas and in the synagogue study hall for Tachkemoni rabbis in Warsaw. At eighteen he received ordination into the rabbinate. He served as rabbi in Sarne (Sarny), Volhynia, and later in New York. He began writing at age thirteen. He founded and directed collectives in Poland for preparing settlers to work the land in Israel and later also in the United States. He participated in Zionist congresses and in the world conferences of Mizrachi. In New York he edited Hamizraḥi (The Mizrachi), Or hamizraḥ (Light of the East), and Mizrakhi veg (Mirachi way). He was also co-editor of Shana-bashana (Year by year), yearbooks of “Hekhal shlomo” (Temple of Solomon). In 1960 he settled in Israel. He was editor of Hamitspe (The watchtower) in Jerusalem and Ḥadashot mehaḥayim hadatiyim (News from the religious life). He was among the directors on the council for the Talmudic Encyclopedia. He also wrote for: Haolam (The world), Hatsfira (The siren), Hadoar (The mail), Tog-morgn-zhurnal (Day-morning journal), and Tsukunft (Future) in New York; and he was a regular contributor to Hatsofe (The spectator) in Tel Aviv. In book form: Durkh laydn gelaytert (Refined through suffering), a poem (Rovno, 1932), 40 pp.; Tsienizm un yidishkeyt in sovet-rusland, a rayze ibern sovetn-farband in 1940 (Zionism and Jewishness in Soviet Russia, on a trip through the Soviet Union in 1940), with a preface by Rabbi Meyer Berlin (New York: Mizrachi Labor in America, 1943), 62 pp.; Di oyftuen fun amerikaner mizrakhi far khizek hatoyre vehayaades (The achievements of American Mizrachi for strengthening Torah and Judaism) (New York), 14 pp.; Tenuat hatsiyoniyut ben shete milḥamot haolam (The Zionist movement between the two world wars) (Jerusalem, 1959/1960); and Pirke geula (Chapters of redemption) (Jerusalem, 1960/1061). From 1963 he was the publisher of a series of biographical-historical pamphlets in Hebrew and the religious text Mate aharon (The rod of Aaron) (Jerusalem, 1979/1980), 100 pp.—a chronology of families which drew their pedigrees back to the Baal Shem Tov, Rashi, and King David. He also wrote for: Letste nayes (Latest news) in Tel Aviv; Folk un tsien (People and Zion) in Jerusalem; Unzer veg (Our way) in Paris; and Hatsofe. He was last living in Jerusalem.
Sources: M. Kligsberg, Dos yidishe bukh in 1943 (The Yiddish book in 1943), annual (New York, 1945); Tsukunft (New York) (March 1943; October 1943); Daniel Perski, in Hadoar (New York) (January 14, 1955), pp. 206-7; Yitskhok Varshavski (Bashevis), in Forverts (New York) (June 1, 1958); Z. M. Kershteyn, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (June 10, 1960); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 12 (Tel Aviv, 1962), p. 3963; Biblyografye fun yidishe bikher vegn khurbn un gvure (Bibliography of Yiddish books concerning the Holocaust and heroism) (New York, 1962).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 432.]