Tuesday 29 September 2015


            He was born in Shrensk (Szreńsk), Poland, into a pedigreed rabbinical family.  From his earliest years, he was marked as a child prodigy.  At age sixteen he received rabbinical ordination.  He became rabbi of Janów, later of Maków, and then until WWI of Staszów.  R. Groybart was a cofounder and leader in 1910 of the Warsaw Asife Harabonim (Assembly of rabbis) of Poland, from which he was selected to be a member of the editorial commission of its Yiddish and Hebrew publications.  With the outbreak of WWI, he was taken by the Tsarist military authorities as a hostage from the Jewish population and sent deep into Russia.  He later came to Moscow, where he caused great activity.  He was the founder of the organization “Masoret veḥerut” (Tradition and freedom), which fought for Jewish religious and national autonomy and for which he wrote the call: On di yudn in rusland (Russia without Jews) (Moscow, 1917).  He was active in the administration of the assistance committee for Jewish refugees.  He returned to Poland in late 1918 and became the leader of the Mizrachi movement.  A fiery speaker, he traveled across the Polish provinces on behalf of Mizrachi and became its candidate in the Zionist bloc in the elections to the Polish Sejm in 1919.  He took part in the world Zionist Congress in London in 1920.  He later moved to Canada, where he was until his death the head rabbi of Toronto.
            He was the author of a great number of religious texts, among them: Ḥavalim baneimim (Pleasant lots in life) concerning issues of Jewish law, with a portion of text in Yiddish (part 1, Warsaw, 1908; parts 2 and 3, Toronto, 1929 and 1931); and Sefer zikaron (Memoirs) (Lodz, 1926), 337 pp., in which he described his experiences in the war, 1914-1918, and concerning the spiritual state of Russian Jewry, as well as a hefty letter exchange on the condition of Jews during the war with major Jewish figures (R. Maza, Refuel Gots, R. Rabinovits, and others).  Numerous articles and sermons were also included in this text, such as “Oyruf vegn der shabes frage” (Call on the issue of the Sabbath), which he published in the Yiddish press in Poland (1912-1920); Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Der mizrakhi-veg (The Mizrachi way), Hamizrakhi (The Mizrachi), and others.  He was also the author of the religious texts: Yamin usmol (Right and left), essays on Jewish issues and relations between Jews and Gentiles; and Yabia omer (Uttering speech), Devarim kikhtavam (Words just as they are written), and others.  He died in Toronto.

Sources: Ahale shem (The Jewish people) (Pinsk, 1912), pp. 135-36; N. Boymeyl, in Der idisher zhurnal (Toronto) (October 7, 1937); Y. Y. Vol-Gelernter, in Der idisher zhurnal (October 8, 1937); Y. P. Kats, in Der idisher zhurnal (October 10, 1937).

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