Thursday 16 February 2017


SHMUEL-DOVID LASKI (1892-July 7, 1943)
            He was born in Lodz, Poland, the son of the Radogoszcz rabbi.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshivas, and with the Zgierz rabbi.  He received ordination into the rabbinate from Rabbi Khayim Heler.  Through self-education he acquired secular knowledge and foreign languages.  During WWI he joined Agudat Yisrael, and he was later a cofounder of Poale Agudat-Yisrael (Workers of Agudat Yisrael), their representative in the city council and the Jewish community of Lodz, as well as at the world conference of Agudat Yisrael in Vienna.  In 1925 he became rabbi in Sompolne (Sompolno), Poland.  In 1937 he returned to Lodz.  He was a member of the local rabbinate.  He lived among the Jewish poor in Balut (Bałuty) [a Lodz neighborhood] and befriended Jewish laborers.  He began writing in Hebrew for the Torah journal Bina liitim (Knowledge for the holidays) in Warsaw.  From 1918 he also wrote in Yiddish, Polish, and German.  He contributed work to: Di yudishe arbayter-shtime (The voice of Jewish workers), Ortodoksishe yugent-bleter (Orthodox pages for youth), Bey-yanekv zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal), Ortodoksishe almanakh (Orthodox almanac), Oylim-bleter (Pages for immigrants to Israel), and Panu derekh (Make way)—in Lodz; Dos vort (The word) in Vilna; Der yud (The Jew), Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Darkenu (Our pathway), Deglanu (Our banner), and the Polish Jewish Wschód (East) and Echo żydowskie  (Jewish echo)—in Warsaw; and Yeshurun (Jerusalem) and Der israelit (The Israelite) in Frankfurt; among others.  He authored: Der fataler toes (The fatal error), “in opposition to Copernicus’s heliocentrism and geocentrism” (Lodz, 1935), 54 pp., with 30 drawings.  He was confined in the Lodz ghetto and, in protest against Chaim Rumkowski’s introduction of civil marriages, he renounced the rabbinate and food tickets, preferring to go hungry.  He died in the Lodz ghetto.

Sources: Zonabend-zamlung fun lodzher geto (Zonabend collection from the Lodz ghetto) (New York, YIVO), no. 1268; M. Prager, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 531-32; Khayim Leyb Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (1957), p. 242; information from Yoysef Fridenzon in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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