of articles in the Mir Yizkor book by Michael
Escott, great grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Eskolsky.
Michael Escott's personal notes and comments are in square
R. Yaakov Eskolsky
Mir Nachman Blumenthal, ed. 1962 – article
by Moshe Tzinowitz, p. 438.
Translated by Michael Escott
in Mir, 1st intermediate day of sukkos in 5636 (1875). His
father Dov-Ber descended from the gaon R. Yehuda Leib Mirkes,
and from the author of the “Shulchan Shlomo” who
was Rabbi and head of the beis din in Mir. R. Yaakov received
his education at the yeshiva of Mir, his birthplace. After
that he learned in Slonim and was one of the closer ones
to the head of its beis din, the gaon R. Yosef Shluffer (father-in-law
of Rabbi Yitzchak Yaakov Reines) who greatly befriended him.
Kovno he learned in the “Kollel Avreichim HaPrushim” and
was ordained for the rabbinate by R. Zvi-Hirsh Rabinowitz
(Kovno), R. Moshe Danishevsky (Slabodka), R. Shlomo HaKohen
and R. Chaim Ozer Grodzensky of Vilna.
5663 he was appointed Rabbi of the town of Rublie (near
Pinsk) and in 5664 in Kazan-Horodok. In 5667 [= late 1906]
he left for the USA and was a rabbi in the community of
Scranton (PA). After three years he accepted an invitation
to become Rabbi in the shul of the Slutzk landsmen in New
York. In 5674 [typo: should say 5678] he was appointed
Rabbi of the shul of the Bialystok landsmen in New York.
There he served as a rabbi and spiritual leader for 15
years [it was really 13+ years] until his passing.
Yaakov Eskolsky became famous as one of the great rabbis
of America and leaders of Orthodox Judaism. He was one
of the leaders of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the United
States and Canada (The Agudas HaRabbanim). He was also
among the founders of Ezras Torah which supported yeshivos,
Torah organizations and rabbis in Eastern Europe and in
Israel during the years of World War I and afterwards.
He became involved in aiding scholars and rabbis who came
to settle in the USA in troubled times. He also advised
and guided heads of yeshivos and clergy in Lithuania and
Poland in the collection of funds from the wealthy in New
York and elsewhere. In his work Taryag Mitzvos (New York
5686), he publicized a plan to publish a comprehensive
book on the entire 613 commandments from a halachic and
ethical viewpoint (the other volumes of his work never
Rabbi R. Y. Eskolsky was also the editor and publisher
of the rabbinical Torah monthly “HaMitzpe”,
which appeared in 5670-5671. In rabbinic style, it published
articles on the strengthening of Torah and religion among
American Jews, Torah novellae and halachic decisions that
dealt with timely issues of concern to the recent immigrants.
Rabbi R. Y. Eskolsky turned his attention toward Zionism
and became involved with the Mizrachi movement and dedicated
great efforts to the establishment of this movement.
In one of his articles in the HaMitzpe monthly, he deals
with the proposed activity of organizing synagogues within
the framework of the Mizrachi movement with these words: “I
pray that the efforts for this purpose will be crowned
with success. The benefit that will emerge from this
is immeasurable, since whatever synagogues will do for
the life of the land of Israel, this holy work for the
land of Israel will do even more for the life of synagogues
in America.” He passed away on the 1st of Adar
5692 [it was really on 30 Shevat 5691].For
more information on Rabbi Yaakov Eskolsky go to http://web.archive.org/web/20060921074050/http://hebrewbooks.org/eskolsky.html
Mir Nachman Blumenthal, ed. 1962 – article
Shazar, pp. 276,277
of a section by Michael
, who said: It is within an article by Zalman Shazar
on the various chassidic groups in Mir. I have presented
a loose translation here in order to maintain a smoother
was a large family of Slonimer chassidim in Mir belonging
to Berel (Michel Shimon's) that went by the name of Eskolsky.
His children would go on to become famous rabbis in America.
They had a mill by a pool in the road on the way to the
Graf's orchard. Though the family was not rich, they were
significant in the realms of Torah and Slonimer chassidus.
Michel Shimon and Berel were both pillars of their local
shtibel. Berel's son Reb Ahreh [Aharon] was a Torah scholar.
He became a rabbi in New York and gave a shiur at the Slonimer
shul on the Lower East Side. Reb Yaakov Eskolsky, Berel's
third son, authored Taryag Mitzvos (New York, 1926) and
was a famous rabbi in New York. For a short time, he was
the head of a rabbinical organization [Degel HaRabbanim]
and an editor of their journal "Degel HaRabbanim" [really
was "Degel Yisroel"]. His own son, Michel Shimon
[Mitchel Eskolsky] completed his studies at Yeshivas Yitzchak
Elchanan and also learned at Rav Kook's yeshiva in Jerusalem.
Michel was the Rabbi of the Bialystoker shul in New York,
he was head of the Keren HaYesod in his neighborhood and
was one of the first Orthodox rabbis in New York to give
sermons in English.
most fiery, talented and unsettled of the family was my
brother-in-law, Berel Eskolsky's second son, Miram of blessed
memory. He was named after the great Rabbi Meir Miram'l
of Kobrin. In his youth, Miram was a student and colleague
of Reb Yissachar Ber [Weinberg] who would later be Rebbe
of Slonim. They were sent together to study Torah and Chassidus
with an elderly chassid in Borgen. Miram became distinct
in his Torah learning and enthusiasm for Slonimer chassidus.
At the turn of the century when he returned to Mir, he
became ensnared in the Haskala and revolutionary movements
being one of the first revolutionaries in his area. He
was thought of as an anarchist and became an enemy of both
the chassidic and yeshiva communities of Mir. It got to
the point where he was in danger of being jailed so he
uprooted himself to America. There, under the influence
of Zhitlovsky and Morrison, he returned to the good and
became an observant Jew. He married my oldest sister Miriam
[Manya] and he taught at talmud torahs (in Haverhill, MA
and in Wilkes-Barre, PA) for 39 consecutive years.
The Eskolsky Family [from Sefer Mir p. 275]
Sitting from right: Miram Eskolsky, Zalman Shazar.
Standing from right: Emanuel Eskolsky, Moshe Eskolsky, Miriam [Manya]
Shazar Eskolsky, Zalman Eskolsky
Aharon Eskolsky (1872 – 1937), became a rabbi
in New York
Eskolsky (mid 1880s - 1967)
Sokol (1880 - 1965) changed name from Eskolsky.
Lived for a time in Perth Amboy, NJ (2)
Sokol (1876 – 1959) changed name from Eskolsky
Sokol (1888 - 1937) changed name from Eskolsky
Miram Eskolsky (mid 1870s-1941). see text above
Sophie Eskolsky Aronson
(1894 - 1983)
1. The name Eskolsky may have come from the shtetl of Ishkol'd which
is 9.4 miles SSW of Mir.
2. There is an old post
card to A Sokol sent from Mir to Perth Amboy. It might have a connection
to this Sokol family.
and information provided by Michael
Escott, great-grandson of Rabbi Yaakov Eskolsky
Read a translation from Sefer Mir - Section 3: Rabbis of the Mir Community by Moshe Tzinowitz (pp. 49 - 54) about
Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Mirkes
translated by Michael Escott.