The Chafetz Project

    The Lineage

    Moshe Chafetz is believed to be in my family's direct lineage. Short of detailing documented proof, which is not simple for Jews in those centuries, the following is a deduced timeline based on historical events:

    • 1663 - Moshe Chafetz born in Trieste (raised in Venice)
    • 1675-1678 - One of Moshe's poetic works, written at age 13, is in the Venice edition of the Bible
    • 1682 - Poet Yomtov Valcasson wrote a poem for Moshe Chafetz's wedding to Yvonah Karbonnah, in Venice, Italy
    • 1683 - Gershom Chafetz born on Tuesday, 11th of Adar (March 9th)
    • 1696 - Moshe Chafetz publishes Hanukkat HaBayit in Venice
    • 1700 - Gershom Chafetz dies of plague, fourth shabbat of Tevet (the 25th) (January 25th)
    • 1700 - Moshe Chafetz posthumously publishes Gershom's Yad Charuzim in Venice
    • 1710 - Moshe Chafetz publishes Melechet Machashevet in Venice
    • 1711 - Moshe Chafetz dies, 30th of Cheshvan (November 12)
    • 1737 - Venice Jewish community declares bankruptcy
    • 1740 - Yad Charuzim second edition published in Venice
    • 1766 - Venice Jewish population down to 1,700 (from 4,800 in 1655) because many prominent families left for port cities; (citation)
      Several Jewish exoduses to other Italian cities or elsewhere in Europe
    • 1817 - Koenigsberg Jewish population reaches 1,027 (from 307 in 1756); (citation)
    • 1859 - Melechet Machashevet second edition published in the port city of Koenigsberg (now Kaliningrad)
    • 1904 - Chafetz family initial migration from Zorowicz to America (Zorowicz was in modern Belarus, ~130 miles north of Chernigov, 220 miles north of Kiev, Russia; now northern Ukraine) (~500 miles inland from Koenigsberg)
    • 1914, 1929 - New editions of Melechet Machashevet published in Warsaw (~170 miles south of Koenigsberg, modern Kaliningrad, Russia)

    Moshe Chafetz
    (inside cover, Melekhet Machashevet)

    Got Information?

    Any information about either Chafetz, or these three books, is greatly appreciated; in particular, available copies (especially Hanukkat haBayit, Yad Charuzim) or existing translations.

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    Copyright Doug Brook. All rights reserved.