Belarus SIG #Belarus Kalonimus Kalman from Chausy and Altshuler family from Mogilev #belarus

Pavel Bernshtam

I would like to search here another people who have family stories
about rabbi Kalonimus Kalman >from Chausy and describe about possible
connection of my family to him.

So I want to tell here the family story with hope that somebody will
see a connection to the family

According to family legend, our ancestor was the beautiful girl Rachel
from Spain, who was embarked on a ship by her father and sent to
Russia. Her descendant was the prominent rabbi and righteous man
Klonimus Kalman >from Chaus. It is impossible to determine now the time
when it happened: the period of Jewish expulsion >from Spain or at the
later times. It is interesting that similar legends about girl that
left on a ship during expulsion >from Spain and started the family
I've heard >from some other people. So, maybe we are the descendants of
the same girl? Or maybe this is a popular legend? I'm not sure.

According to another family legend â?? we are the descendants of Rabbi
Klonimus Kalman >from Chaus. Klonimus Kalman >from Chaus was very famous
Rabbi, contemporary and companion of distinguish Gaon (genius) from
Vilno. Klonimus Kalman for a long time lived in Vilno, and even
participated together with Gaon in court investigated suspects
followed Hasidism. He has written a lot and he was referenced even by
Gaon >from Vilno and other authors.

In the book Otsar Rabanim(20 thousands of famous Rabbis) is
mentioned Kalman >from Chaus, about whom is stated, that he is from
Vilno's sages This confirms that he lived and was known as Rabbi
from Vilno. There are no dates of his life, but there he is mentioned
in 1780. Also mentioned his grandson Menahem Nahum >from Chaus, the
author of the book Tosaphot Bikurim

Kalman Klonimus was close to Gaon, and was known as mekubal and
specialist in Kabbala, and as a saint at his time. In one of the books
(there is a reference) it is mentioned that Gaon did ask for his
advice regarding interpretation of midrashi.

In another case Kalman Klonimus, Gaon and Pinhas Ha Magid >from Polotsk
were sitting together in court, where Pinhas son was accused in
following hasidism; and he vowed that he is innocent.

Kalman Klonimus died when Gaon >from Vilno was still alive (Gaon died
in 1797). He died at the same time and in the same place, where did
Zalman >from Vilno (about 1785, according to book Otsar Rabanim). It
is pointed out in the book by person who delivered the speech at

The son of Klonimus >from Chaus Shlomo Zalman >from Perlus
(Perlstein); he moved to Undorf (Hungary), and was there a Rabbi. He
is a student of Chaim >from Volozhin, the person, about whom is written
that his father is mekhutan kinsman with Kalman Klonimus (i.e.
their children are married).

We've found people, who heard that Klonimus Kalman their ancestor at
the family line Yasin, but we could not confirm our connection to him.

It is more likely that he is great-grandfather of my great-great
grandfather Kalman >from Pokrovka, but not on the Altshuler's line.

All this about Klonimus Iâ??ve learned with the help of Chaim Fridman,
the author of the book about ancestors of Gaon >from Vilno, and the
manager of the site of Jewish agricultural colonies

The exact connection with Rabbi Kalman Klonimus could not so far be
established, but we know, that two brothers Kalman and Aron Meir
Altshuler lived in Mogilev, and then departed Kalman went as a
shoihet (butcher) to Pokrovka, near Melitopol, and Aron Meir to
Mariupol, where also was a butcher and also made circumcisions. We
know that they are Kalman Klonimus ancestors not only >from the family
legend, but also >from published by Aron Meir book about Kabbala, in
which he mentioned Literally grand- and
great-grandson, but most likely it just means ancestor of Kalman

Aron Meir Altshuler was born in Mogilev in 1835, and has brother
Kalman at August 15, 1837. Their father was Leib Yehuda (Arye Leib),
son of Benzion Altshuler, who was a melamed (teacher); his mother was
Rachel Yasina daughter of Abram Meir Yasin, who was a balan (worker in
the mikva) and katsav (butcher).

Kalman was married on June 2, 1866 to Dvosya Matle Kemahman, the
daughter of Isroel Zusman, ben Yaakov Kemahman and Ita Siphra ben
Abram Levit (in the marriage certificate is the age 19 instead of 29,
as it supposed to be, but according to his name and father's name
it's him. May be he tried to avoid army service?).

The last name is shown not Altshuler but Reznik. But we know that
Kalman's >from Pokrovka profession was butcher (shohet) - "reznik"
in Russian, so we think that it is him.

Looks like Aron Meir married later. His wife's name was Miriam ben
Yosel. The family legend states that most probably he received his
education in Jerusalem.

Generally speaking, identification of discovered birth records of
Kalman Altshuler (1837) with our Kalman >from Pokrovka to some extent
arbitrary. At the same time it looks very likely. The fatherâ??s name we
know >from other sources. The same pertains to his oldest brother birth
year. Other Kalmans Altshulers among birth certificates records were
not discovered; so the most likely, it is him. To some extent
arbitrary also identification of Abram Yasin. It was made only on
combination balan, katsav

At the same time other people, who combine these two professions in
the record of Mogilev, were not discovered. So, the most likely, this
is Yasin himself.

There is one more line for research:

In the census of Vilno Jews in 1795 there is a family:

Kalman Girsh 40 years old

Wife Nehama 42 years old

Kids â?? Leib 15 years old

Roha 6 years old.

At the assumption that discovered (and cited above) records regarding
Kalman Altshuler are not ours (The name of Leiba's father there is
Bentsion), it may be that this Kalman in census 1795 is Kalman
Klonimus, and Leib, 1780 is his son, the father of Kalman and Aron
Meir. So, it turns out that Kalman and Aron Meir were born when Leib
was after age 50, that is not likely, but possible.

Pavel Bernshtam, +972-54-5583675
Software Architect @ Compugen
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