These Jewish guys were standing in a snow covered street of Lida, sometime in the 1920s.
Lida is a city in western Belarus, 99 miles west of Minsk. Jews first settled in Lida in the middle of the 16th century. In 1579, King Stefan Batory granted them permission to build a synagogue.
Say what you will about King Stefan Batory, but he was OK with the Jews of Lida.
He reigned only a decade, but he used that time well, defeating the Russians in Livonia and repulsing the Russian invasion.
By 1817, the Jewish Community of Lida numbered 567, and that was close to three-quarters of the total population of the city at the time.
The world was still quite small.
This picture was taken right after or near the end of WW1, as the Russian army was still making up its mind whether it was White or Red. Whatever color it was, you didn’t want them near your silver. So these Lida Jews were transferring holy artifacts from the synagogue to their homes, in preparation for their impending liberation. That’s liberation of the artifacts, not the Jews.
Finally, here are some more Jews in the snow in Lida, in the 1920s.
These images are all courtesy of the Lida Memorial Society.
About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.
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