Morris Light

Orla KehilaLink

The above picture shows the wonders of archival research done three generations later. In this picture is “LEFT” Aba Liatsky (Lacki) who is the brother of my great grandfather “RIGHT”Lazar(us) Light (Liatsky or Lait). Both were born in Orla. My family in America had no idea that Lazarus had a brother Aba until I researched my Orla family. I found this picture of Aba in the Yad Vashem Holocaust Archives. After comparing their facial features up-close I have no doubt of their relationship. Lazarus lived a comfortable life in New York City and owned a factory that made coats for oversized women. As for Aba Lacki, he owned a launderette (Yad Vashem specifies it was a chemical washing laundry which is maybe what we call today dry cleaning}. Aba’s son Yakov (Jacob) also worked in the Launderette. Aba, his son Yakov with wife Chela and their daughter Mina perished in the Holocaust.
The life of Morris Light differs from most who emigrated from Orla to the United States.
Morris actually returned to Orla after emigrating to the United States.
 
Morris emigrated from Orla arriving in New York City in 1891 along with my Great grandfather Lazarus (Lazar) Light and his new wife Anna (Chana) Frank. Morris accompanied his eldest son Lazar on his honeymoon. Lazar’s wife, my great grandmother, is the daughter of Heyman Frank and Esther Plioin possibly from Równe (now Rivne). Morris Light returned to Orla between 1902 and 1905 to be reunited with his mother, Miriam Mindel, and relatives that did not join him in America. Morris’ father is Rabbi Dov Ber Liatski of Orla (abt 1835 – Sept 25, 1879). Rabbi Dov’s father, my fourth great grandfather is Rabbi Baruch Zev Liatski (Abt 1810 – 1855).
Rabbi Dov Liatski, correction, born c1835 – 1879
Torn between the luxuries in a new land and ultimately the grim challenges awaiting him in Orla, Morris apparently lived out his final years destitute in the shtetl of his birth. The strife I assume he faced is made evident by his letters below along with a testimonial recorded in Yad Vashem. The testimonial describes the suffering of all in Orla during the remaining years of the decade. I would think returning to Orla with an anglican name there would be some record of Morris Light residing in Orla sometime after 1902. On October 18, 1902 Morris’ wife, my great great grandmother Gitl (Yetta, Gussie) Shottlander (Shortlauder) born February 1859, died in New York City. According to my grandfather’s (Philip Light) sister Bea (Batia), Morris became sad and unhappy and longed to return to Orla. The twist may be that he had a love interest back in Orla. When you read one of his letters his children in America caught on to this and were far from happy! The last letter is actually a poem I have from my great great grandfather dated February 16, 1910 on his 65th birthday. The date of Morris’ death is currently unknown. How he lived out his final days is something that I wonder about. Morris’ fate had he remained in America would have been the opposite of his final years in Orla. By 1910 his children in America prospered, married, had children and some achieved wealth. Morris’ remaining years in Orla left him destitute and pathetic according to his final letter.
The details of the Liatsky family from Orla is documented on ancestry.com I have identified approximately 1,500 descendants just from my great great great grandparents, Dov and Miriam Liatski.
If anyone has any interest in viewing this public tree, please do not hesitate to contact me for an invite.
Fondly,
David Light of Miami, Florida
March 29, 2021
and
Eli Rabinowitz, 
Perth, Australia

 

Below are the hand colored Family Trees by Morris. One located in Florida. One located in Canada.

The one made specifically for Lazar (Lazarus Light my great grandfather) Liatsky was never found. We knew it existed, but all of the relatives we asked knew of it and tried to locate it to no avail. In 1990 or so a woman came into my brother’s (Steven Light of Fort Lauderdale, Florida) place of business located in Miami and said she was a Light and wanted to know if we were related. She came in a month later with a ripped family tree in a large broken frame that her grand nephew had, Sure enough, written in Hebrew, was a branch on the tree with my grandfather Philip Light’s name on it and that of his sisters born at the time the tree was dated. My aunt (Sandra Cohn) figured out how to decipher the tree and the way the offspring were listed in chronological order. Morris made great efforts to make these trees with letters requesting updates of the births subsequent to his emigration from New York back to Orla (see letter below). The bottom of the tree in Hebrew is written “for those that want to remember”.  I feel that I may be among the few that care. This makes my inquiries to research my Orla family that much more meaningful.
Attached are the two trees that thus far have been located. I also have a close up picture showing the detail of Morris’ artistic prowess.
Family Tree Ludmer done earlier
Light Family Tree
Tree as background
The main source for reconstructing the history of the family, is a 1906 family tree created by Morris Light (Moshe Lait “surname sometimes used just prior to immigration”).  One version of the tree is located in Montreal, Canada.  A second version is a copy in the possession of me in Miami, Florida.  It is possible that a number of versions were created by Morris. One for each branch of his family. Each one was then mailed from Orla.
I would like to credit Rabbi Jeffrey Marx of Los Angeles California for helping me reconstruct some of the family’s history thus far.
Below is the document of military conscription into the Czar’s army. The assumptions of the translation provided by my brother, Steven Light, may be partially incorrect. The individual’s description states “the index finger lacks the first two joints”. The subject person on this document is illegible. It is most likely Lazar(us) Liatski (Lait, Light) who is my great grandfather.
The affidavit from Bielsk says that the military candidate is missing a finger. I understand that it was common for young Jewish men to shoot their right hand finger off so that they could not hold a gun, thus disqualifying them from enlistment in the Czar’s army. Since the line with the subject name is illegible I am unsure who this letter is for. I assume it is for Lazar(us) who was a teenager then. I know for sure that Lazar(us) had all of his fingers and I would think that the family would have discussed if Morris was missing a finger. This leads me to believe the document is a forgery to disqualify one of them from enlistment.  Further research needs to determine this.

 

Morris-Light-Military-page-1
Morris-Light-MIlitary-page-2
Click on links:
Evidently, per the letters below, my great great grandfather Morris was a talented artist and fluent in Yiddish and English with beautiful penmanship.

Letter #1

Bialystok, April 9, 1906

Dear [Karl?] Kalman Light and to my devoted daughter in law, Jenny:

We are all, thank God, well. I received your letter, and truly was very happy to get it, because you used to send me a letter every month and now you have not done so for three months. So I thank you warmly and I also thank you for the things that you sent me. You saved me because I did not have anything to wear to go out into the street among people. There was a bit of a mix-up, but there is nothing to be done at this point. I didn’t need a winter jacket but rather a spring jacket, because in Europe it is not fitting for an older person to go out without a jacket, even in summer. Especially in a [illeg.] it isn’t nice, but there is nothing to be done. The jacket will also be of use to me. I thank you very sincerely.

I am also sending you a tree with [illeg.] apples and pears.

For all the grandchildren who will send me a letter, I will answer them with a letter and also a tree with apples and pears. For the little children who can’t yet write me a letter I will also answer if I get a letter from their parents. I am also sending a present for Liala [from your family?] I will soon send a tree with pears and apples for Bubele [?] because Fanny was laid up and it was too hard for her to write to me and it’s too long for Bubele to wait for the apples and pears, so I will send it with a letter to Fanny.

I have also sent the big pictures [photographs] for each person; please be so good as to give them to each one.

Thank you, my daughter- in-law for the birthday greeting which you sent me, and for remembering the paper that I asked you to send me. [Illeg.] Fanny sent me a silk handkerchief but I haven’t received it, but I assume it will be [illeg.] and well wrapped so that no one can get to it, and that it will soon come. About [illeg.] you write that you haven’t gotten the receipt, I will tell him, but it seems to me that he once told me about the [illeg.] from Kalman that she sent it, but I will tell him.

I am also writing about Fanny’s [?]. I had already had the same [?] in the [third?] letter, but nobody wrote me the name of the newborn grandchild and I needed to know it to be able to write the name on the branches of all the trees which I have sent to you and also on the trees I made for [Avrom?] and to send to Orle and to Rokhl Leah, and for my brother’s children. So I left the space on the branches empty because I don’t know the name. And in America you will be able to write in the name yourselves. So when Fanny writes me, she shouldn’t forget to tell me the name so I can fill it in on the branches.

You must write me how [Hinde?] is, because Velvel Levtske told me that she is sick. He said it under his breath and then he told Nekhe that she [Hinde] needs to have an operation so I asked him again and he denied it. So I am very worried about her. So you must write me.

[Entire line along crease illegible].

I have no more news. My devoted son Kalman and Jenny and Liala. May God grant you good luck in business.

From me, your father, father- in- law and grandfather.

Morris Light

Aba and Nekhe and the children send regards to all of you.

Rokhl Leah and Natan and the children send regards to all

Khenke and her husband Ben Zion Shekovitshe and their little children send greetings to all

Kalman Limenske and his wife and children send greetings to all

I send regards to Rokhl Toshman [?] and K_____ Zukerman and her husband and children

I send greetings to Maytes’ [?]children

I send greetings to my sister’s son, Morris Schwartz

I received from Borukh Borman [?] 10 [units of currency; maybe rubles] I gave 5 to [illeg.] and I owed 3 which I paid. May God help all of you and I send my best wishes.

_____________________________________________________________________

Letter #2

Orly 16 February 1910

To my devoted daughter in law Jenny Light and to my son [Karl?] Kalman Light. I am, thank God, well. I thought that all my children were angry at me and had decided not to write me any letters, since even from you I haven’t gotten a letter in four months and you used to write me every month. Also, when I wrote to my children regarding Aunt Toybe, that it hadn’t yet come to getting married, that [illeg.] still deliberating about what I should do, they had already stopped writing. Then all of a sudden a letter came from [Otvostsk? – partly illeg.] to someone in Bialystok and that person wrote to me in Orle, saying that the other person had talked to my children in New York and that the children had impudently said that if I get married they won’t send me even one cent.  Since I haven’t gotten any letters, that must be true. But then a couple of weeks ago I got a letter from Lazar. He writes me what that person wrote to me, that I won’t get one cent, is a lie and I shouldn’t believe it. But Kalman Limenske happened to read the letter that I had gotten and he said, What became of them in America? Did they become so corrupted in America? If they contributed 10 cents a week they would have [illeg.] to send you. In Bialystok they distribute [sentence along crease in paper illegible.] That’s how amazed Kalman Limenske was. Then ultimately I got the letter from Lazar that said it’s a lie and I shouldn’t believe it. [Illeg.] if they send it, if they don’t send it, with God’s help I won’t be abandoned, and if you can improve your situation , you should do that. That’s what was written in [your?the?] letter, but [illeg.] it must have been that other person who said that they will not send a groshen. [Russian equivalent of a cent.]

I understand that [illeg.] about the children, they won’t send it anyway. The way things are done in small towns, those people in Orle who don’t want to contribute to the Lines Hatsedek [charity in shtetl providing aid to indigent people], they talk about the Lines Hatsedek.

Let’s put this matter aside and talk about [illeg.] things. Today the 16th of February, the [4th?] day of [the Hebrew month of] Adar, is my birthday. So I am sending for all of you my biography that I have written. I ask that you write me more often. Finally, I send greetings to you and Kalman and the children. Please pass on my letter and the biography to everyone. From me, your father, father- in- law and grandfather.

Notes

I  use brackets to indicate when something is illegible or uncertain. If entirely illeg.ible: [illeg.]. If I’m unsure I put a question mark after the word/s in question, and all in brackets.

Brackets are also used to provide definitions or explanatory material.

If a word is in italics, it means that it is an English word that the writer wrote in the Yiddish alphabet, e.g. cent.

The list of greetings/regards [the Yiddish word is grus, pl.grisn; verb grisn – to greet or to send regards] at the end of the 1906 letter is very common in Yiddish letters. It was a way for people to keep in touch.

Although Morris addresses the letters to both Kalman and Jenny (I think her Yiddish or Russian name may have been Dzhenie) he often uses the singular “du” for you, instead of the plural ”ir” and I can’t tell if that has any significance. Sometimes it sounds like Jenny was the intended recipient, sometimes both Jenny and Kalman. It may be that she was the main correspondent because she could read and write Yiddish

The following testimonial describes life’s challenges that Morris was subject to when he returned to Orla. The testimonial recorded by Yad Vashem is written by Sylvia Kaspin who is associated by marriage. The date of Morris’ death is currently unknown so I am unsure how much of the timeline below he experienced.
———————

Orla in the Early 1900s

My mother’s family lived in a tiny village in eastern Poland called Orla.  At that time it belonged to Russia.  It is about 20-25 miles from a fair-sized town called Bielsk. I would guess that Orla is about 50 miles west of the present Russian border.  My aunt Bella says that the village had two streets. I only remember one.  It was a cobblestone highway that ran through the village.  The village had a square in the center, sort of a market place with small stores all around it.  Once a week the peasants from the neighboring farms would come to the market place, bring their produce to sell and buy what they needed in these small stores.

The village had a stream.  There was a mill on the stream which ground the rye grain used for making the black Russian sourdough bread the people ate.  Our miller also had a side line.  With his horse and wagon he transported people and goods to and from the villages in this area.  There was no other means of transportation.

There was also a beautiful forest near the stream.  The whole area was densely forested.  In warm weather, on the Sabbath, when no work was done at all, people, especially young people, would walk in the forest.

There was no doctor in the village.  There was a pharmacist who compounded medicines himself.  My grandmother, Hashe, made tallow candles by dipping them and I have a faint memory of a barn-like structure in the back of the house and seeing candles hanging from the rafters. She had a little store in the village square where she sold these candles and other things as well.  What I remember about that store are the big barrels of herring that took up all the space and you could hardly go inside.

There was a house of study, a small room which was part of the synagogue. Right across our house, on the other side of the road, was a very large, grandiose church situated on a large piece of land.  Around it was a low stone wall, maybe three or four feet high and on top of the stone wall was an iron fence.

There was, of course, no running water.  Water had to be brought in from a well.  There was no bathroom.  You had to go outside for that.  There was no bathtub.  I remember being bathed in a large metal container.  There was a village bathhouse which was used at certain times.

I remember when the First World War reached our area and the cannon started shooting.  I remember that we hid in the cemetery behind the gravestones.  The next morning we fled to a town where we stayed a few days and then went back to our village.  When we got back to Orla, we found that our house had been completely destroyed, burned to the ground.

The winter, spring and summer after we returned from running away were very hard.  There wasn’t enough food.  The Germans controlled the supply.  The peasants hid as much of their grain and vegetables as they could and then sold it to the people of the villages who would go there at night and smuggle it in without the Germans’ knowledge.

When the whole population was practically starving, my mother and her very close friend who was a trained nurse went to the German commandant and asked him for food to set up a soup kitchen for the village.  Strange as it may seem, he agreed to their request and supplied food to them.  They set up a soup kitchen for the village and saved a lot of people from starving.

We moved into another house at the other end of the village.  This house I remember.  You entered from the street into a very large room.  To the right was a very large table with chairs and to the left, some sort of cupboard for keeping clothes.  Right opposite the entrance was a tremendous oven built from the floor to the ceiling.  This is what heated the whole house during the winter.  It was a two-story oven.  The wood was placed in the lower part of the oven. When the fire died down, the upstairs could be slept in and it was used for that purpose.  The winters were very cold so this was beneficial.  There was a narrow wooden bench in front of the oven.  I don’t remember going outside in the winter.  We didn’t have shoes.

To the left of the oven was the entrance to a small room which was used as a bedroom.  There were bedrooms on the other side of the oven.  There was also a very large kitchen which was shared by another family living on the other side.  They were two homes connected by a common kitchen.

The one thing I remember fondly about the kitchen is when bread was baked.  This was the Russian black sourdough bread.  About 40 lbs. of rye flour was placed in a large wooden container, ingredients added and allowed to stand until it fermented.  Then the big oven in the kitchen was fired up and when the wood had turned to coals, the dough was made up into large, round loaves and put into a clearing in the oven with a long paddle.

Spring was a wonderful time after being confined to the house all winter.  I remember going barefoot through the meadows and it was wonderful to feel the grass underneath.  There was a red clover growing in the meadows and we used to pluck out the petals of the flowers.  The tips of the petals were white and quite sweet and we used to eat them.

My father and mother, Joan and Lenny Light and their six grandchildren. Third and fifth generation of Morris Light. (2020)

 

1906 Liatski Family Tree by Morris Lait

The tree contains the following family groups:

Dov ben Baruch Zev z”l

+ Miriam Mindel Shechiyah? 

  Miriam Mindelsh Chaya?

Yosef Liatski

+Chaya Raizel

Yehoshua

Berl

David

Gitl

Pinchas

Sobvol? Kopelman

+ Chaya Bailah

Kalman Lait

+Henke

Gedalia

Laieleh

Shmuel Lait

+Mashe? Bashe?

Berl

Avraham

Lazar Joel Lait

+Chana

Roze

Dora

Besdsie

Philip

Lina

Jennie

Moshe Leib Lait

+Gitl z”l

Baruch Zev

Gershon Rosenblum

+Teme

Dovele

Laib

Gitl

Baruch Zev Liatski

+Hinke

Zemel

Dov

Bailah

Lana

Alter Lait

Abe Liatski

+Nechah

Yakov

Laitze

Berl

Shmuel Liatzski

+Shaina Chaya

Lina

Wolf Liatzski

+Kailah Peshah

Shalom

Libe

Hersch

Malka

Yakov Kreshin

+Masha

Bracha

Gershon

Baruch Joel

Shaika

Etka

Blumveh

Wolf Blumenkof

+Chana

Golda

Baruch Yael

N? K?     ?

+Rachel Baileh

Berl

Sarah

Moshe

Elka

Lena Baileh

Avraham Yakov Lich

+Lena Sarah

Yitzchak

Baruch Joel

Bovil

Baruch Yoel Lich

+Tzivia

Moshe Shmuel Sh”ub Lich

+Ester Chana

Chaya Bailah

Baruch Joel

Dobeh

Berl

Yehuda Zukerman

+Lana

Dora

Zemil

He_ne

Gussie

Roza

Ben Zion Shaikovitch

+Henke

Malka

Mersha

Monish Fisher

+Kelteh

M

?

Sima Zisl

+Laib Nelevitch

Gitl

*
It is ironic that most of us are unaware of our origins in Orla. Marek Chmielewski has made a great effort on our behalf to assure today’s current residents of Orla are. Marek, the mayor of Orla, has implemented programs in the local school and annual events about its forgotten past, much of which are at his own cost. The following video commemorates the 72nd anniversary of the liquidation of Orla of its Jews that occurred on November 4, 1942. All of the guests are residents of the village. Some of the names on the wall commemorating those who perished are our direct relatives.
*

37 Replies to “Morris Light”

  1. Thank you for all your efforts. I loved reading about my Bubby’s family. I am the daughter of Archie Shaikovitz of blessed memory (son of Chinka and Ben Zion Shaikovitz) and had no idea of the history of our family. My father’s family lived in Bialystok. I live in Toronto and look forward to hearing more stories that you may recall.
    My name is Barbara Shaikovitz Levine
    Stay safe and be well

    1. Hi Barbara:
      This is Yerach Daskal if you remember me from my days when I studied in Montreal, the son of Masha and Elias Daskal of Jerusalem Israel. David Light got hold of me and exposed me to the whole genealogical tree of my family, where the explanation of the relationship of your parents, Elka and Archie to my Mother’s family became much clearer. I am currently living in Philadelphian, retrired after a wonderful career in Medicine and Medical research. I totally lost track off your sister and brother ( Chuck) who I understand lives now in Haifa Israel. I would love to reach out and reconnect with them as with your cousin Reisel(?? sp) and Bernie the son on Malka . Love tom hear from you.
      Best,
      Yerach
      Yerach

  2. Thank you David for the time and effort you put into this. Not many families are fortunate enough to know their ancestry.
    Now that you did the hard part, keeping this going should be easier for our family’s future generations . And more importantly, keeps our past generations in our memories.

  3. David, this is quite amazing if you ask me. I know how much time and effort you put into this. I also know that you have enjoyed the journey immensely and meeting previously unknown relatives along the way.

  4. Great job uncle David; thank you for putting in the time and effort to discover our family history and to share it with the rest of us. Love you!

  5. David, you and Jeff have done a great mitzvah. Thank you. I found the print on the tree a little too faint to read. One of those trees looks like my Bubby Chinka’s, which ends at the birth of my mother, Malka, and her two older sisters. Hope to meet sometime soon.

  6. I love this. Thanks for sharing. I’m Dan Goldenblatt, son of David z”l and Livia nee Shaikovitz, Barbara’s sister (above), first born grandson of Archie Shaikovitz and Elke and great grandson of Chinka (who was alive when I was born) and Ben Zion Shaikovitz. Currrently living in Berlin, Germany so probably the closest descendant to Bialistok and Orla (there are two Orla’s in Poland according to Google Maps). Love family stories and geneology. Just last year organized and MC’s a zoom family reunion of the descendants of Ben Zion and Chinka that had 168 family members take part from 50 something housholds, 5 countries, 3 continents from West Jerusalem all the way to Victoria, BC.

    1. Our Orla is the shtetl outside of Bielsk. The partially restored synagogue honors some members of our fa.mily that perished in the Shoa on its wall.
      Please see this fabulous link showing the synagogue and the town.

      https://youtu.be/rnbHROxm9_U

  7. Hi David, thank you for your history detail. My mother never mentioned Orla. She was always fixated on Bialystok. Only late in her life, while I listened to her in conversation with a brother and sister, did I find out about Orla. When her father passed at the age of 44, her mother was left with 7 children and no income. Jobs were scarce. Her uncle, who had emigrated to Canada, came to visit and convinced my mother, the eldest, that she should go to Montreal. In 1927, she immigrated to Canada. She got a job as a seamstress in a shmata factory, paying 5 cents an hour. She earned $3 a week and would send $2 every 2 weeks to her mother. After a year, she met a lantzman who told her that her oldest brother had become quite tall and muscular and would probably be drafted into the Polish army. That alarmed her and she then determined to bring her family to Montreal, which she accomplished within 2 years. By then, she had already been in contact with her Light cousins in Brooklyn. She maintained contact with them and the Bergers until she passed. There were several Lights who came to my bar mitzvah, and whenever my parents would go to NYC, they’d spend at least one night with Paul and Rose.

    She never spoke of those that were left behind. I asked her many times if she knew of family that perished in the Shoah. She always said yes and quickly changed the subject. Near the end of her life I asked her again. She opened up that she felt guilty that she hadn’t marshaled family members to help get them out. Imagine carrying those feelings for 50 years. After the war ended, whenever a ship arrived in Montreal, she’d send my father to find ‘Yidden ‘ and get them off the boat. For several years, my parents hosted refugee families until they could settle themselves.

    I too am excited having made contact with you. It has triggered memories. I don’t know if I mentioned to you that when I moved to Rockville, MD I made contact with Sherry Light. I think her father was Saul Light.

  8. David, Your passion for learning about our family’s history has been inspiring. Thank you for taking the time and putting in all of the effort to put the pieces together for the rest of us.

    As the daughter of Lloyd Siegel, granddaughter of Charlotte Siegel, and great-granddaughter of Dorothy (Light) Salter, I was overjoyed to see how the family that made it out of Poland has flourished around the world. By linking us all together, you have truly honored Morris’ words of “for those that want to remember.”

    It is so special to now have a story to accompany the print of the family tree that hangs in my living room.

    My family, my brother’s family and my parents are all located in Long Island, NY.

    Thank you for this beautiful mitzvah, I look forward to connecting in person in the future!

  9. David, thank you for making the Tree that I have cherished for so long come to life. What were once just names are now real people. Their struggles and chutzpah are the reason we are al l here to be able to look back. Our grandfather, Philip Light, was the baby of his family and the only boy. I regret not knowing enough at the time to ask him, Aunt B and Aunt J about their childhoods. Not something that generation gave up freely.

  10. It was very gratifying to me to be able to contribute to your amazing family history project by translating Morris Light’s letters. Morris ‘ letters were unusually detailed and interesting. And he was an unusually talented man. When I first read in the letters that he was going to send “trees with apples and pears” to the family, I was puzzled. Who sends trees with apples and pears? I had no idea he meant the beautiful hand-painted tree that illustrates these pages. mit vareme grisn (with warm regards) Miriam

    1. Hi all.
      I have a copy of one of the trees, hanging on a wall of my apartment. The original hung over my grandmother’s bed, Chinke Shaikovitz.
      Because of the Liadsky story I recently met a cousin (5th) or so, Michal itzchaki, here in Herzliah.
      When Joe Liadsky (now in Toronto) studied at the Technion in Haifa he used to come to our house in Haifa occasionally.
      When i studied in Boston Milton and Bea Berger used to invite me for Friday night suppers.
      Miriam Kressin was an actress on the Yiddish stage. They used to perform occasionally in Montreal and I met her a number of times in the 40’S and 50’s.

  11. Thank you, David. I, too appreciate so much the enormous effort you put in to this and hope a book will come from it.
    I am daughter of Harold Light, who is son of Karl Light in Brooklyn. Karl had seven siblings and my family knew only one.
    I live in western NC mountains now.

  12. I am Leonard Light, son of Philip Light and grandson of Lazar Light. David, you have done an amazing job with our family history. The Morris family tree is now more than just a picture on the wall. I join others in thanking you for your time and effort and I know you are not yet finished. Yes you are my son but this is still my unbiased opinion.

  13. Wonderful to read what my talented and diligent son-in-law has put together. Glad you could bring so much warmth and enjoyment to your extended family.

  14. My father, Philip Light, is the son of Lazarus and the grandson of Morris. My father was only 4 or 5 years old when his grandfather Morris returned to Orla. My father’s only connection with Morris was that he ultimately ended up with possession of the letters that are a part of David’s research. I found these letters in his dresser drawer after he died in 1976. Not one person in my family was told that the letters even existed. My father, mother or grandparents never discussed much about the Light family other than my immediate aunts and uncles. I was told that our grandparents came from Bialystok and our family surname was always Light. Knowing the surname of Light is Anglican, I always thought I was fed a white lie. I am pleased to hear that Liatsky was changed to Lait just prior to immigration. Through David’s research I first heard of the town Orla and that our original name was Liatsky. Uninformed of our Jewish past in Europe seems to be the norm among my peers. It seems once arriving in the United States our elders made a concerted effort to erase their experiences in Europe. Whether this was an avenue to guarantee assimilation for their children or to avoid discussion of unpleasant times, I will never know.

    Sandra (Light) Cohn
    Boca Raton, Florida

  15. There was a copy of this tree hanging in my house when I was a child. I knew that it was of our family, but I never really understood who all of the names belonged to and how I was related. It fascinates me to learn about our family history and also concerns me that so little is truly known beyond this point about where we come from. Thank you Uncle David for the enlightenment (all puns intended)! If we are some how related and have never met, it would be a pleasure. I am Daniel Light and Morris was my great, great, great grandfather.

  16. It was a strange feeling to visit Poland several years ago as a teenager about to graduate high school. Knowing it was the birth country of my ancestors but not knowing anything about them left me with a feeling of guilt and naivety. Many thanks to my Uncle David for dedicating the time and research to uncovering the stories of Morris and Lazarus. The origin story of the Lights in America. A story that will be able to be told to future generations in our family for years to come because of your efforts.

  17. Hi David,
    Thanks for you amazing work. Chinke Shaikovitz was my grandmother.
    She arrived in Canada, Montreal, around 1930, and lived at her daughter’s house , Ludmer,
    until she died. She was a widow since about 1925, with 7 children. One daughter died young.
    She had 13 grandchildren. They produced 39 offspring . After that there are about 90 great-great grandchildren. The family is spread from Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria, USA,
    and Israel

  18. Sorry I just saw my nephew’s letter (Dan Goldenblatt) I forgot to mention Germany and England, Danny also was more up to date on the number of descendants.

  19. Dear David,

    I am happy to meet a new family related genealogical enthusiastic 
    Your family site is very interesting and portrays your family in such a lovely way. I am sure everyone in your family appreciates the hard work you have put into it.

    Yes, both of our families originated from Orla and we are connected by marriage.
    The two Liadsky brothers – David and Berl married two of the Lichtzier sisters (Gittel and Bella) . Lichtzier was my Great grandmother’s family. I should explain that I am a descendant of another Lichtzier sister (Feigel Lichtzier) and not Gittel nor Bella. My Great grandmother (Feigel Lichtzier) and another sister named Nechama married two brothers from the Barchat family who lived in Bielsk Poslaski. So they left Orla and moved to live in Bielsk Podlaski which is not far.
    It actually made me smile that amongst the Lichtzier sisters – two sisters married two brothers from the Liadsky Family and two sisters married two brothers from the Barchat family….

    I have also visited Poland for the first time around six years ago and visited Bielsk Podlaski and Orla. I remember that outside the big beautiful synagogue in Orla I met an old man sitting on a bench. My uncle was with me (he knows Polish) so I asked him to ask the old Polish man if he knew any Jews when he was young. The Old man replied that most of the village were Jews. I asked him about the Lichtzier and he didn’t remember. Then I remembered for some reason your family’s surname – so I asked him if he knew the Lacky (Liat(d)sky) family and he smiled and nodded his head – he remembered them – he said – “Lacki, the dentist. I remember….”. I was so moved by it….

    Keep on the wonderful work you are doing.
    All the best
    Michal Itzhaki
    Israel

    1. Hello Michal,

      I read the comment you posted and see we are quite closely related. In fact I was in Israel in 1969 and visited Feigel and your immediate family. I now live in Toronto, Canada.
      I am the son of Bella and Berl. Please send me your email address.

      Joe Liadsky
      jliadsky@gmail.com

        1. Hi Eli,
          I was aware of your meeting in Toronto but I had work commitments and was out of town on that day. Unfortunately I could not change my schedule.
          Joe

          1. Are you descendants of Beryl Liadsky? My mother exchanged letters with him and his wife (Rose) almost bi-weekly for years until he passed and his wife and family emigrated to Canada,

  20. My apologies David that I did not make time to read your previous link. I just finished reading this link and is fascinating. You have done so much research. I need to read it again and get to know the people with more detail. It is amazing that such records were kept by your great great grandfather for posterity I need to read it again and discuss with you. I’m so glad that our paths crossed and I am able to learn about your ancestors. Love, Marta

  21. My dear Uncle David,

    You have taken the time to conduct such careful research on the lineage of our family and for that, I am eternally grateful. I grew up with the family tree hanging on our living room wall but never had much appreciation for it until now. It was absolutely remarkable to read about it in Morris’ messages and I gained a deeper understanding for its significance. I love my family and for “those who care to remember” thank you for remembering.

    Now and always, Joshua Light

  22. So interesting David. Thank you for your work that allows us to have some understanding of our past. ❤️

  23. Artur Jarosław Łącki is familiary closer to Jewish as we noticed in Poland and is famous politician from Civic Platform.

    1. Hello Andrzej,

      Thank you for posting your comment. I am unsure of its meaning.

      1) Are you confirming that Artur Lacki is a direct relative of my Jewish family from Orla? If so, I would like you to help me define Artur’s direct lineage to me.

      or

      2) Are you stating that Artur may be of Jewish origin without proof? If so, are you going to ask Mr Lack ?

      3) Is there a specific reason why you are interested in Mr Lacki’s connection to Judaism?

      Sincerely,

      David Light who descends from your country of Poland.

  24. Ierachmiel Daskal (Yerach) idaskal@verizon.net
    Dear David:
    What a wonderful surprise to have received your email . More importantly , it was to learn that your father is the brother of my Grandfather Aba Lacki of which I was totally unaware of , and hence he is my second cousin. Living in Philadelphia I will make every effort to meet him despite the raging pandemic as soon as possible.
    My mother Masha Latzki-Daskal never mentioned to me the origins of her family in Orla. She shared with me many memories of her childhood and her family , some of which I am still in touch such as my first cousin David Light of Teaneck NJ., the son of Bernard Light who was my mother’s brother and the son of Aba and Necha Lacki.
    In the enclosed notes I was happy to ,learn that your genealogical charts and information were followed by Charles Shaikowitz, and his sister Barbara whom I know but lost completely touch and connectivity. I certainly would love to establish these family connections.
    I wonder if there is solid documentaion that Mina the daughter of Jacon and Helka Lacki perished in the Holocaust . My mother, even on her death bed was hoping to be able to find out whether Mina still alive.. My mother had evidence that Helka was ten alive a day before the Russian army liberated her camp. I do not know which camp or Ghetto that was or where.
    I will try in the near future to share with you some additional photographs of the family especially of your father’s brother from Bialystock as well some recollections from my mother’s stories about her. childhood and family.
    Please ,let’s stay in touch
    Best
    Yerach

  25. Hi David,
    This is unbelievable stuff. It is rare that a Jewish family from that area has historic documents and can trace their family as far back as you can. Morris was obviously a gifted and intelligent man to think about creating a family tree to try and keep the “branches” of the family together.
    The Bialystocker Synagogue on Willett St on the Lower East Side of Manhattan was organized from people very close to Orla. The shul was a converted church and bought by the congregation in 1905. The congregation was started in 1865. If Morris was in NY at that time, it is probable he was a member.
    Great work and I hope this helps find more members of your proud family.
    Bradley Shaw – Museum at Eldridge Street

  26. This is wonderful David ! Our Roots are the foundation of our lives and the future generations. Glad you we’re able to get answers and make connections !

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