Rivkele Di Shabesdike - Rivkele the Sabbath Widow (Without Shabbath)
Music Pesakh Kaplan(1870-1943) Lyrics Pesakh Kaplan(1870-1943)
Singer Chava Alberstein(Israel)
Pesach Kaplan was born in 1870 in the shtetl of Stavisk near Bialystok. His father was a cantor and a
ritual slaughterer, who was forced to travel from town to town to make a living.
Pesach would travel with him. He would be taught in different yeshivas until his family finally arrived in Warsaw. In Warsaw, Kaplan with the help of Talmudic study was introduced to the Haskalah;
He developed his love of the Jewish enlightenment, Hebrew language and literature. Kaplan moved to Bialystok in 1888 and immediately got involved in Jewish community affairs as a teacher, a journalist, a writer and much more.
In July 1941 Nazis occupied Bialystok and more than 5000 Jews were exterminated in the first few weeks. Nazis called this the "Cleansing Action".
Pesach Kaplan died at the age of 73 in the Bialystok, having witnessed the beginning liquidation of the Ghetto in February of 1943. Before his death, in response to the Aktion of July 1941, Pesack wrote his
moving song Rivkele Di Shabesdike, where he expressed both the pain and hope of the wives and children whose husbands and fathers had been taken away and never to be returned.