Friday, June 25, 2010

Toldois Creedmoor: "They shoot horses, don't they" The Kerosener Rov (final installment)


(Note: pending transfer the prior installments of this series are to be found on

Kalman Schmoigerman had signed up just about every Jewish resident of the Kazimiersz - deGeneratzky lands for his then novel and now discredited tontine investment program, in which the last man left standing would inherit the entire sum of all funds paid in by all other participants. According to the proper operation of such a scheme, the proceeds were meant to be invested for the benefit of all participants, so that while the final beneficiary might have ended up with the lion's share, all who were involved would benefit from the dividends of prudent investments.

But honesty and any member of the de Menuval-Menuvalov-Schmoigerman clan had no connection with one another, and Kalman Schmoigerman was determined to cash in on every last kopek that his fellow Jews had invested in his tontine.

This was accomplished in a rather novel manner. As many of the townspeople, Jewish and otherwise, were illiterate in Russian and Ukrainian, Schmoigerman simply changed the name of the beneficiary on each deed from the specified name to the name of the purchaser's horse. If he did not know the name of the specific horse, he simply wrote "Ferd", which was one of the more pleasant of his own nicknames in cheder, in sloppy, hastily scribbled Cyrillic characters.

So, for instance, a policy bought for young Getzel Goldman, the son of a local grandee, as a Bar Mitzvah gift instead read "Ferd Goldman," as there was no way that Schmoigerman, who was rather corpulent and also had a price on his head, could normally outlive a lad of 13.

And of course, within a week or so of the completion of the subscription to the "Gantz Mazel Tontine," there was a strange epidemic of a horse pestilence, in which just about every householder in the area woke up to find at least one of his horses dead with several pistol bullet holes in its head.

Once Schmoigerman was certain that all of the horses belonging to all of his investors were killed, he sent out letters of condolence in Yiddish, with a short sentence in Russian at the bottom, in very small print indeed, informing the unfortunate former horse owner that he had now been removed from the "Gantz Mazel Tontine" for the policy was issued in the name of his now deceased steed or steeds.

The confused townspeople were too preoccupied with obtaining new horses to realize that the one man who had a single living equine, Kalman Schmoigerman, had rode on that horse all the way to Szarkonozvary, Hungary, which was a good 100 kilometers away from their town.

It was to Szarkonosvary that Kalman Schmoigerman had spirited his family, who awaited him in the castle which he had bought through a sleight of hand gambling transaction the moment he had collected enough tontine funds to want to secret away in the form of gold coins amidst the ruins of the famous Vandal fortresses of Szarkonosvary.

The Hungarian village was in fact founded by the Vandals, and it was a rocky outcrop of a village similar to that where the Montres-de Menubal clan of Spain had originated.

Of course, Kalman Schmoigerman chose it as the new location of the Schmoigerman criminal dynasty because Szarkonosvary was known for the same degree of moral turpitude as the city from whence the family had sprung at the very beginnings of its history of fraud, deception, theft and deceit. That city was of course Sodom.

And now, the misbegotten and foreboding little village had welcomed a new resident who would teach the rather dull-witted and petty Vandal descendants who populated the town and eked out a living by robbing travelers and the like, how to commit fraud on an international scale. Of course, the way these rather pathetic Szarkonosvarians would learn how to commit large scale fraud would be by serving as victims of the village's new self appointed Viscount, Av Arba Misois Beis Din, kashrus supervisor and tax collector, Kalman Schmoigerman.

The first sign of the arrival of this skewed moral compass was the appearance of a little stall in the central market marked with a simple sign reading "Kalman Schmoigerman Kokosh Cake Bakery. Kasher LeMafreya under the Strictest Supervision of the Szarkonosvary Kashrus Council." Little did the villagers know that this innocent looking yeast cake sold by Kalman and his family would be their undoing."

We are unable to access the Creedmoor archives until after 9 Av when Creedmoorer sfira, which begins on 5 Iyar, ends. We look forward to sharing with you as much of the history and present news of the Creedmoorer kehillas and their antecedents which we can fabricate when we return.

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