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zieds1mazs.gif (257 bytes) Geiman, a convert

4 Names: Cvetikovs, Geimans (Heiman), Kņazevs, Moisejevs

This is a letter (1895) of Riga Ecclesiastical Consistory of the Orthodox Church to the Orthodox Priest in Palsmane concerning the conversion of a Jew which the Priest conducted. The text is in Russian, and, as I have technical problems to print here Russian texts of the old orthography, you will find here only my translation of the letter and the information about the answer to it.

The text in italics was written in the form by hand.


The Order of HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY THE AUTOCRAT OF THE RUSSIA via Riga Ecclesiastical Consistory

To Priest Cvetikov in Palsmane

According to the Order of HIS IMPERIAL MAJESTY, The Riga Ecclesiastical Consistory considered the report of July 26, Nr.162 of the staff of Palsmane church concerning the christening of a Jew - the pharmacist Veniamin Penchosovič Geiman with naming him Vladimir. The consistory ordered: To demand of You, Priest Cvetikov, the information if the convert is married and if he is, then where his wife is living currently, have he and his wife legitimate children and, if they have any, what is the gender, the age of the children and where they reside. Hereabout the actual order is to be sent You.

August 5, 1894

Consistorial member: Archpriest Vasilij Kņazev

Acting secretary L.Moisejev

Acting head of the Department (Head of the Table) Kiev?


Comments: Palsmane was situated in Vidzeme [Livland] province, where settling of Jews was restricted. I am quite sure that the Jewish pharmacists were permitted to live and work in Vidzeme at that time because of the profession. Nevertheless, V.Geiman found it useful to convert to the Orthodox confession. By the way, according to the spelling principles of the Russian language, the chances are that Geiman is the Russian spelling of the name Heiman or Heyman. The first name of V.Geiman's father was Pinhas or Pinchas.

The interest of the Consistory about the family of the convert was caused by the Law that prescribed that a converted married Jew had to inform the officials if he/she is going to get divorced. The eventual sons of V.Geiman were also to be converted if younger than 7, that was why it was inquired about the gender and the age of the children. See about the rules of conversion in a special Page.

Fortunately enough, the Priest O.Cvetikov or another person, who prepared the answer to this order, used the same sheet of paper for the draft of the answer letter. This draft is written by pencil and is difficult to scan in. The Palsmane church staff had the honor to inform the Consistory that V.Geiman was not married and currently was residing temporarily in Tartu [Dorpat], where he was a free attendee (not student) of the University.



© Comments, translation. Bruno Martuzāns. 1995-2002