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LESKO (Ger. Lisko ; Heb. and Yid. Linsk ), town in Rzeszow province, S.E. Poland. Jews lived in Lesko from the town's foundation in the middle of the 16th century. In 1704 the town was burnt down by the Swedish army. In a plague which broke out afterward, 303 Jews perished. In 1718 the community paid 3,400 zlotys poll tax. In the 18th century the community's rabbi was Samuel Shmelke b. Mordecai, who approved the book, Berit Shalom, by Phinehas of *Wlodawa. The *Councils of the Lands intervened in a dispute that lasted from 1705 to 1724 between the community of Lesko and the neighboring one of *Sanok. Because of the serious economic plight of the Jewish population, the Polish *Sejm in 1768 declared a moratorium on its debts to the government. The Jewish community numbered 1,976 in 1880 and 2,400 in 1921 (c. 63% of the total population). In the folklore of Galician Jews, Lesko Jews were considered "wise fools" like those of *Chelm in Congress Poland. In June 1941 the German army entered the town. On Aug. 14, 1941, the entire Jewish population was deported to Zaslaw and was exterminated together with Zaslaw Jews.


Sefer Yizkor Mukdash le-Yehudei ha-Ayarot she-Nispu ba-Shoah, 19391944: Linsk, Istrik, Beligrod, Litovisk veha-Sevivah (1965).

[Shimshon Leib Kirshenboim /

Shlomo Netzer (2nd ed.)]