||Segal Itzhak Shmuel
Yitzhak Shmuel Segal was born in Kaminitz, Ukraine. He studied in the "heder" there. At the age of five he was orphaned from his father and, together with his grandfather, immigrated to Eretz Israel and settled in Jerusalem (1874). He studied at the yeshiva and, at the same time, organized his friends around the subject of Zionism. Because of that he was punished and flogged and expelled from the yeshiva.
Although he was married and the father of children, he left Jerusalem secretly, walked by foot to Jaffa and from there together with the wagons carrying water from Jaffa to Rishon Le-Zion, arrived at the village (1877). He began to work as an agricultural worker for the farmers and later as a guard in the vineyards. Later, he brought his wife and children.
Being an educated person (as told by his daughter, Ketzia), he decided to develop Hebrew culture in the village. He brought a table and chair into the Community Hall, bought books in Jaffa. The villagers began exchanging books in the library for 5 grush a book. In order to increase his income at the library, he also brought writing materials, calendars, greeting cards and more. As well, he distributed the newspapers which arrived from Jerusalem: "Haor", "Hatzvi", "Haskafa", "Moriah", "Hadror" and others. When the library expanded, he was forced to remove it from the Community Hall and was left without a livelihood. He worked for a time as the bookkeeper for the orange grower, Binyamin Fein.
In 1890 upon the recommendation of the teachers, he became the teacher of religious subjects and Jewish customs in the elementary school ("Haviv"). He assisted in founding synagogues and Talmud Torah schools for the Yemenite and Urfa Jews and wrote articles for the newspapers. When he travelled to Vienna for medical treatment, Rishon Le-Zion included him as a delegate at the Zionist Congress held there and as a representative of the village, he met with Herzl. In Vienna he bought Hebrew books and when he returned to Rishon Le-Zion earned a living selling them.
In 1909 he started managing the post office and continued in this job for 17 years. It is told that for this purpose he was given a little hut located close to the Great Synagogue. He added a balcony to the post office, painted the wooden panels in blue and white, went to Jaffa and bought stamps and seals and even produced a stamp with a Star of David on it and added it to very letter.
It is important to point out that the post office in Rishon Le-Zion also served the neighboring villages: Nes Ziona, Beer Yaakov, Rehovot, Ekron, Gedera, Beer Tuvia and Nahlat Yehuda.
After fifteen years of service in the post office he wrote about his unique attitude towards his position: "… and the post office; through this center passed rumors, news and information of all sorts and this was the doorway to hope for every human being: for the father, mother, son, daughter, sister, brother, man, woman, etc., etc., and it is the bridge which joins and connects distant and nearby hearts and from it one gets results for every business and trade for good or for evil and, in general, this is one of the foundations of life for every cultured person, as everybody knows. And this kind of work is worthwhile to be remembered".
For the 50th anniversary of Rishon Le-Zion in 1932, YitzkakShmuel collected and published
"a selection of songs about the return of the Jewish people to its homeland and about Rishon Le-Zion" and this is what he wrote: "…it has always been the wish of all enemies of the Jewish people that they should forget their nationality, their country and should mix with the gentiles and sing "Ma Yafit" ( a hymn Polish Jews were forced to sing to gentile landowners to amuse them)…" the response to this was given by "those special persons among our people, one from the city and two from a family, who returned to our homeland, the land of our forefathers to revive the barren land and rebuild its ruins and they established the village, Rishon Le-Zion and others. And again they began to sing and compose songs of Zion, songs that encourage to strengthen their spirits against the many obstacles met on their way towards the rebuilding and revival of the country. And I have put some of these songs to print for eternal memory and in honor of the 50th anniversary of the return of the Jewish people to their homeland and the establishment of Rishon Le-Zion".