LYADY, a town in Vitebsk district, Belarus; under Polish rule until 1772, when it was incorporated into Russia and was included in the Mogilev province. A Jewish settlement in Lyady is mentioned in documents of 1731. In 1766 there were 207 Jewish poll tax payers. During the 19th century, Lyady became a "Jewish" townlet, the Jews forming the majority of the population. There were 2,137 Jews registered with the community in 1847, and 3,763 (83.9% of the total population) in 1897. Lyady became known as the home of *Shneour Zalman, the founder of the Chabad movement, who lived there during the last 12 years of his life, and was referred to as the "Rabbi of Lyady." His son, Dov Baer, also lived there at first. In 1869 the great-grandson of Shneour Zalman, Shneour Ḥayyim Zalman, settled in Lyady. He and his sons maintained a ḥasidic "court" in the town. In 1926 there were 2,020 Jews (56% of the total population). In 1929 there was a Yiddish school and a kolkhoz, where 14 families worked. In 1939 the number of Jews in Lyady dropped to 897 (38% of the total). Lyady was the birthplace of Alexander Siskind *Rabinovitz (Azar) and Reuben *Brainin. The Germans occupied the town on July 18, 1941. In March 1942 some 2,000 Jews from the town and environs were assembled and murdered on April 2, 1942, outside Lyady.
R. Brainin, Fun mayn Lebens Bukh (1946), 31–99; Regesty i nadpisy, 2 (1910), 301–02.
Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.