About Hayim Raphael Don-Yechia
http://www.davidicdynasty.org/chapter26.php The following letter from Chaim Rafael Don Yechiya
To the grandson of my brother Shlomo, whom I do not know personally, but whose letter was as if I see him before me, I send my best greetings; that is to Mr. Leib Don Yechiya. . . He has demonstrated that the glory and pride of our great family is not to be forgotten, but will be remembered by our children so that they will always remain in contact with their relatives. Thus correspondence will serve to fill in for face-to-face meetings. Vast distances need not separate the closeness of our hearts. Now I will state a few facts to reveal some things, hidden deep within us, but are as yet unknown to him. He is still young in days and for want of time has not yet sought knowledge from books (as each should do) to learn of his ancestral roots - the family and tribe of which he is the offspring. My thoughts give me no rest and I am fearful that the pride of our family will diminish during the course of days. Hence I state herewith my heartfelt emotions. I trembled upon seeing his name signed as Donchin. I immediately understood that he had a lack of understanding of our family, as it is called in our tongue nazwisko [family name]. I will apprise him of what I learned from books - one Shalshelet ha-Kabbalah that traces all the way back to Yehuda, son of our Patriarch Yaacov. The second book is Seder Hadorot Hagadol. There it is stated that our family is descended from King David. Therefore, be it known to you, my kin, that our family is neither from Russia nor from any other nearby European country, but from Spain, the land from which we have been outcast for hundreds of years. Our forefathers commanded us to retain our name, to preserve it through the generations, and none dared change it. As it is said in Seder Hadorot - Don Yechiya was a minister in Spain before the outcast; his son became commander-in-chief of the entire army in Portugal. All the generations that followed were famous rabbis and people of wealth up to my father Menachem Mendel. He was the tenth generation to Rabbi David of Deneburg. After Menachem Mendel comes my brother Abraham. Even now, thank the Lord who does not remove his kindness from us, we have six famous rabbis from my father's brother, Rabbi David, Rabbi Shalesy of Drisso, with two brothers who are rabbis in Shos and in Ullah, and then the three sons of Rabbi Shalesy. So let it be known that our nazwisko is Don Yechya, as stated. Knowing thus the righteous descent of our family; that they were religious, famous, respectful ministers who did not forsake our Law, he too will follow the path of his ancestors and will pay no heed to evil companions who are false to their religion and people. May he always remain true to his people and pride be with him always. This letter is meant as a Purim present, as I have no other gifts. He shall store it with his treasures and, in the course of days, sons and daughters will be born unto him and this may be of some aid to them.