Wednesday, 2 September 2015


            He was born in Lask (Łask), near Lodz, Poland, where his father Avrom-Hirsh, the author of a number of Hebrew religious texts, was rabbi.  He studied in yeshivas and worldly subjects with private tutors.  He moved to Lodz in his youth, and there aside from business he became involved in community activities.  He was a well-known manufacturer and Zionist community leader, a member of the Lodz Jewish community administration, an active leader in virtually all of Lodz’s Jewish institutions, such as ORT (Association for the Promotion of Skilled Trades), TOZ (Towarzystwo Ochrony Zdrowia [Society for the protection of health]), and YIVO, and a member of a scholarly group associated with “community friends of YIVO” which published Lodzher visnshaftlekhe shriftn (Lodz scholarly writings) 1 (1938), 288 pp.  He started writing in Hebrew—for Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw in 1902—articles on books and religious texts, later, he placed pieces with Hazman (The time) and Hashiloa (The shiloah).  From 1907 he was a regular contributor to the newspapers: Lodzher nakhrikhtn (Lodz reports), Lodzher tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper), and Yidisher zhurnalist (Jewish journalist), in which he published articles on Jewish issues, as well as a series entitled “Perl fun altn oytser” (Pearls from old treasures), Torah aphorisms from well-known men of genius, adapted and translated into Yiddish.  He was the author of a number of Hebrew and Yiddish books, such as: Ir lask veḥakhameha (The city of Lask and its sages) (Lodz, 1926), 96 pp.; Perl fun altn oytser (Lodz, 1932), 64 pp.; Der kotsker rebe: zayn opshtam, zayn lebn, zayne rebeim, zayne khaveyrim, zayn shite in toyre un khsides, zayne kinder un kinds-kinder (The Kotsker rebbe: his origins, his life, his rabbis, his colleagues, his school of Torah and Hassidism, his children and descendants) (Pietrkov, 1928), 152 pp.; Tsvey alte khevres in lodzh (Two old societies in Lodz) (Lodz, 1938), 12 pp., an offprint of his work which appeared in Lodzher visnshaftlekhe shriftn; Toledot r’ hirsh tumshover (History of R. Hirsh Tumshover) (Lodz, 1932), 25 pp.; Maane lenaḥum sokolov (Answering Nahum Sokolov) (Lodz, 1932), 25 pp.; Rabi zeev lifshits (Rabbi Zev Lifshits) (Lodz, 1934), 55 pp.; Rabenu elyakum gets (Our Rabbi Eliakum Gets) (Lodz, 1936), 63 pp.  Together with Dr. F. Fridman, he adapted a number of biographies of famous Lodz Jews who were buried in the old, municipal, Jewish cemetery, and they published them in the anthology Stary Cmentarz Żydowski w Łodzi (The old Jewish cemetery in Lodz) (Lodz, 1938), pp. 168-306, which constituted an important contribution to the history of Jews in Lodz.  He edited, prepared for publication, and published religious texts by his father, including: Tiferet adam (The beauty of man) (Lodz, 1923); Bet tefila (House of prayer) (Lodz, 1928); and one by his grandfather, Taam barukh (The discernment of Barukh) (Lodz, 1927), 60 pp.

Sources: H. Tsaytlin, in Moment (Warsaw) (April 7, 1937); Sh. B. (Bernshteyn), in Dos yidishe folk (New York) (December 1937); Opatoshu biblyografye (Opatoshu bibliography) 2 (New York, 1947), no. 1532; Y. Shvarts, in Nayer folksblat (Lodz) (May 22, 1938); M. Frankental, in Lodzher almanakh 1 (1936); V. L. Gotlib, in Foroys (Warsaw) (July 7, 1939); A. Tsaytlin, in Hadoar (New York) (May 1941); Dr. F. Fridman, in Yivo-bleter (New York) (1950), p. 232; Bet eked sefarim (Library) (Tel Aviv, 1956); Kh. L. Fuks, in Fun noentn over 3 (New York, 1957).

Khayim Leyb Fuks

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