Monday, 21 March 2016

YOYSEF HALEVI

YOYSEF HALEVI (1868-May 5, 1921)
            This was the adopted name of Yoysef Levinson, born in Khvodan, Lithuania.  He studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva.  He later lived in London, Madrid, and on the Island of Elba in Italy.  Until 1910 he was in Paris where for many years he was a correspondent for Hatsfira (The times) in Warsaw, and for the American Yiddish press, for which he also wrote reports on the Dreyfus Case.  He was sent for a time in 1910 by Hatsfira to Argentina with the aim of researching the lives of the Jewish colonists, and he stayed there for the remainder of his life.  He was one of the first contributors to Di prese (The press) in Buenos Aires, later publishing political articles in Unzer vort (Our word) and in the Zionist magazine Unzer hofenung (Our hope), as well as in the French newspaper Courrier Français (Buenos Aires) where he signed his name with the initial “X.”  A recluse with anarchistic leanings and a fighting nature as well, he could not restrain himself to one place, and he wandered on foot through Argentina and Brazil, supporting himself with his speeches and lectures, and carrying along with himself his numerous manuscripts—dramas, a translation of Mapu’s Ahavat tsiyon (Love of Zion), among other such things.  In the Brazilian town of Porto Alegre where he lived for a lengthier period of time, he published a weekly newspaper Di menshheyt (Mankind), 1915-1916.  On the way from Brazil to Argentina, he became ill in the town of Mercedes, near Buenos Aires, where the local police put him in a local insane asylum and there he died.  He was temporarily buried in a Christian cemetery, and later his remains were transported to Buenos Aires.  Among the pseudonyms he published under: “A Volozhiner” and “A yid on a bord” (A Jew without a beard).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Y. Makronski, in Habima haivrit (Buenos Aires) 3 (1925), p. 7; Y. L. Gruzman, Yoyvl-bukh yidishe tsaytung (Jubilee volume for Yidishe tsaytung) (Buenos Aires, 1940); P. Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Collected works), vol. 7 (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 33-37; An Eygener, in Yorbukh (Yearbook) (Buenos Aires: Jewish community of Buenos Aires, 1955), p. 297; A. Lipiner, in Algemeyne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia) (New York, 1957), p. 392.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


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