YUDE-LEYB LAZAROV (Y. L. LAZEROV) (August 15, 1868-July 22, 1939)
He was born in Vorne (Varniai), Kovno district, Lithuania. Until age thirteen he studied in religious primary school, later in the Telts (Telz), Mir, and Volozhin yeshivas, and finally became a student of the Chofets-Chaim in Radin. There he received ordination into the rabbinate. He traveled around as a preacher through the towns and townlets of Lithuania. In 1900 he made his way to the United States. His first years there he was a rabbi and sermonizer in the “Anshe Minsk” circle in New York, and later he served as spiritual leader of Bet Hamidrash Hagadol (The big synagogue) and was the founder of yeshivas and religious institutions of learning. He authored numerous religious texts in Hebrew and Yiddish. He would later translate his first book, Kehilat yehuda (Judah’s community) (Chicago, 1902), in three parts into Yiddish (New York, 1903-1904), 240 pp. His other religious works include: Kol yehuda (Judah’s voice) (New York, 1910/1911); Minḥat yehuda (Judah’s gift); Gan yehuda (Judah’s garden) (New York, 1936), 120 pp.; Naḥalat yehuda (Judah’s bequest); Mate yehuda (Judah’s rod) (New York, 1921); Degel yehuda (Judah’s banner) (New York, 1914), 80 pp.—these works in Hebrew also carried Yiddish texts. His sermons on various occasions and holidays were published in book form solely in Yiddish: Seyfer beys yude, enthalt kurtse redes oyf alle haftoyres (Judah’s home, including short talks on all the prophetic portions) (New York, 1913), two part, 112 pp.; Di bime, gantse redes afn yeden shabes (The pulpit, full talks for each Sabbath), compilation of weekly publications (1922-1923) in forty-two booklets, published in book form in two parts (New York, 1924), 748 pp.; Der yidisher redner (The Jewish speaker) (New York, 1927), 256 pp.; Yalkut yude, a zamlung fun perl, fun sforim un eygene af toyre, neviim ukhsovim, eyn yankev un midrashim, an oytser fun mesholim, vertelekh, tskhus, pisgamim umikhtamim (Judah’s compilation, a collection of pearls, of religious works, and my own on the Torah, Prophets, and Writings, Ein Yaakov, and midrashim, a treasury of fables, sayings, purity of language, proverbs, and aphorisms) (New York, 1933), seven volumes, 673 pp.; Entsiklopeye fun idishe vitsen un khsidishe glaykhverlekh (Encyclopedia of Jewish jokes and Hassidic aphorisms) (New York, 1928), 192 pp. He also compiled a daily prayer book, Sefat yehuda (Judah’s language), two parts (New York, 1930), which includes, in addition to the prayers, his translation and Torah novellae in Yiddish. He also translated into Yiddish the religious text, Tilim mit maymodes (Psalms with the daily selections of text to be read) (Warsaw, 1931). He died in Paterson, New Jersey. He left behind in manuscript a great number of texts in Yiddish, among them his Oytsres yam hatalmud (Treasures from the sea of the Talmud), which includes 4,000 essays and sermons on homiletical portions of the Babylonian and Jerusalem Talmuds, with his own commentary.
Sources: Ben-Tsien Ayzenshtadt, Dor rabanav vesofrav (Generations, its rabbis and authors), vol. 6 (Vilna, 1905), p. 41; Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (July 23, 1939); Bet eked sefarim.
Khayim Leyb Fuks