Sunday, 21 May 2017

HERSH-LEYB (YEHUDA-TSVI) LEVIN

HERSH-LEYB (YEHUDA-TSVI) LEVIN (December 10, 1853-November 7, 1934)
            He was born in Yanove (Jonava), near Pinsk, Byelorussia.  He worked as a private teacher of Hebrew in Warsaw, Lublin, and Radom.  In 1906 he made his way to the United States, lived in New York, Reading, Philadelphia, and then again in New York.  He supported himself by giving Hebrew lessons in wealthy homes and by writing.  Using the pen name “Yadid Hayeladim,” Levin wrote children’s stories in Hebrew: from N. Sokolov’s Hatsfira (The times) in Warsaw in 1885 until his last years when he published his “Mensh fun gloz” (Man of glass) in Hadoar lenoar (The mail for youth) in November 1934.  He was additionally a contributor to the Hebrew-language Hamagid (The preacher) in Lik, Hamelits (The spectator) in Odessa, and elsewhere.  In Haasif (The harvest) in Warsaw (1888), pp. 1-97, he published the first three parts of his work Beḥinat hamuḥashim (The examination of material things), which dealt with psychological influences of nature on man.  In Yiddish he published (also using the pen name Yts”l) stories, feature pieces, and children’s tales in: Der yud (The Jew) in Warsaw-Cracow (1899-1902); Di velt (The world) in Vienna (1900-1901); and Der veg (The way) in Warsaw (1905-1906); among other serials.  In New York he contributed in Hebrew to: Hatoran (The duty officer), Yalkut (Anthology), Eden (Eden), Hadoar (The mail), and Hapisga (The summit), among others; and from time to time in Yiddish in Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper).  Among other works, Levin was the author of: Mishpat tevel veamim (Universal justice and peoples) (Warsaw, 1894); Yadid hayeladim (Children’s friend) (Warsaw, 1894), 70 pp.; Lemekh velemekh (Good-for-nothings) (Petrikov, 1897), 67 pp., second printing (1910), also published in Yiddish; Maase benevukhadnetsar shenehpakh le-dov (The story of Nebuchadnezzar who turned into a bear) (Petrikov, 1898), 36 pp., also in Yiddish; Noaḥ bateva (Noah in the ark) (Petrikov, 1899), 40 pp., in Yiddish Noyekh in der teyve; Di toyte beyner, Haatsmot hayeveshot (The desiccated bones) (Petrikov, 1899), 50 pp.; Der hunt, di kats un di moyz (The dog, the cat, and the mouse) (Cracow, 1907), 24 pp.  A portion of his writings Teudat hishtalmut haenoshiyut (Certificate of human development), part 1 (1922), part 2 (1930) (New York, 200 pp.) appeared earlier in the Yiddish-language booklet Gevis un miglikh (Certain and possible) (New York, 1916), 64 pp.  He was also the author of the volume Mayn bobes mayses (My grandmother’s tales) (New York, 1920), 132 pp.  He died in New York.  In 1960 Teudat hishtalmut haenoshiyut was published in Jerusalem with a foreword by Menaḥem Dibalov, and Levin’s biography written by his son Mortkhe.

Sources: Haasif (Warsaw) (1888); D. Perski, in Hadoar (New York) (November 16, 1934); Bet eked sefarim, see index; obituary notices in Forverts, Tog, and Morgn-zhurnal—all in New York (November 8 and 9, 1934).
Khayim Leyb Fuks


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