SHAPSE (SHAYE) LERNER (ca. 1879-1913)
He was born in Chotin (Hotin), Bessarabia. He spent his youth in Beltsi (Balti), where he was a teacher of Hebrew and Russian. He wrote songs for the people, with the appropriate melodies, which were sung in Bessarabia and Podolia. He also wrote several dramas, in which he alone acted. In 1903 he published in Yudishe folks-tsaytung (Jewish people’s newspaper) a free translation of Heinrich Heine’s poem “Printsesin shabes” (Princess Sabbath [original: “Prinzessin Sabbat”]). He contributed to L. D. Rozental’s library of Dos leben (The life) (Odessa, 1904), with a book of stories—including: “Bertsi vaserfihrer” (Bertsi the water carrier), “Avrom stolyer” (Abraham the carpenter), “Yitskhok-yosel broytgeber” (Yiskhok-Yosl the breadwinner), “Avrom stolyer vert groys” (Abraham the carpenter gets big), “Ezrielik soyfer” (Ezriel the scribe), and “Elye hanovi” (Elijah the prophet)—and with several translations of Veresaev, Gorky, and others in the anthology In der fremd (Abroad). In 1907 he moved to the United States. He died of tuberculosis.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); A. Kh., in Tsukunft (New York) (May 1906), pp. 55, 65-66.