Monday, 24 July 2017


LEYVI-YITSKHOK MAS (MASH) (1877-July 31, 1929)
            He was born in Podolia.  He studied with itinerant elementary school teachers and later secular subject matter in Odessa with private tutors.  In his youth he was enthralled by the revolutionary movement, and was a Labor Zionist, a Zionist Socialist, and a Bundist.  In 1902 he was arrested in Pinsk and thrown in prison.  In 1905 he moved to Argentina, had a furniture business in Avellaneda, a suburb of Buenos Aires, and at the same time published stories and articles in: the weekly Unzer vort (The word) in 1913; the monthly Der avangard (The avant-garde) in 1915; and Der tog (The day) in 1914-1915; among others.  Over the years 1915-1922, together with Mortkhe Stolyar, he co-edited the daily Di idishe tsaytung (The Jewish newspaper) in Buenos Aires, in which, aside from articles, he published (under the pen name Shevna) short stories and impressions.  He was sent as a delegate of the Buenos Aires Jewish community in 1921 to the conference on Jewish emigration in Prague, Czechoslovakia.  He took the occasion to visit Warsaw and other Polish Jewish centers.  After returning to Argentina, he resigned from the newspaper and settled in a Jewish colony.  His poetry and prose work were published in: the anthology Af di bregn fun plata (On the banks of the Plata) (1919); the monthly Argentine (Argentina); Di idishe handls-vokh (The Jewish business weekly) in 1925, edited by B. Olshanski and B. Shekhter; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (1944), pp. 344-60; and the jubilee publications of Di idishe tsaytung—all in Buenos Aires.  In 1929 he paid a visit to Buenos Aires from the colony, suddenly fell ill, and a short time later died.  “L. Mas was not only a talented writer and journalist,” wrote M. Regalski, “but he was also a concerted man of the community; with his straightforward, pure pen, he served the community and was the educator of the still young and unconsolidated Jewish community.”  To honor his memory, there was established in the Buenos Aires Jewish hospital a library in his name.  On the occasion of the twenty-fifth anniversary of his death, the H. D. Nomberg Jewish Writers’ Association attached a separate tablet to his headstone.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Y. Botoshanski, in the anthology Argentine (Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1938), pp. 72, 74, 75, 85; Botoshanski, in Yorbukh tsht”v fun der yidisher kehile in buenos ayres (Yearbook for 1954/1955 of the Jewish community of Buenos Aires), pp. 228-29; Sh. Rozhanski, Dos yidishe gedrukte vort in argentine (The published Yiddish word in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1941), pp. 73, 95, 96, 97, 150, 181; Antologye fun der yidisher literatur in argentine (Anthology of Yiddish literature in Argentina) (Buenos Aires, 1944), pp. 455-60 (see also the bibliographic listing there on p. 921); P. Kats, Geklibene shriftn (Selected works), vol. 7 (Buenos Aires, 1947), pp. 45-47; M. Regalski, in Yorbukh tsht”v fun der yidisher kehile in buenos ayres, pp. 45-47; Regalski, in Di naye tsayt (Buenos Aires) (July 23, 1954).
Zaynvl Diamant

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