Sunday, 16 July 2017

MORTKHE-MANOS MONASOVITSH

MORTKHE-MANOS MONASOVITSH (July 15, 1857-March 17, 1927)
            He was born in Shat (Seta), Lithuania.  He was raised in Yanove (Jonava) and in Riga.  He studied in the yeshivas of Vilkomir (Ukmergė), Kovno, and Vilna.  In 1880 he settled in Libave (Liepāja), sat for the examinations to become a teacher, and opened a two-year school which continued to exist until 1918.  He was director of the Libave Hebrew high school.  In 1918 he left to join his children in the United States.  He taught in the Talmud Torah of Minneapolis, served as administrator of a Hebrew school in Wooster, Massachusetts, and later worked as a teacher in Winnipeg, Canada.  In his youth he published essays and poetry in: Hamelits (The spectator), Hatsfira (The times), Hashaḥar (The dawn), and Haasif (The harvest), among others.  In Yiddish he published in: Haynt (Today) in Warsaw; Der idisher emigrant (The Jewish emigrant) and Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in New York; and Hakokhav (The star) in Johannesburg.  For the Libave literary club “Kadima” (Onward), he wrote twelve one- and two-act plays.  His musical play Di raykhe yerushe (The rich inheritance) was performed in 1918 by the Vilna Troupe in Vilna.  He also published the following Hebrew-language textbooks: Derekh lematḥilim (The path for beginners) (New York, 1920); Heḥaver hatov (The good friend) (Warsaw, 1911); Mare enayim (Seeing of the eyes) (Vilna, 1906); Bishvil hayeladim (For the children) (Warsaw, 1910); and Hadikduk hamaasi (Practical grammar) (Warsaw, 1905?); among others.  He also wrote plays for children, such as: Ḥane un di zibn zin (Hannah and her seven sons) (Lodz, 191?), 27 pp.; Minḥa ḥadasha (New gift); and Neshef purim (Purim party) (Warsaw, 1902), 18 pp.  He translated a number of religious works from Tanakh and published only Isaiah, under the title Derekh hakodesh (The sanctified pathway) (Vilna, 1914), 86 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (under the name Monesovitsh); Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Der tog (New York) (March 19, 1927); A. B., in Hoodar (New York) (April 1, 1927); Keneder odler (Montreal) (April 3, 1927); Bet eked sefarim.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


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