SHABSE MATSKEVITSH (1852-November 17, 1923)
He was born in the village of Bartel (or the town of Eyshishok [Eišiškės]), Vilna district, the son of an innkeeper. He studied in Rameyle’s yeshiva in Vilna, and later in Minsk. He was an early auditor at the Vilna rabbinical school, later receiving a diploma from an assistant inspector. He lived in Eyshishok, Radin, and Oran where he was employed as a teacher and “writer”; and he would also appear in public as a preacher. He spent the last months of his life in the Vilna home for the aged and died in a hospital for the poor. Aside from a religious tract in Hebrew—Sefer gevule tsiyon (On the borders of Zion) (Vilna, 1899), 48 pp., a geography of the land of Israel with a map of the terrain—he also published storybooks in Yiddish, such as: Tsvey glaykhe shidukhim (Two similar matches) (Vilna, 1893); Bertsik der yosem (Bertsik the orphan) (Vilna, 1894), 31 pp.; Bomke der fayfer (Bomke the whistler), a novel (Vilna, 1895), 30 pp.; Droshe levar mitsve (Speech for a bar mitzvah) (Vilna, 1914), in Yiddish.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Kh. Liberman, in Yidishe shprakh (New York) (September 1960).