GERSHON-MENAḤEM BAR YEHUDA SEGAL (SHAPIRO) (b. ca. 1825)
He was born in Dvinsk (Dinaburg, Daugavpils), Byelorussia (later, Latvia). He studied in religious elementary school and in yeshivas. Over the years 1850-1875, he was a schoolteacher (mentor to the painter-sculptor Max Yafe), later a rabbinical judge. He authored religious texts in Hebrew and stylized Yiddish, among them: Birkhot menaḥem (Blessing of Menaḥem) (Königsberg, 1858), 90 pp. (containing judgments and prayers which are included in Yiddish in Khaye adam (Life of man) (Vilna, 1886), many editions. He also wrote Derekh hakodesh (The path of holiness) in Yiddish and Hebrew (Vilna: 1876/1877), 24 pp. In his Birkhot menaḥem, the section “Dine birkat hanehenin” (Services for enjoyment of blessings) such as over fruit and food are cited in Yiddish. Further biographical details remain unknown.
Sources: Kehilat moshe (St. Petersburg), no. 1740-א; M. Kosover, in Yude a. yofe-bukh (Volume for Yuda A. Yofe) (New York, 1958), pp. 29, 69; information from Dr. Yitskhok Rivkind in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 398.]