Wednesday, 9 May 2018

SOLOMON SEGAL


SOLOMON SEGAL (June 3, 1865-October 1932)
            He was born in Ștefănești, near Botoșani, Romania.  He studied in religious elementary school, Romanian public school, the Botoșani German Lycée, and Bucharest University.  In the years of his youth, he joined the ibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion) movement and took part in their conferences in Galați and Botoșani.  In 1903 he moved to the United States, engaged in a variety of trades, and for a time worked as an agent for a shoe company in Boston.  In 1919 he returned to Bucharest, where he engaged in business and manufacturing for the rest of his life.  He began writing poems in German and published them in Deutsche Zeitung (German newspaper) in Bucharest (1884), later publishing articles in the Romanian press.  In 1894 he edited a Romanian Jewish journal.  From 1895 he switched entirely to Yiddish.  He published poetry of an ethnic character in Der vahre kamf lebeys-yisroel berumenye (The true struggle for the house of Israel in Romania) in Bucharest and other Yiddish periodicals in Romania.  He edited the Yiddish weekly Dorshe tsien (Preachers of Zion), “organ of Zionist propaganda,” in Bucharest, which was published with the motto: “Velakaḥti etkhem min hagoyim, vekibatsti” (For I will take you from among the nations, and gather you [out of all the countries] [Ezekiel 36:24]); it appeared from August 9 until November 29, 1902, and he wrote virtually all the articles, feature pieces, and poetry.  In America he published poems in: Folks advokat (People’s advocate), Di yudishe gazetten (The Jewish gazette), Dos yudishe folk (The Jewish people), Di varhayt (The truth), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), and Der groyser kundes (The great prankster), among others, in New York; in Romania he contributed to Di naye tsayt (The new times) in Czernowitz and Biblyotek idishe visenshaft (Library of Jewish scholarship) in Jassy (Iași), among others.  In book form, he published: Harfenklang-gedikhte (Poems of the sound of harps) (New York: R. M. Segall, 1911), 96 pp., including, among other poems, “Nyu york” (New York) and “Mame-loshn” (Mother tongue [Yiddish]) dedicated to Chaim Zhitlovsky; Antologye segal, rumenishe dikhter (Segal’s anthology, Romanian poets), 200 poems by Romanian poets with their biographies, translated into Yiddish, with a word “Tsu mayne libe lezer” (To my beloved readers) by the author and prefaces by Rabbi Y. Y. Nemirover, Dr. Adolf Shtern, and Professor M. Yarga (Bucharest: Integrated Jewry of Romania, 1922), 528 pp.  Several of his American poems are included in N. Mayzil’s Amerike in yidishn vort antologye (America in Yiddish, an anthology) (New York: Ikuf, 1955), pp. 114-18.  He also published under such pen names as: Ben Arye, Sevener, Sol, and Seg.  He died in Bucharest.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (under Shloyme Segal); Filologishe shriftn (Vilna) 3 (1933); Y. Klausner, Ḥibat tsiyon beromaniya (Love of Zion in Romania) (Jerusalem, 1958), see index; information from Dr. Shloyme Bikl in New York.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


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