KHAYIM (HERMAN) ELYASHOV (1851 or March 8, 1849-1918)
He was born in Vilna. He was descended on his mother’s side from the Luryes of Minsk and from R. Yekhiel Heylpern, author of Sefer hadorot (The book of generations). He studied in Rameyle’s synagogue and in the yeshivas of Mir and Volozhin. He later became a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, became friends with Kalmen Shulman and Yude-Leyb Kantor, and left to join his brother in Königsberg and from there to Berlin, where he studied with Professor Moshe (Moritz) Lazarus and David Kassel and received a teacher’s diploma. In 1868 he received a government post in Schabenheim and later in Neu-Bickelheim (?). During the Franco-Prussian War, he translated into Hebrew [the German patriotic anthem] “Die Wacht am Rhein” (Watch on the Rhine) and earned the exalted respect of the aristocracy. In 1871 he moved to the United States, served as a rabbi in New York, later in the Chicago temple Rodef Sholem (later, Beth El). In 1873 he married, quit the rabbinate, and turned his attention to literary pursuits. He wrote poetry in Yiddish and articles and correspondence pieces in Hebrew, English, and German. He translated into English a variety of items from German, Russian, French, and Spanish. He edited the Anglophone Jewish journals Jewish Tribune (St. Louis, 1880) and Occident (1884). He was assistant editor of Reform Advocate (Chicago, 1911) and from 1908 until his death of B’nai B’rith News (Chicago). He published in book form a collection of Hebrew poems under the pen name of Ḥaim son of Moshe Eliasev and an English-language pamphlet on the history of Jews in Chicago and the state of Illinois. Among other items, he translated in Yiddish Byron’s Hebreishe melodyes (Hebrew Melodies).
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Leye Mishkin and Ḥ. M. Rotblat, in Pinkas shikago (Records of Chicago) (1951/1952); M. Ḥizkuni (Shtarkman), in Metsuda (New York) 7 (1953/1954).