LEYB POPIK (b. December 15, 1902)
He was born in Stanislav, Galicia. He attended religious elementary school, public school, and senior high school. He was part of the Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard) movement. In 1922 he made aliya to the land of Israel. There he was a member of the left Labor Zionist party and later Mapam (United Workers’ Party). He began writing in his early youth. He was a regular contributor to the journal Tsvit (Blossom), which was published in Berestechko, Volhynia. In Israel he published in Nayvelt (New world), Davar (Word), and other serials. His books include: Likht un shotn, lider (Light and shadow, poetry) (Tel Aviv: Eygns, 1937), 32 pp.; Far bagin, lider (Before dawn, poems) (Berestechko: Tsvit, 1939), 80 pp. In 1939 he published a Yiddish translation of Juliusz Słowacki’s poem Der foter fun di farpestikte (Father of the plague-stricken [original: Ojciec zadżumionych]) (Berestechko: Tsvit, 1939), 24 pp. Subsequent books: Tsvishn onhoyb un sof, ben reshit leaḥarit, shirim (Between beginning and end, poetry), trans. Uriel Ofek (Tel Aviv: Davar, 1972), 59 pp.; Shtaplen, lider, madregot, shirim (Rungs, poetry), trans. Uriel Ofek (Tel Aviv: Reshafim, 1981), 235 pp.; Fun mayne shayern, lider, measamai, shirim (From my granaries, poetry), trans. Uriel Ofek (Tel Aviv: Reshafim, 1982), 173 pp.—each of these three has parallel Hebrew translation next to the Yiddish. Translated from a manuscript into Hebrew: Yona levana (Jonah moon), trans. Uriel Ofek (Tel Aviv: Am oved, 1973).
His son URIEL OFEK (June 30, 1926-January 23, 1987) was a prominent Hebrew poet, dramatist, translator, editor, and scholar. He also translated (see above) his father’s poetry from Yiddish into Hebrew. See D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 10 (Tel Aviv, 1959), p. 3054.
Sources: M. Rayz, in Heftn (Warsaw) (1937); Yoysef Volf, in Radomer togblat (1939); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 10 (Tel Aviv, 1959), p. 3052.
Leyb Vaserman and Ruvn Goldberg
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 427.]