Thursday, 15 November 2018

SHMUEL-ZAYNVL FEDER


SHMUEL-ZAYNVL FEDER (1857-March 8, 1915)
            The adopted name of Sh. Z. Barlash, he was born in Klevan, Lutsk district, Volhynia.  He received a Jewish education in his father’s religious primary school.  While still in his youth, he demonstrated talents as a wedding entertainer and appeared with his own bits at weddings.  He served as a soldier in the Russian army.  He fled from service and had to change his name.  He was popular as a wedding entertainer.  He was also a painter and a tailor, carved “mizrekhs” [scenes placed on the “eastern” walls] for schools, played the violin, and wrote his own heartfelt melodies.  People sang his songs widely in the regions of Tarnopol, Reyshe (Rzeszów), and Lemberg.  For a time he also worked with the weekly newspaper Meḥazike hadat (Strengthening the faith) in Lemberg (1896), although he himself was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment.  He published his own songbooks, among them: Shire khadashe, ertsehlungen, farshtelungen mit grosartige folks lider (New song of praise, stories, performances with magnificent folksongs) (Lemberg, 1891), 48 pp.; Shire khadashe, dray naye lider (New song of praise, three new songs) (Warsaw: Y. Lebenzohn, 1894), 16 pp.  At the time of the Russian occupation of Galicia (late 1914), the Cossacks beat him up badly.  He was brought, a terribly ill man, to his daughters in Lemberg and there he died.  On his death bed, he performed his song “Di vide” (The confessions of sins).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3.
Khayim Leyb Fuks


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