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