Tuesday, 14 May 2019

YUDE-YUDL ROZENBERG


YUDE-YUDL ROZENBERG (1860-October 23, 1935)[1]
            He was born in Skarishev (Skaryszew), Poland, and hailed from an illustrious rabbinic heritage.  At age twenty he received ordination into the rabbinate, and at twenty-five he became the rabbi in Tarle (Tarłów), later a rabbinical judge in Lublin, Warsaw, and Lodz (1900-1912).  From 1912 he was rabbi of Polish Jewry in Toronto and from 1918 rabbi of the Association of Orthodox Communities in Canada.  He authored a series of rabbinic texts, among them a translation of the Zohar into Hebrew under the title Shaare zohar tora (Gates of the Zohar to Torah) (Warsaw, 1905).  In Yiddish he published a series of folk texts which were popular among the people and often republished or translated from Hebrew-Aramaic: Nifloes maharal miprag (Wonders of the Maharal of Prague) (Warsaw, 1904), 76 pp., enlarged edition (Lodz, 1907), 128 pp.—second part entitled Refael hamalakh (The angel Raphael); Ale mayses fun elye hanovi (All the tales of Elijah the Prophet) (Pyotrkov: Elye Tsaylingold, 1910), 120 pp.; Der prozbul (The prozbol) (Pyotrkov, 1912), 12 pp.; Der krizis fun lodz-varsha (The Lodz-Warsaw crisis) (Pyotrkov, 1912), 24 pp.; Homeopatye (Homeopathy) (Pyotrkov, 191?), 62 pp.; Droshe tsemer ufishtim (Sermon on wool and linen) (Montreal, 1914), 32 pp. (published at the time of a local tailors’ strike); Der greyditser rebe elye gutmakher zts”r fun preysen (The Greyditser Rebbe, Elyahu Gutmakher, may the memory of this righteous person be blessed, from Prussia), translated from his Hadrat eliyahu (The glory of Elijah) (Pyotrkov: Yitskhok Slomovits, n.d.); Seyfer kries hakdushe, der kheylek shney mit an iberzetsung in idish, az ale klassen iden zolen fershtehn di dinim (On reading the Kedusha prayer, part 2 with a translation into Yiddish, so that all classes of Jews should understand the laws) (New York, 1918/1919), 120 pp.; A brivele fun di zise mame shabes malkese tsu ihre zin un tekhter fun idishen folk (A letter from the sweet mother Sabbath to her son and daughter of the Jewish people) (Montreal, 1923/1924), 16 pp.; Der shpoler zeyde, dos iz a beshraybung fun di groyse vunderlikhe mofsim vos hot bevizen der tsadek reb leyb shpoler (The Shpoler Grandpa, this is a description of the wonderful miracles shown by the saintly Reb Leyb of Spola) (Warsaw, 1926), 160 pp., translated from his Tiferet maharal (The glory of the Maharal); Seyfer nifloes hazoyer, vunderlikhe mayses un ertsehlungen (The Zohar, a book of wonders, wondrous tales and stories) (Montreal, 1927), 162 pp.; Refues hanefesh (Remedies for the soul) (Montreal, 1929), 13 pp.; Refues haguf (Remedies for the body) (Montreal, 1929), 48 pp.; Halokhes deyes, avne khoshn mishpet (Laws of authority, the stones of the High Priest’s breastplate) (Montreal, 1931), “a description of all the stones on the High Priest’s breastplate, their Jewish names, and the characteristic of each stone.”  As concerns his Nifloes maharal miprag, Zalmen Reyzen wrote: “As for the re-workers [of the legends of the Maharal], Rozenberg did not change their original, naïve, folkish-traditional style, and this work is the sole source for the cycle of the golem legends which have been so often made use of lately in the artistic literature.”  “Rozenberg possesses a juicy, colorful, high folkish style of a storyteller,” notes A. Litvin, “…  Here and there, especially in the tales of the Shpoler Grandpa, he elevates his style to a higher artistic level, without losing the charm of uncontrived folkish creation.”  He died in Montreal.  One should presumably not confuse Rozenberg with YUDE ROZENBERG, author of the booklet Higayon leyehuda (Logic for the Jewish people) (Odessa, 1901), 15 pp., which includes two poems in Yiddish and Hebrew to arouse in youth a love of the land of Israel.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Ts. Cohen, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (March 8, 1931); Sh. Dunski, in Keneder odler (March 19, 1931).
Khayim Leyb Fuks



[1] These dates follow Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4, gives a birthdate of 1865 which is erroneous.

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