SHMARYE SHARAFAN (1881-1941)
He was a feuilletonist, born in Vilna. He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva. He was active in the society “Tiferet Baḥurim” (Glory of young men). He composed rhymed feuilletons concerned with various events and people for the Vilna weekly newspaper Shabes-nayes (Saturday news) in 1919, the Zionist daily Der fraynd (The friend) in 1921 which from 1924 was Di tsayt (The times), Dos fraye vort (The free word) in 1921, and the Orthodox weekly Dos vort (The word). His work also appeared in Zalmen Shik, 1000 yor vilne (One thousand years of Vilna) (Vilna, 1939). In addition, he contributed to Arn-Yitskhok Grodzenski’s Vilner almanakh (Vilna almanac) and Ovnt-bikher (Evening books) in 1939. Of his rhyming ditties, particular favorites were sung throughout the entirety of Lithuania: “Geyt a yold in kapelyush” (A fool walks along in a [wide, Orthodox, black] hat) and “Oy-vey mame, yashke fort avek” (Oh, no, mama, Yashke left). He also published his poems: “Himl fun tiferes-bokherim” (Heaven of the glory of young men) in 1911 and “A lidele fun khanike” (A ditty for Hanukkah) of 1930, among others. He edited the pamphlet: Byografishe notitsn fun tiferes-bokherim (Biographical notes from “Glory of young men”) (Vilna, 1923), 8 pp. He signed his rhymed feuilletons: Shmerele. He died in Ponar.
Sources: Shmerke Katsherginski, Khurbn vilne (The Holocaust in Vilna) (New York, 1947), p. 214; Leyzer Ran, 25 yor yung vilne (Twenty-five years of Young Vilna) (New York, 1955).