Monday, 12 August 2019


YANKEV SHTOL (October 12, 1897-August 18, 1958)
            He was a poet, born in Blandovke (?), near Brisk (Brest).  He attended religious primary school and later studied painting in Warsaw.  He moved to the land of Israel in 1912, and from 1915 he was in New York, before returning in 1918 with the Jewish Legion.  He was active in the Haganah.  He was among the first in the writers’ group that began composing Yiddish literature in the land of Israel and fighting on behalf of Yiddish.  He published poetry in Israel in: Eyns, tsvey (One, two); Tsvishn tsvey un dray, zamlung far literatur un kultur (Between two and three, a collection of literature and culture) (1929); Dray (Three) (1931); Oktober (October) (1931); Fir (Four) (9132); Shtamen (Tribes), Yugnt-shtime (Voice of youth) (1936); Erets-yisroel shriftn (Writings from the land of Israel) (1937); Undzers (Ours) (1947); Nayvelt (New world), co-editor; Heymish (Familiar); Di goldene keyt (The golden chain); Letste nayes (Latest news); Hamshekh (Continuation); and Forverts (Forward).  He also wrote literary articles.  His work appeared in: Mortkhe Yofe, Erets-yisroel in der yidisher literatur (Israel in Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1961); Arie Shamri, Vortslen (Roots) (Tel Aviv, 1966); and Joseph Milbauer, comp., Poètes yiddish d’aujourhui (Contemporary Yiddish poets) (Paris, 1936).
            His books include: A khasene in katra (A wedding in Katra), a poem (Tel Aviv: In tsoym, 1931), 64 pp.; In der oygemakhter tir (By the opened door) (Tel Aviv, 1935), 62 pp.  In the collection Dray, he published the one-act play In tog fun volshern; and in Erets-yisroel shriftn, he placed two acts from Der fleytn shpiler (The floutist).  A selection of Shtol’s poetry in Hebrew (translated by various translators) appeared under the title Dalti petua (My open door) (Tel Aviv, 1962).  In the words of Yankev-Tsvi Shargel, Shtol “made an outlandish entry in the Yiddish world—with sun, vegetables, poultry, animals, and with all manner of human figures.”  “He celebrated the blue skies of the land of Israel,” noted Yitskhok Paner, “the landscape and the joyfully wild Arab fantasies.”  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: David Tidhar, Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 10 (Tel Aviv, 1959), under “Simkhe Ayzn”; L[eybl] Kh[eyn], in Oktober (Tel Aviv, 1931), pp. pp. 18-19; Avrom Lis, Heym un doyer, vegn shrayber un verk (Home and duration, on writers and work) (Tel Aviv: Y. L. Perets Library, 1960), pp. 53-59; Yitskhok Paner, in Almanakh fun di yidishe shrayber in yisroel (Tel Aviv, 1962), p. 374; Dov Sadan, Avne miftan, masot al sofre yidish (Milestones, essays on Yiddish writers), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972); Yankev-Tsvi Shargel, Fun onheyb on (From the beginning) (Tel Aviv: Yisroel bukh, 1977), pp. 11-15.
Ruvn Goldberg

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