Sunday, 20 April 2014


Soviet Yiddish writer who lived in Belorussia; by trade a carpenter.  He began publishing in Der frayer arbiter (Free worker) and Kultur un bildung (Culture and education), Moscow (1918) and Vitebsk (1918).  Among his books: Af khvalyes fun tsaytn (Over waves of time) (Kharkov, 1930), 135 pp.; Af der vogshol (On the scale), poetry (Kharkov-Kiev, 1934), 133 pp.; In ritem fun lebn (In the rhythm of life) (Kiev, 1937), 94 pp.; Kindheyt (Childhood), poems (Kharkov-Kiev, 1939), 103 pp.; Af undzer erd (On our earth) (Kiev, 1940), 193 pp.  His writings also appeared in: Ruf, lider zamlung (Call, poetry collection) (Minsk, 1935); Almanakh fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber tsum alfarbandishn shrayber-tsuzamenfor (Almanac of Soviet Yiddish writers to the All-Soviet Writers’ Conference) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1934); Mut (Courage), poetry collection (Moscow, 1920); Shlakhtn (Battles) (Kharkov-Kiev, 1932); Zay greyt (Get ready) (Kharkov).  He was a member of the Proletkult (proletarian culture) group (together with Khayim Gildin and Shlomo Yudovin).  The majority of his poems have a propagandistic character.  His fate remains unknown.

Sources: Kh. Dunyets, Far magnitboyen in der literatur (For the great works of literature) (Minsk, 1932); B. Orshanski, in Tsaytshrift 5 (Minsk, 1931).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 1.]


  1. His fate: during the evacuation of Jews to the Soviet backland he was moved to Tashkent and later settled in the village of Jangichek in Uzbekistan. After the war he moved back to Kiev and died there in 1957.
    From his non-propagandist poems the best known is probably Di arbuzn (or S'iz der step) from the book Zingt mayn folk (1946 - not in the list above), which was set to music by American Jewish composer Bena Yomen (1901 - 1970).

  2. MENDL ABARBANEL translated from Russian into Yiddish chapters from N.A. Nekrasov's Vemen lebt zikh gut in Rasey : Kapitlen fun der poeme (orig.: Кому на Руси жить хорошо (Russian) = Кому на Русi жити добре (Ukranian)).- Odes; Kharkov : Kinder-farlag bam Ts.K. L.K.Yu.F.U., 1938.- 37, [3] pp., ill.
    װעמען לעבט זיך גוט אין ראסײ
    קאפיטלען פון דער פאעמע
    נ. א. נעקראסאװ ; ײדיש - מ. אבארבאנעל ; קינסטלער - מ. שטשעגלאװ
    Vemen lebt zikh gut in Rasey : Kapitlen fun der poeme
    N. A. Nekrasov ; yidish - M. Abarbanel; kinstler - M. Tscheglov