Wednesday, 4 June 2014


MOYSHE-LEYZER AYZENSHTADT (January 13, 1869-November 27, 1943)
Born in Nyesvizh (Niasviž), Byelorussia.  By age thirteen he had already written correspondences in Hamelits (The advocate) and Hatsfira (The siren).  He studied in the Volozhin yeshiva, and from 1889 he was a student at Berlin University and in the Hochschule für die Wissenschaft des Judentums (Higher Institute for Jewish Studies).  He received his doctorate for a dissertation concerned with Bible criticism in Talmudic literature.  For a time he was a teacher of Jewish subjects in a number of high schools in Russia, later becoming a rabbi in Rostov-on-Don and from 1910 in St. Petersburg.  From his student years, he wrote stories, reviews, and essays on current events in Hebrew, Russian-Yiddish, and German periodicals.  In Yiddish he wrote a sketch in Hoyz-fraynd (House friend), no. 5, with the title “Vu zaynen zey?” (Who are they?).  He contributed to Yud (Jew) with a series of articles about education, also in Fraynd (Friend), Der tog (The day), and Sh. Frug’s Luekh fir erd-arbayter (Calendar for farmers).  He authored Nokh der groyse sreyfe, ertseylung (After the great fire, a story) (Vilna, 1901), 16 pp.  He worked on a major work in Yiddish—Di aynlaytung in talmud (Introduction to Talmud).  Later he emigrated to Paris, and after Hitler’s march into France in 1942, he came to the United States.  He died in New York.  Further details can be found in: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967).

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Algemayne entsiklopedye (General encyclopedia), vol. 2.

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