Sunday 22 February 2015


MIKHEL (MICHAEL) BEN-MOSHE (January 8, 1911-January 29, 1983)
He was born in Linkev (Linkuva), near Shavel (Šiauliai), Zamet, Lithuania, son of Moyshe-Yehude Greysman, the original family surname.  In 1915 the family evacuated with other Jews to Kherson.  He studied in a Russian-Jewish public school and began high school.  Then, in 1921 they returned to Linkev where he studied in a Hebrew high school in Shavel.  He began writing in 1927 on community matters in the Hebrew journal Resisim (Fragments) in Shavel, Lithuania.  In 1931 he emigrated to Johannesburg.  His first published work was Yiddish poetry that appeared in Dos yidishe vort (The Yiddish word), the supplement to the English-Yiddish newspaper Yeshurun (Jerusalem).  He published poetry in Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper), Dapim (Pages), and English Jewish publications.  Among his books: Opris, lider (Sharp incline, poems) (Johannesburg, 1952), 124 pp.; In likht fun ovnt (In the light of evening) (Tel Aviv: Brikn, 1971), 117 pp.  He also edited Hebrew-language periodicals, such as: Besad (With heaven’s help) and Dapim (Pages).  Among his pseudonyms: Sair, Amoday, Sagi-Nehor, M. B., M. B. M. and A. M.  From 1947 he worked as a lecturer on Jewish history at the Johannesburg Hebrew Teachers Seminary.  He received his doctoral degree in 1974 for research on Yiddish and Hebrew literature in South Africa.  From 1978 he was living in Israel.  He was a member of the editorial board of Afrikaner yidishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper) and from 1949-1950 of Dorem-afrike (South Africa).  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Yankev Glatshteyn, in Yidisher kemfer (New York) (July 10, 1953); Y. M. Sherman, in Dorem-afrike (Johannesburg) (July 1954), p. 142.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 94-95.]

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