Thursday 23 April 2015


ASHER-LEYB BRISK (1873-November 29, 1916)
            He was born in Jerusalem.  After his father, Dovid, separated from his mother, he was educated by his mother’s parents, R. Meyer Kameiko, custodian of the Vilna Kolel in Jerusalem, and Rivke-Lipe, widely known as “Rivke the trustee’s wife” and author of the Yiddish pamphlet Zeykher leoylem (Eternal remembrance) (Jerusalem, 1884).  He studied in Yeshiva Ets Ḥayim, and in his youth contributed to the Jerusalem journals Torah mitsiyon (Torah from Zion) and Or tora (Light of Torah).  In 1901 the first volume of his book Ḥelkat meḥokek (Portion of the lawgiver) appeared, and it transcribed the epitaphs from graves on the Mount of Olives with excerpts from burial society records and various bibliographic annotations.  He typeset this book, appearing one volume at a time, five in all, by himself.  He was as well the author of a bibliographic work, entitled Divre kohelet (The words of Ecclesiastes)—versions of its title pages, prefaces, and approbations, first printing; Briaḥ hatikun, content records of every year of the Torah journal Tora mitsiyon; Yortsayt-bukh (Book of death anniversaries) and Mishle ben david (Proverbs of Ben David).  He published several books in Yiddish with fables and aphorisms.  During WWI, he was mobilized by the Turkish government to sweep the streets and perform other hard labor in the Old City.  From a minor reason, he was sent by the government to build highways in Beersheba, and there he died.

Sources: Preface to the first part of Divre kohelet; Y. Davidzon, in Pinkes (New York, 1927), p. 59.

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