Sunday 24 May 2015


            He was born in Trisik, near Telshe (Telts, Telz), Lithuania, into a poor family.  He received a Jewish education in religious primary school, later in the Telshe yeshiva.  In 1887 he emigrated to South Africa.  For a time he worked as a Hebrew teacher at the Talmud-Torah in Pretoria.  He later settled in Johannesburg, where was active as a Zionist community leader, speaker, lecturer, and co-founder of the society “Shoḥre tushiya” (Seekers of wisdom).  He began his writing activities with articles in Hamelits (The advocate) and Hatsfira (The siren).  He also contributed a series of correspondence pieces concerning Jewish life in South Africa for Hayehudi (The Jew) in London, edited by Suvalski.  He wrote feature articles and lighter essays for Hakokhav, der yidisher shtern (The star, the Jewish star), Di yidishe fon (The Jewish banner), Di afrikaner-yidishe gazetn (The African Jewish gazette), and other Yiddish and Hebrew periodicals in South Africa and in other countries.  He translated into Yiddish and English essays by Aḥah Haam.  Among his pseudonyms: Flia, M. Bg., and Bal-Makhshoves.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Leybl Feldman, Yidn in yohanesburg (Jews in Johannesburg) (Johannesburg, 1956).

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