Tuesday 29 September 2015


SHMUEL GREYNIMAN (1890-February 14, 1957)
            He was born in Dzisna (Disne), Vilna region, Lithuania, into an elite, pious family.  He studied in religious primary school, yeshivas, and later was a pupil of R. Chaim Ozer Grodzenski and the Chofets Chaim, from whom he received rabbinical ordination.  From his earliest years, he was active in religious circles, and from 1919 he was among the leaders of religious education for Lithuanian-Polish Jewry and of Agudat Yisrael, mainly in Vilna and vicinity.  He was the founder of a network of yeshivas and the director of Vaad Hayeshivot (Council of yeshivas) in Vilna.  He visited the United States and for a time was the administrator of the yeshiva and college of Tiferet Yerusholaim in New York.  In 1935 he settled in Israel and was a member of “Merkaz ḥinukh hatora” (Center for Torah education) in Bnei Brak, where he lived until his death.  He was a forceful speaker, roused people to action with his sermons in Yiddish to encourage the Jewish people.  He wrote in Yiddish and Hebrew articles on religious issues as well as on the topic of education.  He was a cofounder of the weekly newspaper of the Aguda in Vilna, Dos vort (The word), and founder of the Vilna Torah journal Kneses yisroel (Congregation of Israel).  He contributed to the Orthodox Yiddish-Hebrew press in Poland: Der yud (The Jew) and Idishe togblat (Jewish daily newspaper) in Warsaw; Beys yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal) in Lodz; and Dos vort in Vilna, among others.  In the final years of his life, he became involved in publishing religious texts by his brother-in-law, the Chazon Ish.  He also edited and published the writings of the Chofets Chaim, together with a biography and various episodes from his life, which were published in Jerusalem in 1955, together with Greyniman’s commentary on Maase lemelekh (Stories of the king).  He published: Hundert mayses un mesholim fun khofets khayim, zts”l (One hundred stories and fables from the Chofets Chaim, may his memory be for a blessing) (New York, 1952), 128 pp, new edition (New York, 1966).

Sources: Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1927); D. Z., in Haarets (Tel Aviv) (February 15, 1955); Y. Z. Diskin, in Hamodia (Jerusalem) (February 22, 1957); A. B. Shurin, in Forverts (New York) (March 5, 1957); Dos yidishe vort (New York) (April 1957).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 176.]

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