YOYSEF DREYZIN (1843-1894)
He was born in Minsk where his father was in charge of a yeshiva. He was orphaned at age fourteen. He studied in the yeshivas of Minsk and Mir and in the rabbinical schools of Vilna—between them in the crown school of Mstislavl where Shimen Dubnov received his elementary education. In 1899 he became the rabbi of Slavatiche, Poland. In 1891 he converted to Christianity and converted his children. He provided the archbishop of Lithuania with a digest of Heylike geshikhte fun altn testament un brid-hadoshe (Holy history of the Old Testament and the New Testament) and a translation of the catechism, both in Yiddish, “for them to be published and distributed among the Jews.” Among his books: Rusish-idish verterbukh (Russian-Yiddish dictionary) (Warsaw: Zaks, 1886); and the storybooks, Lekhayim (To life) (Zhitomir, 1875), Der lets (The clown) (Warsaw, 1881), Dintsye r’ fayvishes (Dintsye, son of R. Fayvish) (1884), and A vayb fun tsvey lebedike manen (A wife of two living men) (Warsaw, 1881), 100 pp.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Sh. Dubnov, “Fun mayn lebnbukh” (From my book of life), Tsukunft (New York) (December 1932); Dubnov, Fun”zhargon” biz yidish (From “jargon” to Yiddish) (Vilna, 1929), p. 177.
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