Wednesday 30 March 2016


            He was the father of BENTSIEN-ZUNDL HERSH and PEYSEKH-LIBMAN HERSH.  In the early 1880s he was living in the village of Pomushe (Pamūšis), Shavel (Šiauliai), later in Shavel, Lithuania.  He was a scholar, a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment, and strong “lover of Zion” (ḥovev tsiyon).  He used to study a chapter of the Mishna on Friday nights with craftsmen.  He published articles and correspondence pieces for: Hamagid (The preacher), Hamelits (The advocate), Hatsfira (The siren), and Haivri (The Jew), among others.  He and his family (aside from Perets-Libman) in 1891 moved to South Africa.  He returned to Russia in 1905 and published in Hatsfira a piece of work on the uprising in the Transvaal and its impact on the local Jews.  After then returning to South Africa, he wrote for the local Yiddish newspapers.  In the magazine Dorem-afrike (South Africa), issues 2 and 3 (1923) in Johannesburg, he published historical notices under the title: “Zikhroynes fun a pyoner” (Memoirs from a pioneer).  He also wrote under the pen name “M. Ben-Ishi.”  He died in South Africa.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (within the biography of Peysekh-Libman Hersh); Y. M. Sherman, in Dorem afrike (Johannesburg) (March 1952); Professor Libman Hersh, preface to his book Af der grenets fun tsaytn (At the border of the times) (Buenos Aires, 1952), p. 10; Gustav Saron and Louis Holtz, The Jews in South Africa (London: Oxford University Press, 1955), pp. 63, 155, 186, 195.
Zaynvl Diamant

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