Wednesday 27 April 2016


DOV-BER VARSHAVSKI (September 15, 1904-November 14, 1983)
            He was born in Drohitshin (Drohichyn), near Pinsk, Byelorussia, into an Orthodox family.  He studied in a “cheder metukan” (improved religious elementary school) and later in a number of yeshivas.  In 1933 he received ordination into the rabbinate in Warsaw.  From his early youth, he was active in the Zionist youth movement, initially in “Tseire-Tsiyon” (Young Zionists) and later the Zionist Revisionists.  Over the years 1932-1938, he administer a yeshiva in Warsaw, cofounded the “Religious Front” within the Revisionist Party in Poland, served as secretary to Dr. R. Feldshuh in preparing his Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (publ. Warsaw, 1939).  From late 1938 until 1950 he was living in London, after that in the United States.  He worked as a rabbi in Chicago.  He began writing articles in 1929 for Grodner moment (Grodno moment), and from that point he contributed as well to: Grodner ekspres (Grodno express); Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Unzer ekspres (Our express), Radyo (Radio), and Nayes (News)—in Warsaw; Dos vort (The word) in Vilna; and Di shtime (The voice) in Pinsk; Di shtime in Brussels; among others.  He published topical poems, articles, reportage pieces, and novellas.  His books include: Ikh bashuldik (J’accuse) (London, 1941), 18 pp.; Falshe meshikhim (False Messiahs) (London, 1942), 20 pp.; Gasn-menshn (Street people) (London, 1942), 20 pp.; Megiles eykhe fun dritn khurbn (The scroll of Lamentations from the third destruction) (Chicago, 1952), 64 pp.; In shpigl fun tsayt (In the mirror of time) (New York, 1986), 320 pp.  He published and edited Shikager tsayt-shrift (Chicago periodical) (1950-1951) and Buletin (Bulletin) in Chicago (April-June 1954).  He adapted and edited the remembrance volume Drohitshin, “500 years of Jewish life” (Chicago, 1958), 424 pp.[1]  This last volume also include an array of important writings.  He died in Chicago.

Sources: Dr. R. Feldshuh, Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), pp. 898-99; Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 23, 1952); N. Shemen, in Der amerikaner (New York) (August 1, 1958); D. Naymark, in Forverts (New York) (August 24, 1958).

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 234.]

[1] This has now appeared in an English translation by David Goldman, edited by Florence Schumacher: Drohitchin Memorial Book: 500 Years of Jewish Life (New York, 2014), 716 pp. (JAF)

No comments:

Post a Comment