Wednesday 24 August 2016


            He was born Kapulye (Kopyl), Minsk district, Byelorussia.  At age ten he was left an orphan with parents deceased.  He studied in the yeshivas of Kapulye, Minsk, Slutsk, Pinsk, Nyesvizh (Niasviž), and Mir, boarded (“ate days”) there, and surreptitiously turned his attentions over to the Jewish Enlightenment.  Beginning in 1885 he wrote stories in Hebrew: “Masekhat kala” (A bride’s mask), Hamelits (The advocate) (1885); “Havat reshaim” (Evils’ destruction), Kneset yisrael (Congregation of Israel) 2 (1888); “Al em haderekh” (At the crossroads), Haasif (The harvest) 5 (1889); Tsarat habit (The daughter’s woes), Hamelits (1889); “Haneshoma haaḥarona” (The last soul), Aḥiasef 9.  In book form, in Hebrew: Mishut baarets (Wandering around the earth) (Warsaw, 1890), 80 pp.; Korban hayom (Sacrifice of the day) (Warsaw, 1893), 32 pp.; Devar kol ḥazon (The word of every prophecy) (St. Petersburg, 1894), 24 pp.; Beli tekuma (Without resistance) (Warsaw, 1903), 178 pp.  He translated from English into Hebrew Ohel tam ([Uncle] Tom’s cabin) by Harriet Beecher Stowe (Warsaw, 1896), 434 pp., with illustrations.  In Yiddish he published stories and articles, such as: “Tsvey sdorim” (Two prayer books), Der yud (The Jew) 14-15 (1901); in Der veg (The way), edited by L. Rabinovitsh; and Unzer lebn (Our life); among others.  From 1888 he was a teacher of Hebrew in Warsaw.  During the Russian evacuation of Warsaw in 1915, he returned to the town of his birth.  During the Polish occupation of Minsk (early 1920), he attempted with his own horse and wagon to make his way back to Warsaw.  He became ill, though, en route with typhus and died in Bobruisk.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (with a bibliography); Ch. D. Lippe’s bibliographisches Lexicon der gesammten jüdischen Literatur der Gegenwart (Ch. D. Lippe’s bibliographical handbook of Jewish literature at present) (Vienna, 1879), p. 340; Y. Likhtnboym, in the anthology Hasipur haivri (The Hebrew story) (Tel Aviv, 1955), p. 518 (a biography).

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