Monday 29 August 2016


SHLOYME-YOYSEF (SHLOMO YOSEF) ZEVIN (1888[1]-February 27, 1978)
            He was born in Kazimerov, Minsk district, Byelorussia, into a rabbinical family which drew its lineage back to the Maharal of Prague [Judah Loew ben Bezalel].  He studied in religious elementary school and in the Yeshivas of Mir and Bobruisk.  In 1904 he became rabbi in Kazimerov, later serving as rabbi in Klimov and Novozybkov, Chernigov district, Ukraine.  During WWI he developed an intensive activity in Jewish community life in Ukraine.  In 1919 he was a member of the Jewish National assembly in Ukraine, later (1920) its general secretary.  He was also secretary of the All-Russian Rabbinical Conference (under the Soviets) in Korosten.  He helped the Lubavitcher Rebbe found covert religious elementary schools.  In 1934 he moved to Israel and for a time was a lecturer in the Mizrachi rabbinical seminary.  Beginning in 1906 he published hundreds of essays and treatises on a variety of issues covering practically the entire periodical press in Hebrew and Yiddish, including: Hamodia (The herald) in Poltava (1910-1915), from December 1914 in Yiddish; Haboker (This morning) and Hayesod (The foundation) in Israel; Haynt (Today), Moment (Moment), Unzer lebn (Our life), Der yud (The Jew), Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), and Der mizrakhi-veg (The Mizrachi way)—in Warsaw; Dos vort (The word) in Vilna; and Unzer veg (Our way) in Paris; among others.  He was the author of such religious texts as: Ishim veshitot (Personalities and methods) (Tel Aviv, 1952), 281 pp.; Leor hahalakha (In the light of Jewish law) (Tel Aviv, 1957), 335 pp.; Sipure ḥasidim (Stories of the Hassidim) (Tel Aviv, 1955), 549 pp.; Hamoadim bahalakha (The holidays in Jewish law) (Tel Aviv, 1955), 379 pp.; and many more.  For his two-volume collection of writings, Sofrim vesefarim (Authors and books) (Tel Aviv, 1959), he received the Israel Prize for 1959.  He was editor of the collections: Aḥdut (Unity) (Kiev, 1921); Tora (Torah) (Slutsk, 1925), with Rabbi Y. Abramski.  He was editor (with Rabbi Meir Berlin) of Entsiklopedya talmudit (Talmudic encyclopedia) (Jerusalem).  He also wrote under such pen names as: Sh.-F and Eḥad Harabanim.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Sh. N. Gotlib, Anshe shem (Great men) (Pinsk, 1912), p. 162; Biblyografishe yorbikher fun yivo (Bibliographic yearbooks from YIVO) (Warsaw, 1928), see index; Sefer haishim (Biographical dictionary) (Jerusalem, 1941); M. Ginzburg, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 25, 1957); A. B. Yidur, in Panim el panim (Jerusalem) (Iyar 14 [= April 22], 1959).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[1] Translator’s note. The text being translated gives “December 1882” as Zevin’s birth date, but most other sources give 1888.

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