Sunday 9 October 2016


            The son of the writer Meyer Toybenhoyz, he was born in Tsfat (Safed), Israel.  He studied in religious primary school and yeshiva.  He also received a secular education.  In 1918 he moved with his parents to Haifa, where he became involved in community activities and was a representative for Mizrachi in Vaad Hapoel (Zionist General Council).  He began his literary writing with poems and stories in Hebrew in the weekly Tesha baerev (Nine in the evening) in Haifa, and later he wrote in Yiddish as well.  From 1948 he contributed poems, literary essays, and articles to: Der amerikaner (The American) and Nyu yorker vokhnblat (New York weekly newspaper) in New York; Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), Der shpigl (The mirror), Argentiner magazin (Argentinian magazine), and Shriftn (Writings)—in Buenos Aires; Keneder odler (Canadian eagle) in Montreal; Idisher zhurnal (Jewish journal) and Keneder nayes (Canadian news) in Toronto; Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people) and Di idishe velt (The Jewish world) in Cleveland; Unzer haynt (Our today) in Tel Aviv; Unzer velt (Our world) in Paris; Der moment (The moment) and Folksblat (People’s newspaper) in Montevideo; Loshn un lebn (Language and life) and Shaare tsiyon (Gates of Zion) in London; Literarishe heftn (Literary notebooks) in Los Angeles; Afrikaner idishe tsaytung (African Jewish newspaper) in Johannesburg; and other serials.  In Hebrew: Talpiyot (Fortresses) in New York; Davar (Word), Davar hashavua (Word of the week), Hatsofe (The spectator), Nerot shabat (Sabbath candles), Haposek (The decider), Or hameor (Light of the awakening), Had hamizra (Echo from the East), Shaarim (Gates), Tesha baerev; and in the youth publications: Hatsofe leyeladim (The spectator for children), Shaarim lenoar (Gates for youth), Maḥbarot (Notebooks), and others—all in Israel.  In book form: Lehorim (For parents), essays and thoughts (Tel Aviv, 1949), 95 pp., three printings; Rashi, ḥayav ufoelo (Rashi, his life and work) (Tel Aviv, 1955), 106 pp.; Harambam, rabenu moshe ben maimon, ḥayav ufoelo (The Rambam, Rabbi Moses ben Maimon [Maimonides], his life and work) (Tel Aviv, 1956), 119 pp.; Geone yisrael, rishonim veaḥaronim (The sages of Israel, the early and later ones) (Tel Aviv, 1958), 111 pp.  In his work Benetiv hayaḥid, ḥaye ḥolem veloḥem beir hamekubalim (One man’s path, dreamer and fighter in a city of Kabbalists) (Haifa, 1959), 405 pp., he described, with the background of his father’s home in Tsfat, Jewish life in Israel from the first Ḥoveve-tsiyon (lovers of Zion, early Zionists) until recent years.  He edited the anthology Bet hilel (The school of Hillel) (Tel Aviv, 1951).  From 1952 he was a regular contributor to the Hebrew-language popular encyclopedia, Yizrel (Jezreel).  There is a listing of Toybenhoyz’s writings in Al mizbeaḥ hamada (On the altar of science) (Haifa: Metsuda, 1964), 670 items in all.  He also wrote under such pen names as: A. Yanai, A. Yona, A. Pen, A. Ben Meir, and Ben-Hamabit.  He died in Haifa.

Sources: D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the founders and builders of Israel), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv, 1947), p. 425, vol. 5, pp. 2295-96; Dr. M. Shvartsman, in Keneder odler (Montreal) (August 27, 1956); Dr. A. H. Vays, in Keneder odler (September 30, 1956); Dr. A. Tsidoni, in Keneder odler (July 11, 1957); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958), p. 477; D. Perski, in Hadoar (New York) (Adar A 19 [= February 27], 1959); Dr. H. Shimoni, in Der amerikaner (New York) (April 10, 1959); Shimoni, in Perakim (Haifa) (Kislev [= November-December] 1958); D. Zakai, in Hatsofe (Tel Aviv) (April 24, 1959); R. Rimon, in Hapoel hatseir (Tel Aviv) (Tamuz 5 [= July 11], 1959); M. Gotfrid, in Keneder odler (August 23, 1960); G. Shtutsiner, in Keneder odler (September 15, 1960); information from Rabbi Dr. Meyer Shvartsman in Winnipeg.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 279.]

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