Monday 19 December 2016


HERSH EYVIN (YEHOSHUA HESCHEL YEIVIN) (May 10, 1891-April 13, 1970)
            He was born in Vinitse (Vinnytsa), Podolia.  When he was two years old, his mother died, and he was raised by his relatives in Mezritsh (Międzyrzecz), Poland.  At age sixteen, he moved to Vilna, where he graduated from Kahan’s high school.  He later studied medicine in Moscow, and during WWI he was a military doctor in the Russian army.  From 1919 he was back in Vilna, where he worked as a teacher and school doctor in Hebrew and Yiddish schools.  In 1924 he settled in the land of Israel.  His literary work began with the story “Ferloren” (Lost) in the anthology Knaspen (Buds) (Vilna, 1911).  He later published poems, stories, and articles in: Idishe tsaytung (Jewish newspaper), organ of the Vilna Zionist organization (1919), Unzer frayhayt (Our freedom) (1919), and Vayter bukh (Volume for Vayter)—all in Vilna; Ilustrirte velt (Illustrated world) (1919) in Warsaw; Unzer bavegung (Our movement), a Labor Zionist periodical (1922), in Berlin; and Dorem afrike (South Africa) in Johannesburg; among others.  He also penned the preface to Khaykil Lunski’s book, Fun vilner geto (From the Vilna ghetto) (Vilna, 1920).  He contributed as well to Hatekufa (The epoch) with a series of fictional works and aesthetic-philosophical essays; and for Shtibel Publishers (Warsaw) he translated Romain Rolland’s ten-volume Jean Christophe as Yan Kristof (1921-1930).  He was also the author of such Hebrew books as: Uri tsvi grinberg, meshorer meḥokek (Uri Zvi Greenberg, poet-lawmaker) (Tel Aviv, 1937/1938), 96 pp.; Yerushalayim meḥaka (Tel Aviv, 1938/1939), 86 pp.  He translated into Hebrew: Sholem Ash, Kidush hashem (Sanctification of the name [original: Kidesh hashem]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1926), 114 pp.; Motke ganav (Motke the thief [original: Motke ganef]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1929), 215 pp.; Khayim lederers tsurikkumen (The return of Chaim Lederer); Hamakhshefa mikastilya (The witch of Castile [original: Di kishefmakherin fun kastilyen]) (Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1960), 127 pp.  He died in Jerusalem.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1; Vilna anthology, edited by Y. Yeshurin (New York, 1935), p. 740; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature) (Merḥavya, 1967), vol. 2.

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 303.]

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