NOKHUM YUD (YOOD) (August 1, 1888-February 19, 1966)
The pen name of Nokhum Yerusalimtshik, he was born in Bober, Mogilev district, Byelorussia. Until age fourteen he studied in religious primary school, while also studying secular subject matter with private tutors. As an external student later, he went through the middle school course of study. He began writing poetry in Russian, and later, in Warsaw, switched to Yiddish. His first Yiddish poems appeared in the collected Nisn (Nissan) (Warsaw, 1913) and in the Warsaw-based Haynt (Today) and Fraynd (Friend). In 1916 he arrived in the United States. He published poems and stories, although he was best known for his poetry and fables which he published in: Tsukunft (Future), Der fraynd (The friend), Der kundes (The prankster), Der groyser kundes (The great prankster), Shriftn (Writings), Tog (Day), Oyfboy (Construction), Minikes yontef bleter (Minikes’s holiday sheets), and Kinder-tsaytung (Children’s newspaper), among others. His fables were reissued in literary publications everywhere in the Jewish world and were included in Jewish schoolbooks and readers. He published in book form: Fablen (Fables) (New York, 1918), 32 pp.; Fablen, in the series “For you and for your children” (New York: Idish, 1919); A mayse vegn a fisher un a fishele (A tale about a fisherman and a little fish), from Pushkin, in the same series as above (New York: Idish, 1920), 22 pp.; Lider (Poems), “published by the author with the assistance of the Y. L. Perets Writers’ Association” (New York, 1924), 225 pp.; Fablen (New York, 1924), 173 pp., with drawings by A. Abramovitsh, Z. Maod, Y. Kotler, and M. Shuer; a special edition of his Fablen was published by the Workmen’s Circle (New York, 1924); Likhtike minutn (Brightened minutes) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1932), 159 pp., with drawings and woodcuts by Note Kozlovski; Der feter elye (Uncle Elye) (Montreal: Yidishe shul, 1946), 6 illustrated pp.; Gebentshte sho, lider (Blessed hour, poetry) (New York, 1973), 720 pp., a collection of virtually all of his poems published in the Yiddish press. He translated from Russian A. Kuprin’s novel Duel (Duel [original: Poedinok]) (New York: Idish, 1919), 304 pp. He was an internal contributor to Forverts (Forward), in which he placed a poem or fable each week in the Sunday issue. On his sixtieth, sixty-fifth, and seventieth birthday, appreciations of his work appeared in the Hebrew and Yiddish press. He died in New York. Nokhum Yud “belongs to the most gusto-filled poets of the older generation. He is always straightforward with his poetic word and strives never to surprise anyone with the unintelligible or arcane, and thus it is always a joy to read his frank poems and intelligent fables which he publishes week after week his Forverts corner. Without exaggeration: a poet with a distinguished length of service in Yiddish literature, roughly half a century”—from the editorial board’s “Literary notice” in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter). He work was also represented in Mordkhe Yofe’s anthology Erets-yisroel in der yidisher literatur (The land of Israel in Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv, 1961).
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1 (under the name “Yerusalimtshik, Nokhum”); Shmuel Niger, in Der fraynd (New York) (February 1921); M. Kats, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (May 25, 1924); P. Vyernik, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (January 10, 1932); Avrom Reyzen, in Undzer shul (New York) (January 1932); N. Mayzil, Amerike in yidishn vort (America in Yiddish), anthology (New York, 1955), p. 473; B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 29, 1955); L. Fogelman, in Forverts (New York) (October 30, 1955; April 12, 1959); Dr. B. Grobard, in Tsukunft (New York) (November 1955); Sh. Meltser, ed., Al naharot (By the rivers) (Jerusalem, 1956), p. 432; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idishe kemfer (New York) (February 21, 1958); Veker (New York) (February 1, 1959).
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 299.]