MORTKHE-MANE KES (KHES, KAS)
He hailed from Bialystok, Russian Poland. He was known as a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a man knowledgeable of foreign languages. He was for a time a teacher in Bialystok and other cities, where he also appeared as an entertainer at weddings. He was the author of: Der donershtog, mit nokh dray herlikhe lider (Thursday, with three additional, splendid songs): “The old father with the children; The samovar; and The travel bag—to be sung with fine melodies” (Vilna, 1873), 28 pp.; Kol simkhe, eyn shtim fun freyd, dray naye lider (The voice of joy, three new songs): “A. A Galician wedding entertainer with his Hassidic son-in-law; B. From a woman in childbirth; C. From the watchman (Vilna, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1881), 64 pp.; Kol zimra, finf naye lider (The voice of song, fine new songs): A. The song of destitute business; B. The song of a bridegroom’s father; C. The song of a bridegroom’s mother; D. The song of a bride’s father; E. The song of a bride’s mother (Vilna, 1873), 32 pp.; Kol shir, fir naye lider (Voice of poetry, four new songs): A. The poor arrogant man; B. The bun [hairstyle]; C. The false world; D. The will (Vilna, 1871), 32 pp.; Sifte renanim, finf naye lider (Words of songs, fine new songs): A. The great-great-grandfather; B. Telegraph; C. The bride and matchmaker; D. The cheapskate and the generous man; E. Livelihood on wind (Vilna, 1874) 32 pp. On a number of the author’s booklets, his name is given as: Mortkhe Badkhn (Mordkhe the wedding entertainer) and M-K Badkhn from Bialystok. Further biographical information remains unknown.
Sources: Y. Zizmar, in Pinkes far der geshikhte fun vilne in di yorn fun milkhome un okupatsye (Records for the history of Vilna in the years of war and occupation), edited by Zalmen Reyzen (Vilna, 1922), p. 875; A. Yaari, in Kriyat sefer (Jerusalem) (Kislev [= December] 1959), p. 115.
Khayim Leyb Fuks