Sunday 19 February 2017


SHLOYME LEVADI (February 2, 1898-March 21, 1973)
            He was born Shloyme Sheynberg (Solomon Schoenberg) in Slonim, Byelorussia, into a rabbinical family.  He studied in the Martsh yeshiva, later continuing his education in Israel.  Over the years 1916-1919, he served in the Turkish army.  He was twice wounded, captured by the British in the Battles of Gaza, and awarded war medals.  He was socially active as well, especially in “Habima Haketana” (Little Habima) in Jerusalem.  In 1921 he arrived in the United States.  He graduated from dental school in Chicago and practiced from 1926 in Chicago.  His literary activities began in Hebrew as well as in Yiddish.  In 1916 he wrote for Hashaḥarut (The prime of life) in Jerusalem, Hatoran (The duty officer) and Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York, and Ineynem (Altogether) in Chicago; among others.  In book form, he published the trilogy Shveln (Thresholds), an autobiographical work in novel form (Chicago, 1948): vol. 1, 250 pp., vol. 2, 306 pp., vol. 3, 306 pp.  He designed the title page himself and decorated the opening chapters.  In the third volume there is a glossary of Hebrew, Arabic, and Turkish words that the author used in the trilogy.  In the YIVO archives in New York, there is a manuscript by Levadi entitled Glyendike koyln (Glowing coals), “the utterly ordinary conversation and perspicacious ideas of Rabbi Ayzele Kharif.”[1]  He died in Chicago.

Sources: Dr. A. Mukdoni, in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 17, 1949); Y. A. Rontsh, in Yidish amerike (New York) (April-May 1949); A. Gordin, in Fraye arbeter-shtime (New York) (January 19, 1952); Biographical Encyclopedia of American Jews (1935); Who’s Who in American Jewry, vol. 3 (New York, 1938-1939); J. S. (Dr. J. Schatzky), in In Jewish Bookland (New York) (November-December 1949).
Zaynvl Diamant

[1] Translator note.  He would seem to be the same fellow, though this is oddly missing from his entry here, who translated the following works into Yiddish: Franz Werfel, Di fertsig teg fun musa dag (The forty days of Musa Dagh [original: Vierzig Tage des Musa Dagh] (Warsaw, 1938-1939), 637 pp.; André Malraux, Der goyrl fun mentsh (Man’s fate [original: La Condition humaine]) (Warsaw, 1935), 478 pp.; Leo Tolstoy, Milkhome un sholem (War and peace [original: Voina i mir] (Warsaw, 1927); Edmondo de Amicis, Dos harts (The heart [original: Cuore]) (Warsaw, 1927); Fedor Vasilievich Gladkov, Naye erd (New earth [original: Novaia zemlya]) (Warsaw, 1935); Boris Pil’niak, Di volge falt arayn in kaspishn yam (The Volga empties into the Kaspian Sea [original: Vilga vpadaet v kaspiiskoe more]) (Warsaw, 1935); Leo Tolstoy, Ana karenina (Anna Karenina) (Vilna, 1929); Mikhail Sholokhov, Der shtiler don (The quiet Don [Tikhii Don] (Warsaw, 1936).  It hardly seems possible that one person could have translated fiction of this quantity and quality in little more than a decade, but such emerges from WorldCat. (JAF)

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