Monday 20 February 2017


            He was born in Turets, Minsk district, Byelorussia.  While still a child, he demonstrated rare talents; at age five he could understand the Talmud, and later he studied in the Volozhin Yeshiva.  He was later a wandering cantor, before moving to Italy and at age nineteen graduating from the conservatory in Milan with a gold medal.  For a certain amount of time he lived in Galicia, served as secretary for the organization “Ahavat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion), and was a regular contributor to Hamagid (The preacher) in Lik.  At age thirty he became a professor of singing at the Crown Conservatory in Budapest, but a half-year later he was compelled to leave because of his Judaism, and he then became director of the main synagogue in Vienna.  He contributed (under a pen name) to Hebrew, Yiddish, and German periodicals.  He wrote stories, feature pieces, and a novel Haḥet (The sin) in Hashiloa (The shiloah).  The years just prior to WWI, he corresponded for Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  His pamphlet Vos iz tsienizm? (What is Zionism?) was published in London.  After the outbreak of war in 1914, he turned to business, embarked on an assortment of speculations, lost his possessions, and committed suicide.  He was the brother-in-law of Reuven Brainin.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.
Benyomen Elis

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