Friday 28 April 2017


            The younger brother of Shiye-Mortkhe Lifshits, he completed rabbinical training in Zhitomir and took up teaching.  He was close to the Socialist-Revolutionary circles.  Arrested several times, he led a struggle against the anti-democratic conduct of the “philistine rule” (a form of self-management in Tsarist Russia) in Berdichev, and in general he displayed a temperament of a community leader, though he did not have the appropriate surroundings or favorable circumstances.  Probably under the influence and perhaps also with the assistance of his older brother, he published Di risishe gramatike oyf yudesh (Russian grammar in Yiddish) (Zhitomir: Y. M. Baksht, 1875), 58 pp., written in a pure language, with an interesting, occasionally quite successful, terminology and a well thought out orthography, according to his brother’s system.  He also left in manuscript a dictionary entitled Erklerung af yudesh fun di fremde verter vos vern banitst in der russishe shprakhe aroysgigeben nokh mikhelzohn (Explanation in Yiddish of the foreign words used in the Russian language published by Mikhelzohn), located in the Strashun Library in Vilna, mentioned by Zalmen Reyzen.  In his late years, he was thought to have supported assimilation.  He died before WWI in Kiev.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2 (under the biography of Y. M. Lifshits).

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