YITSKHOK HALEVI LEVINSKI (ca. 1825-1900)
He was born in Poland. He gained a name as a great Talmudist and connoisseur of Russian and German literature. He was a Hebrew teacher in the homes of the wealthy in St. Petersburg. As a friend of the poor and oppressed, he would give away the majority of his earnings to poor students and often lived in great want himself. Concerning Israel, in the main about education, he published articles in Hamagid (The preacher). He was said to have written a polemical pamphlet against Alexander Tsederboym—entitled A vohr vort vegn redaktor fun hameylits un zayne korespondenten (A genuine word on the editor of Hamelits and its correspondents). In the 1890s he engaged in a polemic with the young Nokhum Sokolov in his book Di kolonistn (The colonists), a novel. He campaigned against assimilation and for the land of Israel. He was an opponent of modern Yiddish and Hebrew literature. As an older man, he left St. Petersburg. En route to Poland, he fell ill and died in Vilna. He left his estate of 500 rubles to causes in the land of Israel. His books include: Di ershte libe (The first love) (Warsaw, 1881; Warsaw, 1904), 69 pp.; Di kolonistn (Warsaw, 1899), 104 pp.; Di umbakante farlibte (The unknown beloved), a novel (Warsaw, 1901), 158 pp.; Der apikoyres (The heretic) (Warsaw, 1904).
Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 350.]