HILLEL MALAKHOVSKI (MALACHOWSKY) (April 1, 1860-August 2, 1943)
He was born in Mush-Khadash (Novaya Mysh), Minsk district, Byelorussia. His father ran a tavern, was unable to hire a teacher for his son, and taught him himself. At age twelve Hillel entered yeshiva, and at fifteen he moved to a synagogue study chamber to study on his own. At age nineteen he was studying Talmud with children of his village and Russian on his own. At age twenty-two he became a teacher of Hebrew and Russian in southern Russia and Bessarabia. He became acquainted with Hebrew writers and himself set to write correspondence pieces from the provinces to Hamelits (The spectator) and to the Russian-language Voskhod (Sunrise). In 1884 he moved to London and the next year to the United States, settling in Pittsburgh where he worked as a peddler. He wrote on many occasions for: Hamelits, Hapisga (The summit), Haivri (The Jew), and Haleum (The people), as well as in the Yiddish press in the United States and Canada. He founded in Philadelphia the society “Ḥoveve sefat ever” (Lovers of the Hebrew language) and in Yiddish wrote about education and the land of Israel. In 1893 he published in Pittsburgh a Yiddish-language newspaper Di toyb (The dove), to which Morris Rosenfeld, D. Hermolin, and others contributed, as well as Yiddish writers from Russia, such as: his father-in-law and cousin Y. Y. Vaysberg, Sholem-Aleykhem, M. A. Shatskes, and Avrom Zinger. Due to a great crisis in the newspaper, though, in three months’ time it went under, and Malachowsky moved on to Philadelphia where he ran a shop selling sweets and writing implements, before turning completely to Hebrew teaching, in which he became a popular educator. He was the American agent for Aḥiasef, Tushiya (Wisdom), and Hashiloaḥ (The shiloah) publishing houses. In 1899 he edited Shtrahl (Beam [of light]). In 1902 he moved and settled in New York, where he was the administrator of a Talmud Torah. He wrote hundreds of articles on Hebrew education for: Di idishe velt (The Jewish world), Yidishes tageblat Jewish daily newspaper), Idishe herald (Jewish herald), and Morgn-zhurnal (Morning journal), among others, as well as for Der yud (The Jew) in Cracow under the editorship of Y. Kh. Ravnitski and Dr. Y. Lurye. He also wrote under the pen names: Mikhl Katava, Dr. Volkson, Der Amerikaner Khakren Melokhi, Eḥad min Haserafim, and Hamalakh Mikhl. He published such textbooks and readers as: Hahatḥala, reshit limude sefat ever (The beginning, the start of instruction in the Hebrew language) (New York, n.d.), 96 pp.; Rishon leḥinukh (The start of education) (New York, 1917); Hanisayon harishon (The first attempt) (New York, 1908), 96 pp.; and Sipure haḥumash (Stories from the Bible) (New York, 1908), 80 pp.—these were very popular. For the anthology Amerikaner redner (American speaker), he wrote of fifty sermons for all occasions, especially bar mitzvahs. He also contributed work to: Hatsfira (The siren), Kneset hagedola (The great assembly), Gan peraḥim (Flower garden), Peraḥim veshoshanim (Flowers and lilies), Haḥayim vehateva (Life and nature), Leshonenu (Our language), and Haolam (The world); and in America: Haivri, Haleum, Hayom (Today), Teḥiya (Revival), Hadoar (The mail), Hayehudi (The Jew), and Rama (Standard), among others. In book form: Di idishe oytsres, di toyre un der talmud, erklerṭ in tsvey artiklen fir dem yungen idishen element in amerike (Jewish treasures, the Torah and the Talmud, explained in two articles for the young Jewish element in America) (Philadelphia, 1899/1900), 27 pp. He prepared a Yiddish translation of: Moshe-Leib Lilienblum’s Finf momentn in moyshes lebn (Five moments in Moses’ life [original: Piatʹ momentov iz zhizni Moiseia (Warsaw, 1900)]) (New York: Reznik un Kaplan, 1909), 52 pp.; Maks nordoys drames (Max Nordau’s dramas)—“Dr. Kahn,” “Dos rekht tsu lieben” (The right to love), and “Di keytn fun shikzal” (The chains of destiny)—(New York: Reznik un Kaplan, 1908), 31 pp. In Hebrew in book form: Ketavim besefer (Writings in a book) (Philadelphia, 1901/1902), 98 pp.; Moshe vehaneviim (Moses and the prophets); Zikhronot besefer (Memoirs in a book); Al haḥinukh haivri beamerika (On Hebrew education in America) (Brooklyn, 1912), 16 pp.; and at the end of his life, Kitve hilel ben zeev malakhovski (The writings of Hillel, son of Zeev, Malachowsky) (New York: Shulzinger Bros., 1939/1940). He died in Brooklyn, New York.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Elye Shulman, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 4.4-5 (1932), pp. 419-31; “H. malakhovski” (biography), in Hadoar (New York) (August 13, 1943); D. Perski, in Hadoar (August 27, 1943); E. R. Malachi, in Hadoar (March 9, 1945); M. Ḥizkuni (Shtarkman), in Metsuda (London) 7 (1953/1954); Ḥizkuni, in Hadoar (May 23, 1947); Y. Tsuzmer, Beikve hador (In the footprints of a generation) (New York, 1957), p. 211; Ts. Sharfshteyn, Toldot haḥinukh beyisrael (History of education in Israel), vol. 3 (Jerusalem, 1961/1962).
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