Wednesday 6 September 2017


            He was born in Ustriki, eastern Galicia, where his father, a grandson of Rabbi Meir of Premishlan (Peremyshlyany), was rabbi.  He studied with his father and later with the rabbi of Sanok, from whom he received ordination into the rabbinate.  He assumed leading positions in “Tseire Agudat Yisrael” (Agudat Yisrael youth).  He was the founder of the Orthodox children’s organization “Pirḥe agudat yisrael” (Agudat Yisrael youth).  In 1932 he became the rabbi in Sokoliki, between Kosov (Kosow) and Kitev (Kuty).  From 1937 until his death, he was rabbi in Yavozhne (Jaworzno).  He was a well-known explicator, traveled about the Polish provinces, and conducted Hassidic conversations with his audiences.  He was a contributor to: Dos yudishe togblat (The Jewish daily newspaper), Ortodoksishe yugend-bleter (Orthodox youth sheets), Deglanu (Our banner), and Darkhenu (Our path)—in Warsaw; Beys yankev zhurnal (Beys Yankev journal) in Lodz; Dos vort (The word) and Vilne (Vilna), among other Orthodox publications, in which he published poetry, essays, and articles—mainly, though, Hassidic tales.  He was editor of the monthly Talpiyot (Fortresses) in Warsaw and of the magazine for youth, Menora (Menorah), in Lemberg.  When the Nazis occupied Jaworzno, he roamed through eastern Galicia, for a time living in the forests and villages, later in Koshitse (Koszyce) where he became severely ill and was bedridden in a hospital.  The Nazis shot him in his hospital bed.  His Hassidic tales—such as “In di trit fun besht” (In the footsteps of the Bal Shem Tov), “A nign fun zoyer” (A melody from the Zohar), “A moshl mit a nimshl” (A parable with an object), and others—are included in Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories) (New York, 1955), pp. 428-49, and a selection of his Hebrew-language stories may be found in the anthology Udim (Firebrands) (Jerusalem, 1960).

Sources: M. Prager, in Fun noentn over (New York) 2 (1956), pp. 532-33; M. Prager, Antologye fun religyeze lider un dertseylungen (Anthology of religious poems and stories) (New York, 1955), p. 428; Y. Fridenzon, in Ela ezkera (These I remember), vol. 2 (New York, 1957), pp. 118-22.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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