Thursday 9 November 2017


            His biographical details remain unknown.  We know only that he came from Uman, Ukraine, and was a teacher of Talmud there.  He was the author of an auxiliary text for modern Talmud teachers, entitled Sefer shevile hamelamdim (The pathways for teachers) (Warsaw: Lebenson, 1865), 80 pp., second edition (Warsaw, 1896).  The text was an explanation of the Talmud in Yiddish—or, as the author called it, “habitual Ashkenaz-Hebrew.”  It was written in the form of a dialogue between a rabbi and his pupil, and thus was explained the words and expressions of the Talmud, which appear in the twenty lessons drawn from tractate Bava Metzia (The middle gate)—and a portion of the thirty-five other lessons from tractates Bava Kama (The first gate), Ketubot (Marriage contracts), Kidushin (Betrothal), and Gittin (Divorce documents) which the author, according to his preface, had prepared for publication.  His Yiddish is folksy and valiant, and it was used, as we see in Dr. Yitskhok Rivkind’s book Yidishe gelt (Jewish money), as well as in the research that went into Groyser verterbukh fun der yidisher shprakh (Great dictionary of the Yiddish language).  Also in the book is a commentary “Toelet hamelamdim” (Aid to teachers), comprised of annotations to the work.

Sources: A. Nyuman, in Yivo-bleter (New York) 31-32 (1948), pp. 380-88; Yekhiel Shtern, in Yivo-bleter 31-32 (1948), p. 44; Y. Rivkind, Yidishe gelt (Jewish money) (New York, 1960), see index; Groyser verterbukh fun der yidisher shprakh (Great dictionary of the Yiddish language), vol. 1 (New York, 1961); Bet eked sefarim.
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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