KHAYIM-ZUNDL MAKABI (1856-1918)
He was born in a village near Kobrin, Grodno district, Russia (at that time). Until age twelve, he studied in a religious elementary school, later (until age sixteen) in the yeshivas of Brisk (Brest) and Kamenits-Litovsk, and he received ordination into the rabbinate. He married at age sixteen, lived in Kamenits, and became a preacher there. Over the years 1879-1891, he traveled about Russia, Poland, Ukraine, and Lithuania, campaigning on behalf of “Ḥibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion) and the settlement in the land of Israel. He became well-known as the Kamenits Preacher. He founded the Zionist groups “Agudat Hatseirim” (Youth organization) in Grodno and Kovno. In 1885 he published in Vilna his sermon “Vegn tsien vel ikh nit shvaygn” (I shall not be silent about Zion), 16 pp. In 1893 he was accepted as the rabbi for the Oraḥ-Tsedaka (Pathway to charity) school in Whitechapel, London. He published articles in: Hamagid (The preacher), Hatsfira (The siren), Hamelits (The spectator), Hayom (Today), Y. Y. Tetshki’s weekly papers, and in Yiddish in Hatsofe (The spectator) in London (1894) and Der idisher observer (The Jewish observer) in London (1895). He was a vegetarian. He died in great poverty and solitude in London. A portion of his Yiddish-language sermons, essays, and articles, as well as his Torah novellae are included in his religious work Imre ḥaim (Words of life) (Tel Aviv, 1929), 232 pp., with an introduction by his friend M. Manski who translated Makabi’s Yiddish writings into Hebrew.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; B. Ts. Ayzenshtadt, Dor rabanav vesofrav (A generation of rabbis and authors) (Vilna, 1895), pp. 49-50; M. Manski, in Imre ḥaim (Words of life) (Tel Aviv, 1929), pp. 1-13; Yisroel Klausner, Geshikhte fun der yidisher kehile in vilne (History of the Jewish community of Vilna), p. 453; A. L. Hurvits, Pinkas ziḥronotai (Record of my memoirs) (Tel Aviv, 1957), p. 377.
Khayim Leyb Fuks