Wednesday 1 November 2017


NAKHMEN MIFELEV (May 16, 1886-August 29, 1937)
            He was born in Skidel (Skidzieĺ), Grodno district, Russian Poland (now, Belarus), the son of a tailor.  He studied in the yeshivas of Grodno and Lomzhe, and later he studied on his own in a “kibbutz” in Voronove (Ukraine).  He went to be an external student in Minsk.  After the Revolution of 1905, he left for Cracow, where he was active for many years as a Hebrew teacher in the local Polish Hebrew high school.  From 1907 he published correspondence pieces, feature articles, images, and sketches in: Der yudisher arbayter (The Jewish worker) in Cracow; Haynt (Today), Dos leben (The life), Der fraynd (The friend), and Der velt-shpigel (The world mirror)—in Warsaw; Di yudishe morgn-post (The Jewish morning mail) in Vienna; Togblat (Daily newspaper) and Der morgen (The morning) in Lemberg; and Fraye arbeter-shtime (Free voice of labor) in New York.  He also placed work in Hebrew-language serials: Hamitspe (The watchtower), Hatsfira (The siren), Hayom (Today), Hakokhav (The star), and Baderekh (On the road), among others—in Warsaw.  He edited twelve issues of the Hebrew-language children’s magazine Hakore hakatan (The little reader).  In book form he published: Miyalkuti, sipurim liyeladim im tsiyurim (From my satchel, stories for children with paintings), a collection of children’s stories in Hebrew (Cracow, 1920), 61 pp.; Yikhes, ertseylung (Pedigree, a story) (Cracow: Bikhel, 1920), 65 pp.; Emek aseret hatemarim (Valley of the ten palm trees), a historical novel (Warsaw, 1930; Tel Aviv, 1961/1962), 248 pp.  His three-act play, Di yeshive (The yeshiva), was staged in 1921 at the Cracow Yiddish theater.  His story, “Hinter a vagon koyln” (Behind a coal car), won a prize in 1930.  He also left in manuscript a drama, “Shoyel in eyn dor” (Saul in Ein Dor), and a comedy, “On a knepl” (Without a button), which may be found in the Herman Archive in YIVO.  He died in Cracow.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 2; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 2 (New York, 1934); Yedies fun yivo (Vilna) 1-2 (71-72) (January-February 1938); Hadoar (New York) (October 15, 1937); K. Shteyn, in Der poylisher yid (New York) (1942); M. Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), p. 339; materials in the Gershon Bader Archive in New York.
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 374.]

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