Thursday 9 November 2017


(YANKEV-)DOVID MALKI (July 19, 1899-1986)
            The pen name of Yankev Vaynzaft, he was born in Lodz, Poland.  He studied with his father, Rabbi Pinkhesl, in the Aleksander Hassidic synagogue and with private teachers and tutors.  At age eighteen he received ordination into the rabbinate, but to become a rabbi in a city, he had to complete a general education.  He studied, 1922-1923, at the rabbinical seminary in Frankfurt.  In the 1930s he lived for a time in Berlin and Paris, where he worked as a house painter.  He then returned to Poland, and until WWII he served as secretary to Rabbi Simkhe Treystman in Lodz.  When the Germans invaded Lodz in 1939, he fled to the Soviet-occupied zone.  He was placed in Soviet camps.  In 1943, at the time of the activities of the “Association of Polish Patriots” in Russia, he was the representative of religious Jews in the refugee committee in Moscow.  He returned to Lodz in late 1945.  He was involved for a time with the central committee of the Lodz “Committee of Jews in Poland.”  In the summer of 1946 he left Lodz, lived in Germany, from 1952 in Paris, and from 1957 in the state of Israel—before returning to Poland.  He would later settle in Paris.  He began his literary work in 1925 with an essay on the book of Amos in Dos naye lebn (The new life) in Lodz; later, he wrote for Kiem (Existence) and Unzer vort (Our word) in Paris.  He lectured on Talmudic literature at the folk university run by the Jewish Federation in Poland.  He was the author of Der talmud un zayne perzenlekhkeytn (The Talmud and its personalities), in four parts: vol. 1, “From Hillel and Shammai to Rabbi Akiva” (Paris, 1964), 248 pp., with drawings by Yankev Markel; vol. 2, Ḥakhme yavne (The sages of Yavneh) (Paris, 1978), 272 pp.; vol. 3, Fun der mishne tsum talmud (From the Mishnah to the Talmud) (Paris, 1983), 255 pp.  He also published under such pseudonyms as: Yankev V., Y. Vaynzaft, Y. Malḥi, and Y. Malkhi.  He died in Paris.

Sources: “idem” (Avrom Shulman), in Unzer shtime (Paris) (May 15, 1962); L. Domankyevitsh, in Unzer vort (Paris) (January 4, 1964).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 377.]

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