Wednesday 27 June 2018


LEYZER PODRYATSHIK (ELIEZER PODRIACHIK) (September 23, 1914-April 10, 2000)

            He was a literary scholar, born in the village of Komerov, near Sekuren (Sokyryany), Bessarabia (now, Ukraine). He studied in religious elementary schools and yeshivas. He graduated from the Hebrew teachers’ seminary in Czernowitz. In the early 1930s he worked in a colony for school children together with Leyzer Shteynbarg; he was later a teacher in Jewish schools in Romania. His first works were articles and scholarly research pieces, published in Tshernovitser bleter (Czernowitz sheets)—among them, “Der historiker un folklorist fun di romenishe yidn” (The historian and folklorist among Romanian Jewry) about Moyshe Shvartsman; “Shoyel Ginzburg un di historyografye fun di yidn in rusland” (Saul Ginzburg and the historiography of Jews in Russia); and “Literatur un geshikhte” (Literature and history); as well as poems and critical treatments—and other serials. Over the war years 1941-1944, he lived as a refugee in Soviet Central Asia. Later, for a time he worked as pedagogical director in the Moscow Yiddish Theater Studio, where he gave lectures for students on the Yiddish language and Yiddish literature. He also wrote on literature for the newspaper Eynikeyt (Unity) in Moscow. From 1951 he was living in Riga, Latvia. He was regular contributor to Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland), from when it commenced publication in 1961, in which he had charge of the sections, “Notitsn afn kalendar” (Notes on the calendar) and “Notitsn fun a yidishn bukonist” (Notes from a Jewish second-hand bookseller) concerned with writers and works. From 1965 he published longer essays on the history of Yiddish literature and language. He also penned a preface and prepared to have published Der Nister’s unpublished manuscript Fun finftn yor (From the year 1905); the preface appeared in Sovetish heymland (January-February 1964); in Sovetish heymland 8 (1965), he published an important work entitled: “Tsu der frage vegn der geshikhte fun der yidisher literatur” (On a question concerning the history of Yiddish literature). In 1971 made aliya to the state of Israel, and from 1972 he was a lecturer on Yiddish literature at Tel Aviv University. He placed a major piece of scholarship on the writings of Yehuda-Leyb Gamzu in Pinkes far der forshung fun der yidisher literatur un prese (Records of research on Yiddish literature and the press) (New York, 1974) and annotations with bio-bibliographic lists to Gamzu’s Yetsirot genuzot (Concealed writings) (Tel Aviv, 1977). His books would include: Itsik manger, der dikhter vos iz dergangen fun gro biz blo (Itsik Manger, the poet who went from gray to blue) (Ramat-Gan: Biblus, 1977), 23 pp.; In profil fun tsaytn (In profile of the times) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1978), 354 pp.; Shmuesn mit andere un mit zikh, zikhroynes un rayoynes (Chats with others and with myself, memoirs and thoughts) (Tel Aviv: H. Leivick Publ., 1984), 247 pp.; Bilder fun der yidisher literatur (Images from Yiddish literature) (Tel Aviv: H. Leivick Publ., 1987), 121 pp.; Lid un tfile (Poem and prayer) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1989), 182 pp. He received the Manger Prize for 1984; and he was a member of the jury for the Hofshteyn Prize, and a recipient of it in 1989. Among his pen names: L. Dinesman, L. Yitskhaki, A. Basarabyer, A. Tshernovitser, A. Yisroel, A. Sekurener, A. Poda, Leyzer Nekhes, and Der Bukinist.

Sources: Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 44 (1962), p. 208; Y. Burg, in Folks-shtime (Warsaw) (October 6, 1964); B. Ts. Goldberg, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (October 30, 1964); Elye (Elias) Shulman, in Tsukunft (New York) (January 1965), pp. 34-46; Y. Radinov, in Morgn-frayhayt (New York) (April 5, 1965); F. Lerner, in Di prese (Buenos Aires) (October 15, 1965).
Benyomen Elis

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), cols. 422-23; and Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), p. 276.]

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