LEYZER-DOVID FINKEL (December 17, 1862-April 13, 1918)
He was born in Makov (Maków), Lomzhe district, Poland. His grandfather was a rabbi. He was renowned as a child prodigy. In addition to an assortment of modern languages, he also knew Latin and Greek, and he even studied Japanese and Arabic. He also was involved with translating scientific articles, which he published in: Ḥavatselet (Daffodil), Hatsfira (The siren), and Hamelits (The advocate). He also translated into Hebrew a majority of Gustav Karpeles’s Toldot hasifrut haivrit (History of Jewish literature [original: Geschichte der jüdischen literatur]), Bremm’s Toldot baale-haḥaim (History of humanity), and volume 5 of Graetz’s history of the Jews. In book form: Mitsri shaul (Saul the Egyptian) (Warsaw, 1889), 91 pp.; Di kamelyen-dame (La Dame aux camélias) by Alexandre Dumas, “a play in five acts” (Warsaw, 1912), 67 pp. In 1904 he worked for Hatsfira and published fictional work in it until the newspaper closed down. With the founding of the Warsaw-based Haynt (Today), he contributed to it, primarily as a translator. He also translated into Yiddish works by Henri Bernstein, Émile Zola, Friedrich Schiller, and others. Many of his translations remained in manuscript. He excelled with an encyclopedic knowledge and frequently turned his attention to philological research.
Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; B. Kutsher, Geven amol varshe (As Warsaw once was) (Paris, 1955), see index.
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