NAFTOLE-SHRAGE FAYGENZON (ca. 1800-ca.1886)
He was born in Nidoki (Lyduokiai), Vilkomir (Ukmergė) district, Lithuania. Until age twenty he studied in yeshivas, later becoming a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment. He graduated from a Russian high school as an external student in Vilna and for a time was a teacher of Russian in religious elementary schools. He was the author of an assortment of textbooks in Judeo-German and Hebrew for teaching Russian, such as: Oytser loshn rusya (Treasury of the Russian language), “translated into the Hebrew language and the language of Ashkenaz and Judeo-German,” with a Russian dictionary including 7,000 words (Vilna, 1874), 126 pp. and a preface of 18 pp.; Der kinder lerer fir di rusishe shprakhe (The children’s teacher for the Russian language), with a short Russian-Yiddish dictionary and a number of fables taken from Krylov (Vilna, 1877), 100 pp. He was also the author of letter-writing manuals, among them: Mikhtav meshulash (Triple letter), in three languages (Russian, Hebrew, and Judeo-German) (Vilna, 1873), 186 pp., adapted from Katav yosher (Honest writing) and M. Nayman’s letter-writing manuals. Well-known among his textbooks for learning Hebrew: Dikduk lashon ever bederekh ketsara (Hebrew grammar in short order), in Judeo-German (Vilna, 1874), 136 pp. He contributed work to Hamagid (The preacher) in Lik, Hamelits (The advocate) in Odessa, and Hatsfira (The siren) in Warsaw, in which he published articles on education and translations from Russian literature under the pen names Nash and Neshef. Due to an error in the bibliography in Fridberg’s Bet eked sefarim (Library), he was confused with Sh. Sh. F. (Shafan the Scribe, 1838-1922), whose uncles was Natole-Shrage Faygenzon.
Sources: Dr. A. Freyman, in Hebraesche Bibliographie (Frankfurt, 1918), p. 38; Sh. Bastomski, in Di naye shul (Warsaw) 1 (1923), p. 50; A. R. Malachi, Otsar haleksikografiya haivrit (Treasury of Hebrew lexicography) (New York, 1955), p. 24; D. H., in Hasefer (Jerusalem) (1964/1965), pp. 50-51.
Khayim Leyb Fuks