Monday 22 October 2018


ZIGMUNT (ASHER-ZELIG) FAYNMAN (April 28, 1862-July 1, 1919)
            He was born in Intshest (Inceşti), near Kishinev, Bessarabia.  He studied traditional Jewish subject matter and graduated from the fourth level of high school.  He was a singer and chorister in school.  When Avrom Goldfaden and his troupe came to Kishinev, Faynman worked as a chorister for him.  In 1883 he moved to Romania where assembled his own troupe.  In 1889 he emigrated to the New York.  He acted in Yiddish theater throughout the world and also wrote plays.  He died on the stage in Lodz, while rehearsing Uriel akosta (Uriel Acosta).  Gorin wrote for Faynman a series of theatrical works: Der yidisher soldat (The Jewish soldier) (1889); Dos royte mentshele (The little red man) (1889); Di froy oder tsvey khasenes af lehakhes (The wife or two marriages in spite) (1890); Der get (The divorce) (1890); Gelt (Money) (1891); Der foters klole (The father’s curse) (1891); Der giber hakhayil oder der pintsesns neyder (The warrior or the princess’s vow) (1896); Tsirele dem rebins, oder a sheynheyt fun kroke (Tsirele the rabbi’s [daughter], or the beauty of Cracow) (1897); Der yudishe vitsekenig, oder a nakht in gan-eydn (The Jewish vice-king, or a night in the Garden of Eden), a historical opera (1898); Di kleynshtetldike aristokratn (The small town aristocrats) (1898); Di gastkinder (The guest children) (1898); Di yudn in moroko (The Jews of Morocco) (1899); Der shtumer oder lebedik bagrobn (The mute or buried alive) (1899); Numer 587, oder mame sore (Number 587 or Mother Sarah) (1902); Di nakhtigal fun yerusholaim (The nightingale from Jerusalem), historical operetta (1902); Dos tsebrokhene lebn (The broken life) (1904); and Der yud in sobyeskis tsaytn (The Jew in [King] Sobieski’s time) (1904).  In Ḥakhme yisrael beamerika (Wise men of Israel in America), the following are also noted: Khanele di finisherin (Khanele the [garment] finisher); Shifrele (Little Shifre); Di froy, geld oder tremp (The wife, gold or tramp); and a translation of Schiller’s Di royber (The robbers [original: Räuber]).  In book form: Shabes koydesh, oder khaye shmaye (The holy Sabbath or Khaye Shmaye), historical operetta in four acts (Warsaw, 1908), 54 pp.; Khanele di neherin, lebnbild in fir aktn (Khanele the tailor, an image of life in four acts) (Przemyśl, 1909), 67 pp.; Azarye giber khayil, der topfere held (Azaria the warrior, the greatest hero), historical operetta in four acts (Lemberg, 1909), 52 pp.; and Der vitse kenig, operete in fir aktn (The vice-king, an operetta in four acts) (Lemberg, 1909), 60 pp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 4 (New York, 1963), pp. 2544-60.
Yankev Kahan

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