Monday 19 November 2018


RUVN FELDSHUH (February 28, 1900-September 1, 1980)
            Well-known by his Hebraized surname of Ben-Shem, he was born in Buczacz, eastern Galicia.  He was a descendant in the line of Komarno rebbes.  He studied in religious elementary school, yeshiva, and middle school, received a bachelor’s degree as an external student, and received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1913 he was one of the first member of Hashomer Hatsair (The young guard).  He was a refugee in Vienna during the years of WWI.  In 1919 he made aliya to the land of Israel as part of the third aliya, was a pioneer, worked on the land, and served as a guard.  In 1920 he was selected to be a delegate to the first “Asupat hanivḥarim” (parliamentary representation of the Yishuv).  With the death of his father (murdered by a Ukrainian soldier), Feldshuh returned to Europe, studied psychology in Vienna, received his doctoral degree, and graduated from rabbinical seminary there.  He settled in Warsaw and worked as a teacher in a series of high schools and seminaries.  At that time he founded “Hashomer haleumi” (The national guard), and at the end of the 1920s, he joined the Revisionist-Zionist organization.  After it split in 1933, he switched to the Yidnshtot (Jewish city) Party, and he served as its chairman.  He survived WWII in Warsaw.  In 1945 he made aliya once again to Israel.  Over the course of his Warsaw years, Feldshuh wrote a great deal in Yiddish.  He wrote for virtually the entire Yiddish press in Warsaw.  Together with M. Lipman, he edited the Revisionist monthly Der emes (The truth), and later he brought out a number of publications of the Yidnshtot Party.  In book form: Erets-yisroeldike nekht (Nights in the land of Israel) (1925); Royte neshomes (Red souls), 2 vols.; Poyln brent (Poland burning) (Buenos Aires: Association of Polish Jews, 1960), 364 pp., Hebrew edition as Ben ḥomot hageto (Between the walls of the ghetto) (Tel Aviv, 1947), 132 pp.; Komediya bamidbar (Comedy in the desert) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1972), 327 pp.  He edited in Yiddish: Yidisher gezelshaftlekher leksikon (Jewish communal handbook) (Warsaw, 1939), 926 pp.  He also authored a number of Hebrew books on psychology and other subjects.  His pseudonyms included: Rabash and R. Feld.  He died in Givat-Shmuel, Israel.

Sources: Ts. Kaspa, in Haboker (Tel Aviv) (Sivan 29 [= June 24], 1960); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah lealutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol.11 (Tel Aviv, 1961), pp. 3821-22.
Yekhiel Hirshhoyt

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 449.]

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