Tuesday 30 April 2019


ISER RABINOVITSH (b. December 15, 1895)
            He was born in Falesh (Fălești), Bessarabia [now, Moldova].  He published articles and reviews in Arbeter tsaytung (Workers’ newspaper) and Unzer tsayt (Our time) in Czernowitz, and in Erd un arbet (Land and labor), which he edited for a short time, in Kishinev.  He published: Funem zumer afn vinter (From the summer to the winter) (Kishinev, 1923?), 10 pp.  His pen names: Avir and A. R.
Berl Cohen


ARN-VOLF RABINOVITSH (1853-July 5, 1932)
            He was born in Stavisk, Poland.  He graduated from rabbinical seminary in Breslau.  He lived in Königsberg, Paris, and from 1880 London.  There he had a publishing house for Yiddish and Hebrew publications.  He was a socialist, later a “ovev-tsiyon” (Lover of Zion).  His principal significance for Yiddish was the publishing and editing (with Morris Winchevsky) of the journal Der poylisher idel (The Polish Jew) in London (1-5, 1884), which later appeared under the title Di tsukunft (The future).  He died in London.

Sources: Getzel Kressel, in Baderekh (Tel Aviv) (September 1967).

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 494.


            She was the author of A velt far zikh (A world for itself), poetry (New York, 1944), 126 pp., and Dos eygn land, yom haatsmaut (One’s own land, independence day), articles (New York, 1951), 112 pp.
Berl Cohen


NISN RABIN (b. 1868)
            He was born in Ponevezh (Panevėžys), Lithuania, the son of a local religious judge.  He later lived in Vilna.  He wrote essays in the Orthodox Hamodia (The herald), and in Yiddish he published: Di virklikhe ekonomye, a erklerung iber di ekonomishe rekht fun der toyre also farglaykh tsum sotsyalizm (The real economy, an explanation of the economic rights in the Torah in comparison to socialism) (Vilna, 1906), 44 pp., using the pen name Ben-Rav; and Di idishe shtime, bilder un ertseylungen fun idishen leben (The Jewish voice, images and stories of Jewish life) (Vilna, 1911), 189 pp., using the pen name Rabn.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4.
Berl Cohen


YOYSEF RABIN (April 18, 1900-1987)

            The author of stories, he was born in Grodno. He attended religious elementary school and a Jewish state school. He worked as a typesetter in a print shop. From his youth he was part of the revolutionary movement in Lithuania. In 1918-1919, he was chair of the illegal committee of the “Komyug” (Communist youth) organization. He debuted in print with poems and stories in the early 1920s. In 1923 he was one of the founders of the Moscow journal Yungvald (Young forest), secretary of the Yiddish section of the Moscow Association of Proletarian Writers (MAPP), and a member of the editorial board of the journal Mir geyen (We’re going) and Pyoner (Pioneer). In 1930 he graduated from Yiddish division of the Lenin Pedagogical Institute in Moscow, and he went on to be a researcher at the same institute. In 1934 he was a delegate to the first conference of Soviet writers. He lived in Birobidzhan (1936-1937) and was chair of the writers’ organization in the Jewish Autonomous District. Over the years 1933-1936, he was manager of the prose section of the newspaper Der emes (The truth). At different times, he was a member of the editorial board of the journal Forpost (Outpost) (co-editor for a short time) in Birobidzhan, of the almanacs Oktyabr (October) and Sovetish (Soviet), and in the 1960s of Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland). He was purged in 1937 and lived in exile for several years in a Siberian camp. (The experiences from those years formed the basis for his last novel which was in fact named In yene yorn [In those years] and appeared in Sovetish heymland posthumously.) He was liberated from exile in 1942, and he volunteered for the front, returning to Moscow after the end of the war.

            His first novel, Shvesterkinder (Nurses), was published in 1930, and it soon received recognition from both critics and readers alike. From that point forward, he published prose works year after year, among them: Buzi dubin (Buzi Dubin) and Der veg iz ofn (The road is open). After the war, he published such novels as: Bam nyeman, roman (By the Neman River, a novel), In farsheydene yorn, roman (In various years, a novel), Khavele gefen (Little Eve Gefen), Ikh ze dikh, vilne (I see you, Vilna), Mayn tayerer tsedreyter (My dear confused one), Leye un ir mame (Leah and her mother), Heshl der stolyer un zayn eynikl (Heshl the painter and his grandson), and Roze kadish un ir zun (Rosa Kadish and her son), as well as stories and reminiscences. He was a master at creating psychologically molded images and human characters. Characteristically, there was struggling passion, broad depictions of social historical events, and profound philosophical considerations in his work. His writings were permeated with a thin irony and a poetic lyricism. Rabin’s work was translated into Russian, Byelorussian, and a number of other languages.

            In addition to the serials listed above, he published stories and novels in: Pyoner (co-editor, 1925-1928) and Heymland (Homeland) (1947-1948). He especially wrote a great deal for Sovetish heymland (Soviet homeland). Together with Arn Kushnirov, he edited: Fertsn oktyabers, literarishe zamlung (Fourteen Octobers, literary collection) (Moscow: Emes, 1931), 421 pp.; and Der veg fun farat, kamf kegn bundizm un menshevizm in der yidisher proletarisher literatur (The road from treachery, the struggle against Bundism and Menshevism in Yiddish proletarian literature) (Moscow-Minsk: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1932), 150 pp. He also co-edited (with Yekhezkl Dobrushin): Deklamater fun der sovetisher yidisher literatur (Declaimer of Soviet Jewish literature) (Moscow: Emes, 1934). His stories also appeared in: Yisroel Rabinovitsh, Der arbeter in der yidisher literatur (The worker in Yiddish literature) (Moscow: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1931); Lo amut ki eḥye (I shall not die but live on) (Merḥavya, 1957); Dertseylungen fun yidishe sovetishe shrayber (Stories by Soviet Yiddish writers) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1969); Tsum zig (To victory) (Moscow: Emes, 1944); and Af naye vegn (Along new paths) (New York: Yidisher kultur farband, 1949).

His own work includes: In layterung, dertseylungen (Purification, stories) (Moscow: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1930), 102 pp.; Gedreyte shlyakhn (Tortuous dirt roads), stories (Moscow: Central People’s Publishers, USSR, 1930), 158 pp.; Shvesterkinder (Moscow: Central Publishers, 1930), 221 pp., second edition (Moscow: Emes, 1933), 246 pp.; In teg fun mitn mitvokh, dertseylung (Days in the middle of the week, a story) (Kharkov-Kiev: Central Publishers, 1931), 39 pp.; Mit vos mir lebn (What we live with) (Kiev, 1931); Buzi dubin (Moscow: Emes, 1932), 183 pp.; Di shnayder-fabrik “III internatsyonal” (funem roman buzi dubin) (The tailor’s factory, “Third International,” from the novel Buzi Dubin) (Pinsk: Byelorussian State Publishers, 1932), 96 pp.; Der veg iz ofn (Moscow: Emes, 1935), 197 pp., second edition (1937); Shimen kozer (Simon Kozer) (Moscow, 1936); Mayne eygene (My own), ghetto and partisan stories (Moscow: Emes, 1947), 140 pp.; Mir lebn, dertseylungen (Life goes on, stories) (Moscow: Emes, 1948), 188 pp.; Mayn tayerer tsedreyter (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1969); Bam nyeman, roman (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1969), 533 pp.; In farsheydene yorn, roman (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1978), 446 pp.; Di shtot fun mayn yugnt (The city of my youth) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1985), 515 pp. He also published a series of novels in Sovetish heymland in Moscow: Khavele gefen 1 (1965); Ikh ze dikh, vilne 1, 2 (1968); Heshl der stolyer un zayn eynikl 4, 6 (1975); Leye un ir mame 11 (1978); and Roze kadish un ir zun 4, 5 (1980). He wrote several novels in Russian, among them: Ulitsa Sholom Aleikhema (Sholem-Aleichem Street) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1965), 380 pp.; and Ya vizhu tebia, Vil'nius (I see you, Vilna) (Moscow: Sovetski pisatel, 1975), 510 pp. His novels are densely filled with figures who move about freely in their individualism. Political and socio-philosophical problems come center stage. Rabin matched realistic, psychological details with romanticized description of the recent history of the Jewish labor movement. His beloved protagonist is the ordinary man. “Rabin has his own underlying themes in Soviet Yiddish literature,” wrote Yisroel Serebriani, “his own distinctive characters…. He artistically presents us with the worker on the eve of and at the time of the first and second Russian revolutions…. He shows us the Jewish laborer in his daily condition with his ideas and prejudices and how he finally wrenches himself out of the alien ideological influence. [Rabin now occupies] one of the primary places among contemporary Soviet Yiddish prose writers.” As Yankev Shternberg wrote to Rabin: “My eye caught something in your writing that reminded me of Reyzen, even Dinezon’s pious, holy writings; however, you do not follow them in the least, rather our own modern Yiddish writers (first and foremost, Bergelson).”

Sources: Chone Shmeruk, comp., Pirsumim yehudiim babrit-hamoatsot, 1917-1961 (Jewish publications in the Soviet Union, 1917-1961) (Jerusalem, 1961), see index; Ber Orshanski, Di yidishe literatur in vaysrusland nokh der revolutsye, pruvn fun an oysforshung (Yiddish literature in Byelorussia after the revolution, attempt at an inquiry) (Minsk, 1931), pp. 82-83, 189-99; Moyshe Litvakov, in Emes (Moscow) (April 17, 1936); H. Remenik, in Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 1 (1962); A. Pomerants, Di sovetishe haruge malkhes, tsu zeyer 10-tn yortsayt, vegn dem tragishn goyrl fun di yidishe shraybers un der yidisher literatur in sovetnland (The [Jewish writers] murdered by the Soviet government, on their tenth anniversary of their deaths, concerning the tragic fate of the Yiddish writers and Yiddish literature in the Soviet Union) (Buenos Aires: YIVO, 1962), p. 493; R. Rubin, Shrayber un verk (Writers and work) (Warsaw, 1968), pp. 267-77; Y. Serebriani, in Morgn frayhayt (New York) (August 16, 1970); M. Altshuler, Yahadut berit-hamoatsot baaspaklarya shel itonut yidish bepolin, bibliyografya 1945-1970 (The Jews of the Soviet Union from the perspective of the Yiddish press in Poland, bibliography) (Jerusalem, 1975); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Shloyme Roytman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 494; 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), pp. 343-44.]

Monday 29 April 2019


KHAYIM RABIN (b. January 15, 1911)
            He was born in Lanovits (Lanivtsi), Volhynia.  He studied in public school and yeshiva.  He graduated from the Poznanski’s Teachers’ Seminary in Warsaw.  From 1935 he was living in the land of Israel.  He published many books in Hebrew—such as Hayabeshet haavuda (The lost continent), six children’s books, among other items.  In Yiddish he debuted at age sixteen in Kremenitser shtime (Voice of Kremenits), and he also wrote for Rovner tsaytung (Rovno newspaper) and Haynt (Today) in Warsaw.  He edited a series of remembrance volumes for: Voronove, Vishograd (Visegrad), Vishnevits (Vishnevets), Langovits, Shumsk, and elsewhere—all in Yiddish and Hebrew.
Ruvn Goldberg

Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 494.


            He was born in Gnyondz (Goniądz), Bialystok district.  He moved with his parents in 1892 to Montreal.  He attended a secular school, a Talmud Torah, and had private tutors.  He graduated in psychology and philosophy in 1913 from McGill University and in 1917 received his doctoral degree from Harvard University, where he was a lecturer in psychology for a time.  Over the years 1926-1949, he was linked to the Education Department of Massachusetts, and he was professor of psychology (1949-1958) at Emerson College in Boston.  His literary activity began in English around 1907.  He contributed to Keneder odler (Canadian eagle), for various newspapers in New York and the provinces, and for such serial publications as: Dos naye leben (The new life), Literarishe velt (Literary world), Literatur un leben (Literature and life), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Fraye arbeter shtime (Free voice of labor), and Shriftn (Writings) (vol. 8)—all in New York; Filologishe shriftn (Philological writings) (Vilna, 1928); Bikher-velt (Book world) (Warsaw, 1928); and Davke (Necessarily) (Buenos Aires); among others.  He wrote mostly on Jewish cultural issues, folklore, music, humor, writers, and their works.  He published studies of psychology in Dertsiungs-entsiklopedye (Encyclopedia of education) (New York, 1957-1959).  He was the first to run a Yiddish course at a university, 1929 in Massachusetts.  He catalogued the Leo Wiener Collection at Harvard University and enriched it with new publications.  He wrote a great many essays in English on Yiddish literature, such as: “The Euphemism in Yiddish,” Jewish Forum (1918); Yiddish influences on American language, in Better English; and Why Yiddish? (New York, 1958), 14 pp.  Roback had much to say about Yiddish in his English-language books: Jewish Influence in Modern Thought (Cambridge, Mass.: Sci-Art Publishers, 1929), 506 pp.; Curiosities of the Yiddish Language (Cambridge, Mass., 1933), 227 pp.; and I. L. Peretz, Psychologist of Literature (Cambridge, Mass.: Sci-Art Publishers, 1935), 457 pp.  The last of these works includes Roback’s writings on Perets from the special Perets issue of Literatur un leben (New York, 1915), Shriftn (vol. 8), and Bikher-velt (August 1928).  Also, his major work: The Story of Yiddish Literature (New York, 1940), 448 pp.  Concerning this book, Shmuel Niger wrote three critical articles in Tog (Day) (October 20, October 27, and November 3, 1940), and Roback replied with a pamphlet entitled Kritik un kritsenish (Critic and criticism) (Cambridge, Mass.: Sci-Art Publishers, 1941), 50 pp.  Roback’s main works in Yiddish were: Di imperye yidish (The empire of Yiddish) (Mexico City, 1958), 554 pp.; Der folksgayst in der yidisher shprakh (“The Genius of the Yiddish Language”) (Paris, 1964), 705 pp.  He translated into Yiddish: Ferdinand Lassalle, Bastya-shultse oder kapital un arbet (Bastiat-Schulze or capital and labor [original: Herr Bastiat-Schulze von Delitzsch, der ökonomische Julian, oder Kapital und Arbeit]), in Lassalle, Geklibene shriften (Selected writings), vol. 1 (New York, 1916).  He wrote a large number of essays and several dozen books in English on psychology, which was his main area of specialization.  “Roback was a trained researcher,” noted Ezriel Naks, “a disciplined scholar, a proficient psychologist.  And, while he was probing the Yiddish language in a purely philological and literary manner, there was revealed before him not only the riches and beauty of Yiddish, but he took in as a scholar…the historical, ethnic, and psychological factors that brought about the origin, boom, and development of Yiddish.”  “Both of Roback’s Yiddish books,” wrote Moyshe Shtarkman, “are filled with…interesting historical and linguistic facts concerning the Yiddish language, Yiddish literature, Jewish spirituality generally.  At the same time, [they possess] the most sensible arguments…in the struggle for the existence of Yiddish and for the life of an original, creative Yiddish.”  “A. A. Roback is indeed an inestimable phenomenon,” in the words of Yudel Mark, and “…he is through and through bicultural, meaning that he succeeds at each level that we believe is an ideal for every Jewish intellectual….  The learned psychologist in him led him to psychological types in Yiddish literature.  He thus became the inspired Perets aficionado and the seeker of the peculiar and even grotesque in literature and language.”  He died in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Bikher-velt (Warsaw) 5 (1928); Y. Rapoport, in Fraye arbeter shtime (New York) (May 6, 1955); Shloyme Bikl, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 29, 1957); Y. Zilberberg, in Kultur un dertsiung (New York) (November 1958); Yidishe shriftn (Warsaw) 196/197 (1963), p. 20; A. Leyeles, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (November 15, 1964; December 13, 1964); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Fraye arbeter shtime (August 1, 1965); Yudel Mark, in Tsukunft (New York) (September 1965); Ezriel Naks, in Kultur un dertsiung (October 1965); American Jewish Yearbook (1966), vol. 67, p. 540.
Dr. Elye (Elias) Shulman

Sunday 28 April 2019


            The author of stories, poetry, and novels, he was born (with the surname Rabin) in Govertshev (Gowarczów), Poland.  In 1902 his family settled in Lodz and lived in the Balut (Bałuty) neighborhood in poverty and want.  He was orphaned at an early age on his father’s side.  He painted posters but could not survive for long by this means alone.  For a short time he lived in Warsaw.  During the German occupation of Lodz, he fled to Bialystok, later to Vilna where he was murdered in Ponar.  At age fifteen he began publishing ditties on current topics in Lazar Kahan’s Fraytik (Friday) and later in his Lodzer folksblat (Lodz people’s newspaper), using the name Yisroelik der Kleyner.  Together with Khayim Leyb Fuks, he edited the periodical Shveln (Thresholds) in Lodz (1923-1924).  He published his first story there, “Shneyland” (Snow country).  His first poems appeared in Gezangen (Songs), edited by Fuks, and he contributed work to other Lodz literary collections: Vegn (Pathways), Oyfgang (Arise), and S’feld (The field) edited by Fuks.  During his brief sojourn in Warsaw, he edited the monthly Os (Letter), in which he published poems and a story, using the pen names Rus Vintsigster and Shapse Tsiter.  In 1940, he edited together with Noyekh Prilucki and Y. Y. Trunk the anthology Untervegs (Pathways) (Vilna), in which appeared a chapter of his novel Der veg tsu di shtern (The way to the stars).  To support himself, he published numerous newspaper novels in Lodzer tageblat (Lodz daily newspaper) and Warsaw’s Haynt (Today), edited by Y. Rozental et al., and in the evening newspaper he co-edited, Ekstrabkat (Extra newspaper) and Unzer ekspres (Our express).  He also published literary essays and translations from German and French poets.  Some of his poems appeared in: Joseph Leftwich, The Golden Peacock (New York, 1961); and Charles Dobzynski, Anthologie de la poésie Yiddish, le miroir d’un people (Anthology of Yiddish poetry, the mirror of a people) (Paris: Gallimard, 1971).
            His works include: Di klole fun blut, roman fun yidishn lebn fun der letster tsayt (The curse of blood, a novel of Jewish life in recent times) (Warsaw: L. Goldfarb, 1926), 270 pp., using the pen name Y. Rozental; Di gas (The street), a novel (Warsaw: L. Goldfarb, 1928), 284 pp., translated into English by Leonard Wolf (New York: Four Walls Eight Windows, 1985), 192 pp. (there are also Hebrew, French, Polish, Russian, German, and Spanish translations); Hintern ployt fun der velt (Behind the fence of the world), poetry (Warsaw: L. Goldfarb, 1928), 33 pp.; Groer friling (Grey spring) (Warsaw, 1933), 48 pp.; Balut, roman fun a forshtot (Bałuty, a novel of an urban neighborhood) (Warsaw, 1934), 160 pp.; Lider (Poems) (Warsaw, 1937), 41 pp.  “Yisroel Rabon,” wrote Y. Y. Trunk, “was the most asocial writer in Yiddish literature in Poland.  He believed in no manner of community….  Community [for him] meant bringing together human beings under one dark fate….  Two motifs recur in all of his work:…want and war….  Rabon’s world is the wild primordial darkness of life.”  “Rabon made an effort, and it was a successful effort,” noted Meylekh Ravitsh, “to describe in novels, stories, and poetry the poverty of Lodz’s Bałuty.  He lived there throughout, [and] he loved it; it was for him diabolically good….  Is it then a surprise that his poems were so devilishly sinister?”  “He was subtle,” noted Yoysef Okrutni,” in painting the emotional position of the individual in his loneliness.  His merit as a describer in prose lines corresponds as well to the same attribute as when he turns to an illustration in a poem or ballad.  In both he is original…frugal in the means and poignantly clear in imagery.”

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4 (under “Rabin, Yisroel”); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 1 (Montreal, 1945); Literarishe bleter (Warsaw) 1 (1938); Y. Rapoport, Tropns gloybn (Drops of faith) (Melbourne, 1948), pp. 234-41; Y. Y. Trunk, in Unzer tsayt (New York) (June 1958); Yitskhok Goldkorn, Lodzher portretn umgekumene yidishe shrayber un tipn (Portraits of Lodz, Murdered Yiddish writers and types) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1963), pp. 33-57; Khayim Leyb Fuks, Lodzh shel mayle, dos yidishe gaystiḳe un derhoybene lodzh, 100 yor yidishe un oykh hebreishe literatur un kultur in lodzh un in di arumiḳe shtet un shtetlekh (Lodz on high, the Jewish spiritual and elevated Lodz, 100 years of Yiddish and also Hebrew literature and culture in Lodz and in the surrounding cities and towns) (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), see index; Yoysef Okrutni, in Tsukunft (New York) 11 (1973); Froym Oyerbakh, Af der vogshol, esey (In the balance, essay), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1975); Yeshurin archove, YIVO (New York).
Dr. Volf Gliksman

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 552.]


AYZIK (ISAAC) RABOY (November 15, 1882-January 10, 1944)
            He was the author of stories and novels, born in Zavallya woods, Kamenetz-Podolsk, Ukraine.  His father, Yoysef-Khayim, a Hassid, was a forestry accountant, but right after Ayzik’s birth, he moved to Rishkan (Rîşcani), Bessarabia, where he leased a crown position.  Until age fourteen Raboy studied with itinerant teachers and later in a synagogue study chamber.  He was soon involved with a circle of followers of the Jewish Enlightenment in his town, and he began studying Russian and acquainted himself with Russian literature.  In Rîşcani’s handwritten weekly newspaper, Di toybnpost (The pigeon post), Raboy published his first story.  He also sent stories to Russian newspapers, but they were not published.  With his friends among the adherents of the Jewish Enlightenment, he established a municipal library and instituted a two-class Jewish school.  In 1904 he emigrated to the United States.  He learned the trade of hat-making and wrote a great deal, but he had no luck getting his work published.  He recounted that, out of great despair, he was planning to take his own life.  Yoyel Entin and Dovid Pinski encouraged him to continue writing.  In 1906 Di varhayt (The truth) published Raboy’s first story, erroneously under the name Rabin.  That year Pinski published several of Raboy’s works in his Der arbayter (The worker), but then disassociated himself from Raboy, because he “is stuck along crazy pathways.”  After getting to know Mani Leyb, Dovid Ignatov, and others, he published his story “Di royte blum” (The red flower) in the collection Yugend (Youth), which was the first organized entry of the “Yunge” (Young) group into Yiddish literature, and for two decades he remained one of them.  In 1908 he decided to become a farmer and later graduated from Baron Hirsch’s Agricultural School in Woodbine, New Jersey.  He received a position on a horse farm in North Dakota.  He worked in the stable with the animals and chickens and with the plow in the fields.  “When I completed the first furrow in farm school,” Raboy later wrote in his memoirs, “and looked it over, I was ashamed on behalf of my teacher [and] for all generations of my antecedents who had been severed from the land.”  Two years later, he moved to his father’s farm in Connecticut.  In 1913 he left for New York, opened a shop with his brother, failed, and once again took up his trade of hat-making.  He died in the Duarte Sanatorium in Los Angeles.
The raw prairie in the West, the harsh nature in its rugged beauty and wildness formed Raboy’s work.  Hence come Mr. Goldenbarg and his wife, the neighbors, the “cowboys,” the wild fields, and the new world, about which Yiddish literature had no previous knowledge.  He also wrote about the metropolis, but his lifelong theme was nonetheless the field—initially the American prairie and later the Bessarabian soil.  He also published in: Varhayt, Tog (Day), Der fihrer (The leader), Di tsayt (The times), Di naye heym (The new home), Yugend, Ist brodvey (East Broadway), Shriften (Writings), Oyfkum (Arise), Inzel (Island), Troymen un virklikhkeyt (Dreams and reality), Literatur un leben (Literature and life), Fun mensh tsu mensh (From person to person), Velt ayn velt oys (World in, world out), Poezye (Poetry), Feder (Pen), In zikh (Introspective), Yidish (Yiddish), Dos vort (The word), Naye velt (New world), Kultur (Culture), and Unzer bukh (Our book).  He often placed work in Tsukunft (Future), in which, among other items, he published his novels Besaraber iden (Bessarabian Jews) (1922-1923) and Iz gekumen a id keyn amerike (A Jew came to America) (1926-1927), and his three-act play Idishe minhogim (Jewish customs) (1, 1926).  Initially, he worked for Frayhayt (Freedom) with interruptions (on one occasion, he left due to the stance of the newspaper toward the Arab pogroms in the land of Israel in 1929).  In 1932 he became a regular contributor here, later to Morgn frayhayt (Morning freedom), Der hamer (The hammer), and Signal (Signal) for which he served as co-editor.  At the time he became a member of the International Labor Order and “Proletpen” (Proletarian pen).  His work also appeared in anthologies and readers: Noyekh Shteynberg, Yung amerike (Young America) (New York, 1917); B. Ostrovski and Sh. Hurvits, Idish, khrestomatye farn dritn un fertn lernyor (Yiddish, a reader for the third and fourth school year) (New York, 1925); Shloyme Bastomski and Zalmen Reyzen, Dos lebedike vort (The living word) (Vilna, 1922); Gershon Yabrov, Literarishe khrestomatye (Literary reader) (Minsk, 1928); Revolutsyonerer deklamator zamlung fun lider, poemes, dertseylungen, eynakters, tsum farleyenen, shipln un zingen bay arbeter-farveylung (Revolutionary declamation, collection of songs, poems, stories, [and] one-act plays to read aloud, enact, and sing for workers’ entertainment) (New York, 1933); Betsalel Fridman, Mayn bukh, lernbukh farn dritn klas (My book, textbook for the third-level class) (New York, 1939); Aisefer (New York, 1943/1944); Y. A. Rontsh, Amerike in der yidisher literatur (America in Yiddish literature) (New York, 1945); and Max Rosenfeld, Pushcarts and Dreamers (New York-London, 1967).
            His works include: Herr goldenbarg (Mr. Goldenbarg) (New York: Literarisher ferlag, 1916), 100 pp., later editions (New York, 1918; Warsaw, 1923; Buenos Aires, 1964); In der vayter vest (In the far West) (New York: Amerika, 1918), 196 pp.; Nyu ingland, der pas fun yam, roman (New England, the pass from the sea, a novel) (New York: Amerika, 1918), 201 pp.; Ikh dertsehl, shtot noveln (I’ll explain, city stories) (New York: Amerika, 1920), 267 pp.; Eygene erd, roman (One’s own land, a novel) (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1928), 284 pp.; Iz gekumen a id keyn amerike (Vilna: B. Kletskin, 1929), 394 pp., second edition (New York, 1944); Nayn brider, roman (Nine brothers, a novel) (New York: International Labor Order, 1936), 316 pp.; Fun shtot in dorf arayn (From the city into the village) (Vilna: Naye yidishe folkshul, 1937), 8 pp.; Der yidisher kauboy (The Jewish cowboy) (New York: IKUF, 1942), 311 pp.; Mayn lebn (My life), 2 vols. (New York: IKUF, 1945-1947), 261 pp. and 336 pp., Hebrew translation by Ḥ. Peleg as Pirke ḥayim  (Tel Aviv, 1969); A dorf fun kinder (A village of children) (New York: IKUF, 1953), 268 pp. (published in 1941 in Morgn frayhayt under the title Di kleyne idelekh [The little Jews]).  Aside from the aforementioned Idishe minhogim, he also wrote the play Shtekhik drot (Barbed wire), which he dramatized from Herr goldenbarg and was performed on Yiddish stages in America and Europe.  In 1933 he wrote a play entitled Mitn ponem tsum shap (Oriented toward the workshop).  In 1927-1928, he began publishing a novel entitled Proste mentshn (Ordinary people) in Frayhayt and the novel Ergets in nord-dakota (Somewhere in North Dakota) in Der hamer.  “Generally speaking,” wrote Avrom-Ber Tabatshnik, “Raboy is not a novelist, but a storyteller in the conventional sense of the idea….  Raboy’s novels actually have no beginning and no end….  In the history of Yiddish literature, Raboy will without a doubt assume his place among the most important prose writers.  Contemporary readers, though, think of him sooner for his ‘poetry’ than for his prose.  The plots of Raboy’s stories and novels are not so much to be blamed as the warmth, the affable sensibility, that hovers about them.  What remains in one’s memory is not so much what covers the novels as Raboy’s genteel approach, his sensitivity, his picturesque authenticity, his—I would say—poetic refrains to the prose side of his topic….  Raboy doesn’t so much protagonist a hero as he caresses him, cultivates him in his joyous love for people and things….  He is not a master of depicting conflicts.  He is…better at describing the amicable and the routine.”  “The three novels (Herr goldenbarg, A pas fun yam, and Dos vilde land [The wild country]),” wrote Shmuel Niger, “are actually one poem of: fields, people, oxen, prairies, woods, pathways, mountains, homesickness, sorrow, joy, sun, rain, God….  In all of these novels by Raboy, the characters are more lyrically sung than painted: there is here a certain atmosphere surrounding each of them but no ground beneath them….  Raboy, though, interests us for himself alone, with his own imagined and dreamt up world, with his wild, fresh style which possesses within it such (certainly not present-day) naïveté and not an urban naturalness and pictorial satisfaction….  Not with his work itself does he take us in, but with the distinctive (à la Knut Hamsun?—no, Raboy) hazy film thrust over it, and with the unique, light or dark, living blots that we see through the haze….  He is a disguised lyricist and his novels are pieces of hardened lyrics.”  “Raboy is no master of the story,” note Der Lebediker, “…but everywhere he possesses that distinctive Raboy-charm….  He paints his ordinary protagonists with an odd magic, and when you truly see that this or that action is unnatural,…it doesn’t bother you—you are already captivated by the magical simplicity and [you continue] reading and enjoying.”  “One of the most important and original representatives of modern Yiddish prose,” wrote Zalmen Reyzen, “Raboy introduced into modern Yiddish literature new content—the Jewish farmer, the Jewish nostalgia for the land.  There is expressed in his work an authentic poet with an almost primitive instinct, with healthy senses, with a profound love for nature, for the freedom and quiet of the prairie, with a deeply human connection to the mute creatures.  Raboy’s specific charm derives from that natural mixture of naïveté and refinement which offers such a bizarre zest and sounds so ancient and so fresh in everything that Raboy writes….  [Also] lovely are Raboy’s stories…which excel in their innovative style, in which the border between poetry and prose is obliterated.”  “Raboy draws his figures,” noted Y. Kisin [I. Kissin], “neither bluntly nor suddenly.  He discloses them for you bit by bit over the course of the story, which gradually takes shape and sways and deviates, it seems, without direction and returns unnoticed, and finally comes to a conclusion.  These are stories—dreams….  In his city-novellas, Raboy is altogether different [from in his novels].  His pace is quicker, more nervous, in agreement with the hurried pace of city life….  He produces thus a pathos, a dignified tone, his language leveling off, direct, and the themes unusual, the events significant.”


Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); Shmuel Niger, in Tsukunft (New York) 3 (1929); Niger, Yidishe shrayber fun tsvantsikstn yorhundert (Yiddish writers of the twentieth century), vol. 2 (New York, 1973), pp. 251-56; Yidish (New York) 15 (1932); A. Pomerants, Proletpen (Kiev, 1935), pp. 239-43; Yidishe kultur (New York) 1-3 (1944); Nakhmen Mayzil, Forgeyer un mittsaytler (Forerunner and contemporary) (New York, 1946); Mayzil, Noente un eygene, fun yankev dinezon biz hirsh glik (Near and one’s own, from Yankev Dinezon to Hirsch Glick) (New York, 1957); B. Rivkin, Grunt-tendentsn fun der yidisher literatur in amerike (Basic tendencies in Yiddish literature in America) (New York, 1948), pp. 184-89; M. Olgin, Kultur un folk, ophandlungen un eseyen vegn kultur and shrayber (Culture and people, treatises and essays about culture and writers) (New York, 1949), pp. 221-42; L. Zhitnitski, A halber yorhundert idishe literatur, makhshoves un eseyistik (A half-century of Yiddish literature, thoughts and essays) (Buenos Aires: Eygns, 1952), pp. 32-33; Y. Kisin, Lid un esey (Poem and essay) (New York, 1953), pp. 240-48; Ruvn Ayzland, Fun undzer friling (From our spring) (Miami Beach and New York, 1954), p. 192; Yoysef Rolnik, Zikhroynes (Memoirs) (New York, 1954), pp. 179-82; Der Lebediker (Khayim Gutman), in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (November 21, 1954); Dovid Ignatov, Opgerisene bleter, eseyen, farblibene ksovim un fragmentn (Torn off sheets, essays, extant writings, and fragments) (Buenos Aires: Yidbukh, 1957), pp. 52-66; H. Leivick, Eseyen un redes (Essays and speeches) (New York, 1963); B. Grin, Yidishe shrayber in amerike (Yiddish writers in America) ( New York, 1963), pp. 113-30; Moyshe kats bukh (Volume for Moyshe Katz) (New York, 1963), pp. 210-13; Y. Yeshurin and Y. Y. Shvarts, A. raboy biblyografye (A. Raboy bibliography) (Buenos Aires, 1963); Avrom-Ber Tabatshnik, Dikhter un dikhtung (Poets and poetry) (New York, 1965), pp. 432-41; Ber Borokhov, Shprakh-forshung un literatur-geshikhte (Language research and literary history) (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1966), pp. 345-47; M. Ohel, in Maariv (Tel Aviv) (February 21, 1969); Sovetish heymland (Moscow) 11 (1972).
Yankev Birnboym

Thursday 25 April 2019


SHAPSE KESHEV (September 23, 1898-late September 1981)
            A descendant of a Hassidic family, he was born with the surname Klugman in Pintshev (Pińczów), near Kielce.  He received both a Jewish and a general education.  From 1925 he was working in the Warsaw office of the Jewish National Fund.  During WWII, he was confined in the Kovno ghetto.  After the war he was in refugee camps in Germany.  From 1948 he was living in Israel.  From 1926 he contributed correspondence pieces and journalistic articles to the Yiddish and Hebrew press: Davar (Word) (until 1964, he was an internal contributor), Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter), Tsukunft (Future), Folk un velt (People and world), and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), among others.  He wrote many pamphlets as well on contemporary themes—among them, we should note: Katson leteva (Like sheep to the slaughter) about the Holocaust, which appeared in numerous editions and translations; in Yiddish as Vi shof tsu der shkhite (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1962), 71 pp., second edition (Tel Aviv, 1966), 85 pp.  He translated David Ben Gurion by Robert St. George (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1959/1960), 404 pp.  His pen names included: K. Shabtai, Shabta Teva, Shabse Khokhem, Sh. Yupiter, Tuvye Shekel, and A. Yisroeli.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958).
Ruvn Goldberg


YOYNE KREPEL (JONAS KREPPEL) (December 25, 1874-July 21, 1940)
            He was born in Drobitsh (Drohobych), Galicia, the descendant of a Hassidic family.  He studied until age fourteen with itinerant teachers.  He mastered typesetting and somewhere later opened his own print shop.  He was an active Zionist and later a prominent leader in Agudat Yisrael.  He participated as a delegate to the Czernowitz Language Conference in 1908.  He lived in Cracow and Lemberg.  In 1914, during the war, he fled to Vienna.  For many years he was a political speaker at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.  After Hitler’s annexation of Austria, he was imprisoned in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp, where he perished shortly before WWII.  He began publishing and editing newspapers in German with Jewish lettering—Drohobitsher Zeitung (Drohobych newspaper) in 1896; and Jüdische Volksstimme (Jewish people’s voice) in Cracow in 1899.  He later helped establish publications in Yiddish, such as Der yud (The Jew) in Cracow, the Hassidic weekly Der emeser yud (The true Jew), and the monthly Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]), among others.  After taking over the Fisher publishing house (the publisher, Y. Fisher, was Krepel’s father-in-law), he brought out the weekly newspaper Di yudishe ilustrirte tsaytung (The Jewish illustrated newspaper) in Cracow (1909-1914), with the humorous supplement Di havdole (The separation [of Sabbath from weekdays]), and the monthly Beys yisroel (House of Israel).  At the same time, Krepel recorded his most important press achievement for Yiddish: the founding of the first Yiddish-language daily newspaper in Cracow, Der tog (The day) (December 1909-September 14, 1914, with a separate supplement Oyneg shabes [Enjoyment of the Sabbath]).  From 1919 he was the Viennese correspondent for New York’s Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper); therein he published, among other items, several long stories (1922, 1924, 1925).  In all the serials he founded, he contributed with literary work.
            In book form: Tkhines (Women’s prayers) (Drohobych, 1896); Maks shpitskopf (Max Spitzkopf), a series of detective stories (Cracow: Y. Fisher, 1908), 15 booklets; Kayzer frants yozef (Kaiser Franz Josef) (1908)—the latter two were published anonymously.  Krepel published roughly one hundred short novels in the Przemyśl publishing house of Simkhe Fraynd (1924-1927), 32 pp. each.  Here we note the storybooks that Zalmen Reyzen records: first series (1924) of historical stories: Der falsher meshiekh (The false Messiah), Der poybst elkhonen (The Pope Elḥanan), Eyn nakht kenig, historishe ertseylung (King for one night, historical story), Di yudishe fohn fun prag, historishe ertseylung (The Jewish banner of Prague, historical story), Di rebe ayzik r’ yekels shul in kroko, a folks mayse (The synagogue of R. Yekel, son Rebbe Ayzik, in Cracow, a folktale), Der rama un der bishop (R. Moses Isserles and the bishop), Der shtadlen fun vien (The intercessor from Vienna), Der kodesh (The holy man), Di terken far di toyern fun vien (The Turks at the gates of Vienna), Yude hamaymen (Judah the believer), Der neyder tsu fohren kin erets yisroel (The vow to travel to the land of Israel), Al naares bovl (By the rivers of Babylon), Rabi menashe ben yisroel (Rabbi Menashe ben Yisrael), Dem sultans laybartst, geshikhte fun rambam (The sultan’s personal physician, the story of Rambam), Rivke abarbanel (Rebecca Abarbenel), In di teg fun inkvizitsye (In the days of the Inquisition), Shabes raptum (Suddenly the Sabbath), Shprintse vital iz mit freyd geshtorben kdey tsu rateven ihr foter un andere yuden (Shprintse Vital died with joy to save her father and other Jews), Di groyzame intrigue (The savage intrigue), and Napoleon un der yidisher rendar (Napoleon and the Jewish lessee); second series of Hassidic tales and legends: Der sultan un dovid hameylekh (The sultan and King David), Tkhies hameysim, oder r’ yankev ashkenazi (The resurrection of the dead or R. Jacob Ashkenazi), Der l”v-nik (One of the thirty-six good men), Der beyzer r’ yoyel (The wicked R. Joel), Der royber dobosh un r’ leyb pistiner (Doboszhe the thief and R. Leyb Pistiner), Gevolt brengen meshiekhn (Bring the Messiah!), Di familye ariel (The family Ariel), Der lulev (The palm branch), Erets yisroel-erd, di geshikhte fun mayn fraynd shloyme, zayn liebe tsum heyligen land, tragisher goyrl fun a zun funem tsezeyten un tseshpreyten yudishen folk (The land of Israel, the story of my friend Solomon, his love of the Holy Land, tragic fate of a son of the dispersed Jewish people), Bruder un shvester (Brother and sister), Dos yudishe harts (The Jewish heart), and Di meshumedet (The [female] apostate); third series, stories from the world war: Di krankenshvester, an emese ertseylung (The nurse, a true story), Shimshn hagiber (Samson the strong man), Fergrobener zilber-rubel (The buried silver ruble), Der shpyon, ertseylung fun di teg fun der milkhome (The spy, a story from the days of the war), Der gaysel (The hostage), Kozaken kumen (Cossacks are coming), Tsuzeyt un tsushpreyt (Dispersed), Fun toyt lebedig, ertsehlung fun di milkhome-teg, mir kenen nisht begrayfen gots vinder un dokh zehen mir zey yeden tog (Living from death, a story from the war days, we cannot comprehend God’s wonder and yet we see it every day), and Der gefangener (The prisoner); fourth series, stories of criminals: Der kamf mit di sheydim (The struggle with demons), Der shvartser ferbrekher (The black criminal), Der ekspres (The express), Der fershtelter detektiv (The disguised detective), and Der eydim a merder (The son-in-law, a murderer).  In 1927 he published a second editions of these forty-six booklets with new ones: Moyshe kolon, historishe ertselung fun der entdekund fun amerika (Moses Columbus, a historical story of the discovery of America), Senkheribs sof (The end of Sennacherib), Shulamis bas divri (Shelomit, daughter of Divri), Di mesire (The denunciation), Don fernando, ertselung fun di teg fun der inkṿizitsye in shpanyen (Don Fernando, a story from the days of the Spanish Inquisition), Der royber-hoyptman (Main robber), Der kantonist (The young boy pressed into military service for many years), Di goldene royze (The golden rose), R’ uri strelisker (R. Uri Strelisker), R’ nokhum bryansker un di grefn (R. Nokhum of Brańsk and the countess), Di ushpizin (The guests), Di kameye (The amulet), Der bal-tshuve (The penitent), Dos shtetil motele (The town inn), Di goldene kugel (The golden pudding), Di heldishe khane (Heroic Hannah), Der folks-zenger (The folksinger), Di geshenkte yohren (The years given), Khane di shnayderke (Hannah the tailor), Der aynvangerungs-komisar un zayn muter (The commissar of immigration and his mother), A yudishe neshome (A Jewish soul), In a trinkender shif (In a sinking ship), Baym barg sinay (At Mount Sinai), Di tfilin (The phylacteries), Di shpyonin (The spies), Der nikolayski soldat (The Nikolai soldier), Mekimi meafar dal (He raises the needy from the dust), Der legyoner (The Legionnaire), Der ferreter (The traitor), Dos fertribene shtetil (The expelled town), Der sibiryak (The Siberian), Der regiment-artst (The regimental doctor), Der kozak hanigzal (The robbed Cossack), Nokh der shkhite (After the slaughter), Di bkhoyre (The precedent), Der rusisher komendant (The Russian commandant), and Avrom ovinu un zayn mishpokhe (Our father Abraham and his family) (1928).  Kepel’s main work in German was: Juden und Judentum von Heute (Jews and Judaism today) (Zurich-Vienna, 1925), 891 pp., an encyclopedic handbook and bibliography concerning contemporary Jewry.  He went on to publish books in German and several Hebrew periodicals.  Kepel’s story books, according to Moyshe Shalit, “are entirely independent and innovative,…but the greatest surprise…is Kepel’s Yiddish language….  The booklets [are] written in an exquisitely pleasant language.”  “Thanks to both of his newspapers [Tog and Di yudishe ilustrirte tsaytung] and his tales of criminals,” wrote Mendl Naygreshl, “Yoyne Krepel succeeded in creating a mass readership in western Galicia and a literary atmosphere.  He helped to awaken Jewish Cracow, and he penetrated where the party newspapers…had no access.  He also aroused the provinces.”  He died in the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Gershom Bader, in Yidishes tageblat (New York) (March 20, 1920); Moyshe Shalit, in Di yidishe velt (Vilna) (March 1928); Mendl Naygreshl, in Fun noentn over (New York) 1 (1955), pp. 341-47; Mikhl Vaykhert, Zikhroynes (Memoirs), vol. 1 (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1960), pp. 197-98; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Yekhezkl Lifshits


YANKEV KREPLYAK (JACOB KLEPLIAK) (1885-September 21, 1945)
            Born in Zabludove (Zabłudów), Poland, he was the author of stories and children’s tales.  He received a traditional education.  He spent time in prisons for revolutionary work.  He was known in the Jewish labor movement as “Yankele der profesor” (Yankele, the professor).  He fled from the military to Belgium, and in Antwerp he became a diamond polisher.  In 1915 he emigrated to the United States.  He began literary activity in 1911.  He contributed stories and children’s tales to: Chaim Zhitlovsky’s Dos naye leben (The new life), Warsaw’s Fraynd (Friend), and Avrom Reyzen’s Der nayer zhurnal (The new journal) in Paris; Der yudisher student (The Jewish student) in Ghent, Belgium (1912-1913); and Tog (Day), Tsukunft (Future), Forverts (Forward), Fraynd, Oyfkum (Arise), Byalistoker shtime (Voice of Bialystok), Kinder zhurnal (Children’s magazine), Kinderland (Children’s land), and Unzer vort (Our word) (Chicago), among others—all in America.  Over the years 1917-1938, he was secretary to the editorial board of Tsukunft; after Avrom Liessin’s death [in 1938] he served as editor for a short time, and co-editor (1939-1943) with Hillel Rogof and Lazar Fogelman.  With M. Yavorovski and Y. Podruzhnik, he edited the first Yiddish serial publication in Belgium, Der mayrev (The west) in Antwerp (1913), published in Copenhagen.  He also edited: Zabludover pinkes, aroysgegeben tsum finf un tsvantsig yohrigen yubileum fun zabludover ḳranken untershtitsung fareyn, nyu york, 1900-1925 (Zabłudów records, published on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Zabłudów association for support for the sick, 1900-1925) (New York, 1925), 116 pp., which is of cultural historical value.  He published one book for adults, and all the others for children: A seyder in finland (A seder in Finland) (Copenhagen: Do idishe vokhen blat, 1912), 48 pp.; Rozhinkes mit mandlen (Raisins and almonds) (New York: Maks N. Mayzil, 1920), 29 pp.; Farblondzhet, legend (Lost, legend) (New York: Matones, 1925), 70 pp.; Fun kazarme un milkhome, dertseylungen (From barracks and war, stories) (New York: Tsenter, 1927), 359 pp.; Dos grine ingel (The “green” boy) (New York: Workmen’s Circle, 1928), 24 pp., a one-act play which won first prize as a children’s play for the Workmen’s Circle schools; Toybn, dertseylung (Doves, a story) (New York: Matones, 1928), 31 pp.; Yungvarg (Youth) (New York: Matones, 1935), 190 pp.; Shvarts un vays (Black and white) (New York: Kinder-ring, Workmen’s Circle, 1939), 46 pp.; Mayses far yungvarg (Stories for youngsters) (New York, 1947), 333 pp.  His translations included: Mikhail Bakunin, Geklibene shriftn (Selected writings) (New York: Kropotkin Literature Society, 1919), 307 pp.; Eduard Bernstein, Der iker fun marksizm (Fundamentals of Marxism) (New York: Veker, 1923), 32 pp.  In the years of his work for Tsukunft, almost all of the translation work there was Kreplyak’s, among them Pavel Akselrod’s Memuarn (Memoirs).  As N. B. Minkov wrote: “Kreplyak’s literary approach: restrained, genteelly realistic; distant from the reality of living beings; fantasy, legend.  A part of his work belongs to the best writings for our young readers….  He therefore assumes a thoroughly honored corner in our literary world.”  Kreplyak’s stories about barracks and warfare, noted Shmuel Niger, are “a book that is full of life and love for everyone who are alive,…a profoundly humane book.”  His children’s tales may be found in a number of readers as well.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Zalmen Zilbertsvayg, Leksikon fun yidishn teater (Handbook of the Yiddish theater), vol. 6 (Mexico City, 1969); Hillel Rogof, in Tsukunft (New York) (July 1928); Avrom Reyzen, in Tsukunft (April 1930); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (February 2, 1936); Y. Y. Shvarts, in Tsukunft (November 1945): N. B. Minkov, in Tsukunft (October 1955); Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973), p. 489; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Yekhezkl Lifshits


GETSL KRESL (GETZEL KRESSEL) (June 12, 1911-1986)
            He was a Hebrew lexicographer, bibliographer, and cultural researcher, born in Zablotov (Zabolotiv), Galicia.  He was the author of: Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), 2 vols. (Meravya, 1965-1967).  He published over fifty books on the Hebrew press, Zionism, Palestinography, Tanakh research, and other topics.  His main work was in Hebrew, but he also concerned himself with Yiddish literature.  After a solitary article in Lemberg’s Morgn (Morning) in 1930, Kressel began in the 1960s to published articles on Yiddish literature in Idisher kemfer (Jewish fighter) in New York and in Tel Aviv’s Heymish (Familiar), Folksblat (People’s newspaper), and Di goldene keyt (The golden chain), among other serials.  He published Shalom alekhem, ḥayav veyetsirato (Sholem-Aleichem, his life and work) (Tel Aviv: Devir, 1959), 103 pp. and a collection of N. Sokolov’s Yiddish writings (translated by L. Olitski) with a chapter by Kressel on Sokolov’s writings in Yiddish (Tel Aviv, 1967).  He also compiled: Kitve dov sadan, bibliografiya (The writings of Dov Sadan, a bibliography), part 1 (Tel Aviv: Am oved, 1981), 129 pp.  In book form in Yiddish: Di tsienistishe kongresn (The Zionist Congresses) (Tel Aviv: Heḥaluts, 1948), 65 pp.  He died in olon, Israel.

Sources: Dov Sadan, Avne gader, al sofrim vesefarim (Stone fence, on writers and books) (Tel Aviv, 1970), pp. 124-34; Y. Tolkes, Besod sofrim vehogim (In the confidence of writers and thinkers) (Tel Aviv, 1976), pp. 103-8.
Ruvn Goldberg

[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 493.]