Wednesday 17 April 2019


KHAYIM KRUGER (March 30, 1875-December 30, 1933)
            He was born in Mazheyk (Mažeikiai), Lithuania.  He studied in the yeshivas of Ponevezh (Panevėžys) and Telz.  In Shavel (Šiauliai) he privately studied general subject matter and foreign languages.  He was a preacher on behalf of the “ibat-Tsiyon” (Love of Zion) movement.  He worked as a ritual slaughterer in a few towns in the Suwalk region.  In 1907 he came to Montreal.  He was a ritual slaughterer, prayer leader, and yeshiva principal there.  He began writing in Hebrew for Vilna’s Hazman (The times) in 1906 and in Yiddish in 1921 when he became a member of the editorial board of Keneder odler (Canadian eagle).  He wrote daily articles for the latter on Jewish community topics, matters of political economy, feature pieces, stories, and newspaper novels.  He published a long work there in installments: “R’ yude haleyvi un zayn kuzari” (R. Yehuda Halevi and his Kuzari) in 1927; “Di agodes fin shas” (The homiletic tales from the Mishnah) in 1928; “Di teusim fun prof’ grets” (The errors of Prof. Graetz) in 1929; “R’ sadye goen als talmudist un denker” (R. Saadya Gaon as Talmud scholar and thinker) in 1930; and “Yoysef flavyus” (Flavius Josephus) in 1932; among others.  In book form: Der rambam, zayn lebn un shafn (Maimonides, his life and works) (Montreal: Keneder odler, 1933), 279 pp.  In Kinderland (Children’s land) and Keneder odler, he published poems and stories.  He left behind many scholarly works of history.  His pen names included: Dr. Ratgeber, Kh. K. Shokhat, Onkl Borekh, Hymen Tsinman, Dobl Kuf, and Rokeakh.  “Kruger was a great journalist,” wrote Yisroel Rabinovitsh, “and a writing force….  His work on Maimonides is among the best texts on the Rambam in Yiddish.”  He died in Montreal.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 3; Yisroel Rabinovitsh, Yoyvl-bukh keneder odler (Jubilee volume for Keneder odler) (Montreal, 1932); Z. Kalmanovitsh, in Yivo-bleter (Vilna) 8.2 (1935); Shmuel Niger, in Tog (New York) (February 3, 1935); A. Mukdoni, in Morgn zhurnal (New York) (April 17, 1935); B. G. Zak, in Lite (Lithuania), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1965), p. 838; Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Khayim Leyb Fuks

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