LEYZER ROKAKH (September 7, 1854-June 28, 1914)
He was born in Jerusalem, a descendant of the Hassidic Belz dynasty. He became a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment and a propagandist for “Ḥibat Tsiyon” (Love of Zion). He studied in Romania, Austria, Odessa, the land of Israel, and Galicia. He wrote hundreds of essays in the Hebrew press and edited Hebrew periodicals in Romania and Galicia. He edited several journals in Yiddish: Der kolonist (The colonist), a biweekly in Bucharest (1881); Der emigrant (The emigrant), a biweekly in Galats (Galați) (1881, from late December 1882 in Bucharest); Di hoffnung (The hope), three times each week in Piatra Neamt (1882); Der kompas (The compass), a weekly in Braila (1896, later Bucharest); Der idisher gayst (The Jewish spirit), three times each week in Jassy (Iași) (May 1898-December 1899). He edited Der yudisher veker (The Jewish alarm) in Buczacz with the close cooperation of Sh. Y. Agnon. All of his periodical publications defended “Love of Zion.” He died in Drobitsh (Drohobych), Galicia.
Sources: Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Merḥavya, 1967); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv, 1947); M. Zalkind, in Tsvishn tsvey un dray, zamlung far literatur un kultur (Between two and three, a collection for literature and culture) (Tel Aviv, 1929); M. Kosover, in Folk un velt (New York) (December 1970); Natan Mark, Sifrut-yidish beromanya (Yiddish literature in Romania) (Haifa, 1973); Itonut yehudit shehayta (Jewish press that was) (Tel Aviv, 1973), pp. 459-60; Volf Tambur, Yidish-prese in rumenye (The Yiddish press in Romania) (Bucharest: Kriteryon, 1977), pp. 112-21.
[Additional information from: Berl Kagan, comp., Leksikon fun yidish-shraybers (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers) (New York, 1986), col. 508.]