Monday 10 June 2019


MENAKHEM RIBALOV (February 17, 1895-September 17, 1953)
            He was a Hebrew and Yiddish literary critic, born in Chudniv, Volhynia.  He attended religious elementary school and yeshiva, and he was later an external student in Odessa.  He studied in Warsaw and Moscow over the years 1910-1917.  In 1921 he settled in New York.  He debuted in print in 1912 with a poem in Hashiloa (The shiloah).  He later switched to criticism and journalism.  He published literary critical articles and essays mainly concerned with Hebrew literature in Hebrew-language serials in Russia, Poland, and the United States.  He edited a series of Hebrew collections and published Hebrew volumes of literary criticism and essays.  From 1923 he was editor of the weekly Hadoar (The mail) in New York.  In Yiddish he wrote for: Di velt (The world) in Kiev, Petrograder togblat (Petrograd daily newspaper), Haynt (Today) in Warsaw, Der khoydesh (The month) in Warsaw (1921), Yidishes tageblat (Jewish daily newspaper), Dos idishe folk (The Jewish people), Opatoshu and Leivick’s Zamlbikher (Anthologies), and Tsukunft (Future) in which he placed a series of essays on Yiddish writers.  With Shmuel Niger, he edited Aiseyfer, a collection of literature, linguistics, and translations of Yiddish literature (New York, 1943).  In book form in Yiddish: Dikhter un shafer fun nay-hebreish (Poets and writers in modern Hebrew) (New York, 1936), 217 pp.  He wrote little in Yiddish in his last years.  Among his Hebrew books: Sefer hamasot (Volume of essays) (New York, 1928), 240 pp.; Sofrim veishim (Writers and personalities) (New York, 1936), 239 pp.; Im hakad el hamabua (With the jug to the spring) (New York, 1950), 350 pp.  He died in New York.

Sources: Zalmen, Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Merḥavya, 1967); Moyshe Shtarkman, in Idisher kemfer (New York) (February 23, 1951); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (September 28, 1953); Yeshurin archive, YIVO (New York).
Elkhonen Indelman

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