Tuesday 20 August 2019


LEYZER SHTEYNMAN (ELIEZER STEINMAN) (Shevat [= February] 1892-August 7, 1970)
            He was a Hebrew and Yiddish author, novelist, essayist, and anthologist of Hassidism, born in Obodevke (Obodivka), Podolia.  He was a rabbi’s son, and at age seventeen he received ordination into the rabbinate.  In 1912 he moved to Warsaw.  He lived in Odessa, Moscow, and from 1920 again in Warsaw.  He was virtually the only Hebrew writer in Russia who in 1919 accepted Communism with joy and even published a leaflet entitled Hakomunist haiviri (The Jewish Communist).  From 1924 he was living in Tel Aviv.  He then turned all of his writing capacities to Hebrew.  He published some forty books in Hebrew.  He did not, though, write little in Yiddish.  He placed his first Yiddish story in Fraynd (Friend) 36 (1912).  He went on to write stories, sketches, and essays in: Gut-morgen (Good morning) in Odessa, Der shtrahl (The beam [of light]) in Warsaw (1910-1911), Nisn (Nisan) in Warsaw (1911/1912), Tsaytigs (Mature) in Odessa (1912), Fayerlekh (Solemn) in Warsaw (1912/1913), the anthology Yugend-kraft (Youthful vigor) (Warsaw, 1912/1913), and Untervegs (Pathways) in Odessa (1917), among others.  He wrote a preface for Mayselekh far kinder (Stories for children) (Odessa, 1919) and an article in the collection Tsum ondenk fun y. l. perets, tsu zayn finf-yorikn yortsayt (To the memory of Y. L. Perets, on the fifth anniversary of his death) (Odessa, 1920).  From 1920 he was a regular contributor to Moment (Moment) in Warsaw.  His ties to Yiddish remained in place until 1924, although a little time thereafter he spent writing correspondence pieces for Moment, and in his last years he wrote for Di goldene keyt (The golden chain) and Almanakh (Almanac) (Tel Aviv, 1967); he even published a book in Yiddish.  His work appeared in Mordekhai alamish, Mikan umikarov, antologya shel sipure yidish beerets yisrael (From near and from far away, anthology of stories in Yiddish in Israel) (Meravya, 1966).  His books in Yiddish include: Tsu mensh un folk (To man and people) (Warsaw: Drokhim, 1921/1922), 156 pp.; Ukraine veynt, novelen (Ukraine weeps, stories) (Warsaw: Alt-yung, 1923), 172 pp.; Intim mit der velt (Intimate with the world) (Tel Aviv: Hamenorah, 1971), 328 pp.  He died in Tel Aviv.

Sources: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 4; Getzel Kressel, Leksikon hasifrut haivrit (Handbook of Hebrew literature), vol. 2 (Meravya, 1967); Meylekh Ravitsh, Mayn leksikon (My lexicon), vol. 3 (Montreal, 1958); Abe Gordin, in Di goldene keyt (Tel Aviv) 36 (1960); Moyshe Gros-Tsimerman, in Di goldene keyt 50 (1964); Yekhiel Hofer, Mit yenem un mit zikh, literarishe eseyen (With another and with oneself, literary essays), vol. 2 (Tel Aviv: Peretz Publ., 1964), pp. 264-78; Yankev Glatshteyn, in Idishe tsaytung (Buenos Aires) (December 7, 1965); Arn Tsaytlin, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (New York) (April 14, 1967); Froym Oyerbakh, in Tog-morgn-zhurnal (April 17, 1967); Dov Sadan, Avne miftan, masot al sofre yidish (Milestones, essays on Yiddish writers), vol. 3 (Tel Aviv: Perets Publ., 1972), pp. 164, 351; Yediot genazim (Tel Aviv) 72 (Tishre [= October] 1970); Avraham Shaanan, Milon hasifrut haadasha haivrit vehakelalit (Dictionary of modern Hebrew and general literature) (Tel Aviv, 1959).
Berl Cohen

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