From Ruth Levin:
Beyle Schaechter-Gottesman z”l, Yiddish poet and songwriter, describes one of her favorite writers, Eliezer Shteynbarg, who wrote masterful children’s literature.
Yiddish Book Center: This interview is part of the Beyond the Books: Yiddish writers and their descendants and Yiddish and the Arts: musicians, actors, and artists series.
From Ruth Levin, an article from the “Ost-Yiddishe Zeitung”, 2.6.1935:
“…Dr. Landau introduced to the audience a young man whose name
should not be forgotten. Probably, we’ll hear from him again and again.
Levin isn’t a singer, rather he’s an artistic reader. He’s not a reader, rather
he’s an actor. As a matter of fact he’s all in one: singer, artistic reader, actor
and poet. Why also poet? He reads to us only the poems of others, does he not?
That being so, this is the secret of his art. He reveals what is hidden between the lines.
He brings the poet to completion. He draws from the poet’s soul riches the poet himself
did not know of, riches that were hidden in his sub-conscious…
Frequently the words of the text in his mouth serve solely as a stimulus that awakens –
just for a passing moment – the poetic spiritual inheritance of his own, and that has
always to be born anew, like the music.
The art of Leibu Levin needs not only to be heard, though, but also to be seen. He himself
one has to hear and see, how he breathes into the dim hall, into the pearls of strangers’
poetry, his young burning soul, the creative, sometimes ecstatic, and sometimes weeping
soul… His profound understanding drew one deeply into the fables of
Eliezer Steinbarg and the ballads of Itzik Manger.
From time to time the reader becomes singer, and only when he was seen as well as heard,
did I finally understand the meaning of the old expression “to sing and to say”
regarding troubadours and minnesingers. When his spoken word passes to song, it reminds me
of a flying ship hovering above the earth and taking off to the blue heavens…
Talent is as rare as gold. From the gold it is possible to forge a holiday crown for
priests who serve gods and it is possible to pay with it the penance for sinful impurity…
Talent can be refined to capture surpassing art, or can descend to cheap popular
entertainment. It seems to me that all in Leibu Levin aspires toward and is uplifted to the
shining heights of noble art .”
Dr. Meyer Ebner
The newspaper “Ost-Yiddishe Zeitung”, 2.6.1935
From the ‘Stories’ section on our website, this excellent paper by Asya Vaisman:
Sidi Tal & Yiddish Culture
(click on the link)
I succeeded to acquire a very rare book: The Suffering of the Deportees in Transnistria by Fabius Ornstein, edited by the Association of the Former Deportees to Transnistria immediately after WW2 still in 1945. On Fabius Ornstein’s life-saving activity in Transnistria we learn from the Jewish Telegraphic Agency report dated July 26, 1943 as follows:
“Thousands of Jews in Transnistria Have Not Seen Bread for Months, Hundreds Starving
Thousands of Jewish deportees confined in the various ghettos which the Rumanian occupation authorities have established in Transnistria, the Rumanian-administered section of the Russian Ukraine, have not seen any bread for months and the vast majority of them are threatened with starvation unless some assistance is forthcoming soon, according to private advices received here today. In the township of Copaigorod about 2,220 Jews are confined at present, the report discloses. Under the leadership of one of the deportees, Fabius Ornstein, the Jewish community has organized a free kitchen which has so far managed to distribute about 500 meals twice daily. These ‘meals,’ however, almost always consist of potatoes and nothing else. […]“
What I like about this job is you never know what’s going to surface. A woman wrote to me recently (Lara Diamond by name) telling of a an interesting old document she saw at a friend’s house and offered to photograph it. She thought the group would be interested, since it had a list of names attached and was from Novoselice/Novoselitsa. I agreed to have a look at it.
And this is what I present for you today: A 1904 document written in cursive Yiddish, written by the Rabbi of Novoselice: Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna Wetstein. This was the great great grandfather of Lara’s friend. The document apparently is the authorization for the sale of the town’s Chometz prior to Passover in 1904. There is a list of names at the end of the document, that most likely are the assigned buyers.
“These are signatures so some are difficult to read. I did my best. I suggest you put the last page on Viewmate to get an independent eye on these.
The bottom of the first page is signed by the town’s rabbi (and my friend’s gg grandfather) Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna Wetstein.
Witness at the top of the second page (first page of the two-sided document) is Avraham Chaim son of Baruch Shvartzer.
There are names in the paragraph up at the top of the last page:
Yisrael Pesach son of Shalom Shachna
Malka daughter of Rei Renish
Moshe son of Meir Veinberg
Zaan Shaya Dibes
Then the rest of the page are signatures. (First word of each line is “Signed.”)
Yitzchok Reitman and (illegible) Beleson
Nachum Gruldinberg and also his brother? Pesach and (illegible) Reb Anshel
Leib son of Zev Plumilman (illegible) Yona Yilarstein
Chaim Feitia Kapilivike
Avraham Chaim Sheishesh? And Matisya Varman?
(Illegible) Sara Mecharkle
(illegible) Yaakov Yosef Yazlivt
Hersh Leib Shich? and his brother Yisrael Shich
And for those who can… here is the document, hand written in Yiddish, [Correction –The document is written in cursive Hebrew not Yiddish as originally posted –see commnets below] in pdf format:
Lara notes: “There are two documents. One is one page and the other is 2 pages (on 2 sides of the page).
The first picture is an overview of the one pager. Then I have 3 close ups of that page.
Then an overview of each of the sides of the other. Then I zeroed in on a list of names (actually signatures).”
According to the CIA, there are over 25 towns in today’s Ukraine with the name Novoselista. Is this ‘our’ Novoselista at 48°13’00″N : 26°17’00″E ? I ran this by Yosi Eshet who didn’t think so. Lara thinks it is, and I have no idea. Maybe someone will recognize a name and we’ll have the answer?