Today in Yiddishkayt… December 1
Birthday of H. Leivick, Poet & Playwright
Leivick Halpern was born in the White Russian town of Ihumen, near Minsk December 1, 1888. He received a traditional education and became politically radicalized around the 1905 Revolution. Arrested for Bundist activity in 1906, he was sentenced to hard labor and Siberian exile. He escaped to America in 1913. In New York, Leivick became the central figure in Yiddish poetry, all while working as a wallpaper hanger. In addition to his poetry and plays, he was an active editor and journalist until struck by illness in 1958. He died on December 23, 1962.
H. Leivick • ֹה. לייוויקhttp://yiddishkayt.org/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/1_leyvik.jpg
H. Leivick was born in a small town near Minsk. He published his first poetic work after escaping Siberian exile for the United States. He rearranged his name to avoid confusion with the American Yiddish poet, Moyshe-Leyb Halpern. From the 1920s Leivick was considered the central poet in Yiddish letters, with his unique mix of Neo-romanticism and Russian Symbolism. Active in Yiddishist causes and in the promotion of Yiddish literature, he was a writer and editor for major Yiddish publications.
During the 1905 Revolution, Leivick abandoned his religious training (and religion, in general) and joined the Bund. He was arrested in 1906 for his political activity. He refused to compromise his beliefs and declared at his trial: "I will not defend myself — everything I have done, I did with full consciousness. I am a member of the Jewish revolutionary party, the Bund, and I will do everything in my power to overthrow the tsarist autocracy, its bloody henchmen, and you as well." He was sentenced to four years of hard labor and permanent Siberian exile from which he would escape in 1913. Here is a photograph of him from 1910 at Moscow's Butyrka prison.
In the 1920s, Leivick was one of the most popular and widely-read Yiddish poets in the world. He traveled throughout the world on reading tours and visits to schools and cultural centers from Buenos Aires to Wilno. Here he is pictured on a visit to the Vilner Real Gymnasium in 1924 or 1925.
Der Golem • דער גולםhttp://yiddishkayt.org/wp-content/uploads/slideshow-gallery/4_golem.jpg
Leivick's poetic drama "The Golem" was published in 1921 and had a major impact on Yiddish literature at the time. Based on the legend of the Maharal of Prague, the Hebrew translation of his poem was the basis of the acclaimed and highly influential performance by Moscow's Habima Theater in 1927, pictured here.
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Vielen Dank, @DoroHolzapfel ! Es freut uns sehr solche Unterstützung zu hören!
@yiddishkayt I just read the article about you on Mondoweiss. I think it's great that you focus on life, not on death. Greetings fr. Germany
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