According to Max Erik, F. is
the author of the anonymous play, "Teater fin khasidim,"
which was published in the first volume of the "Historishe
shriftn" of YIVO, Warsaw, 1929, pp. 623-693.
Erik built his view on
things, which in song after the texts of the play there
is an acrostic, which gives one clearly the name and
family of Efrayim Fishelzon. He also remarked that in "HaMelitz,"
1860, Vol. 5, p. 78, there was published a
correspondence with the signature "Efrayim Fishl
Fishelzon ish zamushttz," from which one can see that F.
was from Zamosc.
From the last line of text
in the play there also is -- according to M. Erik -- to
see that the play was created in 1839, the piece "Teater
fin khasidim in dray akts ingeteylt, performed in
Lemberg [1839-1943], was accompanied by two manuscript-photostats
from a title page and from the first page of text, with
an introduction from the editor and with an
"introduction-study" by Dr. Chaim Borodiansky.
In the introduction of the
editor it was given:
"The hand-written manuscript
of the play, which we published here for the first time
(besides the Hebrew introduction), we received from F'
Sh. Dubnow. ... The work hadn't in it any one element of
an extraordinary theatre-piece -- not according to
boy, not according to his actions, not
according to his entire character. It is in truth a
debate, in three acts, between an "oyfgeklertn
(educated person?)" and his friend -- on one side, and a
group of Chasidim on the second. ... It cannot exactly
determine in which year the "theatre" became drawn up,
but it was clear that the work was written at the end of
the thirtieth [year] and begun on the fortieth year. ...
We had for ourselves quite an unknown, valuable work,
written in a fat, absolutely not Germanized Yiddish, and
in an eyngartiker form."
Dr. Chaim Borodiansky writes
in his introduction:
"The author had to be one of
the learned and prominent maskilim in the first
half of the nineteenth century. One who had descended
from the Polish maskilim circles and had good knowledge
of the conditions of Jewish life, not only in Poland,
but also in Galicia. ...He manifested a healthy,
artistic sense and employed a popular, rich and simple
Yiddish and played with grammar so lightly, that it had
him securely placed with the former, beloved folk poets,
such as Velvl Zbarzsher and Berl Broder."
Dr. Borodiansky was, also in
his opinion, that the significance of "played in
Lemberg" is not that the play was performed there, but
that the action/plot came before, while in Lemberg.
"Teator fin khasidim"
-- "Historishe shriftn" fun YIVO, Warsaw, 1929, pp.
Max Erik -- Vegn dem
yidishn visnshaftlekhn institut in vilne, "Morgn
frayhayt," N. Y., 28 July 1930.
M. E. --- Der
mekhaber fun "teator fin khasidim, "Bibliologisher
zamlbukh," Minsk, 1931, Vol. 1, pp. 515-16.