Born on 27 November 1894 in
Vohlin, Radom Gubrnia, Poland. His mother, who used the
name of her first husband, Malakh, passed away when he
was ten years old, and his father (Rafael-Mendl Zaltsman,
a Jew who was a scholar, an Amshinov Chasid, early on a
village religious teacher, then an oilsmith, a horse
trader) married a second wife, fully went away from him.
From age seven, until age nine, he learned in a
religious elementary school (cheder), then for a
short time in a house of study (bit-hamedrash).
At age ten he became an assistant in Zwolin, then in
Radom. At age thirteen he went away to Warsaw, where he
was a mirror cutter, a baker boy, a painter and a
At age sixteen, under the
effect of the Yiddish newspapers, and from Yiddish
theatre, he began to study writing in Yiddish and began
to self-educate himself.
In 1915 he debuted with a
ballad, "Three," in the "Varshaver togenblat" (under the
direction of H.D. Nomberg), then published ballads,
poems and legends in various periodical editions of
Poland, and since 1919 they were issued in special
In 1922 there was published
in the Warsaw publishing house of A. Gitlin, M.s "Opfal,
realistishe dramatishe poeme in 10 bilder," which often
was recited across the Polish province by the actor
In the same year also M.'s
books, "Lidlekh" and "Meshlekh" was published, as well
as M's children's plays, "Der zhabe-kenig, a meshele in
2 akts" and "Der vilder prints, a forshtelung."