Lives in the Yiddish Theatre
SHORT BIOGRAPHIES OF THOSE INVOLVED IN THE Yiddish THEATRE
aS DESCRIBED IN zALMEN zYLBERCWEIG'S "lEKSIKON FUN YIDISHN TEATER"

1931-1969
 

Chaim M. Rafalovitsh


Born in Rasayn, Kovno Gubernia, Lita [Lithuania]. Until age eighteen he studied the Talmud, then he began to educate himself, becoming a Hebrew teacher. In 1908 he went away to Vilna, where he studied secular education courses.

Literarily he began in "Unzer ekspres." During the First World War he was a teacher in the Yiddish folksshul in Rasayn. In 1920 he settled in Kovno, where he was active in the Folks Party, worked as an official in  the Jewish National Council, edited the daily "Unzer tsayt," went over to work in the organ, "Neys," and founded in 1921 the "Likht" publication.

In 1914 in Vilna there was published his one-act comedy, "For the First Time [?] (Tsum ershtn mol").

The one-acter was staged through the Kovno Yiddish Dramatic Society, and the Russian newspaper, "Telegraph," writes (in our translation):

"The play is, a matter-of-fact, with its content, living dialogue, very good technique, and most importantly, it does not affect the viewer with the cheapest, effective transcribed features, which are entirely unnecessary, and wants to capture the interest, it is logical as it often acts in comedies. Instead in the play we have an immensely sound humor. Every participant in the hope was good in their roles."

An entirely other, very negative opinion about the one-acter, was published by Sh. Niger:

"In his message the publisher says ("Repertory") that he 'strove to create a comprehensible Yiddish repertory.' The two one-acters, which he had published, was literarily taken, but too weak even for an amateur repertoire. Rafalovitsh's 'For the First Time' is not a 'comedy in one act,' as it states on the title page, but a cheap anecdote, tossed over thirty-two sides."


Sh. E.

  • Zalmen Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vilna, 1929, Volume 4, pp. 232-233.

  • Sh. N. [Niger] -- From the Yiddish Literature, "The Yiddish World," Vilna, February 1914.


 

 

 

 


 

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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5148.

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