(Eliyahu Elkhasnador Fidelman)
Born in 1825  in Minsk,
White Russia. His father was Reuben the Klezmer --
renowned as a good violinist.
At first his father had him
learn acting, and Sender had indeed manifested an
ability as a talented violinist and guitar player, but a
little later his father realized that being a badkhan
can provide a good income, and he impressed on Sender
that he should be a badkhan.
Sender had very quickly
acquired a name in Minsk and in its environs, as, that
he himself no merveyniker of weddings(?) in the
extended points of White Russia, in Vilna, Grodno, and
many other cities, due to the fact that he even bought
his own horse and carriage.
Sender learned magic from a
German and used to perform tricks at weddings.
Sender was a little scholar,
had a pure, aummitlbare nature, with free,
bahemishe inclinations, was gifted with a folksy
humor, and carried in himself a genuine poetic spark.
Thanks to Paulina Wengrow,
there was put into print two song collections of Sender:
"Shiri osf, oder, Di kleynshtetildige khasene, mas
elkhasnador sender fidelman, vilne, Shnt tr"lg ,
and " Lider tsum tsayt fertreybung, mas elkhasnador
fidelman, Vilna, 1877".
Among his manuscripts, what
remains of them, one finds a drama with the name "Shimshen
hagiber (Samson, the Hero)", which on itself had the date of 1883, and a
large series of songs that was never published,
apparently from various dates, although in one volume of
a manuscript is [written] the year 1879.
In his own handwriting
(according to N. A. [N. Auslander]), Fidelman was the
type of a folk writer with a sense for real life, to
local facts and farheltnishn. In antithesis to
other badkhans, Fidelman made little of general
observations, but more with realistic, genre images, for
which he had a sharp eye. He was a master of portraying
shapes. His figure came out light with a little
groblekhn humor, but they lived on for the eyes (?)
and remained it one's memory. In his description of the
Minsk Jewish environment, he always turned his eye
towards the corner of need and poverty.
For a short time, Sender was
also a court jester for the Lubavich rabbi, and once
between Sender ad a second court jester Pesakh Eli
Badkhan, had a word duel.
About his work as a badkhan,
especially known for his interpretation of the Psalms
which used to appear heretical, and due to this the
rabbis looked at him askance.
For a certain time he was a
chubby person with a belly, with a healthy carp (?),
going about richly dressed, and with a golden chain on
his breast. He also was an amateur photographer.
According to Yakov Zizmor,
Sender was a master of languages, and he used to write
versions (nuskhus) on gravestones (tombs).
B. Slutzky --
Yidishe badkhonim-shoyshpiler, "Tsaytshrift",
Minsk, 1926, Vol. I, pp. 259-60.
N. A. -- Tsu b.
slutzky's badkhonim-shoyshpiler, "Tsaytshrift",
Minsk, 1926, Vol. I, pp. 262-4.
Yakov Zizmor --
Fun mayne zikhrunus vegn badkhanim, "Pinkus",
Vilna, 1922, p. 877.