Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Rachel Feigenberg

F. was born in Lyuban, Minsk Gubernia, White Russia. Her father -- a son of the Lyuban rabbi, and was a great scholar and Kabala scholar. At the age of seventeen he received authority over rabbinics, and sitting with difficulty for room and board, he learned languages and became a mashkil, but at the end disappointed in the secular studies, became even more immersed in Kabala. At the age of thirty became a widower. He married again and bore Rachel, who had a difficult childhood in great poverty. Due to her husband's early death, F.'s mother opened a store, striving to give her daughter a good education, calling for the help of F.'s grandfather, The rabbi was worshiped in piety, praying with intention, reading pleadings and books of morality. At the same time she learned Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian. At the age of twelve, due to her mother's illness, it was necessary for the scholars to take over and take over the shop and the housekeeping. But there also appeared to read the wondrous works of rabbis and righteous people as well as Shomer's novels, which under their influence, F. at the age of thirteen by herself wrote a novel, "Joseph and Rosa," but it burned because of the turmoil that arose in its environment.

At the age of fifteen, due to the death of her mother and grandfather, F. came to Odessa, where she worked for four years under the worst conditions, in a salon of women's clothes, and in the evening read much of the Russian literature. She once returned to the town of her birth, she had, under an impression of awakened memories, wrote her first work "Di kinder-yohren."


Not yet complete, the manuscript arrived to Sha'ul Ginsburg, editor of "Fraynd," and in 1905 he published in the journal, "Dos lebn." The story made a great impression, and soon crowned the writer as a prominent writing talent. Thanks to Sha'ul Ginsburg, she left her work in a tailor salon, and she came to Peterburg, where she received the possibility further to study. here She took a teacher's examination and took two semesters of lectures on the literature-historic courses of Professor Rayev, but due to shortage of monetary means, she could not complete the course. She returned to Russia, and for a certain time she was a teacher in Volin. Thereby F. continued further her writing activities, and she published in the supplement of Peterburg's "Fraynd," a dramatic study "Kursistkes," wrote a drama in four acts, "A shlekhter dor" (not published). Dr. I.B. Tsipor dedicates a large article to F.'s drama, "Di froy fun undzer tsayt" (probably "A shlekhter dor"), which he heard the reading of a manuscript, and comes to the following decision:

"Three different types of women, both markedly active, not too deep, feminine easily, but prominent enough to illustrate to a certain extent the idea of poetess. To this end, the play from artistic point of view is very beautifully constructed, possesses the proper mood, a sufficiently indulgent tempo in the action, and a proper number of close-knit, silhouette-metics, which create a very happy thing for the main characters, published among the nebn-geshtaltn shtralt arois, particularly noticeable the father, Sol Cohen, and it is even elevated to the level of a particularly powerful figure, with a deep, unique tragedy in the soul, rising even mentally to the level of a particularly vigorous figure, with a deep, unique tragedy in the soul, overpowered him the world disappointment of his daughter Bella, and in the moment of great disappointment, he burned by his own hands every book that he had at home; books that he himself brought once so that his children can be educated and become cultural human beings. He had remorse. This finale made a strong impression, and forcing us to read through the drama, to delve into this and to think about this problem. The offering from this daring and artistic work the stage would have given the actor an opportunity to show off his best-in-class ability -- a beautiful and equally entertaining performance. "

In 1924 she published in "Tsukunft" (June-September) her four-act drama, "Hfkr-mentshn," which, under the name "Tekhter" was staged in November 1927 by Rudolph Zaslavski in Vilna's "Yiddish Folks Theatre." In 1924 she published in the Warsaw "Ilustrirte vokh" (N' 17, 18) the dramatic etude  "Tsvay onzikhts-kartn," and published there a dramatic etude, "Kursistkes," as well as publishing there four articles, "Yiddish Theatre and the Yiddish Public." F. also translated Leonid Andreyev's drama, "Anathema."

F. had many wanderings around Russia and Ukraine and experienced the pogroms, lived in Bessarabia and Romania. After issuing several books in Yiddish (details about her literary activity, see Reisen's "Lexicon."). In 1925 she settled in Eretz Yisroel, where she went further and wrote in Yiddish, and part of her writing through other translations in Hebrew. Late she, by herself, began to write in Hebrew. In 1967 she published in Hebrew a brochure in which she turns into a neganitin herself, the fate of Yiddish.

f.'s published plays:

1. Rokhl Feigenberg
Dramatic etude
Supplement to "Fraynd"
(A 1. "Ilustrirte vokh," Warsaw, 1924)

2. Rokhl Feigenberg
Drama in an act
("Di tsukunft," N.Y., June-Sept. 1924)

3. Rokhl Feigenberg
Tsvey anzikhts-kartn
Dramatic etude
("Ilustrirte vokh," Warsaw, N' 17-18, 1924)

  • Z. Reisen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vilna, 1929, Vol. 2, pp. 49-56.

  • Dr. I. Tsipor -- Di froy fun undzer tsayt, "Der moment," Warsaw, 4 January 1953.

  • Rokhl Feigenberg -- Der yidisher shrayber tsu zayn leyener, "Literarishe bleter," Warsaw, N' 10, 1931.

  • Rokhl Auerbach -- Rokhl feigenberg, "Di goldene kayt," Tel Aviv, N' 17, 1953.

  • Israel Emiot -- Rokhl feigenberg baveynt dem gurl fun yidish, "Forward," N.Y., 24 Sept. 1967.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 6, page 5152.

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