Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


David Moshe Hermalin


Born on 12 May 1865 in Vasilău, Rumania. His father was a merchant, who gave him a traditional education. Until the age of twelve he learned in a cheder, then he took up secular studies and later learned Hebrew, Russian, German and French with the teacher Hillel Goldenkorn. At the age of sixteen, he left his parents for Bucharest and there stayed for four years.

In 1885 H. immigrated to New York, where here he entered into the "Idisihe folks tseytung", and in about a year's time became a Hebrew teacher in Montreal, returning to New York where he dedicated himself to Yiddish journalism. H. published in the periodic Yiddish press light, popular articles, novels, philosophical papers and a whole range of translations and adaptations of the European literature, form which many, also original novels, were later published as separate books.

In 1895, when the Yiddish stage in America dominated during the "classical period", H. adapted into Yiddish Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and "Macbeth", which were soon thereof staged. Being so drawn into the circle of the Yiddish theatre, H. took to writing the melodramatic sort and "lebensbilds", according to the tastes of the time. Thus they staged in 1899 his [adapted] plays: "dos kind fun der mdbr", or "Gefangen in gets fun vilder libe" (in 5 acts), "Feygele", or "Noyt brekht eyzn" (in 4 acts with a prologue), in 1900: "Der yidisher gemblre", or "Oyfun mzbkh fun libe", "Der .

geldzak", "Josephus", or "Der yidisher gladiator" (dramatized from Yan Koval's novel, "Spartacus"), and an adaptation of Shakespeare's "Cariolanus". In 1901: the hisotic operetta "Di idn in brazilye (The Jew in Brazil)", or "Prints roderiga", in 1902: the drama "Di kroyn fun shande", in 1904: a translation of Strindberg's "Der tate (The Father)", in 1906: the translation from Roneti Roman's "Menasha", and in 1907: the translation of the melodrama "Olga", or "Di geheymnise fun kloyster".

H. also translated Goethe's "Faust", that was published in his translation in four volumes "Geklibene shriftn fun volkfgang goethe" (Hebrew Publishing Company, N. Y., 1912).

On 19 June 1921 H. passed away in New York.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp. 866-70.

  • B. Gorin -- "History of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. I, p. 141 [list of plays].

  • N. B. L. -- Zeyer geyst iz nokh mit unz, "Tog", N. Y., 23 November 1924.

  • Sholem Perlmutter -- Idishe dramaturgen, "Di idishe velt", Cleveland, 23 December 1928.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 633.

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