Born on 31 January 1863 in
Brisk, D'Lita. Until he became a bar-mitzvah he learned
with the best religious teachers [melamdim],
then he spent two years in the Volzhin yeshiva, where
he also began to take up a secular education. Later
he created together with volunteer teachers in the
course of a middle school, but due to the various
disadvantages he did not go to the examination for his
certificate of graduation [mature].
In 1881 he settled in
Warsaw, where he was dealing in merchandise, and in
earlier times he turned to literature. He debuted with a
series of stories in "Hasif," and in the daily "HaTzfira,"
in which throughout the year he published large and
small stories, as well as critiques and publicity
articles, and during his touring as a traveling
salesman across deep Russia. He used to publish small novels and articles
in the Russian press. During the time
of the First World War he worked in the daily orthodox
Yiddish newspapers, "Dos yudishe vort" and "Yud."
During the First World War,
being in Warsaw, he got a job as a censor for the German
press department, lost his post, and according to F.
"His condition became
worse every day. At home there began to be a shortage of
necessary basics. His only son, who at the time was a
student in high school (gymnasium) in Warsaw, whom he
loved very much, could not be provided with a music
teacher. This was a great tragedy for both R. and his
wife. Due to her depression, his wife, whom he loved
very deeply, began to grow ill. She suffered from her
illness at home until her death. The death of his wife,
whom he adored, left its mark on his future life; the
mark of loneliness.
Korn convinced him to write
something about his life experiences deep in Russia, and
under the pressure of poverty he started to write skits
and novels that could be printed in Polish translations
in "Nova Gazetta." He also wrote a play that was
presented on the Polish stage; however it wasn't a
R. also composed several
Yiddish plays for the theatre, among them "God's
Finger," "The Sixth Symphony," and "Constable Merzavin,"
which were presented in the Yiddish theatre.
Y.L. Wohlman wrote about his
play, "The Sixth Symphony":
"This time we were honored
with a lyrical play from the directors of the 'Elysium'
Theatre. The play is as described on he poster as
'lyrical,' and it is indeed lyrical. Its name is 'The
Sixth Symphony.' The subject is as old as heaven and
earth. The hero is Kronenberg, a Jewish landowner. He
has a daughter named Rochelle, a girl, neither sweet nor
sour. From her spiritual cultural point of view, neither
I nor the writer and perhaps herself doesn't know how,
but she falls in love. Like most other heroines in all
the other dramas, even in the simplest drama, she falls
in love with a man of flesh and blood. In lyrical dramas
she must fall in love lyrically... so it must be.
Rochelle falls in love with her music teacher. But her
parents, as expected, don't want this match. Hence it
becomes a drama, but this one is a terrifying one."
N.M. (Mayzel) characterizes
Whoever saw and met the
ancient, gray B.Ch. Reiz could recognize immediately
that this quiet, modest old man was a typical man from a
bygone era who did not fit in to our hoo-ha-life. He was
accustomed to the old-fashioned open spaces and to the
old slow, cautiousness of the wide, far off Siberia, and
to the quiet carefree life he lived there. He was used
to the broad Russian natural world and the current,
often cold atmosphere of this world was too narrow for
him. He was happy to sit and chat with another person
who understood this other world and location. ...Besides
that, in Siberia he had an old love. This was the
old-time newspaper “HaTzfira." In addition, lately he
had frequently been published in today’s Jewish press
…But it was…seldom that we met him in the company of
journalists and writers.
R. passed away on 23
November 1933 in Warsaw.
Z. Reisen -- "Lexicon
of Yiddish Literature," Vol. 4, Vilna, 1929, pp.
342-343 [342, 32-343].
N.M. [Mayzel] --
Binyamin khayim reyz, "Haynt," Warsaw, 24 November
F. Kor[n] -- Binyamin
khayim reyz (B.Kh.R.), "Haynt," Warsaw, 2 March