Lives in the Yiddish Theatre


Hersh Leyb Sigeter

Born in 1844 in Siget-Marmaros, Hungary (today Romania). Until age twenty he learned in various yeshivas, then married, and sitting on kest (room and board offered by a family to its new son-in-law to enable him to continue his studies without financial worries -- ed.) with a harsh, rich village patron, further busy, drowning in Talmud, in this connection however learning Hebrew and German, translating into Hebrew Schiller's "Di gloke", Goethe's "Fir elemente", Kotzebue's "Di fartsveyflung".

 H. was in his youth a badkhan, a poetic soul, and a bright musician. Not by the Gotlib name, but as R' Hersh Leyb Sigeter was a renowned person in Hungary, Galicia and Romania, especially over in Slovakia and the Carpathians.

S.'s sciences, sermons, gleykhvertlekh, parables, jests, shtekvertlekh, songs, which he used to say "shteynreyf" during the large, ngdishe weddings, were immediately utilized and quickly became popular across entire countries, especially his "Chanukah song".

S. was in his area the oyfshturmer of Yiddish, at first as a badkhan and folksinger, and later as an editor of Hebrew and Yiddish weeklies.

In the beginning of the eightieth year of the nineteenth century, S. was editor-publisher of a Hebrew journal, 1893-4 of the Yiddish weekly "Di yudishe folkstsaytung" in Marmarosh Siget, then for the weekly "Zion" and "Di varhayt".


During that time S. was an epicurus, and had to fight bitterly against assimilation and views. In his weekly S. published many of his own songs, jokes, proverbs, feuilletons, stories, stories, skits and also popular scientific talks.

For his epicurus, S. strongly was pursued from the elite of Marmoros-Siget until his resistance brought and from today on S. was a total bal-shuva.

S. had great merit for the development of Yiddish in the Carpathians as the pioneer of the published Yiddish word in those regions.

M. E. from Itsikl Goldenberg.

  • Z. Reyzen -- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature", Vol. I, pp. 458-9.

  • S. Y. Dorzon -- Der yikhus fun idish inkarpatn-rus, "Literarishe bleter", Warsaw, 35, 1929.






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Adapted from the original Yiddish text found within the  "Lexicon of the Yiddish Theatre" by Zalmen Zylbercweig, Volume 1, page 141.

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