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DOLITZKI, MENAHEM MENDEL:

Russian Hebrew poet; born in Byelostok April 3, 1856. He began to compose poetry and prose very early, often supplementing and spicing the quarrels of his schoolmates with lampoons in Biblical Hebrew. In 1880 Dolitzki left Byelostok, and after spending some time in Kiev settled as a teacher in Moscow. In 1892 he went to the United States, and settled in New York.

His first considerable work was the satirical poem "Liḳḳuy Shene ha-Meorot," which appeared in "Ha-Shaḥar" (ix.). It was afterward published separately (Vienna, 1879). His model letter-writer, "Shebeṭ Sofer," was published in Vienna in 1883; and his "Betok Leba'im" (St. Petersburg, 1884), a novel, first appeared serially in "Ha-Meliẓ." Another novel, "Mi-Bayit umi-Ḥuẓ" (Wilna, 1891), describing the persecutions of the Jews in Rumania, is considered a masterpiece (see Perez in "Jüdische Bibliothek," ii. 69, Warsaw, 1892). His other model letter-writer, "Nib Sefatayim" (Wilna, 1892), has been reprinted many times. The first attempt to collect his poetical works was made in America, "Kol Shire Menaḥem" appearing in New York (1895), followed by "Shire Menaḥem" (ib. 1899). They contain poems which have appeared in various Hebrew periodicals in America and abroad. In America Dolitzki also essayed works of fiction in Yiddish, and some of his novels, as "Der Gebildeter Merder" (Chicago, 1897), or "Shtarker von Eisen" (New York), attained popularity. He furthermore edited the Yiddish monthly magazine "Die Zeit," which appeared in New York from Dec., 1897, to Sept., 1898. The unfinished poem "Ha-Ḥalom we-Shibro," which appeared in "Ha-'Ibri," 1893, Nos. 8-19, and which describes the sufferings of a Jewish Cantonist, is considered by him to be the best of his poems.

Bibliography:
  • B. Eisenstadt, Dor Rabbanaw we-Soferaw, pp. 14-15, Wilna, 1900;
  • Melsach, Miktabim mi-Sar shel Yam, i. 36; ii. 32, 33, Warsaw, 1884;
  • Citron, in Ha-Shaḥar. xii. 130:
  • Leroy Beaulieu, Israel Among the Nations, p. 319, New York, 1896 (a translation);
  • Klausner, Novo-Yevreiskiya Literatura XIX Vyeka, p. 71, Warsaw, 1900.
H. R. P. Wi.
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