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HERSHELE (pseudonym of Hersh Danielevitz ; 1882–1941), Yiddish poet, essayist, short story writer, translator, and folklorist. Born in Lipno, Poland, Hershele received a traditional Jewish education and taught himself secular subjects. He joined the revolutionary movement early, fled to Zurich, and then returned to Poland. During the German occupation of 1915–18 he was one of the founders of the Lodz literary circle and of various periodicals. He contributed to the Yiddish dailies in Poland, Haynt, Moment, and the Buenos Aires Yiddish daily Di Prese, and translated Polish, Russian, and German poetry into Yiddish. Primarily a folk poet, his books are Hersheles Lider ("Hershele's Poems," 1907) and Zun Feygelekh ("Sun Birds," 1918). Throughout his life he collected Yiddish folk songs, hundreds of which he sent to Ḥ.N. *Bialik, and folk stories and sayings. Hershele's charming and rhythmic poems described the lives, loves, and thoughts of simple Jewish coachmen, housemaids, and cooks in Poland. He published poems in Dror, Yedies, and Payn un Gvure in the Warsaw ghetto, where he died.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1928), 668f.; lnyl, 3 (1960), 229–31. add. bibliography: M. Ravitch, Mayn Leksikon, 1 (1945), 77–79; Y. Papernikov, Heymishe un Noente (1958), 217–21.

[Israel Ch. Biletzky]