Born in 1860 in Berdichev,
Ukraine (according to her son -- in Bessarabia) into a
prominent family. She completed the middle school in
Kishinev. When she was very young she married Y.Y.
Lerner, settled in Odessa, where she had -- according to
her son -- withstood the troubles of a miserable zuug?,
even associated with material needs.
In the beginning of the
eighties [1880s], a person under the effect of her
husband, L. began to write Yiddish, was close to the
ideas of Khabas Zion [?] in Jewish Nationalism, and had
published a story "Aheym" in the Khubbi-tsion collection
book "Der verker" (1887), also under fictional subjects
in the supplement to "Yudishes folksblat" (1888) in the
theatre piece "Di egunah, a drama in four acts and six
scenes," which at first was published in two volumes of
"Hoyzfraynd" (pp. 27-78), and then in a separate
publication "Ferlag yudishe bihne", Warsaw, Trs'kh [78
That play in her time was
often performed on the Yiddish stage.
Professor Simon Dubnow had,
under the pseudonym of "Kritikus" ("Voskhod", N' 7,
1889), did not respond well to the play He considers it
to be a melodrama, clichéd according to [both] theme and
form. From one side, operated crooks and murderers; from
the other side, a false victim [?], healer and noble,
sentimental-mlitshdike speech, melodrama and
routine, but in the cause of the drama -- a good idea.
In the theatre museum of
YIVO, one finds the manuscript of even several of L.'s
plays: "Di khupe un di loyh, a comedy in four acts and
six kartines (censured on 10 May 1883), "Der
shtrafnoy", a drama in five acts and six scehens, after
the subject of A. Rabinowitz, adaptation" (censured on
12 July 1883), and "Der shmalts-grub, a comedy in five
acts" (censured on 11 April 1883).
In the same museum one can
also find a written exemplar of "Di aguneh" (censured on
9 December 1887), as well as German censorship [blumrsht
translated by Y. Y. Lerner] for the play under the name
"Libestsoyber", and for "Der shmalts-grub", under the
name "Di goldkvele."
Even though the plays were
censored and had in that time were very forced into new
plays [her husband Y. Y. Lerner had, given over many to
Avraham Goldfaden, and with him created a partnership in
Odessa]; we don't find anywhere any statements of people
who [outside of "Di egunah"] who acted in the plays.
After her husband's
conversion to Christianity, L. also went over to
Christianity and at the same time also converted her
children: Nikolai, the late, famous Russian literary
historian and Pushkin researcher, Tina -- a talented
pianist, and Vera -- a singer.
In 1905 L. was for several
years in Germany, in order to perfect a tour across
America, Canada and Europe. During wartime, L. again was
in Germany, and then again in America, where she
remained until 1923. On the way back to Russia, she was
held in Germany, where in 1927 she passed away.
M. had -- according to
Esther Rapelskaya -- a sharfetfish,. The
bildlekheyt and humor of her talk, the
aftekaraveslekh, entirely shtekhedike, over
people, who she used to recognize through and through;
she had created for a very interesting entertainment,
even then when she already old and sick. Not
withstanding her deep age, her entire veun?? was
something like a powerful source of energy, temperament
and imagination. The national question for her was an
ongeveytikte. In her conversations, she often used
The manuscripts of her
dramas L. had preserved until her last days.
Sh. E. from
B. Gorin -- "History
of Yiddish Theatre", Vol. II, p. 269.
R. Granovski --
Yitzhak yoel linetsky, "Pinkas", N. Y., 1927-28.