Aaron B. Rappaport
Born in 1895 in a village
near the Berezina River, near Minsk, White Russia. His
mother...descended from seven generations of rabbis. He
received a traditional Jewish education. He learned
Tanakh, Gemara and Russian with a teacher. At the age of
sixteen, together with his parents, he immigrated to
America, in New York completed a technical school and
was a technician.
In 1918 R. became mobilized
into the American Army, and after several weeks of easy
preparation, he was sent off to the front in France,
participating in several battles, and his ship became
torpedoed. In 1919 he returned to America.
After in 1916 he had in the
"Forward," and in various local weekly pages, published
songs, and after returning from the Front, he published
in the "Forward" songs of war, which draws
attention to the local and foreign Yiddish literature
circles. In 1925 there was published his first book of
war songs, "Durkh fayervent," in 1927 his dramatic poem,
"Sheydim," and in 1935 his book of stories, "Mayse-shap."
R. wrote much and published
in various literary editions. In 1922 he was a
co-founder and participant in Avrom Reisen's monthly
journal, "New Yiddish." Especially, R. published in "Di
In January 1929 he began to
publish in New York's "Hammer" his drama, "Devorah di
Nevie un Baraḳ ben Avinoʻam" (in three parts, six
scenes), already published after his death, in 1965 by
Peretz Publishers in Tel Aviv.
R. left over
very many non-published things, among them the
plays: "Mayster thomas," a dramatic poem in four
scenes and an epilogue, which portrays the life
and creations of an inventor in the beginning of
the development of American industry; "Glgl
mentsh," "Shuldik," a tragedy in four acts, and
"A kholem in roym (Der satelit)," written in
On 1 September 1964
R. passed away in New York.
In her introduction
to the drama, whose content also contains two
letters to the author from Hayyim Nachman Bialik,
R.'s wife, the poet Malka Lee, writes:
"...A number of
important works lie in manuscript. They lie in a
drawer and are awaiting their fate....
Modesty and quiet
envy are the foundation of Aaron Rappaport's
character. He never strays, not from simplicity,
not from authenticity. He was a visionary with
deep faith in human understanding, who will ever
more and more reveal the secrets of the world.
The Tanakh was his
holy book. In his soul the contents of this book
were published; that the contents had lived
within him, in him. And he was connected to "Devorah
di Nevie," the drama about the Jewish struggle,
and of Yiddish life, with struggle today for the
development of the Land of Israel."
from Malka Lee.
-- "Lexicon of Yiddish Literature," Vilna,
1929, Vol. 4, pp. 223-224.
Rappaport --"Devorah di Nevie un Baraḳ ben
Avinoʻam," Tel Aviv, 1965, pp. 6-8.
Goldberg -- In gang fun tog, "Daily Morning
Journal," N.Y., 24 Oct. 1966.