Solomon Bloomgarden

Solomon Bloomgarden

Bloomgarden or Blumengarten, Solomon, pseud. Yehoash, 1870-1927, American writer in Yiddish, b. Lithuania. He emigrated to America in 1891 and, except for 10 years in Colorado (1900-1910), lived chiefly in New York City. His poetry, which holds a high place in Jewish-American literature, includes the collections Through Mist and Sunshine (1913) and In the Weaving (2 vol., 1919-21). The Feet of the Messenger (1921) was translated into English (1923). Considered to be his greatest work was the translation of the entire Old Testament from Hebrew into Yiddish. With Charles D. Spivak he compiled a Hebrew-Yiddish dictionary (1911). A translation of his poems appeared in 1952.
Yehoash was the pen name for Solomon Blumgarten, also known as Solomon Bloomgarden (1870-1927), a Yiddish-language poet, scholar and Bible translator.

Yehoash "is generally recognized by those familiar with this literature [Yiddish], as its greatest living poet and one of its most skillful raconteurs", according to a New York Times book review in 1923.

His output included verse, translations, poetry, short stories, essays and fables in Yiddish and some articles in English. His poetry was translated into Russian, Dutch, Polish, Finnish, German, Spanish, English and Hebrew. He was responsible for translating many works of world literature into Yiddish, including Longfellow's Hiawatha and a very popular translation of the Bible. His version was hailed as a contribution of national significance and perhaps the greatest masterpiece in the Yiddish language. His two volume edition became a standard work for Yiddish speaking homes throughout the world.

Born in Virbalis, Lithuania (then considered part of Russian-ruled Poland), he emigrated to the United States in 1890 and settled in New York. For a decade he was a businessman, but wrote full-time starting in 1900 when he entered a sanitarium for tuberculosis.

A visit to Palestine in 1914 led him to write a three-volume work describing the trip and the country. His description was later translated into English as The Feet of the Messenger. His translations included parts of the Koran, classical Arabic writings and Sayings of the Fathers (Pirke Aboth). With Dr. O. D. Spivak, he wrote a dictionary of the Hebrew and Chaldaic elements of Yiddish, illustrated with idiomatic expressions and proverbs.

He died suddenly at his home at 943 Whitlock Avenue in The Bronx, where he lived with his wife, Flora, and his daughter, Evelyn, at the time was a student at Hunter College. At the time of his death, he was an editor at The Day newspaper.

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