Mordecai Ze’ev Feierberg

Mordecai Ze'ev Feierberg (1874-1899) was born in Wollin, in the Ukraine, and received a traditional Jewish education. He did not like religious studies, leading to a strong resentment towards his father, the Shokhet (ritual slaughterer). His father wanted to teach him his trade, which shocked him, as he later wrote in one of his stories, "The Calf." When he was eighteen, a marriage was arranged, and he and his bride fell in love. Feierberg fell ill, resulting in the cancelation of the engagement. He began to study by himself, first reading Haskalah literature and then reading the Jewish poets of the Middle Ages. Impressed by Yehuda Halevi's writings, he employed Halevi's works as arguments in his troubled relationship with Jewish tradition. When his illness worsened his friends helped him reach Warsaw in search of a cure. There he showed his poems and prose to Sokolow and to Y. L. Peretz, who advised him to concentrate on prose. His first story was published in 1896 in the daily Ha-Tsefira, and his collected stories were published posthumously.            

Books Published in Hebrew            
Yankev the Watchman (story), Hatzfira [daily], 1896 [Yaakov Ha-Shomer]
The Calf (story), Ha-Shiloah [periodical], 1897 [Ha-Egel]
In the Evening; The Amulet (stories), Ha-Shiloah [periodical], 1898 [Ba-Erev; Ha-Kame'a]
A Spring Night; The Shadows (stories) Luah Ahiasaf [annual], 1899 [Leil Aviv; Ha-Tzlalim]
Whither? (novella), Ha-Shiloah [periodical], 1899 [Le'an]
Collected Stories and Writings, Krakow: Chevrat "Hasefer", 1904; Warsaw: Ahiasaf, 1922; New York & Tel Aviv: Israel Matz Foundation, 1937 [Kovetz Sipurav U-Chtavav; Kovetz Sipurim U-Chtavim]
The Landowner's Son: Folktale (children), Warsaw: Ha-Or, 2005 [Ben Ha-Paritz: (Agadat Am)]            
Drawings: 1. The Calf; 2. In the Evening (stories; youth), Odessa: Moriah, 1910; Tel Aviv: Dvir, 1925 [Tziyurim: 1. Ha-Egel; 2. Ba-Erev]
Whither? (novella), New York: Bloch, 1927; Tel Aviv: N. Drummer, 1940; new ed. Knesset, 1958 [Le'an]
In the Evening (story), Omanut, 1929 [Ba-Erev]
Collected Works, Knesset, 1941 [Kitavei M. Z. Feierberg]
In the Evening; The Amulet (stories), Knesset, 1944 [Ba-Erev; Ha-Kame'a]
The Calf (story), Knesset, 1950 [Ha-Egel]           
Collected Works, Dvir, 1958 [Ktavim]
Mordecai Ze'ev Feierberg: The Author and His Work (stories), A. Zelkowitz, 1967 [Mordechai Ze'ev Feierberg: Ha-Sofer Vi-Yetzirato]           

Books in Translation            
Whither and Other Stories            
English: Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society of America, 1973; New York/London, The Toby Press, 2004

Mordecai Ze`ev Feierberg