Aaron Zeitlin

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Aaron Zeitlin (1898 in Uvarovichi – 1973 in New York), the son of the famous Jewish writer Hillel Zeitlin and Esther Kunin, authored several books on Yiddish literature, poetry and parapsychology.


Zeitlin spent his formative years in Gomel and Vilna. In 1920, he and his brother Elchanan traveled to Palestine, and in 1921 they returned to Warsaw.

His literary abilities were apparent already in his youth when he contributed some articles to the Odessa-based children's journal Perachim and Hashachar.

His first piece of literature Matatron appeared in Di yidishe velt (די ייִדישע װעלט "The Jewish World") in 1914, followed by many more articles published in many of the leading Jewish journals of that time.

In March 1939, he was invited to come to New York by Yiddish Playwright Maurice Schwartz and settled there until his death.

His play Chelmer Chachomim had already opened to critical acclaim at the Yiddish Theatre in New York prior to his arrival, and he slowly became a fixture of the Yiddish scene.

For a time, he was also Professor of Hebrew literature at the Jewish Theological Seminary of America, in New York.

He was close with other Yiddish literary giants of his day, including Isaac Bashevis Singer who wrote of the former "his greatest vice was literature, religious literature and anything and everything of intellectual value, he was a man possessing vast knowledge, a veritable spiritual giant".

He wrote the famous Yiddish song Donna Donna, whose music was composed by Sholom Secunda.

In 1969 Zeitlin and Abraham Sutzkever were the first recipients of the Itzik Manger Prize for Yiddish letters.[1]

Published works[edit]

Ha-meziut ha-aheret (The other Dimension), Tel Aviv: Yavneh, 1967. Parapsychologia murchevet (Expanded Parapsychology), Tel Aviv: Yavneh, 1973. Poems of the Holocaust and Poems of Faith [ed./trans. Morris Faierstein] (iUniverse), 1-217 (122, emended), 2007


  • Alpert, Reuven. Caught In The Crack, Wandering Soul Press, 2002. pp. 151
  • Faierstein, Morris M. trans. and Ed., "Poems of the Holocaust and Poems of Faith" By Aaron Zeitlin. iuniverse: New York, 2007.


  1. ^ Weisgal, Meyer (1972). Meyer Weisgal ... so far; an autobiography. p. 320.