Seeking info on Author of Poem from Vasilishki portion of Shchuchin Yizkor Book translation #belarus

Bernie Hirsch <bernie06@...>


Does anyone have any information on the poem "Types >from the Shtetl"
and/or its author (Gershon Silverman) >from the Vasilishki portion of
the "Shchuchin Yizkor Book"?

In it, he mentions that his father was a tinsmith >from Vasilishki,
and that he was called "NOVARIDKER Tinsmith". This family, I believe,
was originally >from Novogrudok -- and indeed his brother was from
Novogrudok. I would guess that "Novaridker" means that he was from
Novagrudok, before he moved to Vasilishki.

It is very possible that I am a cousin of the author. Also his son
(in New York) would be very interested in knowing more, as well.

If it is the person we think it is, he was originally Gerschon
SREBNIK and then after immigrating >from Vasilishki (with an occupation

of tinner/tinsmith) to Brooklyn he changed his name to Gus SILVERMAN.
He lived in Brooklyn and then later Manhattan in the early to mid

Does anyone know when the poem was written? And who translated
the poem? Would anyone else have more information on the poem or its

I think it is a very likely possibility that it was written by my

Many thanks,
Bernie Hirsch Dallas, Texas USA

Page 230 [316]

Types >from the Shtetl


My father was called the NOVARIDKER Tinsmith
Made tinware and strainers and he did some roofing.
But tin dishes only Vasilishok made,
So what is a stranger doing here, the residents thought.

But, no 'tzores' were lacking in the shtetl.
Chaim the Baker needed a fortune for 'nadn'
And bakers there were in the shtetl any number.
Gesheften [stores] there also were many, let us not count.

There was Chaya Tzvia a true busybody.
Stores, businesses and mills were in her full operation
Smoked a cigarette as would suit a man
Also drove a horse and like a train.

But "Sender the Shamas" was a Haman
Beat us kids, we knew not why.
So we threw down the prayer reading stands
Then, he pulled at our ears and crowed like a rooster.

Zalman the Joker >from Shiduchim did not earn a penny.
Hard as he worked, his income was small.
All his life, slept on Chaim-Asher's wagon or bench
A shtetl worker without pay or thanks.

Take, for instance, a Jew like Yankel the Bass
Could be seen baking bagels in the middle of the street.
And chazonim never had such a bass
The voice of a lion in an empty container.

And do you think that Leibe was crazy or not?
His face and eyes were clear and charming
It probably was fearful darkness
>from seeking the aburund in the Talmud.

But who can name here all the people of the shtetl?
We have already turned over the faded yellow page.
The book is long though, it has no end,
It is old and new, like a nice legend.

Join { to automatically receive all group messages.