Dalia’s Art Works

Lieder das Ghetto


Written by Morris Roseneld,  illustrated by Ephraim Moses Lilien.

SKU: SBS001 Category:


The Link between Lieder des Gehtto /Morris Rosenfeld – and HANUKKAH

The book Lieder des Ghetto was written by Morris Rosenfeld and illustrated by Ephraim Moses Lilien.

Morris Rosenfeld, named in Hebrew Moshe Yakov Alter, the famous Yiddish poet of the American sweatshops, was born on December 28, 1862 in Boksze, a Polish village .

Due to the dire situation in Poland, he immigrated like many others and settled in New York, where he found work in the tailoring workshops in the Lower East Side.

This rough life, which continued for a few years, gave him the experience which enabled him to shed light on the poor living conditions of immigrants from Eastern Europe who worked in the New York’s sweatshop industry.

In 1888 he published his first poem -The Bell – DI Gloke די גלאקע. ,which was followed by many other poems on this subject.

His poems quickly became very popular and were soon set to music and sung in the shops while Rosenfeld continued to live out a meager existence as a shop-worker. His poems were later translated to English, where they found a wider audience, and he became world-renowned as the “Poet of the Sweatshops.”

One of his famous volume of poetry, was the book Lieder des Ghetto -Songs from the Ghetto, first published in Boston, 1899.

The link that lead between the book- Lieder des Ghetto and HANUKKAH is the beautiful song that Morris Rosenfeld wrote- Chanukah licht = די חנוכה ליכט = Chanukah lights=נרותי הזעירים

It is assumed that the song was first published in 1897.The song spread around the world and was sung since then in many versions – different lyrics and different melodies in Yiddish, English, and Hebrew.

In our gallery shop there is a copy of the book Lieder des Gehtto, written by Morris Rosenfeld, (translated from Yiddish to German by Berthold Feiwel) with a dedication in Yiddish in his handwriting. The book was Illustrated by Ephraim Moses Lilian and was published by Calvary & Co, 1902, Berlin.