This article introduces an unknown autobiography written by Aryeh Leib Feinstein who was a communal official in Brisk (Brześć Litewski). In this detailed memoir, written in 1896 and preserved in manuscript form only, Feinstein describes his life from his childhood in a small village near Brisk up to his adulthood, when he became a wealthy merchant in Brisk and a well-known historian of the local community. This unique egodocument is a subjective interpretation of the profound transformations of Eastern European Jewish culture during the second half of the 19th century. It enables us a better understanding of the complex relationship between the personal and the public spheres during this era and illustrates the need of broadening the setting of the self-fashioning of Jewish individuals.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© URIEL GELLMAN, 2022.
- Eastern European Jewish history