Ben-A Sochachewsky (1889-1958) was a journalist, poet and teller of Chassidic stories. He was born in Lodz, Poland, and arrived in London about 1913. He was on the editorial staff of Di Zeit, the London Yiddish newspaper, of which I have written about here. His actual name was Yechiel Meir or “Chil Majer” Sochachewsky, but he used the pen name Ben-A.
In 1941 he published a book “Lemech”, which was reviewed by Joseph Leftwich a little unflatteringly in the Jewish Chronicle. He says that Sochachewsky has, through the mouth of a Whitechapel Jew he calles “Lemech”, tried to describe in short rhymes the life of Whitechapel and of Anglo-Jewry as a whole. “He is mostly good-humouredly sarcastic, and sometimes he makes a shrewd thrust at one of our institutions or noted personalities. But there is also much notable reminiscence of the bustling life of Whitechapel 20 and 25 years ago (he is writing in 1941), some straightforward morning for the damage inflicted upon it by the air raids…”
This book, “Lemech Hasheni”, or the second Lemech, was published in 1946, printed at the Narod Press in Whitechapel. My copy has an interesting inscription.
The book is dedicated to the author’s late wife, Leah Sochachewsky, and there is a drawing of her by their son, the accomplished artist Maurice Sochachewsky.
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