The pen name of Shaye-Nisn Goldberg, he was a prose writer born in the village of Stalbovshtshine (Stralbovshchina), Minsk district. His family later moved to the nearby town of Mohilev (Mogilev), where he father worked as an elementary school teacher. Until age ten he studied in religious elementary school, was proficient in Tanakh, wrote poetry in Hebrew, and later studied Talmud with his father. At age thirteen they moved to the town of Kapulye (Kopyl), and from there his path took him to Nesvizh (Nesvyžius), Uzde (Uzda), and Minsk where he studied in yeshivas. In Minsk he became acquainted with the writer Sh. L. Tsitron, and under his influence he began to write feature pieces. In the late 1880s, he moved to Kiev, got to know Sholem-Aleykhem, and published in his Yidishe folks-biblyotek (Jewish people’s library) 1 (1888) a long feature: “Briv fun lite keyn amerike” (Letter from Lithuania to America). From Sholem-Aleykhem he received his first honorarium—150 rubles (5 kopeks per line), which for that time was an immense sum of money. He wrote features for other Hebrew and Yiddish publications. In 1889 he returned to Lithuania and became a teacher of Hebrew in Koidanov. In 1891 he settled in Minsk, and this became his permanent base. The October Revolution (1917) completely overturned his life: No one had need of his religious teaching nor his Hebrew pen. He published a number of Yiddish items in the Minsk newspaper Oktyabr (October) and in Moscow’s Der emes (The truth). The Byelorussian government supported him with a personal pension. In his last memoiristic notes, which he began publishing in Oktyabr, he returned to the distant past of his youth. When the aged writer sought to assess how much he had written and published over the course of his life, it came to roughly 500 stories and novellas, of which some 250 were in Yiddish. His books include: Dertseylungen (Stories) (Minsk, 1940), 28 pp.
Source: Chaim Beider, Leksikon fun yidishe shrayber in ratn-farband (Biographical dictionary of Yiddish writers in the Soviet Union), ed. Boris Sandler and Gennady Estraikh (New York: Congress for Jewish Culture, Inc., 2011), pp. 176-77.