Gordon, Judah Leon

Gordon, Judah Leon,

1830–92, Russian-Hebrew novelist and poet, b. Vilna. As teacher and writer he was one of the leaders in the renaissance of a progressive culture among the Jews (see HaskalahHaskalah
, [Heb.,=enlightenment] Jewish movement in Europe active from the 1770s to the 1880s. Beginning in Germany in the circle of the German Jewish philosopher Moses Mendelssohn and spreading to Galicia and Russia, the Haskalah called for increased secularization of Jewish
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) and he was an indefatigable foe of obscurantism. His historical poems were followed by satirical works attacking the severity of traditional Judaism. He wrote in incomparable classical Hebrew, and in Russian, Yiddish, and German as well. A complete edition of his works was published (1928–35) in Tel Aviv.
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