Mendele mocher sforim

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Mendele mocher sforim

[Yid.,= Mendele the book peddler] (mĕn`dələ môkh`ər sfô`rĭm), pseud. of

Sholem Yakov Abramovich

(shō`ləm yä`kôv əbrämə`vĭch), 1836–1917, Yiddish novelist. Born in Minsk, and orphaned at 14, he traveled with beggars through Ukraine. His early writings were in Hebrew, but his later novels and short stories were written in Yiddish. He perfected a Yiddish prose style that greatly influenced later writers. Mendele translated many of his later works into Hebrew. Among his best-known writings, dealing with Jewish life in Russia, are Di kliatche [the mare] (1873) and The Travels of Benjamin the Third (1878). Strongly influenced by the secularizing trends of the Hebrew Enlightenment, or Haskalah, he attempted to influence the people to free themselves from the physical and intellectual restraints of the ghetto. He is considered the grandfather of modern Yiddish literature and the father of modern Hebrew literature.


See studies by D. Miron (1973) and T. L. Steinberg (1977).

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References in periodicals archive ?
Mordechai Zalkin (2005: 267) says of Abramowitsch : "One of the key figures among these compilers of popular science was Shalom Jacob Abramowitsch, better known as Mendele Mokher Sefarim. [...] [I]n the early 1860s he began publishing his comprehensive Toledot ha teva' (History of nature), a Hebrew translation of various works on natural sciences by Harald Othmar Lenz, Alfred Edmund Brehm, Philip Jacob Beumer, and Christoph Gottfried Andres Giebel." Abramowitsch's work was to become an important and influential landmark on naming animals in Modern Hebrew.
Mendele Moykher Sforimalso spelled Mendele Mokher Sefarim, pseudonym of Shalom Jacob Abramovitsh(b.