Home  \  Authors  \  Authors  \ 

Mendele Mocher Sefarim

Mendele Mocher Seforim (Shalom Jacob Abramovitsch) (1835-1917) was born in Kapulye, Belorussia. He left his home town after his father`s death, at the age of thirteen, and wandered through Lithuania, studying at various yeshivot. From 1858 to 1869 he lived in Berdichev, a relatively large town with an intellectual Jewish circle. Here, with the financial support of his father-in-law, he was able to devote himself to secular learning, to writing and subsequently to publishing. He took an active part in public life: he founded a philanthropic association to help the poor and his Yiddish play, The Tax (1869), denounced the infamous meat-tax which fell heaviest upon the poor. The young Mendele demanded that contemporary Hebrew literature be actively involved in current problems of the Jewish community. He advocated teaching the sciences to the masses of Jews and claimed that people should be helped to attain a secular education in the spirit of the Haskalah. During those years Mendele wrote literary and social criticism and works of popular science in Hebrew, as well as Hebrew and Yiddish fiction. In the 1870s, Mendele devoted himself to the compilation and translation into Yiddish of traditional Jewish literature. At the same time he published the first version of his allegorical novel, The Nag (1873), and his allegorical poem, Yudel (1875). He also produced "practical literature" such as a calendar which included information in Yiddish on natural sciences and Jewish history, and a Yiddish translation of the regulations concerning compulsory service in the Russian Army. Although Mendele began writing in Yiddish for the practical purpose of reaching a larger reading public, he eventually came to regard his Yiddish works as possesing intrinsic artistic value in their own right. He wrote in both Hebrew and Yiddish throughout his career, writing predominantly in Yiddish. Writing in both languages resulted in interaction between his Hebrew and his Yiddish style. In 1881, Mendele was invited to serve as the principal of a new school established by the Odessa Jewish community. By this time his prestige as the "grandfather of Yiddish literature" was firmly established. But the Hebraic-Zionist atmosphere then prevalent in Odessa influenced him, and in 1886 he returned to writing Hebrew fiction. The pogroms of this era and the beginning of the Russian Revolution in 1905 drove him from Odessa, where he was the leader of a group of Jewish writers (Achad-Ha`am, Bialik, Dubnov), and he settled in Geneva. He returned to Odessa in 1908.            

Books Published in Hebrew
The Judgement of Truth, Vilna-Ram, 1860 [Mishpat Shalom]
About Judgement, Zhitomir-Szadaw, 1967 [Ayen Mishpat]            
Fathers and Sons, Odessa-Belinsohn, 1868 [Ha-Avot Ve Ha-Banim]
Benjamin the Third`s Travels, Odessa-Belinsohn, 1900 [Masaot Binyamin Ha-Shlishi]
Stories, Odessa-Ravnitzki, 1900 [Sipurim]
Mendele's Collected Work, Odessa-Anniversary Publications, 1912 [Col Kitvei Mendele Mocher Sefarim]
Mendele's Collected Work, Dvir, 1929 [Col Kitvei Mendeli Mocher Sefarim]
Two Short Srories & Autobiographical Notes, Xargol/ Modan, 2013 [Mendele Ha-Ivri]           

Books in Translation            
The Wishing Ring            
English: Syracuse, Syracuse University Press, 2003            

Benjamin the Third`s Travels            
German: Berlin, Schocken Verlag, 1937
French: Paris, Fasquelle, 1960; Paris, Austral, 1995; Saulxures, Circe, 1998
In the Bath-House  
French: Paris, Ed. du Cerf, 1996
Little Man            
Portuguese: Sao Paulo, Humanitas, 2012    

Mendele Mocher Sefarim

Books Published in Hebrew

Books in Translation

Congratulations to Barabara Harshav for the 2018 PEN Medal for Translation!
The prize is given to a translator whose career has demonstrated a commitment to excellence through the body of their work. Barbara Harshav has been translating works from French, German, Hebrew and Yiddish for over twenty years and has currently published over forty books of translation. Among the many Hebrew authors she has translated: Yoram Kaniuk, Agnon, Yehudit Hendel, Yehuda Amichai and many more.
The Ministry of Culture and Sport announced the names of the winners of the Arik Einstein Veterans Artists Prize.
A prize of 50,000 NIS was given to each of the 21 artists who worked and are still working to promote Israeli culture in various fields -Music, dance, theater, plastic arts, cinema and literature. In the literature category the winners were Ronny Someck, Jacob Buchan and Shlomit Cohen-Assif. Also, Anat Masiach is among the recipient of the prize for debut literary works. Congratulations!
Congratulations to Ronit Matalon, the recipient of the 2017 Brenner prize for her book 'And the Bride Closed the Door". And, congratulations to Amir ziv, the recipent of the first ever Brenner prize for debut novels.
Ronit Matalon's book tells the story of Margie, a young bride, who shuts herself up in her mother's bedroom and declares that she won’t get married. Her family gathers at the locked door, not knowing what to do. Amir Ziv tells a story that begins as an apparently routine correspondence between a prying citizen, secretly in love with his neighbor, and a conscientious municipal clerk, and developes into an uncovering of a great underlying drama.
The fourth German-Hebrew/Hebrew-German translation workshop April 29 to May 5, 2018 Beit Ben-Yehuda, Jerusalem
After workshops in Berlin, Jerusalem and Straelen, the workshop will return to Jerusalem this spring. This workshop will focus on the participants translations. These are unfinished translations that have not yet been published. These will be sent to all participants. The workshop is open to 10 participants and is intended for literary translators with experience and publications. Workshop facilitators: Anne Birkenhauer and Gadi Goldberg Prerequisites: At least one published translation Duration: Sunday, April 29, 2018 until Saturday, May 5, 2018 Location: Beit Ben-Yehuda, 28 Ein Gedi St., 93383 Jerusalem Participation fee: Participation (Accommodation and meals) is free of charge. Travel / flight expenses will be refunded. For more details and for the documents required for submitting application: Anne Birkenhauer, and Gadi Goldberg,
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is one of the 100 notable books of 2017 of the "New York Times".

Congratulations to Zeruya Shalev and Shifra Horn for receiving the 2017 Adei Wizo Prize.

Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award
Ayelet Gundar-Goshen's "Waking Lions" is longlisted for the 2018 International Dublin Literary Award! The books on the longlist are selected by 400 libraries worldwide. Titles are nominated on the basis of ‘high literary merit’ as determined by the nominating library.
Yitzchak Mayer's personal website goes live
English edition of Yitzchak Mayer's amazing "Silent Letter" is about to come out with Mosaic Press. Learn more about the author's incredible life story on his brand new website.
MHL - New webzine starting soon!