BEN-ZION, S. (pseudonym of Simhah Alter Gutmann; 1870–1932), Hebrew and Yiddish author. Ben-Zion, who was born in Teleneshty, Bessarabia, settled in Odessa in 1889. He taught there with Bialik, at the modern elementary school, where modern Hebrew was the language of instruction. With Bialik and rawnitzki , he founded the publishing house moriah and was editor of its juvenile division. The three also collaborated in the writing of Bible stories for children. Ben-Zion published the widely used reader, Ben Ammi (3 parts, 1905–11). From 1905 until his death he lived in Palestine, where he edited various journals and miscellanies; Ha-Omer (Jaffa, 1907–09); Moledet (1911); Shai (1918–19), the literary supplement of the weekly Ḥadashot me-ha-Areẓ; Ha-Ezraḥ (1919); and, for a short period (1930–31), the weekly Bustanai. Ben-Zion was also active in public life and was one of the founders of the Aḥuzzat Bayit suburb, out of which Tel Aviv developed. Ben-Zion's main achievement was as a short story writer. He began as a realist, influenced by Mendele Mokher Seforim, but his realism had none of Mendele's social satire. The main theme of his early works is the decline of the Bessarabian small Jewish town at the end of the 19th century. The younger generation longed to escape from the poverty and ignorance of their parents, but found themselves unequipped to do so. Their approach to life was blighted by an excessive leaning toward abstraction and they lacked a realistic approach to everyday problems. Ben-Zion's memories of his own childhood and youth occupy a prominent place in these stories. In Nefesh Reẓuẓah ("A Crushed Soul," 1952), he denounces the anguish inflicted upon the Jewish child, crushed in the stifling atmosphere of the ḥeder. Ben-Zion's emigration to Palestine marked a turning-point in his writing. Sensing that the true essence of Zionism at the time was to be found not in the reality but in the vision, he abandoned his realism for poetic lyricism and visionary symbolism. In this vein, he wrote his prose-poems Raḥel and Leviyyim which, though artistically imperfect, nevertheless represent a milestone in modern Hebrew literature. Toward the end of his life Ben-Zion wrote two lengthy historical novels, Megillat Ḥananyah, set in the period of the Second Temple, and Ma'aseh ha-Nezirah, the story of Judith and Holofernes. He also excelled as a translator and rendered several of the classical works of German poetry into Hebrew: Goethe's Hermann und Dorothea (1917); Schiller's Wilhelm Tell (1924); Ẓelilim, a selection of Heine's poems (1923); Heine's Deutschland,   ein Wintermaerchen (1938), published posthumously. In addition, Ben-Zion wrote monographs on the Biluim and the colonies of Nes Ẓiyyonah and Gederah, edited an anthology entitled Ha-Kotel ha-Ma'aravi ("The Western Wall," 1929), and published Zemirot li-Yladim ("Songs for Children") with music by joel engel (1923). His collected writings were first published in 1914 (in two volumes), and were later reissued in a single large volume (1949), with a complete bibliography, and illustrations by his son, Naḥum gutmann (1949). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: I. Klausner, Yoẓerim u-Vonim, 2 (1929), 183–99; J. Rawnitzki, Dor ve-Soferav, 2 (1937), 106–14. (Gedalyah Elkoshi)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • BEN-ZION — (1897–1987), U.S. painter, graphic artist, and sculptor. Born Ben Zion Weinman in the Ukraine, he was the son of a cantor and at one time planned to enter the rabbinate. His father discouraged his early artistic interest, but Ben Zion prevailed… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Ben-Zion Dinur — Ben Zion Dinur. Ben Zion Dinur (hébreu : בן ציון דינור, né Ben Zion Dinaburg le 2 janvier 1884, mort le 8 juillet 1973) était un activiste sioniste, éducateur, historien et politicien israélien. Sommaire …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Ben-Zion Meir Hai Uziel — or Ouziel (1880 1953) (Hebrew: בן ציון מאיר חי עוזיאל) was the Sephardi chief rabbi of the British Mandate of Palestine from 1939 to 1948, and of Israel from 1948 to 1954.Ben Zion was born in Jerusalem, where his father, Joseph Raphael, was the… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben-Zion Gold — is an American rabbi who was the Rabbi of the Hillel at Harvard University from 1958 until he became Rabbi Emeritus in 1990. [ [ page id=238 Harvard Hillel ] ] Gold was born in Poland and is the only member… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben-Zion Orgad — (Hebrew: בן ציון אורגד , b. Gelsenkirchen, Germany, 21 August, 1926; d. Tel Aviv, Israel, 28 April, 2006) was an Israeli composer. His original last name was Büschel. His family emigrated to Palestine in 1933, where he started violin lessons in… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben Zion Bokser — Ben Zion Bokser, (1907 1984) was one of the major Conservative rabbis of America. Biography Bokser was born in Poland, and emigrated to the United States at the age of 13 in 1920. He attended City College of New York (BA, 1928) and Rabbi Isaac… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben-Zion Sternberg — Ben Zion (Benno) Sternberg (1894 1962), Zionist and signatory of the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel, was born in Czernowitz, Bukovina, a region of the Austro Hungarian Empire. He was born to a comparatively prosperous… …   Wikipedia

  • Ben-Zion Orgad — (hebräisch ‏בן ציון אורגד‎, gebürtig Büschel; * 21. August 1926 in Gelsenkirchen; † 28. April 2006 in Tel Aviv) war ein israelischer Komponist. Leben und Wirken Seine Familie emigrierte 1933 nach Palästina, wo er ab 1936… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Ben Zion Halberstam (The Second) — Infobox Rebbe title = Bobover Rebbe (disputed) caption = term =23 March, 2005 – present full name = Ben Zion Aryeh Leibish Halberstam main work = predecessor =Naftali Halberstam successor = spouse1 = Rosa Wachsman issue1 =Chaim Shulem Dovid Chaya …   Wikipedia

  • Ben Zion Halberstam (The First) — Grand Rabbi Ben Zion Halberstam, (1874–1941), was born in Bikofsk in 1874 to his father Grand Rabbi Shlomo Halberstam (1847–1905) of Bobov. At the age of thirty one he succeeded his father as the second Rebbe of Bobov. He was a scion of the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.