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Bidding Information
Lot #    18624
Auction End Date    8/21/2007 10:48:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Tikkun Lavan Ha-arami
Title (Hebrew)    תקון לבן הארמי
Author    [Haskala - Polemic] Mordecai Aaron Guenzburg
City    Vilna
Publisher    S.I. Fuenna
Publication Date    1864
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First edition. 60 pp. 157:97 mm., lacks portrait, light age staining. A very good copy bound in contemporary boards.
Paragraph 1    A satirical poem against Hasidism by Mordecai Aaron Guenzburg. The poem is followed by a lengthy letter from Dr. Frankels.This book was brought to the printer by the author's brother, Moshe Leib Guenzburg. An approbation from Albert Cohn is included.
   Mordecai Aaron Guenzburg (1795–1846) was a Hebrew author and founder of the first modern Jewish school in Lithuania. Guenzburg was born in Salantai and earned a living as an itinerant tutor until 1835 when he settled permanently in Vilna. In 1841 he and the poet Solomon Salkind founded a modern Jewish school, which he directed as headmaster until his death.

Guenzburg became one of the leading spokesmen for the Vilna Haskalah, though he was a moderate who opposed radical change. He observed the practical mitzvot which, under Moses Mendelssohn's influence, he viewed as social regulations for the benefit of the Jewish community. He opposed the extremism of both the Orthodox and the secularists. When Max Lilienthal was invited to Russia by the authorities, Guenzburg joined the Vilna maskilim in attacking Lilienthal's attempts to win over the Orthodox and ridiculed his German ways and superficiality.

Guenzburg's books in the area of French and Russian history enjoyed wide circulation and helped improve his financial condition. In 1844 and 1862 he published Devir (2 vols.), an anthology of letters, essays, and short stories, containing, among others, letters by Goethe, Heine, and Boerne, and a translation of the letters of Moses Montefiore's personal secretary, Eliezer Halevi, who accompanied Montefiore on his first trip to Palestine. Devir also contained essays about the neglected Jewish communities in the Arab lands, China, and Ethiopia. Devir aroused in its readers a love for Palestine and influenced Abraham Mapu and Kalman Shullmann. His autobiography Avi'ezer, his most original work, appeared in 1864. Written in the style of Rousseau's confessions, it portrays the inner world of the Jewish child, and is a ringing attack on the heder system of education. Stylistically, Guenzburg surpasses his contemporaries by far. For the sake of accuracy he resorted to mishnaic Hebrew, introducing talmudic phrases and neologisms, many of which became commonly accepted and are still in use, for example, milhemet magen ("defensive war"), milhemet tigrah ("offensive war"), rahitim ("furniture"), beit-do'ar ("post office"), etc. Guenzburg was the literary forerunner of P. Smolenskin, J. L. Gordon, M. L. Lilienblum, and R. A. Broides. His other works include: Ittotei Rusyah Ha-Zarefatim be Rusyah (1843), on the Franco-Russian War of 1812; Pi-hahiroth (1843), a history of the wars of 1813–1815.

Paragraph 2    שמו של המדפיס באותיות קיריליות. שיר-סיפורי הומוריסטי; עמ' [42]-60: סיפור בצורת מכתב, חתום "דאקטר פראנקאלס". עיין: יוסף קלוזנר, היסטוריה של הספרות העברית החדשה, כרך ג, ירושלים תשי"ג. עמ' 140. בראש הספר: איגרת אברהם (אלברט) כהן, פאריז, כד טבת תרכ"ד. אל משה ליב גינצבורג.
   EJ; CD-EPI 0117068
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Polemics:    Checked
Other:    Haskala
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica