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Bidding Information
Lot #    19512
Auction End Date    1/8/2008 10:33:00 AM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Ha-Karmel
Title (Hebrew)   
Author    [Haskalah] S. J. Fuenn, Editor
City    Vilna
Publication Date    1871
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   Only edition. [1], 59-108 pp., octavo, 204:108 mm., light age staining. A very good copy bound in modern wrappers, original wrappers bound in.
   Edition of Ha-Karmel, the Hebrew periodical published in Vienna under the editorship of S.J. Fuenn. Ha-Karmel first appeared as a weekly (186070) and later as a monthly (187180). Ha-Karmel was required by terms of its license to publish a Russian supplement. This supplement was a more extreme advocate of the enlightenment than its Hebrew equivalent. Fuenn was a moderate maskil who tried to bridge the gap between the traditionalist and liberal elements. He supported the policy of the Russian government toward the Jews, closer association of the Jews with the Russian nation and its culture, and advocated the transition to labor, especially agriculture. Among the contributors to Ha-Karmel were A.B. Lebensohn, Z.H. Katzenellenbogen, M. Plungian, E. Zweifel, J. Eichenbaum, A.B. Gottlober, J.L. Gordon, Kalman Schulmann, J. Reifmann, A. Harkavy, Solomon Buber, S. Rubin, R.A. Braudes, and J.M. Pines. For a short time (186668), Ha-Karmel's editorial policy became more liberal and a number of articles by more radical authors appeared (A.U. Kovner, A.J. Paperna, and L. Kantor). Editorials came out in support of M.L. Lilienblum who also began to contribute to it. However, it soon resumed its more moderate course. The number of subscribers fluctuated between 300 and 500. Hevrat Mefizei ha-Haskalah, to which the periodical devoted much space from the time of the founding of that society (1863), supported Ha-Karmel, although not pleased with its moderate position. The literary level of the periodical was generally low, its language flowery, the poems (with the exception of those of J.L. Gordon) and stories few and poor, and the articles written in a cumbersome style. Permeated with a spirit of Russian patriotism, Ha-Karmel supported the Russification policy in the regions of Lithuania and Poland. The paper devoted much space to news of Jewish life in Vilna and its surroundings.

Fuenn was a Hebrew writer of the more traditional wing of the Russian Haskalah and an early member of Hovevei Zion. Fuenn, who was born in Vilna, received a traditional Jewish education, and afterward joined the circle of Haskalah supporters there. He was a founder of the first Jewish school in the city (1841) where he taught Bible and Hebrew. Together with L. Hurwitz he published the literary magazine Pirhei Zafon (184144), the first such Hebrew work to appear in Russia. When the government rabbinical school opened in Vilna in 1847 he joined it as a teacher of Bible and Hebrew language. In 1856 he was appointed inspector of the government Jewish schools in the Vilna District. In 1863 he opened a Hebrew printing press in Vilna. He edited and published Ha-Karmel (186081) which appeared first as a weekly and then as a monthly. Fuenn wrote extensively in Hebrew and Russian for this periodical, and his articles included studies of the history of Russian Jewry and literary criticism, as well as the first chapters of his autobiography, Dor ve-Doreshav. Because of his moderate views on the Haskalah, his traditional way of life, and his financial independence, Fuenn achieved a prominent role in the leadership of the Vilna Jewish community. He was also highly respected by the civilian authorities and was the recipient of government medals.

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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Other:    Periodical
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica