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Bidding Information
Lot #    26401
Auction End Date    3/23/2010 12:18:30 PM (mm/dd/yyyy)
Title Information
Title (English)    Poetry
Title (Hebrew)    כל שירי יהודה ליב גארדאן
Author    Judah Leib Gordon
City    Peterburg
Publisher    Cederbaum
Publication Date    1884
Collection Information
Independent Item    This listing is an independent item not part of any collection
Description Information
   First complete edition. XXII ,176, [4]; XXII ,209, [1]; [4], 209, [1]; VI, 204 pp., wanting final 205-208, [2] pp., 200:140 mm., light age and damp staining. A good copy bound in modern cloth boards.
   Poetry by the noted author and poet Hebrew poet, writer, critic, and allegorist, Judah Leib Gordon (1831-1892). One of the outstanding poets of the 19th century, Gordon was also a witty, incisive journalist who courageously militated against the ills in Jewish society. He advocated social and religious reform and fiercely denounced the rigidness of its leaders, especially the rabbis. His wrath was vented most directly in his poetry and in satirical feuilletons. Probably the severest critic of his time and a fiery exponent of the Haskalah , Gordon is rightly considered one of its key spokesmen. He embodied an age which ended with him, but at the same time he paved the way for such poets as Ḥayyim Naḥman Bialik , Saul Tchernichowsky , and others whom he had influenced. Bialik, his great admirer and successor as the "poet laureate" of Hebrew literature, called him "the mighty hammer of the Hebrew language." Gordon was born to well-to-do Jewish parents who owned a hotel in Vilnius. As a privileged child, he was able to study Torah with some of the great educators of the city, and soon proved to be an exceptional student. He had already mastered the entire Bible by the age of eleven, and was fluent in hundreds of pages of Talmud. Matters took a sharp turn when Gordon was fourteen, and his father went bankrupt. Unable to finance his son's education any longer, the younger Gordon began a course of independent study on one of the many study halls in the city. In just three years, he had mastered almost the entire Talmud and dozens of other religious texts. By that time, however, he was also drawn by the spirit of the Enlightenment that was sweeping across the city. He began reading secular literature and learning foreign languages, and he befriended some of the leading Enlightenment figures of the time, including Kalman Shulman and his son Michel. With the financial situation deteriorating at home, Gordon, then twenty-two, decided it was time for him to pursue a career. He received a teaching certificate from the local rabbinical college, and became a school teacher in some of the smaller towns that housed major yeshivas, including Ponivezh and Telz. During the twenty years he spent as a teacher, he produced his most important work as a poet and author. Having an established reputation, he was invited by the Jewish community of Saint Petersburg to serve as secretary of the community and of the Society for the Spread of Enlightenment among the Jews of Russia. He died in Saint Petersburg in 1892. Much of Gordon's poetry revolves around biblical and historical themes. These include The Love of David and Michal (1857), King Zedekiah in Prison (1879), Judah's Parables (1859), David and Barzilai, Osenath, Daughter of Potiphera, From between the Lion's Teeth, and From the Depths of the Sea. The works were intended to disseminate Enlightenment values and had a profound impact on Jewish life. Many feel his romantic works lack the same militancy of his poetic works, though his advocacy resurfaces in his realistic novels. Gordon also published collections of fables, most of them translated. In works such as "Little Fables for Big Children," he continues to advocate for the adoption of Enlightenment values, as he does in his memoirs, published in the last year of his life. Among his other writing on social issues is The Point on Top of the Yod, dealing with the rights of women.
Paragraph 2    עמ' [133] ואילך (עם שער קצר): גם אלה משלי יהודה; משלים קטנים לילדים גדולים. לכל ספר שער-נוסף, באותיות קיריליות:
Stikhotvoreniya L. O. Gordona ...
ספר א: שירי הגיון. ספר ב: משלי יהודה. ספר ב:' [V]-XXII: הקדמה למהדורא ראשונה [ווילנא תר"ך], בהשמטות והוספות; הערה למהדורא שניה. ספר ג: שירי עלילה. קרת ימים ראשונים. ספר ד: שירי עלילה; ק'ר'ת ימינו.
   EJ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judah_Leib_Gordon; CD-EPI 0116479
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Listing Classification
19th Century:    Checked
Russia-Poland:    Checked
Other:    Poetry
First Editions:    Checked
Language:    Hebrew
Manuscript Type
Kind of Judaica