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MANNE, MORDECAI ẒEBI:

Russian Hebrew poet and painter; born at Rodzkowitz, government of Wilna, 1859; died there in 1886. He received the Talmudic training usual in Poland, and was taught Hebrew grammar by his father. At thirteen he entered the yeshibah at Minsk, and he remained there until 1876, when he removed to Wilna, studied at the yeshibah there, and, on the advice of Joshua Höschel Levin, entered the school of painting and design. His first poetical writings also belong to that time. In 1880 he went to St. Petersburg and enrolled as a student at the Imperial Academy of Fine Arts, receiving, in 1882, a silver medal from the grand duke Vladimir for extraordinary progress.

Manne's poems, "Mebasser ha-Abib," "Ha-Abib," "Ha-Shoshannah," and "Mas'at Nafshi" (which has been set to music and is sung often in Zionist gatherings), place him among the foremost Hebrew poets. His best poems are somewhat didactic in character, as "Tiḳwah la-'Obed," a fragmentary work, depicting the contrast between hope and despair. Another fragmentary poem, "We-Zaraḥ ha-Shemesh u-Ba ha-Shemesh," is an elegy on the death of Emperor Alexander II. His first prose article, on the art of painting, especially among the Jews, appeared in "Ha-Ẓefirah" in 1882. This was followed by a whole series of papers on art, artists, and esthetics, including one on the art of poetry and a paper on the Jewish painter Oppenheim. His writings have been published in two volumes, under the title "Kol Kitbe Mordekai Ẓebi Manne" (Warsaw).

Bibliography:
  • Ost und West, 1902, p. 195;
  • Kol Kitbe, Warsaw, 1896.
H. R. J. G. L.
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