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RABINOVITZ, SHALOM (pseudonym, Shalom Alekem):

Russian journalist and novelist; born in Pereyaslav, government of Poltava, 1859. At the age of twenty-one he became government rabbi of a small town in the neighborhood. Later he settled in Kiev, where he still (1905) resides. Rabinovitz is a constant contributor to Hebrew periodicals. He has written the following Hebrew novels: "Shimele," in "Ha-Asif" (1889); "Shoshannah," in "Ha-Ẓefirah"(1889); "Don Kishot mi-Mazepewka," in "Pardes" (1892); and "Gemar Ḥatima," in "Bet 'Eḳed" (1892). His silhouettes, which first appeared as feuilletons in "Ha-Meliẓ" (1889-90), afterward separately under the title "Temunot u-Ẓelalim" (St. Petersburg, 1889-90), rank with the highest of their kind in Neo-Hebrew literature.

Rabinovitz has written also a Russian novel of Jewish life called the "Mechtatel," which appeared in "Yevreiskoe Obozrenie" for 1886. But he is chiefly known by his contributions to Judæo-German literature. His two best-known novels are "Stempenyu," in which an untutored musical genius is the hero, and "Yosele Solovei," in which the adventures and tragic life of a phenomenal young "ḥazzan" are described. Both stories were published in the year-book "Volksbibliothek" (1889). Rabinovitz has written many other novels and criticisms, the best known among the latter being: "Kinderspiel," St. Petersburg, 1887; "Reb Sender Blank," ib. 1888; and the sensational review of the works of N. M. Shaikevitch (Shomer) which he published under the title "Shomer's Mishpaṭ" (Berdychev, 1888). The first volume of his collected works was published by the "Volksbildung" society, Warsaw, 1903.

Bibliography:
  • Wiener, History of Yiddish Literature in the Nineteenth Century, pp. 106, 110, 194-202;
  • Sefer Zikkaron, Warsaw, 1890, p. 105;
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 285.
H. R. P. Wi.
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