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REIF, ABRAHAM:

Galician poet; born at Mosciska, Galicia, 1802; died in 1859. He came early under the influence of the school of the Me'assefim, but subsequently broke away from the movement. Tobias Feder, the author of the sarcastic work "Ḳol Meḥaẓeẓim," deeply influenced his literary work. Alexander Langbank (d. 1894 at Yaroslav, Galicia) introduced Reif to the profane sciences; and after Reif's death he purchased from his widow, Jente, all his posthumous works.

Reif was much feared by the fanatics on account of his ready wit. As at first he did not display his liberalism, he was able to open a school for the study of the Bible and the Hebrew language in his native city. This school has produced prominent Hebraists. Reif was a poet of refinement and delicacy, and his language was the pure Biblical Hebrew. His chief dramas, "Ha-Nidka'im,""Shulammit," and "Yehudit," vividly portray the life of the Galician Jews. As he was too poor to publish his works, he gave manuscript copies of them to his pupils.

Bibliography:
  • M. Margel, Abraham Reif, Sein Leben und Seine Werke, in Ha-Maggid (Cracow), 1901, Nos. 13-35.
S. M. Mr.
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