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SHATZKES, MOSES AARON:

Russian Hebrew author; born at Karlin 1825; died at Kiev Aug. 24, 1899. He received a general as well as a Hebrew education, and he devoted himself to literature. His literary labors brought him little material benefit, however, and he was always in straitened circumstances. He spent the last twenty years of his life in Kiev.

The most important work by Shatzkes is "Ha-Mafteaḥ" (Warsaw, 1866-69), in which he applied modern methods of investigation to the allegorical sayings of the Talmud and Midrash. This book at the time of its publication created a stir among the Orthodox Jews on account of its radical views, for it represented an innovation in the field of Hebrew literature. To Judæo-German readers Shatzkes is best known through his "Yüdisher Erev Pesach," a satirical sketch of Jewish life, which has been often republished. He wrote also "Hashḳafah 'al Debar Sefer Iyyob" (in "Ha-Asif," ii. 241-261), on the religious philosophy of the Book of Job. He left a number of manuscripts in Hebrew and Judæo-German.

Bibliography:
  • Luaḥ Aḥiasaf, viii. 387;
  • Ha-Meliẓ, 1899, No. 187;
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 339.
H. R. A. S. W.
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