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SOKOLOW, NAHUM B. JOSEPH SAMUEL:

Russian journalist; born in Wishograd, government of Plock, Russian Poland, Jan. 10, 1859. His father, a descendant of Nathan Shapira, author of "Megalleh 'Amuḳḳot," removed to Plock about 1865, where Nahum received the usual Jewish education. He made rapid progress in his studies, and at the age of ten was known as a prodigy of learning and ability. Destined to become a rabbi, he studied under the supervision of his uncle, rabbi of Lubich, and of several other Talmudists, devoting part of his time to the study of the medieval Jewish philosophers, Neo-Hebrew literature, and modern languages. In 1876 he married, and remained for five years with his wife's parents in Makow, continuing his studies. In 1880 he removed to Warsaw, where he became (1884) assistant editor and (1885) associate editor of Ḥayyim Selig Slonimski's Ha-ẓefirah. Owing to Slonimski's advanced age, the editing and management of the newspaper, which became a daily in 1886, devolved entirely upon Sokolow, who became its sole editor and proprietor after Slonimski's death.

Sokolow began to write for Hebrew periodicals at an early age, and is probably the most prolific contributor to the Hebrew press of this generation. His earlier productions appeared in "Ha-Maggid," "Ha-Meliẓ," "Ha-Karmel," and other journals, but since about 1885 he has written, in Hebrew, almost exclusively for "Ha-Ẓefirah." He is the author of "Meẓuḳe Ereẓ," on geography (Warsaw, 1878); "Sin'at 'Olam le-'Am 'Olam," on the development of Jew-hatred (ib. 1882); "Ẓaddiḳ we-Nishgab," historical novel, in which R. Yom-Ṭob Lipmann Heller is the hero (ib. 1882); "Torat Sefat Anglit," a primer for self-instruction in English (ib. 1882); "Ereẓ Ḥemdah," geography of Palestine, with a résumé of Oliphant's "Land of Gilead" (ib. 1885).

Sokolow was the founder and editor of the year-book Ha-Asif, and of its successor, the "Sefer ha-Shanah," which appeared in Warsaw from 1899 to 1902. He edited the "Sefer Zikkaron" (Warsaw, 1890), a biographical dictionary of contemporary Jewish writers, which appeared as a supplement to "Ha-Asif"; and "Toledot Sifrut Yisrael," a Hebrew translation of Karpeles' "Gesch. der Jüdischen Litteratur" (ib. 1888-91). After Peltin's death, in 1896, Sokolow succeeded him as editor of the Polish weekly "Izraelita." Sokolow came to be regarded as the foremost Hebrew journalist in Russia. In 1903, twenty-five years having elapsed since the publication of his first work, a literary celebration was held in his honor, and was made memorable by the publication, in the following year, of a jubilee book, "Sefer ha-Yobel," to which numerous scholars contributed important articles, and of"Ketabim Nibḥarim," a collection of sketches and articles written by Sokolow for various periodicals.

Bibliography:
  • Eisenstadt, Dor Rabbanaw we-Soferaw, iii. 33-34, Wilna, 1900;
  • idem, in Jewish Gazette, xxviii., No. 52;
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. pp. 373-374.
S. P. Wi.
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