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DAVIDSOHN, LEON:

Russian publicist and translator; born at Kopil, government of Minsk, 1855. He was educated at an early age in the Talmud and the Hebrew language. His father confided him to a teacher who explained the Bible according to Mendelssohn's commentary. When Davidsohn was a boy of nine years he could write Hebrew verse. At the age of twelve he was sent to the yeshibah of Mir; two years later he went to Karelitz, where he studied the Talmud under his uncle Isaac Jehiel, rabbi of that town. At the age of fifteen, having been graduated as rabbi, he went to Minsk and began the study of Russian and of other secular subjects.

One of Davidsohn's articles about that time in the Hebrew paper "Ha-Ḳol," in which he exhorted the rich Russian Jews to found a school of Jewish science, made a great impression on the progressionists. In the same year he wrote for the same paper articles on the development of handicraft and agriculture among the Jews. From Minsk he went to Warsaw, where he graduated as doctor of medicine in 1888. He there made the acquaintance of the Polish writer Clemens Junosza, who asked him to translate into Russian Abramovich's "Die Kliatche" and "Masse'ot Binyamin ha-Shelishi." The latter work he translated also into Polish under the title of "Don Kiszot Zydowski." He practises medicine at Pruzhany, and continues to write articles for various Hebrew papers.

Bibliography:
  • Eisenstadt, Dor Rabbanaw we-Soferaw, i. 15, Warsaw, 1895.
H. R. B. Ei.
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