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KAMINER, ISAAC BEN ABRAHAM:

Russian physician and Hebrew poet and satirist; born at Levkiev, near Jitomir, in 1834; died at Bern, Switzerland, March 30, 1901. His parents gave him an exclusively religious education, and caused him to marry when he was scarcely sixteen years old. Soon after his marriage Kaminer began to acquire secular knowledge, and sojourned for a certain time at Wilna, where he associated with the Maskilim. Compelled to earn a livelihood for his family, Kaminer returned to his native place, and after many struggles succeeded in obtaining the position of Hebrew teacher at the rabbinical seminary of Jitomir. In 1857 Kaminer, although then the father of five children, gave up his position, and entered the University of Kiev, whence he graduated as M.D. For fifteen years he served as assistant to Professor Mering at Kiev. About 1875 Kaminer was appointed physician at Monasterishche, government of Chernigov. A few years later he was made a member of a commission for the investigation of the conditions of the Russian Jews, and he so displeased the officials by his impassioned defense of his coreligionists that he was ordered back to the government of Kiev. In 1901 Kaminer's health broke down, and he went for medical treatment to Bern, where he died as the result of an operation.

Kaminer was an able Hebrew writer, and an especially talented satirist; and his numerous contributions to Hebrew periodicals became very popular. Among these the most noteworthy were: "Baraitot de Rabbi Yiẓḥaḳ," a series of satirical articles, published in "Ha-Ḳol"; "Mi-Sidduro Shel Rabbi Yiẓ-ḥaḳ," in "Ha-Shaḥar"; and a series of elegies bewailing the sufferings of the Russian Jews, in "Ha-Asif." In addition to his poetical contributions to the Hebrew periodicals, Kaminer wrote: "Ḳinot mi-Sidduro Shel Bene Dan" (Vienna, 1878), a satirical poem on the social condition of the Russian Jews, and "Seder Kapparot le-Ba'al Ṭaḳsi" (Warsaw, 1878), a satirical poem against the farmers of the meat-tax in Russia. A poem written by him on his death-bed, and entitled "Widdui," was published in "Ha-Shiloaḥ," Jan., 1902.

Bibliography:
  • Zeitlin, Bibl. Post-Mendels. p. 166;
  • Aḥiasaf, 1902, p. 44.
H. R. I. Br.
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