« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »

[Column 137]

Section B

Intellectuals and Community Leaders

 

Moshe Schulbaum: Researcher, Linguist, and Educator
Born 26 Nisan, 1830 Jezierzany
Died 25 Iyar, 1918 Vienna

100 Year Since The Start of Moshe's Work

by M.A. Tenenblatt

Translated by Meir Bulman

 

A. Causes of the New Hebrew Linguistics

In 1858, a young genius nearing age 30 resided in a remote town, Jezierzany, at the edge of Eastern Galicia, near the Russian border. As he was training in ancient and new languages, he dabbled in translating poetry and scientific literature into Hebrew. His striving for accuracy

 

oze137.jpg
Moshe Schulbaum[1]

[Column 138]

presented obstacles in every area he attempted. He was well–versed in the Hebrew language yet it seemed to defy him or he was worn out in old age. Perhaps Hebrew was good only for flowery poetry and philosophical texts in the style of ibn Tibbon and Alharizi[2]. Hebrew seemed strange to him when he translated new science or novels from spoken languages. His translations were beneath his developed taste and he pondered day and night but did not know which to blame, his lack of talent for conquering the language or the language's inability to adapt to material conveyed by living languages.

After long deliberation, Moshe reached a bitter conclusion, a conclusion which harmed many of the writers from the Jewish Enlightenment whose great Hebrew prose still brought joy to many in various countries. HIs conclusion was succinct:

[Column 139]

“Hebrew is a beautiful language but its scarcity degenerates it.” Moshe, a beginning writer, did not make do with simply reaching that sad conclusion but approached the generation's enlightened and posed a piercing question, “What can we do so our language will be like living languages?” The answers he received from the enlightened folks did not appease him. As he saw himself as sufficiently credentialed among his people, he decided to devote all his interest and time toward resurrecting the Hebrew language and broadening its scope.

The conclusion and question erupted from the heart and pen of Moshe Schulbaum, the first modern Hebrew linguist towards the end of the Jewish Enlightenment. Decades later, Moshe entered his conclusion and question in the introductions to his dictionaries – two expansive dictionaries – published in Lviv starting in the 1880s. In the years before he wrote the dictionary and other works, he studied alone and worked with unparalleled diligence to collect Hebrew language materials from across history. He began with the Bible[3], Talmudic texts and commentary, poetry, philosophy, and Kabbalah. Schulbaum collected works from Israel, Babylon, France, Spain, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and Poland. He concluded his research with responsa[4], literature of the Haskalah, and the remnants of Hebrew in spoken Yiddish. He could be proud when he saw all of that linguistic material which he had aggregated on his own time in his collections, and dictionaries, which mostly preceded his great essays.

However, as he worked, especially on German–Hebrew translation, he faced an obstacle. All of his treasures that he had collected were insufficient to translate a regular–use German dictionary into Hebrew. He was deeply shocked and later placed [referred to that] in the introductions to his dictionaries. He told Hebrew language scholars, “Compose a dictionary according to another language: German – Hebrew, Russian – Hebrew, English – Hebrew, etc. and see what our language lacks. It is more correct

[Column 140]

to ask, ‘What is NOT lacking?’ A lot is lacking, almost everything!” For instance, he wondered how he would establish nouns and tenses for modern tools, clothes, and daily activities. Let us – the residents of Israel a decade after the state was established – not forget that Schulbaum spoke of the troubles of Hebrew at the beginning of the second half of the 19th century. It was before revivalists, expanders, and redeemers of Hebrew began activity in Eretz Israel and [before] the diaspora and [before] Hebrew became a language taught to infants and toddlers. At the end of that century, Ahad Ha'am wrote in his essay concerning the debate over the expansion of Hebrew that “For now, our language is only half of a language.” Judah Leib Gordon was the greatest of his time in his knowledge of Hebrew and he possessed the greatest senses and taste. Yet Gordon found himself struggling with [both] himself and his language, then a lacking, flowery language which prevented him from expressing ideas in a clear manner[5]. Schulbaum wrote, “The use of limited or corrupted language is indecent. One who has a palate will distance oneself [from] incoherence.” Nahum Sokolow also cleverly rebuked the “whisper and mutter” of our meager language in those days.

Thus, Schulbaum encountered the severest spiritual crisis of his long life. The new Hebrew linguist ripened in him at that time. He began deeply probing the problems in the breeding ground [environment] of the Hebrew language through the ages. He dove deeper into its traits and qualities to discover solutions. He researched, organized, and presented to the generation's wise men a plan and method to resurrect Hebrew. Its renewal and expansion were to originate within itself and then borrow from other languages, primarily its Semitic siblings.

 

B. His Linguistic Methods and Rules

Schulbaum was very frugal in his use of language because

[Column 141]

he was a stickler for grammar and followed the methods of language scholars in Spain, few of whom possessed similar knowledge. Schulbaum briefly mentioned his linguistic plan and method in the introductions to his dictionaries and in comments and short essays published in periodicals, literary collections, and newspapers. This was his method to the extent that could be found in his surviving writings.

1) The uniformity of Hebrew from Genesis to the last creation in his generation. That rule was central to Schulbaum and the generations to come. He was the first to fully sever and dispute the tradition of linguists from the previous generation according to which no uniform Hebrew exists. As our Sages said, “The language of the Torah and the language of scholars are separate.[6]” and the Hebrew used in each time and place does not form one uniform language. In the introduction to his German–Hebrew dictionary, Schulbaum reiterated what he had preached decades earlier and categorically affirmed: “A foreign language–Hebrew dictionary is implausible without the new Hebrew taken from Talmudic and rabbinic works, inventiveness of Hebrew writers from all generations, and linguistic creativity renewed or borrowed by young powers [authorities?], either from Semitic languages or a new creation. This is the meaning of the renewal slogan advocated by Hebrew linguists, “like the vision of the dry bones in Ezekiel's prophecy.”

[Column 142]

At the time, his proposed rule was simple yet novel and surprising. He himself advocated that slogan to the Hebrew linguists; the only way to revive and renew the language was a combination of all its layers combined into a single unit from “Adam spoke the Holy Tongue.” to the last Hebrew writers in every generation.

2) In the distant past, Aramaic served as an expander and differentiator, not necessarily due to its proximity. From a linguistic standpoint, Aramaic is a foreign brother but close neighbor. Because of historical, political, and geographical events, the influence of which was evident in the biblical period, Aramaic strengthened within the Jewish nation. In the Talmudic period and all of the Talmud's accompanying literature, Aramaic nearly fully replaced Hebrew, even in religious practice. Rabbi Yehuda HaNasi and the great scholars who followed him in Eretz Israel and some in Babylon objected to the widespread use of Aramaic and demanded the return to Hebrew when praying and even in polite conversation. In his speeches to scholars, Schulbaum highlighted the words of Rabbi Yehuda in his dispute with the other Sages, as well as the words of Rabbi Yohanan (Israel) and Rav Yehuda bar Yehezkel (Babylon).

Regarding Rabbi Yehuda, Schulbaum must have spoken of the dispute between Sages and Rabbi Yehuda on the language of prayer. “Rabbi Yehuda said, ‘[The] Shema should be recited as it is written.’ and the Sages said, ‘in any language.’ ” (Berachot 13a). Rabbi Yohanan said, “He who prays in Aramaic is not served by the angels for the angels do not recognize Aramaic.” Rav Yehuda of Babylon similarly said, “One should never pray in Aramaic.” (Shabbat 12b). The nation did not heed those warnings and Aramaic was widely used among scholars and fully permeated the masses, especially impacted by the Babylonian yeshivot whose influence gradually spread across all the diaspora.

Throughout our long exile and linguistic twists and turns, our nation did not forget Aramaic. The weekly Torah portion is still recited by many twice in Hebrew and once in Aramaic. That fact has eased and will ease in the future [with] the import of words to expand our language, whether to add shades or invent missing shades. Rabbi Hiya and Rabbi Oshaya imported words from Aramaic to the Mishneh[7] and the Tosefata[8], as did Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah and as did

[Column 143]

Rashi before him. All [imported words from Aramaic] were adapted to a Hebrew form and our language should not be made ugly by attempts to preserve Aramaic forms. Our use of Aramaic to enrich Hebrew is limited because Aramaic was frozen [stationary?] and dead many dozens of generations ago. (Eretz Israel was the first to banish Aramaic a short while after the Jerusalem Talmud was canonized.) Thus, our language cannot and will not be built as a living language on an Aramaic foundation. (See Otzar Leshon Arami [Aramaic Language Treasure] and Schulbaum's earlier essays and comments.) Bialik similarly said 80 years later, “We have no better reservoir than Aramaic to expand the Hebrew language.” (HaSefer HaIvri [The Hebrew book]).

Moshe Schulbaum used the Aramaic rule in his dictionaries, transferred many words from Aramaic to Hebrew and at times assigned them a new meaning which was missing in Hebrew. Many words were accepted and included in the form he suggested in all new Hebrew dictionaries. Some preserved their Aramaic form

[Column 144]

and meaning, although a similar item was not given a Hebrew name to this day.[9] Yet the basis of the rule was used and still is used as a guide to the Hebrew revivalists.

3) “The Arabic language is a living language and a reliable source to fill many voids in our language” (from the introduction to his dictionaries). In published essays and comments, and in unpublished materials, Schulbaum discussed with scholars and writers the relationship between Hebrew and Arabic. In his opinion, both languages were rooted and spawned from the same source in the ancient past although today we cannot affirm how both languages fed one another and what [were the] ethnic and historical causes[10]. The great flourishing of the Hebrew language, when it interacted with Arabic in the Golden Age under Islamic rule, especially in Spain and Northern Africa, was not coincidental. The great linguists[11] and grammar enthusiasts of the time received most of their inspiration from the Arabic language and its literature at its height, precisely for that reason. Yet Schulbaum did not accept the opinions and proofs of Tanhum of Jerusalem (13th Century) and rejected a few assumptions made by Dr. Goldziher regarding that topic although he was greatly respected as that “young scholar.”

[Column 145]

Schulbaum did not advocate a “blood bond” between Arabic and Hebrew, because they did not “come out of the same womb” even if we accept that “one father created them.”

At any rate, it is clear that great historical events, [both] political and religious, caused a partition of Arabic and Hebrew in ancient times, and one may assume that the influences of those events were more impactful than the differences between characters and cultures[12].

The second rule also guided Schulbaum. He appropriated Arabic words into our language as he was very knowledgeable in Classical Arabic. In his German introduction, Schulbaum admitted to borrowing accents from Arabic. During the 20th century, he saw the new linguists in Palestine, mainly Ben–Yehuda and his contemporaries, deviate from the acceptable boundaries by importing dubious words and artificial imitations which came close to ugliness. Schulbaum warned in the introductions to his dictionaries, “Hebrew will not be reconstructed by plundering the Arabs. Not all is for the taking, especially a mixture which contains foreign language.” Even when he criticized, Schulbaum adhered to concise and pure language. As the Sages have said, “A scholar who speaks is not to be disparaged.” Schulbaum paid respects to the young scholar Dr. Klausner even when he rejected Klausner's proposal. In contrast, in their bitter dispute in Hashiloah[13] against the revivalists in Israel – especially Ben–Yehuda and his friends, Mordechai ben Hill HaCohen and M. Balshanthey used an insult coined by Mendele Mocher Sforim: “a silly language.”

4) After the initial rules, the fateful question arose, “What will be of our language when all that is not enough to fill the gaps it needs for modern life and using it

[Column 146]

as a living language?” Many words imported from Talmudic literature were deemed as failures because “Their meaning in that language was entirely different.” and there was a fear of creating confusion. Moreover, “Expansion is impossible through singular words and needs general paths and entire methods.” Thus, Schulbaum answered in his dictionary and proposed a guiding principal for expanding the language: “We will complete our language from here and there. We just go the breeding ground [environments] of the language and do as the language breeders [? developers/creators] did: build words from other words, nouns from infinitives, infinitives from nouns, etc.” Schulbaum meant, as he noted elsewhere, e.g. contributed from contribution, began from beginning.[14] Schulbaum added that we can rely on the actions of the Sages in Talmudic literature. In Talmud, we can find constructions derived by switching individual letters and emphasis, such as: ‘ahal’ [ate] turned into ‘ikel’ [digested]; ‘ogen’ [flange] to ‘ogen’ [anchor], etc. Additionally, words were minimized in the Talmud, e.g. ‘katahn’ [small] and ‘ketantan’ [miniature]. Schulbaum noted that nouns are also minimized in the Talmud in a similar manner.

The same is true for compound nouns. Schulbaum wrote, “True compound nouns are rare in our language. Some examples include: ‘makhar’ [tomorrow] compounded from ‘yom akhar’ [day after]; ‘kodesh’ [holy] from ‘yekod esh’ [fire burning][15]; and ‘pilegesh’ [mistress] from ‘peleg isha’ [part woman].[16] (Tosefta notes in many [?] places the source of the compounding of ‘keitzad’ [how] as ke'eizeh tzad [what side] – M.A.Tenneblat.)

[Column 147]

Schulbaum proposed to expand the number of verbs in Hebrew, beginning with the traces of verbs which remain in biblical sources, [those] “which did not fully develop in biblical sources and need to be further developed to complete the missing prefixes in our language where existing verbs would not suffice.”

5) The need for “renewing words from living languages” – both nouns and verbs – while giving them a Hebrew form and strictly preserving the linguistic integrity. That is especially important “regarding nouns that were recently renewed in foreign languages.[17]

Schulbaum followed that rule himself and served as an example for those who followed. He introduced many new words and, for the first time, gathered them in a Hebrew dictionary. He noted in his additions to the German introduction, “I toiled in my composition to expand the uses of language.”

Although

[Column 148]

Schulbaum was modest and recognized his value as a scholar and linguist, he humbly yet proudly said, “He who has a better solution, I will carry his belongings to the bathhouse,” a Talmudic–Aramaic saying which Rabbi Yohanan said many times to other Sages. Rabbi Yohanan's rules were accepted in the Talmud. Schulbaum confidently predicted that his own rules would also be accepted.

6) Preservation of aesthetic and phonetic integrity when renewing words and accents. Schulbaum demanded from the revivalists' solid reasoning for each renewal. When he saw younger linguists who supposedly followed in his footsteps yet disregarded his opinion and advice, he calmly warned [them] and established as a special rule in his introduction, “Renewals are permitted but must be pretty [? Appealing] and in the spirit of the language. Every renewed word must have an acceptable and pleasant appearance.” As an authority on the matter, he repeated the instruction of Voltaire, the great French writer, to those expanding French: “Do not invent a word unless it meets three elements: it is necessary, understandable, and sounds pleasant.” Years later, Yechiel Michel Pines, founder of the first language committee in Jerusalem, stated a similar rule, “The greatest possible attribute of a new word is if it is not new.” And lest Schulbaum would be suspected that envy was behind his sayings or that he was seeking to monopolize,

[Column 149]

he excitedly addressed them: “[To] all language scholars, wherever they may be, [should] continue their holy work, each in his own right and none should be jealous.” Schulbaum's best solution was that “This work be done by expert scholars.” He called from the depths of his soul to all Hebrew wise men and writers: “Make central the linguistic work and establish for it a tool for expression. Time is pressing to place brick upon brick, to give a voice to the budding language and instill heart and soul in it.” That call found its first heeding in Israel in 1890, twenty years after Schulbaum's first call in Lviv, when the first Hebrew language council was founded in Jerusalem. The council was in place for one year only and returned 13 years later after repeated approaches by Schulbaum.

Like those great Jews in tumultuous times and bright horizons who counted from the time of the Temple's destruction or Jewish exile, Schulbaum noted the publication year in similar format. His latest publication, the German–Hebrew [dictionary], is dated “the year 1835 of our exile. “

 

C. Schulbaum's Work in the Eyes of Scholars of His Generation

Dr. Steinschneider usually mentioned the list of books and their content, and by the way praised the wittier or the writer's work. Steinschneider is loyal to his trade as a bibliographer and does not enter the intricacies of the creator. Nahum Sokolow also devoted a special article to Schulbaum in one of Sokolow's memorial books.[18] Schulbaum's reputation as a Hebrew philologist preceded him, even beyond the borders of Austria and Galicia. Schulbaum participated in research and [in writing] linguistic notes in most Hebrew publications of the time. Schulbaum attracted comments and debates, and he received the praise that he deserved.

In volume 1 of Hashiloah, Joseph Klausner noted Schulbaum's work.

“Moshe Schulbaum is a wise man, editor of the Ben Ze'ev's Otzar HaShorashim [‘Roots Treasure’] and author of the German – Hebrew Otzar HaMilim HaKelali [general dictionary]. In the 1970s, Schulbaum attempted to renew many words in his publication, HaEt, which he published in Lviv from 1870 to 1871.

[Column 150]

Later, in 1880 (even before the revivalist movement), Schulbaum published his second German–Hebrew dictionary in which he entered many of his better renewals. Thus, that dictionary is the better than all other Hebrew dictionaries.” (“Language Expanders” Vol. 1. 1897)

After Schulbaum died, Joseph Klausner, editor of Hashiloah at the time, wrote,

“A few months ago, we lost Moshe Schulbaum, one of the greatest Jewish scholars. It is difficult to find a brave revivalist who was also well versed in the literature of our middle ages. His style in his weekly publication HaEt was truly amazing. At that time, the early 1970s, at the height of the period of narrow Hebrew, Schulbaum renewed dozens of words. Schulbaum began publishing a new edition of Ben Ze'ev's Roots Treasure in five volumes (Lviv 1880–1882). The first volume was a rework of Ben Ze'ev but the remaining four volumes – The Aramaic Thesaurus, The Noun Thesaurus, The General Dictionary with the Semitic Roots of the New Hebrew, and the Index of Foreign Words in Talmud and Midrash – are truly new works by Schulbaum. Schulbaum's general dictionary is completely different from the previous edition as it contains hundreds of words from rabbinic literature, Kabbalah, philosophy, scientific literature, and more. I have in my possession a booklet called “Bedek Habayit” in which Moshe collected all of his corrections in scripture and they exceed even what the most liberated of scripture critics allowed themselves.
(“Eulogy for Scholars” Hashiloah vol. 35, 1918).”

Reviews of Schulbaum's work were published in west Germany, France, Italy, and America. His history and works were broadly reviewed in Bibliotheca Hebraica Post Mendelsohniana by William Zeitlin.

 

D. Comments and Corrections about His History

Our lexicography, in its various languages, about Schulbaum's origins,

[Column 151]

his birth year, his works, and spiritual activity contain many errors. After Schulbaum's death, Dr. B Wachstein, chief librarian of the Vienna community and a well–known Jewish historian, noted Schulbaum's birthdate as 26 Nisan, 1828 in Jezierzany, Borszczów district, Eastern Galicia and his death date as April 4, 1918 in Vienna. In his book Hebraeische Publizistik in Wien, Dr. Wachstein noted that Schulbaum died in his nineties. Schulbaum and Wachstein were natives of neighboring towns and knew one another. In Wachstein's youth, Schulbaum had already been known by many and local enlightened folks approached him for proposals and questions. At certain points in time, Schulbaum

 

oze151.jpg
Schulbaum's Death Certificate from the Vienna Community Ledgers

 

served as an educator in the home of Feldszuh, an educated wealthy man who lived in the district capital. Enlightened folks from many towns attempted to bring Schulbaum to their towns. They were concerned that he needed a source of income but did not know that the dispute with his wife over his “heresy” was a larger factor in his expulsion from home than his financial troubles. Historian Dr. N.M. Gelber copied those [birth and death dates] from Wachstien's entry in the Vienna community ledgers.

Many years later, the Juedisches Lexikon published in Berlin reported that 1840 was Schulbaum's birth year. According to the Universal Jewish Encyclopedia, Schulbaum was born in 1833 and died in 1920. William Zeitlin also notes a mistaken date. Klausner's eulogy in Hashiloah reported Schulbaum's birth year as 1835. Writer Jacob Knaani wrote in his in–depth profile of Schulbaum in Leshonenu [our language] (Va'ad HaLashon publishing, Jerusalem) that Schulbaum's birth year 1845. In a different article in the same volume, titled “Language Revival during the Jewish Enlightenment” which also is concerned mostly with Schulbaum, “Ben–Yehuda's predecessor and great leader” Knaani noted Schulbaum's birth year as 1835. Knaani also erred when adding that in 1870 when Schulbaum relocated to Lviv from his birth–town, Schulbaum was

[Column 152]

35 – 40 years old. Even Professor Klausner's great book contains mistaken or questionable facts about Schulbaum's history. Most of those works added another error when they changed Jezierzany to Brzezany, which Knaani later corrected. Yet other errors exist in every source to this day.[19] It is strange that Jewish lexicographers and writers of historical articles did not bother at all to read Schulbaum's writings, nor did they search for his estate. (Some of Schulbaum's letters were preserved by Gershom Bader as well as in Dr. Sharon's (Shvadron) Autography [Auto–biography?] Institute in the National Library on Mt. Scopus). Researchers did not view their obligation to read Schulman's obituaries in Hamicpe (Issue 31, May 10, 1918) and elsewhere.

Schulbaum was a researcher and linguist also praised by our generation's scholars and writers who have crowned him with high praise such as “among the greatest Jewish scholars,” “among the first revivalists of the Hebrew language,” “prophet and guide to Samuel Joseph Fuenn and Eliezer Ben–Yehuda,” and even “the first Hebrew revivalist who established a method and order, and taught how to renew Hebrew words.” The disregard for Schulbaum's history does not stem only from his great humility in his lifetime but [also] from his Galician origins and the fact he published most of his work in that country during a time of spiritual stagnation. After the death of the great carriers of the mantles of Jewish enlightenment, Reuben Asher Braudes remained the sole star shining in the skies of Galicia but he was a Lithuanian, not only by origin but also by education, spirit, and appearances. Thus, Schulbaum remained alone in Galicia and decades passed before his wisdom and work became known beyond its borders. As Dr. Klausner noted in his obituary of Schulbaum, “That poor scholar was forgotten during his lifetime because he did not know how to incite a ruckus. Instead, he purely and humbly worked in the privacy of his home. However, his contribution to

[Column 153]

the reawakening Hebrew language in its more difficult days will never be forgotten.” (Hashiloah, vol. 35).

The disregard for Schulbaum's life story reached such an extent that the names of his parents are not mentioned anywhere. His mother's lineage was occasionally mentioned, noting that she was descendent of Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi, known as the Chacham Tzvi. This also raised questions regarding historians researching European Jewry; they usually dig through every familial detail yet in this case were not interested in researching how the great–grand–daughter of Rabbi Ashkenazi of Holland arrived in Galicia. In Galicia, she became Moshe Schulbaum's mother, thus returning scholarly greatness to her family though in a different field. Such research surely was possible even in those days, as it is well–known that the Chacham Tzvi was ABD of Lviv towards the end of his life, [that is] where he passed away in the spring of 1718, and it is known that some of his family settled in Galicia.[20]

Interestingly, many linguistic innovations exist in Rabbi Tzvi Ashkenazi's responsa and his letters detailing his escape from Germany and the years he wandered. Such innovations are also present in the writings of Rabbi Tzvi's son, Rabbi Yaakov Emdin.

Additionally, authors of Schulbaum's biographies made do with writing that he was an autodidact [self–taught person], although the intention likely was to praise him. It was quite difficult to find a professional linguist at Schulbaum's level who had neither completed secondary education nor studied in universities. However, writers did not express interest in the important question of how and from whom a Torah scholar from a small remote town had acquired knowledge in many languages, both new and ancient, and how he had acquired a scientific understanding in the cultural treasures of each language. Indeed, no facts dispute the notion that he taught himself Greek, Roman, Aramaic, Arabic, Assyrian, German, French, and Italian[21] in a town whose Jewish population, at the time, did not reach 2000.

[Column 154]

Schulbaum acquired wisdom and knowledge in his parents' home and at the libraries he found in the synagogue. That testifies [to the fact] that, even in that remote town, there were ample books and many educated folks. Schulbaum was able to acquire such deep knowledge, still praised by contemporary scholars. For instance, Professor Klausner called Schulbaum, “a wonderful grammatist and expander of the language.”

 

E. Schulbaum's Origins, Family, and Education

I recall these details from my childhood: Moshe's father was Yeshayahu Schulbaum and his mother's name was Devorah (Gikkel, Gittel or Glikkel?).[22] Gikkel was a member of an Ashkenazi family who were owners of fabric stores, renters of fields, and money exchangers. In his childhood, Moshe's family was established financially but was bankrupted by a town fire. They were known as a great family, educated scholars of Torah, and lovers of philosophy and grammar who read German books in secret.

Other young people like Schulbaum lived in the town, for example, Aaron Blumenfeld. Aaron was a genius whose history is being compiled by historian Dr. Gelber. Aaron was much younger than Schulbaum and was among his first pupils. Like Moshe, Aharon was a lover of linguistics and attended the study house. After his enlistment in the Austrian army following an error by the community leaders, Aharon was smuggled to Romania where he supported himself by teaching Talmud and Bible. Aharon also studied languages and later trained at Leipzig University, aided by a Jewish donor. He returned to Romania under the name of Dr. Roman Ronati. (See an essay dedicated to him in this section of the book.) Within a short time, Aharon was famous as a great Romanian scholar and became a leader of the revivalists of the Romanian language. Aaron was elected secretary of the Romanian Governmental Academy for Sciences and Literature. (See Jewish Chronicle, 1910)

Schulbaum, too, required the aid of benefactors but received no such aid and instead sustained his scholarliness in poverty. He acquired any knowledge and science that he desired in his home and his town. In accordance

[Column 155]

with his familial lineage and his national and moral tendencies, he decided to first serve his nation and the literature of his language, and dedicated himself to the revival of Hebrew. As customary in his family, Schulbaum was well–educated in Torah and other studies. When he grew up, he left the study house and studied in his father's home and his own home. He diligently read scientific and general literature and by then began to excel in language acquisition, especially languages of the ancient world mentioned in Talmudic literature and by the scholars of Spain. As he approached age 30, he was famed in the region as a great scholar, researcher, and linguist, and well–versed in languages. He was primarily attracted to Semitic linguistics and his first goal was to revive and expand the Hebrew language. Since then, Schulbaum devoted his life to service as a writer, researcher, educator, and translator. He approached translating classic German and Greek literature in order to prove to himself and others the possibility of reviving the language and molding it to the spirit of the time. According to testimony I heard 50 years ago, one of his uncompleted stories, “The Mysteries of Rome” was his first written work, even before his translations of Schiller. “The Mysteries of Rome” is an adaption of an Italian or Roman work which Schulbaum peppered with many linguistic innovations.

The lexicography almost completely bypassed his private and family life. Only Y. Knaani mentioned Schulbaum's first marriage. Schulbaum's first wife was a religious fundamentalist and bothered the young scholar in his scientific work to the point he had to divorce her after few years of suffering.[23] Knaani could not say if Schulbaum had children from his first marriage

[Column 156]

or children from his second and third wives. In his memoir published in the Zionist–Polish daily Chwila after WWI, Professor Meir Balaban wrote about the Haskalah[24] movement during his time in Lviv, that Schulbaum's son was of much help to his father as he wrote his great dictionary. We also learn from that [reference] that Moshe's son was also a great scholar who followed in the footsteps of his father. In Lviv, Professor Balaban knew the daughter of Moshe Schulbaum who was a school teacher. Moshe's sons from his first marriage, Reuven and David, completed law studies in Lviv and died shortly thereafter of poverty–induced tuberculosis. Reuven was the oldest and was poised to be his father's successor because of his wide knowledge of Hebrew and his training in Semitics. The poor father mourned them for his whole life, for good reason. In the first year of mourning, he climbed the Wysocki Zamek in Lviv where he tore his clothes and shouted bitterly at the sky. For years, Moshe refused to be consoled.

After Schulbaum and his second wife had a boy, his spirit gradually began returning and he became calmer and slowly returned to his scientific work. However, that son disappointed his father from a national perspective. Schulbaum began to work and sought a living for him and his family, because the verse, “yet bread to the wise” was applied to him in the cruelest sense. The conditions resulted in the son being educated against his family tradition; early on he left for Vienna, eventually left the community and married a Christian woman in a civil marriage. Although the son did not convert, Moshe severed ties with his son and refused to see him, as though he never existed. Shortly thereafter, Moshe's second wife died. As Moshe approached old age, he married a third woman, Malka (Emalia), a young, wealthy, educated woman who knew Schulbaum's value and his great past. She bore him a daughter and supported him in his old age with remarkable devotion and admiration. Schulbaum was very elderly, 88 years old, when he relocated to Vienna. He was hard of hearing and his sight damaged, and he was exhausted and slim because of his troubles in Ternopil under Russian occupation. He remained alert and sensitive to all that occurred in our world and was especially interested in

[Column 157]

worldly events on the political horizon [that were] projecting the fate and future of Eretz Israel.

 

F. Schulbaum's First Published Works

Moshe Schulbaum resided and maintained his wisdom in Jezierzany, his birth town. Until 1870, Schulbaum had not left the town except for short visits to writers and wise men in neighboring towns or for income. He maintained correspondence with wise men and writers in distant towns as well. In 1863, at age 32, his first translations of Friedrich Schiller's poems (which he had prepared long beforehand) were published in Kohvei Yitzchak [Stars of Isaac], a respected periodical. His translation of “Der Pilgrim” was published in issue 25 and his translations of “Berglied” and “Der Jüngling am Bache,” all poems by Schiller, appeared in later issues of Kohvei Yitzchak. According to bibliographers and historians, some of Schulbaum's work was published in Hamevaser at the same time but they have not mentioned the content or form, or whether those were scientific works, fiction, or poetry. (I am skeptical any issues of Hamevaser were preserved in some library in the old world after the destruction of Austrian Jewry and its historical treasures.) Those translations excel in simple language, and smooth and beautiful rhyming, and are pleasing to read to this day. In A History of the New Hebrew Literature, Professor Klausner stated that “Many of Schulbaum's works and his translations remain relevant.” Schulbaum's style in those translated poems reminds us of the quality of Hebrew poetry in Italy from Ramhal[25] onward, as well as Yitzhak Salkinsohn in his translations of Shakespeare's plays. In his beautiful article in Leshoneinu, Knaani quoted some passages of Schulbaum's translations. Knaani notes the simplicity, beauty, and rhyme–flow in Schulbaum's translated poems. Dr. N. M. Gelber dedicated a substantial section to Schulbaum's work in A History of Lviv Jewry, A History of Kolomia Jewry, and A History of Ternopil Jewry, Yizkor books of those towns, some of which were published recently and others which are still being printed.

The foundations of Schulbaum's work were set in place in his birth town. Schulbaum began preparing and editing his research and linguistic collections while still in Jezierzany. As stated, Schulbaum's motivation was a recognition of the limitations of Hebrew to express

[Column 158]

daily matters. Professor Klausner stated, “Schulbaum preceded Samuel Joseph Fuenn and Ben–Yehuda in gathering post–biblical Hebrew words.” Among them are considered the “Noun Thesaurus,” “The General Thesaurus” and “The Aramaic Thesaurus” which Schulbaum saw at first as appendixes to Ben–Ze'ev's Semitic Roots Thesaurus. Schulbaum began composing his long–form dictionaries in Jezierzany and they were published in dizzying speed, even in current terms, 10 years after he relocated to Lviv. In Lviv, Schulbaum continued to improve and polish his works in the manner he maintained since the day he formed his outlook.

Shmuel Yosef Agnon described the popularity of Schulbaum's dictionaries among members of the Jewish Enlightenment. Agnon did so in “With Our Young and With Our Old,” and “A Simple Story” in which he describes the Galician way of life.[26] Schulbaum's humility and his scientific modesty prevented him from publishing research under his own name. Schulbaum invested a great portion of his scientific work in expanding Ben Ze'ev's work, both by polishing and adding new materials. Professor Klausner is correct in his observation that Ben Ze'ev's new edition of the Roots thesaurus did not bring any fame to Schulbaum, unlike the previous editions whose editors achieved some fame. Schulbaum was persuaded by the opinions and advice from wise men in his social circle [and their assertion] that Ben Ze'ev's material could no longer be woven into the new material and new work should be separated. Only then did Schulbaum begin editing the last draft of his linguistic compositions, and begin

[Column 159]

preparing them for publication as full books, under his name.

 

G. Schulbaum's Place in the New Hebrew Linguistics

To this day, linguists attribute significant value to Schulbaum's work which paved new roads for the development of Hebrew and its grammar. In his first pamphlet, “Hebrew: A Living Language,” Dr. Klausner praised Schulbaum's contribution as an “expander of the language” which Klausner repeated at every opportunity. We found the same contention in his essay in Hashiloah Vol. 1, the obituary in vol. 35, and in his extensive book, A History of the New Hebrew Literature. The elder grammatist Avraham Avrunin often relied on Schulbaum's work. In his essay series “Language and Grammar in Bialik's Poetry” in Leshoneinu, Avrunin disagreed with Bialik and proposed corrections in new editions. Avrunin presented evidence from Schulbaum's theory as an authoritative source against his favorite poet.[27] Shaul Tchernichovsky also

[Column 160]

relied on Schulbaum's linguistic assertions and used them (see note 1 to Tchernichovsky's poem “On Blood” (Crown of Sonnets)). Professor Rivlin, a scholar from Jerusalem, provided a nice simile when he told me, “Schulbaum was like your own Samuel David Luzzatto, and Luzzatto's Eastern–European successor.” A different Jerusalem scholar, linguist Hanoch Yelon, briefly commented,“Only a peek is needed into his writings and dictionaries to demonstrate that that linguist was a scholar with remarkable taste.” A young linguist from Jerusalem remarked that Schulbaum gathered in his works approximately 50,000 Hebrew words,[28] “a generational record of gathering the language's assets.”

Other linguists have emphasized Schulbaum's solid logic, originality of linguistic methods and concise language in comments on the Bible and Talmud. One linguist has told me, “If you search, you will find multiple [instances of] ingeniousness which open windows to refreshing and expanding the language. The expansion of the language would progress much more if we abided by Schulbaum's suggestions, which sometimes he only hinted at.” Another linguist reminded me of Schulbaum's hints at the need for new conjugations, including hovin, hokim, hoshiv [to seat], and hovir [from Morfix.co.il: “(Talmudic) to leave uncultivated land”], guided by Mishnah, Talmud, and other works.[29] The linguist continued,

[Column 161]

“Almost to this day, Schulbaum's hints went unnoticed despite their importance. An added conjugation pattern would have expanded and enriched the language, both in its own right and as a replacement to the prefix that is absent from Hebrew. The recent linguistic trend against ‘loose conjugations’ and the push for ‘complete’ ones is insufficient to change the fact that it is possible to add another verbal stem, “hof'il,” which is present in the Talmudic tradition.”

The positive response to Schulbaum's work at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century seemed [to occur] simultaneously along with the appearance of dictionaries by Samuel Joseph Fuenn & Ben–Yehuda, Grazovskiy & Klausner, and Dr. Torczyner. In 1918, Dr. Klausner noted (“Ish Ivri” pseudonym, Hashiloah, Vol. 35), “Even now, after the publication of Dr. Margel's German–Hebrew dictionary, Avraham Kahana's Russian–Hebrew dictionary, and Ben–Yehuda & Grazovskiy's Russian–German–Hebrew dictionary, Schulbaum's second edition of his German–Hebrew dictionary retains its value and at the time was truly one of a kind.” However, life and the quick development of Hebrew after World War I as a spoken language tipped the scales against Schulbaum. Thousands of copies of that dictionary rolled [?] unwanted through the streets of Lviv. Dr. Yisrael Mintzer, a Zionist activist in Lviv who had left his role as a lawyer to become a publisher and bookseller, purchased the large leftover quantities of the edition. Dr. Mintzer purchased the excess copies to distribute to thousands of Jewish former officers and soldiers from the suddenly disbanded Austrian military. Max Nordau proposed a plan according to which Jewish soldiers would make mass aliyah. Dr. Mintzer failed miserably as did the plan for en masse aliyahs. Few young folks, mostly budding researchers and Hebrew historians, bought the dictionaries at a steep discount. The youth studied “Hebrew in Hebrew” and those who wanted to make aliyah found new textbooks

[Column 162]

that were concise and condensed to a few hundred words and would suffice for their first encounter with Eretz Israel. Thus, old Schulbaum was forgotten and his books nearly forgotten.

However, this generation saw an awakened need to search through Schulbaum's legacy, return important values from his work to Hebrew linguistics and integrate them into the ongoing development of the language. Yaakov Knaani's two research articles were timely and did justice towards the forgotten wise man by rescuing terms from Schulbaum's work that were forgotten and also crediting words already integrated into Hebrew. Faithfully and lovingly, Knaani conducted extensive research yet, in a manner of critique and honesty, he dove into a large pool of works across many countries. Because Knaani did so before the Holocaust which destroyed Jewish communities including their institutions and intellectual treasures all over Europe, he was able to draw on books and copy from periodicals and pamphlets, the majority of which were extinct along with the developing nation.

As Mr. Knaani carefully read Schulbaum's work and the linguistic sources from that period, Knaani recognized that Schulbaum's work was a worthy addition to the revival of our language which has made significant leaps since then. Knaani recognized that Schulbaum's name, his inventions and accomplishments will not be forgotten. Moreover, we still have much to learn from Schulbaum as we expand the language. For some reason, Knaani did not expand upon Schulbaum's method and rules, the importance of which, Knaani maintains, remains today. Instead, Knaani made do with emphasizing Schulbaum's linguistic theory and his use of it. Knaani also mentioned, in a general sense, Schulbaum's advice to the language scholars who will follow him. Schulbaum advised on how to renew and expand, what should be closer and what farther, and the gentle nature of the work so that words get absorbed into the language without losing its soul. Knaani also mentioned Schulbaum's primacy in that task and highlighted that not only Ben–Yehuda but all of the revivalists in our generation follow Schulbaum, for he paved the path for those after him. Knaani quoted several words renewed by Schulbaum, as Knaani saw the need to give credit where it was due. Knaani mentioned, as an example, several words that Schulbaum renewed and which were accepted and absorbed within our new language, without our knowing

[Column 163]

who created them or whether later revivalists counted Schulbaum's inventions as their own. Schulbaum's primacy was also pointed out by Professor Klausner in his book The Founders of the State of Israel.[30]

 

H. Life–Stations and Creation

Schulbaum's primary creative locales were Jezierzany and Lviv. In his later stops, Kolomia, Mikolinitzi, and Ternopil, it seems as if Schulbaum exchanged his linguistic work for different creative outlets. In the second period [of his life?], Schulbaum was focused mainly on reviving the language and national values as an educator and educational planner. After his difficult work as an educator, Schulbaum devoted much time to biblical research. Schulbaum busied himself not only with biblical criticism and examination of unclear passages, [but also with] differing versions of the Mishnah and commentary in the Talmud. Schulbaum contributed short essays to Hamagid and Sifrei Sha'ashuim, edited by his young friend Isaac Fernhof (other scholars from Odessa also contributed essays and poetry), and to Hamicpe of Krakow. In a booklet called “Ohr Hadash,” Schulbaum gathered some of his biblical commentaries which he designated as “free–form explanations.”

In his old age, Schulbaum returned once more to writing essays concerning the revival of the language. In 1904, Schulbaum published in Hamicpe an extensive essay on the revival of our language in which he summarized his opinions on Hebrew linguistics, proposed to linguists to settle disputed matters, and expressed his confidence that soon a high institution will be established and recognized by the nation as an authority on the revival of the language. (In his introduction to his dictionaries, he called it “a court for language development.”) In 1912, Schulbaum sent his final essay to Hashiloah. To this day, it is unknown whether the final essay contained linguistic matters or whether it was the same essay that Dr. Klausner mentioned in his eulogy, which was all corrections to the scriptures. The editor of Hashiloah,

[Column 164]

Dr. Klausner, did not publish the manuscript for reasons he kept to himself. According to one theory, Schulbaum forgot to sign the letter although the handwriting was similar to other letters he wrote to Hashiloah. The apparent reason was that, according to Hashiloah's policy, even people with Jewish convictions could not publish corrections to scripture as “that exceeds what even what the most liberal among biblical critics allowed themselves.” The manuscript is preserved in Professor Klausner's archive in Jerusalem and perhaps he will reveal the true reason in his upcoming memoirs. Schulbaum was disappointed and expressed his disappointment several times in his conversations with Meir Khartiner in Ternopil. Schulbaum often said, “Herren Klausner gefallen meine sachen nicht” (Mr. Klausner does not like my material.”)

As Schulbaum resided in Mikolinitzi (1897–1913), while detached from a company of writers and scholars, he re–edited his Aramaic Thesaurus published in Lviv. Some advertisement with the author's address appeared in Hamagid when the book was published. Some short writings of Schulbaum appeared in Hamagid at the time. In the same newspaper, Schulbaum debated S.M. Lazar about explanations of the Bible and the Talmud.

As Schulbaum was lonely in that town, he first began to envy the Odessa scholars who had not included him in their literary platforms and did not approach him to send them his writings. He did not envy Dr. Ehrenpreis and Dr. Ton [?] because Schulbaum did not desire the publicity crown. However, Schulbaum did want to interact with S. Bernfeld and David Neumark. Schulbaum saw himself as a Hebrew writer because he published only in Hebrew. In the same town, Schulbaum published a collection of Syrian–Sumerian elements in Hebrew and Arabic.

Schulbaum lived in Kolomia from 1887 –1897. In 1888, he published essays and short comments in the weekly publication Hashemsh [The Sun], the first editor of which was Reuben Asher Braudes. Here, too, most of the topics concerned language, problems in scripture, and Jewish wisdom.

 

I. Schulbaum's Work and its Publication in Lviv

When he moved from Jezierzany in 1870, after his creative spirit overcame him and his desk drawers were filled with manuscripts, he chose Lviv as the center of enlightenment in Galicia.

[Column 165]

Schulbaum's mind was full of humanities, languages, energy and the drive to deepen his research and publish his works. By his nature, he at first distanced himself from criticism and would say that his true power was in his building [construction?] tools. The enlightened folks of Lviv soon noticed his qualities as a scholar and all attempted to ease his acclimation to the city. Michael Wolf, a publisher and educator, made him a proofreader in Wolf's printing house and assured Schulbaum a decent income. Dr. Klausner, in his obituary in Hashiloah, said, “Schulbaum, of course, was not a simple proofreader in that printing house but ensured that our sages' books would be repaired.” Since then, Schulbaum was available for new creations, editing his manuscripts, publishing and editing a weekly paper, and for extensive intellectual advocacy, especially towards renewing the language and its literature.

In 1871, a Hebrew weekly periodical HaEt/ Kol HaEt, (given alternate names every week for licensing purposes [?]), was edited by Schulbaum and published by “Hebrew Language Advocates Company” which was established at Schulbaum's initiative. Every week, a supplement was added to the periodical named “Ruach HaEt” which was devoted to poems, prose, biblical research, etc. The editor declared the aim of his paper to “raise the profile of the Holy Language and to report all that happens in the country Schulbaum's voice as a revivalist echoed through that declaration.[31]

A year earlier, a few weeks after his move to Lviv, he founded the “Hebrew Language Union” with the stated mission, “Passion for the Hebrew Language and its Revival” because Hebrew is “the most stable asset of the Jewish people.” Many years before Simon Dubnow, Schulbaum preached cultural and educational autonomy for his people in Galicia. Starting in 1871, Schulbaum demanded through his paper and at gatherings, “the establishment of general–Jewish schools for all Jewish youth where they will study Hebrew, Bible, and Talmud and their obligations as Jews and humans.”

[Column 166]

The humble and moderate researcher became a warrior–writer, not only for ‘enlightenment from the heavens,’ but also a humanistic Hebrew education and nourishment of national values.

During those same years, Schulbaum re–edited several stories he had written in his birth town (including “The Rabbi Who Consulted the King” and “Mysteries of Rome”) and he serialized them in his paper. The stories were also packed with wonderful linguistic inventions, embedded and off–handed in his clear style. Publication of the stories ceased when his paper folded after two years. The stories were never completed although, as Knaani noted, “Readers and writers praised him in every issue.” Schulbaum himself likely did not see the stories' importance during his more recent active period because he focused mainly on linguistic research, translations of German poetry and Greek philosophy, and editing a new edition of

 

oze166.jpg
“New Edition Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics
by Moshe Schulbaum – Annotated, Lviv, 5637.”
Cover of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics translated by
M. Schulbaum (according to a faded photograph)

[Column 167]

Ben Ze'ev's works.

During his fourteen years of residence in Lviv,[32] in addition to his journalistic work, he published the following books:

  1. Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, 1877. [Written] with the help of a German translation, as Schulbaum admitted
  2. The General Thesaurus, 1880, 2nd edition, 1898
  3. Translation of “The Robbers,” a well–known play by Friedrich Schiller, abridged, 1881[33]
  4. The Noun Thesaurus, 1881, and the full 5th edition of Ben Ze'ev's dictionary in 5 volumes.
  5. Schulbaum's Hebrew–German Dictionary, German– Hebrew, 1st edition 1881, 2nd edition 1904
All were great books and important in various creative fields, and their composition continued almost 50 years. The “Aramaic Thesaurus” was published in Lviv in 1900 when Schulbaum was an educator in Mikolinitzki.

The problems concerning Jewish education increasingly occupied Schulbaum's mind. Because he wanted to do and not just talk, he studied pedagogical literature and approached developing his own educational plan as he had contemplated upon his arrival in Lviv. A dispute between Schulbaum and his friend and income provider, Michael Wolf, intensified and caused interruptions in Schulbaum's income. As Schulbaum proofread books, he would propose new words to the publishers and authors. Schulbaum invented a Hebrew term for “novel,” “mivdeh,” and wanted to adopt it for the covers of novels printed by Wolf. Schulbaum's corrections likely concerned also the works of Reuben Asher Braudes, which angered both Braudes and Wolf. That conflict caused tension in Schulbaum's relationship with the publisher, to the point of

[Column 168]

separation after some time. Schulbaum suddenly remained without significant income, although his books at the time were considered widely circulated. The first edition of the dictionary sold out within a few years. Not only maskilim[34] purchased it to expand their skills, but young men leaning towards Haskalah also purchased to study German. The dictionary was a door to German poetry and enabled them to learn to read works by Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, and Heine in their original language or prepare [them] for entrance exams for German secondary education. A similar use was adopted for Moses Mendelssohn's German translation of the Bible in the previous generation, the readers of which were more interested in the German translation than the accompanying Hebrew commentary.

Schulbaum invested [money] himself and invested most of the money from his son from his second wife, who wanted his money returned. Schulbaum's income became scarce. As Schulbaum prepared his Hebrew educational plan, he began preparing to teach in his first Hebrew school which his friends and admirers promised to help found. The endeavor immediately failed as all efforts to obtain such a license as an autodidact[35] failed.

 

J. Schulbaum as an Educator and Hebrew Education Planner

At the time, the first Jewish schools funded by Baron Hirsch were opened in Galicia. Schulbaum's friends convinced him to open such a school in Kołomia, a town of writers and scholars, where he could establish the school he had preached for [advocated for] during his time in Lviv. Thus, in 1887, Schulbaum relocated to Kolomia and served as principal for a decade. The maskilim and Hebrew writers of Kolomia welcomed Schulbaum with open arms. He would lecture on history, literature and linguistics. Schulbaum's influence on the Jewish intelligentsia and the Hebrew groups in the town and its surroundings increased. Schulbaum's first request was assistance with founding the Hebrew educational fund and encouraging the Hebrew curriculum in the other schools. Writers and other enlightened folks, including David Yeshayahu Zilberbush, Gershom Bader, and Michael Zeidman, heeded Schulbaum's call. However, the school fund and administration were led by assimilators who appointed themselves chief speakers even on issues of

[Column 169]

education and language, and from the start they frowned upon Schulbaum's plans. When the assimilators saw the organization surrounding Schulbaum and the public opinion leaning towards his goals, they switched to open and vigorous opposition. Some important changes occurred within the school because many teachers gladly accepted Schulbaum's influence and improved lessons accordingly. However, Schulbaum's desire for fundamental reform remained. A long and hard conflict between Schulbaum's loyalists and the assimilators ensued.

The public pressure intensified in 1894. That year, a national teachers' conference convened in Stanisławów where Schulbaum's proposals were raised as an official item on the agenda. Dr. Meir Weissberg, a writer and teacher, joined Schulbaum's requests and they co–prepared an extensive plan to expand Hebrew education. A designated committee of Hebrew teachers deliberated the issue and drafted a plan for Hebrew studies both in language instruction and Bible instruction. The plan was accepted, much to the disappointment of the assimilators' leaders. Since then, the assimilators began to publicly scorn Schulbaum. In the winter of 1897, during the school year, they exiled Schulbaum from Kolomia and transferred him to a school in the small town of Mikolinitzi. Schulbaum was close to 70 years old then. Their aim was to isolate him from writers and Hebrew advocates, and to separate him from the Zionists they so loathed. Zionists began appearing in increasing numbers in Galicia's large towns following the stardom of Political Zionism and its founder Theodor Herzl. Schulbaum happily declared in the Hebrew introduction to his dictionary, “God has bestowed a blessing upon the land. A heavenly wind began blowing and its name is Zionism.”

During the first years of Schulbaum's residence in Mikolinitzki, the new Hebrew literature from Russia began in full force, along with its accompanying streams from “young Galicia [?]” spilling over to Odessa. In 1905, a heavy tide of Jewish–Russian refugees and immigrants poured into Galicia and Bukovina. Most of the refugees were young educated Jews who spoke modern Hebrew. Some of them acclimated to Galicia and began disseminating modern Hebrew as tutors, and course and school–founders for Jewish youth. Within a few years, a momentum formed around a widening Hebrew movement which overtook most of the town in Galicia and Bukovina. The movement even reached the few Jewish families who lived in villages.

[Column 170]

The method of “Hebrew in Hebrew,” according to a method developed by Berlitz for different living languages, made significate gains as teachers and students were enthused, thus pushing out all dual language Hebrew dictionaries. As a result, the new edition of Schulbaum's dictionaries became unnecessary among the studying youth. Schulbaum himself did not regret the obsoleteness of his dictionaries because he saw with his own eyes that his wishes and life's work were achieving their purpose. Schulbaum heard the Sephardic–pronounced Hebrew from young and old folks, and he noticed new and renewed words from his work and according to it. He read every book and booklet in Hebrew from Eretz Israel and Russia, and found his own linguistic influence in them. Thus, Schulbaum was content with his lot as one of the founders and sources of the new Hebrew literature and the reviving language. In his old age, he gathered his strength and would devote the remainder of his life to editing his work on the Bible and Mishnah. With his revitalized strength, he would gift his nation new and bold materials.

The beginning of the decade preceding World War I was a lively time, ripe for intellectual creation in Europe. Biblical criticism flourished, especially in Germany, and brought with it new revelations on the Mishnah and Jewish history. Each year, new centers for Jewish wisdom were founded in Vienna, Austria; Budapest, Hungary; and Florence, Italy. Eretz Israel also awakened and competed in various creative fields. A scientific Hebrew commentary on the Bible was published and many old and young Jewish wise men from many countries contributed. Schulbaum, too, joined in those efforts and wished to demonstrate strength in those fields. Envy was not Schulbaum's motivator. Rather, he was confident in his ability to share his accrued research materials and wanted to give to his people.

I had heard of Schulbaum's plan from mutual acquaintances who visited Schulbaum in Mikolinitzi and found him immersed in research and writing. During my tenure as secretary of the Teacher's Union of Galicia and Bukovina, and

[Column 171]

at times as inspector of year–end examinations at the Teacher's Seminary founded by Shlomo Schiller, I was sent to Ternopil for the commencement ceremony where I had the honor of engaging in a short conversation with Schulbaum.[36] Our mutual friends, including wealthy, educated folks who admired the elderly scholar, told me that Schulbaum was still strong and invigorated. His average stature had stooped only somewhat and the afflictions of old age had nearly bypassed him. Schulbaum was certain that he could easily find a publisher for his new books and requested only assistance to relocate to Vienna or at least return to Lviv with a small pension because, at his age, it was difficult to handle publication, including proofreading and printing, from a remote corner [place].

 

K. In Ternopil during His Last Days

Only in 1913/14, when Schulbaum was 84 years old did the leaders of the Baron Hirsch Fund transfer him to Ternopil with a partial pension as a part–time inspector of the Hebrew teachers from their Eastern–Galician schools. Before long, the war had begun and the scholar, in his old age, exhausted and alone, was forced to acclimate to conditions under Cossack occupation; they ruled Ternopil until July 1917. Schulbaum had sent his wife and daughter to Vienna but he was unable to follow them. He remained trapped in Ternopil, alone and detached from his family for most of the war. Luckily for Schulbaum, author Meir Khartiner was also trapped in Ternopil at the same time. Meir's sister lived in the same building where Schulbaum resided. When Meir told his sister who her neighbor was, she helped him as much as possible in those days by supplying food and drink. Even during his advanced old age, burdened by Russian occupation, Schulbaum diligently read and wrote for about 20 [?] hours each day. Most of his work was comprised of editing and adding to a thick manuscript in which he gathered his work on explanations and corrections to the bible, and explanation of Talmudic literature

[Column 172]

and Midrashim. His known booklet “Ohr Hadash” and “Bedek Habayit” (which was rejected for publication by Hashiloah) served as a starting point and example for a lengthy composition or two compositions on different topics. Meir Khartiner saw him many times adding to or editing that extensive manuscript, and it was evident Schulbaum regarded it as uber–important although he did not reveal its content. Evidently, Schulbaum was unable to find a reputable publisher as he was previously certain he could, [either] because he had been in exile in Mikolinitzi or because he was so bitterly disappointed by Hashiloah, causing him to postpone publishing to a more convenient time but the war had erupted in the meantime. His persistence in writing and editing testified [to the fact] that he had not given up on publishing his new work.

Schulbaum's expansive library included many linguistical works and other general wisdom. Schulbaum's health and wealth suffered under occupation so he could not afford to transport it to Vienna where he had relocated after the Russian retreat. Thus, the library remained in Ternopil. Many times, Schulbaum offered the library as a gift to Meir Khartiner as he hinted by telling of his two sons who had died young and the living son who “strayed from his father's path.” Khartiner refused to accept such a large gift which included books of high value because Khartiner saw it as the old writer's last source of support. Khartiner purchased a few books[37] from Schulman, including a German–Arabic dictionary. That large and valuable collection was plundered and destroyed, first by the retreating Cossacks and later by Ukrainian militants as they took over Ternopil and confiscated the building for military purposes. A large part of the collection served as kindling material for Ukrainian soldiers for heat and for other needs. To this day it is unknown whether Schulbaum took with him to Vienna his manuscript in progress or

[Column 173]

whether that manuscript was destroyed alongside his book collection.

Meir Khartiner frequently visited Schulbaum and they discussed and debated commentary on scripture and the impact of tradition. At times, Khartiner did not accept Schulbaum's proposed corrections of scripture and attempted to convince him that the scripture at hand was inconsistent only due to errors of copiers [scribes]. Moreover, Khartiner argued that inconsistencies are remedied without corrections or erasures, by expanding upon the rule “There is no strict chronology in the Torah” [Pesachim 6b], and applying it also to individual verses. Our predecessors also knew about “implicit scripture” and Rabbi David Kimhi even dared to state in his commentary on Ne'vim that Qere and Ketiv [“read as” and “write as,” notes included in editions of the Hebrew Bible, maintained by scribal tradition] originated in corrupted books which returned to Israel from Babel. Schulbaum carefully listened to each note and the ones he liked he included in pages of the manuscript for additional deliberation. The conversations took place in German because Schulbaum dismissed Yiddish and would repeat a recited modified mantra coined by Judah ha–Nasi, “Why speak the Sursi language? Speak either German or Hebrew.” Unlike Judah ha–Nasi, Schulbaum's speaking of the living Hebrew language was somewhat broken, especially in the Sephardic pronunciation when contrasted with Schulbaum's fluency in German. In one of the conversations, Schulbaum unexpectedly asked Khartiner, “Herr Chartiner, wie stehen Sie mit Gott?” (“Mr. Khartiner, what is your stance on God?”) when Khartiner replied in apparent philosophical simplicity, “Ganz einfach, Herr Schulbaum, was ich nicht wissen, nenne ich Gott.” (“Very simple, Mr. Schulbaum; what I do not know – I call God.”) Schulbaum thought for a while and ended the conversation by remarking, “eigentlich ein geistreicher gedanke” (“actually a witty thought.”) Apparently, the God question returned to occupy Schulbaum's mind in his final days. Schulbaum's short answer does not provide insight into Schulbaum's questioning soul, whether Khartiner's answer pacified him or not.

[Column 174]

In those days too, Schulbaum was indifferent towards religion and faith. He did not publicly disparage religion although he was loyal to the Maskilim's mockery of Hassidism and Hassidic rebbes. Schulbaum spoke ill of the Hassidim at every opportunity. Schulbaum reserved his sharpest daggers for the leader of the Vizhnitz dynasty (“Mendel Vizhnitzer” as Schulbaum dubbed him), and did not hesitate to accuse Rabbi Mendel of adultery, based on testimony of former dynasty employees. Schulbaum's stance on religion was expressed also in his opposition to the “worship of the dead,” and, to stay consistent, he avoided visiting the gravesites of his ancestors and instead gave to charity in their honor.

Schulbaum did not visit Jezierzany for several years after the town rabbi, Mordechai Zeidman, instructed [people ?] to burn Schulbaum's books, including the dictionaries, because the books “caused the youth to stray from the righteous path.” However, when Schulbaum resided in Kołomia and Mikolinitzi, he returned to Jezierzany and took special interest in maskilim who had arisen in his absence. During his few visits to Jezierzany, Schulbaum was hosted by Moshe Gold or his cousin and secretly left after a day or two, likely because of the religious fundamentalists who had loathed him since his youth. A few maskilim from Jezierzany (Yehuda Cohen and Nissan and Aharon Nissenbaum who had relocated to the Kołomia and Chernivtsi area) periodically visited Schulbaum during his time in Kolomia. When Schulbaum lived in Mikolinitzi, Moshe Gold and Ben–Tzion Shifman visited him.

Even while Schulbaum resided in Russian–occupied Ternopil, Moshe Gold visited him. Gold introduced him to S. Ansky and Dr. P. Lander, who led the Jewish–Russian rescue committee's charity efforts in Galicia. Dr. Lander was a military doctor from Kiev who died in Israel a few years ago. Dr. Lander told me that, during his visits to the Tagblatt, S. Ansky visited Schulbaum's home in Ternopil numerous times and was very interested in Schulbaum's scientific work. Ansky was especially interested in Schulbaum's Hebrew words and idioms that Schulbaum had gathered from Yiddish and included in his dictionaries. Schulbaum's and Ansky's conversations were sluggish because

[Column 175]

Ansky was not fond of Schulbaum's German and they switched to broken French mid–conversation. Although Ansky and Schulbaum did not become great friends because of age, educational and cultural differences, Ansky spoke with great respect about “the Galician wise man whose body is weak from old age yet has a great memory, recalls obscure texts, and is still immersed in literature like a young scholar.” Ansky, who was fascinated by Jewish folklore and researched ancient Yiddish dialects, found rare linguistical material in Schulbaum's library and borrowed materials from Schulbaum. Schulbaum honored him with a Hebrew book written in Assyrian characters from the late Middle–Ages in Germany. Dr. Lander could not recall the name of the book or its content.

Rabbi Judah Leon Magnes was also interested in Schulbaum's fate. A short time before America joined World War I, Rabbi Magnes unexpectedly arrived in Lviv as a leader of an American–Jewish charity. Rabbi Magnes had come to assess the state of Galician Jews and their suffering under occupation, and had brought significant sums of money. During his mission, he contacted the Tagblatt editorial board and requested statistics needed for his friends in New York. During the first conversation, he asked me and members of the National Zionist Committee how and whether he could meet Moshe Schulbaum because he had to relay a message from the family of Alexander Kohut. Magnes also hinted that the editors of the new edition of Aruch Completum had used many of Schulbaum's ideas. The Kohut family had attempted in vain to contact Schulbaum since the war had started and asked Rabbi Magnes to locate him if he was still alive. Rabbi Magnes was very disappointed to learn that none of us knew where Schulbaum was because we could not contact Russian–occupied Ternopil. After Ternopil was liberated, we learned that the Russians held Schulbaum as a hostage of sorts so that the community would comply, and only his advanced age saved him from being exiled to Russia. From a different conversation with Rabbi Magnes,

[Column 176]

I learned that he had first heard of Schulbaum from his friend, writer Dr. Friedlander (known for his translation to German of Dubnow's “Letters on Old and New Judaism” and Ahad Ha'am's “Al Parashat Derakhim” [At a Crossroads]) while both were still attending German universities. Magnes also said that he had no chance of being issued a permit to enter Russian territory, as he was known as a staunch opposer of American assistance to Russia because of the Russian hostility towards Jews. Magnes further noted that American and Russian Jewry maintained ties and he would attempt to contact Schulbaum on the other side. When Rabbi Magnes and I met in Jerusalem, he remembered that ordeal and said that, indeed, contact was established with Schulbaum with help from the Russian–Jewish Rescue Committee. Magnes added, “If I remember correctly after decades,” there was correspondence between Dr. Kohut and Schulbaum, which likely bears importance for Hebrew linguistics. The correspondence has yet to be confirmed by any other source.

Schulbaum stayed in Ternopil for one month after it was liberated until he contacted his wife and daughter in Vienna. Schulbaum was at a loss in the unpredictable environment post–World War I. He could not stay in Ternopil after falling victim to the arson the Russian military committee [perpetrated] as they retreated[38], leaving full streets plundered and burnt. Schulbaum temporally resided with a friend until he could decide on the near future. The Baron Hirsch institutions no longer existed in Eastern Galicia and his family in Vienna did not want to return to the dangers of the Russian border. Once more, income became an issue and a solution could be found only at the Baron Hirsch Board in Vienna. Schulbaum preferred Lviv to Vienna so he could avoid seeing his son and daughter–in–law, which he had not recognized.[39] However, Lviv awakened in him bitter memories. His talented sons died

[Column 177]

In Lviv and he suffered hunger there. Therefore, no choice remained but to travel to Vienna where his wife and most beloved daughter were and where most of his surviving intellectual friends lived.

 

L. Final Days in Vienna

When Schulbaum arrived in Vienna at the end of summer 1917, Schulbaum found only his coat hanging near the window. His suitcases and all their contents had been stolen. Schulbaum's work from 30 years was lost. He was so irritated that he cursed at the administrators of the military train he arrived on and nearly became entangled in a trial for disparaging the military. He forgot everything as he fell into his daughter's and wife's arms in the eastern terminal and he did not remember the content of the stolen suitcases. The suitcases included manuscripts and, in his naivete, Schulbaum was certain that the honest thieves would recognize their error and that it does not pay to steal worn–out items

 

oze177.jpg
Schulbaum Passport Issued by Austrian Military Authorities

The passport and other official documents note Schulbaum as a “religion instructor” by trade. Austria did not recognize the rights of the Hebrew language so its teaching was included in religious teaching.

[Column 178]

and old yellowing papers and would therefore return everything to the address he glued on each suitcase. The police recorded the theft immediately and searched in vain for many weeks. Only a thin booklet he had in his coat pocket remained, the cover of which carried the photos of Reuven and David, his two “genius” sons as he called them, who had died in Lviv. The book was the German translation of Night–Thoughts by English poet Edward Young. While in Ternopil, Schulbaum poured his heart out to Khartiner and said that he very often read Night–Thoughts when plagued by insomnia. In Vienna his schedule changed; the day belonged to his young wife Malka (Emalia) and their daughter, Ethel[40]. Ethel had grown since Moshe last saw her and demonstrated talent at her secondary school.[41] At night, Moshe read Night–Thoughts, occasionally looked at the pictures of his deceased sons and honored their memory.

New and old friends, writers and educated folks, greeted him honorably and helped him with obtaining his pension from the Baron Hirsch Board. He was visited often by David Yeshaya Silberbusch, Rabbi Dr. Joseph Samuel Bloch, Isaac Torczyner (father of Professor Tur–Sinai), writer Chaim Bloch, Ben–Tzion Schifman and others. They accompanied him home almost daily because he had the habit of attending the Zion Library to read a book or a newspaper and he often visited a cafi where Zionist writers and advocates convened. On rare occasions, he met with his son from his second marriage and demonstrated open cold–heartedness towards him. He once excitedly told Isaac Torczyner, “My son did not convert, he is Jewish. But who can promise me that my grandchildren from him would not do as Elia Levita's grandchildren did after his death?” Schulbaum saw the ongoing diaspora as a trap of assimilation. Chaim Bloch wrote me from New York that Schulbaum disfavored the involvement in regional politics of German and Galician Zionists. Schulbaum saw only one solution to the problems facing Judaism: a return to the Hebrew language and return to the Land of Israel. Schulbaum lived respectfully with his daughter, and wife

[Column 179]

for 8 months only. He died at a ripe old age shortly after the news of the Balfour Declaration reached Vienna, despite the strict military censor. When Schulbaum's friend, Joseph Samuel Bloch, wrote an article harshly criticizing “English Zionism” in Dr. Bloch's newspaper “Osterreichische Wochenschrift” (which was the community's mouthpiece), Schulbaum rebuked him. Thus, Schulbaum still had the time to peek and see in his imagination as the day dawned on the hope of Zion and the opening of the gates to the renewal of the nation on its Forefathers' land. Schulbaum peacefully closed his eyes forever, knowing that his life's work to revive the Hebrew language was not in vain because a spoken, living Hebrew language is the main key to the revival of the people and the land. The Hebrew writers who visited him while he was bed–ridden in Vienna encouraged him by saying that his place in the history of the reviving nation was guaranteed. In April 1918, the first revivor and expander of the Hebrew language of the previous century died in Vienna.

Twenty years after Moshe's death, his daughter and his widow were unable to obtain a permit for aliyah as the Nazi regime spread across central Europe. His daughter wrote me with great, yet reserved, pain that her request to “a high Zionist authority” was denied due to “a lack of certificates.” Ethel and her family were rescued at the very last moment. Because her husband was a well–known doctor at the Rothchild hospital, a Nazi officer (probably costumed [?]) rescued the family from arrest and termination and the family immigrated to America. The widow died in New York in 1948. At her death, the written Hebrew course Moshe wrote for his daughter vanished mysteriously, along with an uncompleted, worn, and blurry manuscript of an Aramaic–Hebrew dictionary. Moshe's daughter mourns the loss of the manuscripts and the life she could have had. Her son is a high–ranking officer in the American military and stationed in Bermuda. He is a father of four children who take pride in their great grandfather and would like to read about him and his intellectual enterprise. Ethel divorced her doctor husband, and her longing for Israel is intensifying. “How different my life and my son's lives would have been,” she wrote, “had we been allowed to live in Israel and participate in its rebuilding!” She very much admires her great father and continues to devote much time and effort to finding his lost manuscripts.[42]

[Column 180]

M. The Lost Manuscript

Seven years ago, I met with the elder writer Gershom Bader in New York after decades of no contact. Many of our conversations concerned Moshe Schulbaum, as a man and a writer. Gershom likely did not know about Schulbaum's daughter in America. He did not mention Ethel and I did not mention her because I had not yet learned that Schulbaum's wife and family were able to escape Austria. Powered by his phenomenal memory, Bader added many details. When Bader heard the reason, for my interest this time was to write an extensive monograph for the 100th anniversary of Schulbaum's birth, he gestured as if pointing at a manuscript in front of him and said that he has in his possession a manuscript ready for publication, detailing “all of Schulbaum's life–turns, literary contributions, and educational outreach.” Bader corresponded with Schulbaum. Bader, too, told me about a long manuscript that Schulbaum worked on perfecting thirty years ago. Schulbaum kept the details of the manuscript to himself. As was his habit, in a joking manner Bader said, “If the manuscript was found by someone out there then one day the Jewish and Christian worlds would be surprised when a new Bible would appear, a Bible corrected, clarified, and different from any version we currently have – the Moshe Schulbaum version.”

On the same topic, Bader expanded on Schulbaum's thorough scholarliness, his tremendous knowledge of the treasures of our literature, and “his wisdom deep as the sea,” also in “the Gentiles' humanities.” Schulbaum was much deeper than Simon Bernfeld concerning all of Jewish wisdom, and “Schulbaum would have never produced a shallow and questionable work like Bernfeld's introduction to The Holy Scriptures.” Moreover, “Schulbaum studied the Bible for 70 consecutive years. He examined every version and every tradition, and deeply loved every verse.” According to Bader, his essay about Schulbaum, which would have revealed some details about the lost manuscript (joined with

[Column 181]

private letters which contain hints about the details) was to be published soon as a special and expanded chapter of his “Wise Men of Galicia” series.

Meanwhile, Bader, too, died, and no one remained who knew Schulbaum as well as Bader did. If Bader's estate will publish his literary belongings, they will likely contain unknown details unavailable in any other source – as demonstrated by the fact that Knaani's two expansive essays and Dr. Gelber's historical additions revealed only a small part of a life of creativity. As a native of Schulbaum's hometown, I attempted to complete some missing or distorted links in Schulbaum's history and works, some details that I remembered and others from conversations with members of his generation. However, Gershom Bader contributed to most periodicals that Schulbaum contributed to, lived in most of the towns Schulbaum lived in at the same time period, and was educated alongside him. Perhaps the most important missing link in Schulbaum's history will be revealed: the reason for the near–complete ceasing of scientific publication in Schulbaum's last thirty years, which he devoted to in–depth probing of our literature. According to Bader's assessment, Schulbaum edited/adapted his speeches to written works about the relation between Hebrew and other Semitic languages. Perhaps the topics and content of the lost manuscript Schulbaum was working on would be revealed although the manuscript is likely lost beyond hope of relocation. Schulbaum's daughter is nearly certain that the manuscript was lost in the suitcases stolen on the train as he travelled from Ternopil to Vienna.

Either way, I was prevented from providing here even a shallow overview of his biblical criticism. I was very eager to review Professor Klausner's manuscript about Schulbaum, [in order] to publish at least a summary of it. Unfortunately, the manuscript was not found although the elderly scholar searched for many days. Professor Klausner is certain that the manuscript was not lost

[Column 182]

and will eventually be found among the thousands of manuscripts and letters that he accumulated over his decades as an editor, writer and researcher, if he ever carefully archives the old materials in his possession. Professor Klausner notes from memory that Schulbaum's manuscript “included dozens of proposed corrections to the versions of scriptures, among them some straightforward proposals and other unlikely estimates [educated guesses?].”

I will conclude with one of those “estimates” that Meir Khartiner remembered from his and Schulbaum's last conversation in Ternopil.[43]

2 Samuel 5:8 says, “…Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites…” All commentators across history debated the meaning of the word “tzinor” [“gutter” in KJV] in that verse. Schulbaum translated it as a stone or a stone fortress because the Hebrew word “tzinor” is similar in form to the Aramaic word “tinora,” translated thusly.

On this 100th anniversary since the start of Schulbaum's work, it is a genuine good deed to memorialize the “poor scholar” and bring his words to generations to come.

Jerusalem, 5713–18


General Notes and Footnotes

These notes and footnotes were added by the original author unless otherwise noted that they were added by this Yizkor Book's translation co–coordinator.

  1. From the Avraham Sharon (Shvadron) collection of autographs and portraits of famous Jews at the National Library in Jerusalem. I received from Mrs. Ethel Shmirer– Schulbaum the remainder of the photographs in this monography, along with other important biographical information. Mrs. Shmirer is Moshe's youngest daughter and resides in New York. Return
  2. A year before his death, Dr. Sharon labored long and hard to obtain Schulbaum's photo from the National Library for the memorial book for his birth–town Jezierzany. Dr. Sharon also attempted to obtain a sample of Schulbaum's handwriting but before he could do so, he died in an automobile collision. Return
  3. In his bibliographic review in Hashiloah, vol. 1, Dr. Chaim Brody noted Dr. Salomon Mandelkern who worked painstakingly for 15 years on his Veteris Testamenti Concordantiae, a concordance on the bible. Mandelkern's concordance was published in 1896, many years after Schulbaum's dictionaries. Return
  4. Responsa – a body of written decisions and rulings given by legal scholars in response to questions addressed to them. In the modern era, the term is used to describe decisions and rulings made by scholars in historic religious law. (added by this Yizkor book's translation co–coordinator) Return
  5. Joseph Klausner, a young and daring writer in those days who often wrote on the expansion of Hebrew, did not hesitate to say to his opponents: “Mapu, Smolenskin, and Gordon never painted a full picture with all of its parts and shades. Our writers attempt to write about living matters in a dead language, yet they want to use only the words which were not enough in ibn Tibbon's days.” (“Language Expanders,” Hashiloah, Vol. 1) Return
  6. Not only Schulbaum's national sensibilities led him to see in those words of the Sages only a poetic saying. In his speeches in Lviv and Kolomyia regarding grammar, he presented much evidence from scholars of the previous generations, as well as evidence and examples of his own, that Mishna and midrashim contain “siblings” to unexplained words in the Bible. Some of those words he used as explanations and incorporated in his dictionary, and others he placed in his extensive essay on the versions of the Bible and Mishna, which was not published and vanished after his death. (See also Chanoch Yelon, “From Midrash to Reading,” in his first pamphlet.)
    In our generation, Scholar Y.N. Epstein excelled in similarly bold ideas as he researched the styling of the Mishna. He explained the verse “my skin blackened upon me” (Job 30:30) as “my skin was shed from me” as in “shkhir,” a type of scissors, resembling the word shakor (black). He did so according to the well–known Talmudic debate equalizing the words meshilin [shedding], meshirin [shedding], mashchilin [threading ?], and mashchirin [blackening] in the text of the Mishna (tractate Beitza 81, 41) See Mavo L'nusach HaMishna [“introduction to the Mishna Text”] vol. A pp. 320). Return
  7. Mishneh – the first major written collection of the Jewish oral traditions known as the Oral Torah (added by this Yizkor book's translation co–coordinator) Return
  8. Tosefta – a compilation of the Jewish oral law from the late 2nd century, the period of the Mishnah (added by this Yizkor book's translation co–coordinator) Return
  9. For example, the term ‘zenem’ which Schulbaum adapted from “zunam” in the text of Bava Batra as a name for kitchen utensils known collectively in German as “steingutt.” Authors of the new Hebrew dictionaries copy the word without need for Schulbaum's Talmudic incorporation although he intended a new Hebrew word and not another Aramaic word. Maimonides in the Mishneh Torah “Sales” (1:15) also discarded that needless Aramaic word while defining the law for buying dry, rocky land according to the Talmudic question “zunma b'mai kani lei” (Bava Batra 29b), “if the ground is dry–rock and is infertile, the purpose for which he buys it, drying fruits or storing livestock...” Other dictionary authors almost blindly copied grammar elements from Schulbaum without mentioning his name. They did so in his lifetime and he was very angered by it. On the eve of World War I, he wrote to one of Ben–Yehuda's friends in Israel and reminded him of the question (regarding Rabbi Meir and Rabbi Nathan) posed by young Rabbi Shimon to his father, Rabbi Yehuda, “Whose water are we drinking and names we are not mentioning?” (Horayot 14b). The Aramaic word “zunma” as in “hard as a rock” appears in Meir Medan's dictionary, although it is an abridged pocket dictionary. Return
  10. Micha Yosef Berdichevsky in the Zionist literary collection Stimme der Wahrhelt WCReturn
  11. Schulbaum designated to the term “linguist” the Hebrew form “loshan.” He recalled the Talmudic designation of “balshan” regarding Mordecai in the Book of Esther yet knew that in other languages there are two other roles in that field, philologist and polyglot. In his striving for expansion and accuracy, he contended that the term “balshan” will be designated only to one of those roles. Perhaps the new linguists were right in adapting “balshan” instead of “loshan” as a term for “linguist” because of the similar verb used to denote informants. Return
  12. According to Gershom Badder who was present at Schulbaum's lectures in Kolomyia on “the Hebrew approach to neighboring Semitic languages,” Schulbaum based his contentions on Rabbi Saadia Gaon and saw him as the primary linguist in that area of the field. However, more often he used the work of Abraham ibn Ezra and Jonah ibn Janah, although sometimes he disputed their contentions. At his lectures, Schulbaum regularly recited complete passages from Judah ben David Hayyuj in the original Arabic. Schulbaum translated the Arabic to German on the spot. He also added stylistic corrections and commentary to ibn Tibbon Jr.'s Hebrew translation of ibn Janah. Schulbaum also did not hesitate to reject Maimonides' opinion in his letter to Rabbi Shmuel ibn Tibbon that Arabic and Hebrew are true “twins” and that Arabic is but “corrupted Hebrew” or vice–versa, as others at the time contended. Return
  13. Ha–Shiloaḥ, published between 1896 and 1926, was the leading Hebrew–language literary journal at the beginning of the twentieth century. Founded by the Aḥi'asaf publishing house in Warsaw, the publication was predominantly inspired by its founding editor, Ahad Ha–Am, who had been appointed head of the institution in 1896. Return
  14. And ‘hetria’ [‘warned’] rooted in te'ruah [‘exclamation’] Return
  15. Schulbaum provided no evidence of this word being compounded. Yonatan ben–Uziel translated “pen tikdash” [lest the… be defiled [KJV]] (Deuteronomy 22:9) as “lest it be burned.” Another example of the compounding is provided in the Talmud (Kidushin 56b) quoting ḥezekiyya, son of Rabbi Hiya, that “one may not betroth a woman with diverse kinds in a vineyard… ‘You shall not sow your vineyard with diverse kinds; lest the growth of the seed that you have sown be forbidden/defiled [pen tikdash]’. ḥezekiyya expounds ‘lest the growth of the seed that you have sown be forbidden [pen tikdash]’ as: ‘Lest it be burned [pen tukad esh]’” [Tr. by sefaria.org]. That derivation was likely not invented lacking an ancient linguistic tradition, and the Talmud accepts Hezekiyya's contention. It is well–known that alongside the Halakhic tradition of the Talmud, a linguistic tradition was added. Return
  16. Mendelcorn notes, regarding the Hebrew word for mistress, “Rabbi David Kimhi claims this is an Egyptian word while others contend it is compounded and transferred to Greek and Roman.” New etymologists argue that the word “pellex” arrived in Greek and Roman from Sanskrit and not the Hebrew word “pilegesh.” Return
  17. Perhaps in that vision Schulbaum was preceded by the great author Yitzhak Erter in his classic composition “Hazofeh L'Beit Yisrael” where he advocated adapting existing verbs in Hebrew or importing them from other languages. Return
  18. Shmuel Yosef Agnon told me about that article and Baruch Shuchtman also remembered its content, but we could not find the volume in the National Library. Return
  19. In fact, Schulbaum was born in 1830. I have received that date from the elders of Jezierzany who have seen that date in the community ledgers. Schulbaum's only daughter disputed that birthdate and, from New York, sent me a photocopy of her father's passport. The passport, signed by the Austrian military governor after the expulsion of the Russians in 1917, lists Schulbaum as 84 years old according to his own statement. It is difficult to determine today whether he made a simple mistake or hid three years as old people do, especially because his last wife was about 40 years his junior. Return
  20. The wise storyteller S.Y. Agnon told me about a few rabbis who were famous in Galicia, descendants of the Chcham Tzvi. I was unable to connect the links in the family chain from Chcham Tsvi, those who entered Volhynia, Belarus, and Poland, and [eventually] the link to Schulbaum's mother. Schulbaum's youngest daughter was orphaned from her father at a young age and does not recall many familial details, likely because in the two years before Schulbaum died he was trapped in post WWI Ternopil after sending his daughter and wife to Vienna. Return
  21. Moshe's younger brother, Meir Schulbaum, was also an enlightened scholar, and occasionally published words of wisdom. Meir served as a teacher in Baron Hirsch's school in Deliatyn, located between the Carpathian mountains. Return
  22. Schulbaum's wife's surname is unknown. The surnames listed here are only guesses based on the Hebrew letters. [Yizkor Book translation co–coordinator's note] Return
  23. Unfortunately, Professor Klausner quoted Knaani's story that Schulbaum strapped tefillin to the head of a dog so Schulbaum could get a divorce. That is fiction which Dr. Klausner wrote was widespread and said of other writers of the Haskalah. Schulbaum rejected that tall tale himself in a conversation with Meir Khartiner in 1914 or 1915 and said, “I am in good company, for the same tall–tale was said of Ben Ze'ev and Shlomo Maimon”
    I could not find biographers who quoted the saying “If there is no Schulbaum there is no school, and if no school, no language,” coined by maskilim as they established language–school clubs in many towns, in a variation of a saying about Rabbi David Kimhi [resembles “kemah”– flour], “no Kimhi – no Torah” [see Pirkei Avot 3:17]. Return
  24. Haskalah – Jewish Enlightenment [Yizkor Book translation co–coordinator's note] Return
  25. Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, also known by the Hebrew acronym RaMCHaL, was a prominent Italian Jewish rabbi, kabbalist, and philosopher [Yizkor Book translation coordinator's note] Return
  26. The tale of the dog and tefillin first appeared in Agnon's “A Simple Story” as a “Hasidic legend” against the Maskilim. Knaani had imported it as historical without mentioning the story's origin and inadvertently misled Professor Klausner as well. Return
  27. A. Avrunin told me about Bialik's approach to Schulbaum. Bialik spoke with considerable respect regarding the Galician wise men, especially Solomon Rappaport, Osias Heschel Schorr, Salomon Buber, and Moshe Schulbaum. Still, Bialik often opposed Avrunin as he cited Schulbaum's “tangled” punctuation. At times, Bialik would say, “I will not dispute you, because ‘one does not refute the opinion of a lion after his death’ [Gittin 83a]”. At times Bialik won, but at other times Bialik accepted defeat.
    Mr. Avrunin also was conservative and fastidious regarding grammar. Avrunin seemed surprised when I told him what I had heard from grammatist Moshe Aaron Weisen regarding one of Weisen's conversations with Schulbaum in Vienna. In that conversation, Schulbaum advocated the expansion of the Hebrew grammatical framework by releasing the language from its bonds of biblical syntax and punctuation, at least in unclear or questionable spots. Such expansion would be a continuation of the Sages of the Mishnah and the Midrash who broke through many biblical grammatical barriers. Schulbaum often said, “Grammar is a frozen science only within a frozen language. In all living languages, practical grammar is not merely scientific and thus does not freeze in place. By necessity, grammar is elastic and forms rules (or exceptions) that conform to uses of language as they shift from period to period or generation to generation, both in speech and in writing. The role of language scholars would be to stand guard and prevent chaos.” Return
  28. If that number is correct, and a different source says that the roster of Va'ad Halashon contained 30,000 new words, then a complete Hebrew dictionary containing all of our lingual material until the period of the Academy of the Hebrew Language, contains 80,000 words. Is that not an exaggeration? Return
  29. Hokim/mokim conjugated from hekim [to build; to establish; to raise; to awaken], is present both in the Babylonian Talmud and other early Hebrew compositions. Hoshiv (instead of heshiv [returned to; replied]), in many forms, is present in the Hebrew responsa of the disciples of Rabbi Seadia Ga'aon and Rabbi Hai Gaon. Aramaic influence is present here and those forms were needed for added color. Hofich is not identical to the biblical yahafoch [will invert] but is the equivalent of Umstellen in German or reverse in English, and is designated to fill the prefix missing in Hebrew. Hokim, mokim, and okim correspond to “Restore” in English and “Wiederherstellen” in German and are not identical to the biblical Hekim. Return
  30. Profesor Klausner told me that in A. Elmaliach's East and West, [there was] published an extensive research article about Schulbaum. Mr. Elmaliach himself searched for the article but did not find it. Galician lawyer Dr. Ashkenazi, also a descended of the Chacham Tzvi, also published linguistic articles in the same periodical. Return
  31. Schulbaum's bitter mourning in his newspaper about the falling of Paris to Germany testifies to his independent thought, even in a general political and cultural sense. He, a student of German education, at–home in its literature, translated Schiller yet saw the falling of France as a tragedy to the world's country [?] and an obstacle to human progress. Schulbaum wrote in his mourning essay and called to his nation and all enlightened nations to “put on a sackcloth with ashes and cry a loud bitter cry.” Return
  32. His income in Lviv was disrupted twice and Schulbaum had to return to Jezierzany for a year or two to provide for his family a very modest income from a Hebrew school he founded there. Schulbaum's two sons, whom he himself prepared for year 7 in the gymnasium, stayed behind in Lviv, starved, and studied diligently. Return
  33. The translation was first published in the early 70s and was reviewed in Hamagid. In his introduction to that translation, Schulbaum explained the advantages of his methods to expand the language. The translation contained many new words. Return
  34. Maskilim – an 18th – 19th–century movement among central and Eastern European Jews, intended to modernize Jews and Judaism by encouraging adoption of secular European culture (footnote added by YIzkor Book co–coordinator) Return
  35. Autodidact – a self–taught person (footnote added by YIzkor Book co–coordinator) Return
  36. Coincidentally, during one of my visits to Kołomia, Schulbaum was there too, on his way to summer vacation [to see?]his brother in Deliatyn. When I reached Matthias (Mateusz) Mieses' home, he told me that Schulbaum had left his house minutes ago on his way to the train station. We quickly rode to the train station but we could only give our regards at the window of the moving train. Return
  37. Several books contain comments handwritten by Schulbaum, especially on an ancient edition of the Jerusalem Talmud, Buxtorf's concordance, Levi's Aramaic dictionary, and Rabbi Dr. Brill's Sages of the Talmud and Mishna. A portrait of Marie Antoinette decorated the first blank page of the Jerusalem Talmud, typical of Schulbaum who admired Napoleon. Return
  38. In a heated conversation on the traditional text of the Bible, Schulbaum excitedly exclaimed, “Es ist ja ein truemmerhaufen.” (It is in turmoil.). As the conversation continued, he calmed and added, “The survival of the text we now have is a miracle, considering the trouble and turmoil which befell the nation and the land at a crucial point.” Return
  39. In a postcard to his daughter in Vienna he complained,” Tarnopol ist verbrannt u. ausgeraubt u. auch ich bin meiner Habseligkeiten berabut.”[“Ternopil was burned and plundered. I, too, am bereaved of my belongings.”] Return
  40. Schulbaum's attitude towards Christianity was so bitter that he once told Meir Khartiner, “That bug, which we crushed two–thousand years ago, continues to reek.” Return
  41. Schulbaum wrote, especially for his daughter, a German–Hebrew language course to renew her knowledge of Hebrew [that] she had forgotten in Vienna. He also gave her oral lessons towards that purpose. Return
  42. Ethel is quite talented, particularly in drawing and sculpting. Two of her paintings (one in water colors and the other oil) have been praised and accepted last year to the international art exhibit at City Centre. She has just completed a sculpture titled, “Head of Moses.” She has not revealed whether it was her father or some other Moses who inspired the sculpture. Return
  43. Many thanks to my two old friends, Meir Khartiner and Dr. N.M. Gelber, for their great help in clarifying important details. Without them I could not have completed this monograph.
    It is also a pleasant duty to thank Professor Yosef Klausner who encouraged me to write this monograph. Professor Klausner wrote, “I very much appreciated Schulbaum's work. I mentioned him positively on multiple occasions in the six volume series A History of the New Hebrew Literature. I recognize and appreciate Schulbaum's work to revive the language. He is worthy of a full descriptive monograph and you will be blessed if you write one.”
    I hope and pray he will not be disappointed.
    M.A. Tennebaum Return

 

« Previous Page Table of Contents Next Page »


This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Ozeryany, Ukraine     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page


Yizkor Book Director, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Jason Hallgarten

Copyright © 1999-2019 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 17 Oct 2019 by LA