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Jewish Tours Argentina

It Had Its History

The Jews of Russia

From 1835-1914 there was a great flourishing of Jewish literary and culture. There was a flowering of Jewish literature in all three languages, Hebrew, Yiddish and Russian. Bialik, Perets and Shneur all wrote in Hebrew and Yiddish, the historian Shimon Dubnov wrote in all three languages. The poetry of Bialik was a combination of lyric power and the spirit of the ancient prophets of Israel, and the nature poetry of Shaul Chernihovsky overflowed with romantic vitality.

There was the renown Habimah theatre and the Jewish Chamber Theatre, two Jewish theaters that achieved world recognition during their tours abroad. The Habimah was the first theatre company giving performances in Hebrew started in Bialysotk in 1912, the founder and director was Nahum Zemach, a teacher of Hebrew. Years later when there were threats of closing it down, Gorki, Chaliapin, and Stanislvaski came to its defense. Lenin made note that the Habimah had to be allowed to exist. Stanislavski of the famous acting method, said, “If it were not for my gray hair I would start to learn Hebrew.” “Support the theatre in that marvelous language,” he wrote.

There were many famous writers, the most “Jewish” of Russian writers was Isaac Babel 1894-1941. Then there was Boris Pasternak 1890-1960 author of Doctor Zhivago, his father was the well known artist Leonid Pasternak. Boris Pasternak whose book Doctor Zhivago was prevented from being published in Soviet Russia, came out in Russian outside the country and was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1958. He declined the prize after being persecuted by official government and writers circle.

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