Monday 20 April 2015


BAR-TUVIA (1875-May 1933)
Pseudonym of Fayvl Frenkel, he was born in Wasilków, Ukraine.  He studied in religious elementary school and in yeshivas.  Early in 1900, he moved to Bern, Switzerland, where he studied in the local university and received his Ph.D.  After WWI, he moved to Nice, France and contributed philosophical essays to the French press.  In addition he wrote books in German, French, and mainly in Hebrew.  From the 1920s until his death, he wrote primarily in Hebrew as well as in Yiddish.  His historical-philosophical essays in Hebrew appeared in: Hador (The generation), Hameorer (The awakening), Hatekufa (The epoch), Miklat (Refuge), and Heatid (The future).  In Tsukunft (Future), he published serially (1928-1930): Tsu der geshikhte fun di yidn in frankraykh (History of the Jews in France), portions of a Monografye vegn Ferdinand lasal (Monograph on Ferdinand Lasalle), and a work entitled “Di shtrebungen tsu erets yisoel far d”r hertsl un nokh im” (The aspirations for the land of Israel for Dr. Herzl and after him).  His book Sefer hanezirim (Book of hermits), in which he developed a new approach to the problem of asceticism among Jews, gave rise to a polemic in the Hebrew-language press.  His book Mikeren tsefonit maaravit (From the northwest corner) was a collection of historical-oriented articles.  In his work on Jewish legends, he showed that a number of ancient Greek, Roman, and even Christian legends originated in Jewish sources.  He translated into Hebrew Edward Bellamy’s utopian novel, Looking Backward (Warsaw, 1895), Dr. Pinsker’s Auto-Emancipation, and Friedrich Albert Lange’s The History of Materialism and Criticism of Its Present Importance.  He died in Nice.

Sources: Ben-Gurion (Berditshevski), in Hatekufa 1 (Warsaw, 1920); Sde sefer (Tel Aviv, 1921); D. A. Fridman, in Miklat B (New York, 1920); A. Tishby, in Miklat B (New York, 1921); M. Rubalov, in Tsukunft (June 1933); Encyclopedia Judaica III (Berlin, 1929).

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