Thursday 10 December 2015


MORTKHE-YANKEV HOBER (February 1846-February 19, 1917)
            He was born in Vilna, into a poor family of eminent pedigree.  He studied in religious elementary schools and yeshivas.  At age sixteen he got a job as a proofreader at the publishing house of Sh.-Y. Fin and later at Romm Publishers where he ceased working after thirty years.  A grammarian and a specialist in annotation, he spent his days proofreading prayer books and Hebrew textbooks for all the publishing houses of Vilna.  He himself published: Seder halimud (The order of study) (Vilna, 1886; second edition 1894), one of the first secular Hebrew textbooks; and Kotev ivri (Writing Hebrew) (Vilna, 1911), a model letter-writer for Hebrew.  In Yiddish he published a Zionist pamphlet, Der idisher yikhes (Jewish pedigree) (Vilna, 1902), and a collection of his own moralistic aphorisms, ethical sayings, and thoughts about the conduct of men, entitled Der mensh un di menshheyt (Man and humanity) (Vilna, 1907).  In manuscript he left, among many other works, a Yiddish translation of Psalms with commentary in Hebrew.  He died of want in the fearful winter of the German occupation of Vilna during WWI.

Source: Zalmen Reyzen, Leksikon, vol. 1, including a bibliography.

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