Sunday 20 March 2016


KHAYIM HIRSHENZON (August 31, 1857-September 15, 1935)
            He was born in Tsfat, Israel, a rabbi and researcher into Jewish learning.  He was the younger brother of the bibliophile Yitskhok Hirshenzon.  From 1854 he was living in Jerusalem, where he studied in Sefardi yeshivas.  He founded the Yeshiva “Sukat shalom” (Tabernacle of peace) and served as rabbi of the Moses Montefiore School in Jerusalem.  He was a follower of the Jewish Enlightenment movement and a fighter for the new settlement in the land of Israel.  Together with Dovid Jellinek, he founded the association “Safa berura” (Plain language) in Jerusalem, and he cofounded the organ Bnei brit (Children of the covenant).  He owned a Hebrew publishing house, where he published his Hebrew-language journal Hamisdrona (To the vestibule) (Jerusalem, 1885-1887).  He was cofounder of the first international library in Jerusalem, “Bet eked hasefarim abarbanel” (Abarbanel Library).  At the start of the twentieth century, he traveled to Cairo, and he lived for a couple of years in Constantinople, where he founded in 1903 the Hebrew school “Tiferet tsvi” (Beauty of a gazelle).  In 1904 he was a delegate to the Zionist Congress and in that year emigrated to the United States.  He lived in Jersey City and was at the same time rabbi for the communities of Hoboken, Jersey City, and Union City—all in the state of New Jersey.  He was the author of the Hebrew religious texts: Malkhe bakodesh (The holy kings) in six parts; Ele divre haberit (These are the word of the covenant) (1926-1928) in three parts; Torat haḥinukh beyisrael (The rules of education in Israel) (1926/1927); Berure hamidot (Clarifications of principles) (1928-1931); Yamim mikedem (Bygone years) (1908); Ateret zekenim (Glory of the aged); and more.  He published with his brother Yitskhok a Yiddish-language newspaper, entitled Hatsvi lebeys yankev (The gazelle to the House of Jacob [Beys yankev was the proper name for their newspaper, which was a supplement to the Hebrew-language Hatsvi]), twice monthly (1892-1893) in Jerusalem.  As the editor of Beys yankev, the newspaper would state: “Ha′ khave ben yankev.”  It is possible that this name “Khave ben yankev” (Eve, son/child of Jacob) was stated so that it would be understood that this Judeo-German newspaper was being published by a woman.  It is also possible that the rabbi’s wife, Khave Hirshenzon, assisted in editing the newspaper.  The goal of the newspaper was to adapt to the common man and to woman.  A large portion of the newspaper had pointing.  Hirshenzon died in Jersey City, New Jersey.
            KHAVE HIRSHENZON was born in Jerusalem, was the wife of a Talmud scholar, was knowledgeable of modern literature, and took part in male community work.

Sources: Y. D. Ayzenshtayn, Otsar yisrael (Treasury of Israel) (New York) 4 (1934-1935), pp. 143-44; B. Koralnik, in Tsukunft (New York) (March 1928); E. R. Malachi, in Tsukunft (June 1928); Hadoar (New York) (December 4, 1931); Y. Shpiglman, in Forverts (New York) (July 17, 1932); “Ish emet” (pseud., “man of truth” [Dr. Y. Vortsman]), in Morgn-zhurnal (New York) (March 29, 1935); A. R., in Hadoar (September 20, 1935); Professor Ḥ. Tshernovitsh, in Sefer hashana (New York) (May 16, 1936), p. 14; M. Unger, in Zamlbukh lekoved dem tsveyhundert un fuftsikstn yoyvl fun der yidisher prese, 1686-1936 (Anthology in honor of the 250th jubilee of the Yiddish press, 1686-1936), ed. Dr. Y. Shatski (New York, 1937); G. Kressel, in Hapoel hatsair (Tel Aviv) (May 5, 1959); D. Tidhar, in Entsiklopedyah leḥalutse hayishuv uvonav (Encyclopedia of the pioneers and builders of the yishuv) (Tel Aviv, 1947), pp. 1619, 1706; Encyclopedia Judaica (Berlin), vol. 8.

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