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Hebrew Literature

It was long believed that Hebrew had no place among the modern languages as a literary vehicle. The circumstance that the Jews of Western countries had given up the use of their national language outside of the synagogue was not calculated to discredit the belief. The Hebrew, it was generally held, had once been alive, but now it belonged among the dead languages, in the same sense as the Greek and the Latin.

MOSES HAYYIM LUZZATTO

In its precise sense, the term Renascence cannot be applied to the movement that asserted itself in Hebrew literature at the end of the fifteenth century, as little as the term Decadence can be applied to the epoch preceding it.

Long before Dante and Boccaccio, as far back as the eleventh century, Hebrew literature, particularly in Spain, and to a certain extent also in the Provence, had reached a degree of development unknown in European languages during the Middle Ages.

THE GALICIAN SCHOOL

The Polish scholars domiciled in Germany entered, as we have seen, into the work of the Meassefim. Presently it will appear that the movement itself was transferred to Poland, where it produced a much more lasting effect than elsewhere.

HUMANISM IN RUSSIA

We are in the Jewish country, perhaps the only Jewish country in the world. [Footnote: See Slouschz, Massa' be-Lita (“Journey through Lithuania"), Jerusalem, 1899.]

ABRAHAM MAPU

The political reaction following upon the Polish revolution of 1831 made itself felt in Lithuania particularly. The hand of the government weighed heavy upon the people of this province. The University of Wilna was closed, and all traces of civilization were effaced.

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