Ezra Fleischer

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Ezra Fleischer (Hebrew: עזרא פליישר) (born 14 July 1928; died 25 July 2006) was a Romanian-Israeli Hebrew-language poet and philologist.


Fleischer was born in 1928 in Timişoara, in the Banat region of western Romania, and studied in the Jewish school that his father, Judah Loeb Fleischer, had founded in 1918.

After World War II, Fleischer was active in the Bnei Akiva movement in Romania and was imprisoned for his Zionist activities. While in prison, he wrote an epic Hebrew poem, “Massa Gog,” in which he predicted the downfall of Communism. The poem was smuggled out of Romania and was published in Israel, under a pen name, where it caused somewhat of a “literary sensation”. Further books of poetry followed in Romania, all under a pen name.

In 1960, Fleischer emigrated to Israel, where he researched medieval Hebrew literature. He received a doctorate from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where he also subsequently lectured until 1997.

He was also the director of the Geniza Research Institute for Hebrew Poetry of the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. His student Shulamit Elizur has succeeded him in this position.

His published work, most of it on poetry and prayer, covers a wide range of ancient and medieval Jewish life from Andalusia and Amsterdam to Syria and Cairo. He also wrote extensively about Judaism’s encounter with Islam and Christianity.[1]


  • In 1959, Fleischer was awarded the Israel Prize, for literature,[2] primarily for his poem “Massa Gog”.
  • In 1986, Fleischer was awarded the Bialik Prize for Jewish thought.[3]
  • In 1992, he was awarded the Rothschild Prize, for Jewish studies.

See also[edit]


Hoffman, Adina & Cole, Peter (2011) Sacred Trash: The lost and found world of the Cairo Geniza

External links[edit]