Avrom Ber Gotlober

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Abraham Baer Gottlober.jpg

Avrom Ber Gotlober (January 14, 1811, Starokonstantinov, Volhynia – April 12, 1899, Białystok) was a Jewish writer, poet, playwright, historian, journalist and educator. He mostly wrote in Hebrew, but also wrote poetry and dramas in Yiddish. His first collection was published in 1835.

Gotlober's last name is often transliterated as Gottlober. He was widely known by his initials, ABG, which in Hebrew and Yiddish are the first three letters, alef-bet-giml.

ABG was a maskil, a leader in the haskalah, the nineteenth-century Jewish Enlightenment in Russia and Eastern Europe. While his literary output is no longer widely known, he was important for several reasons:

  • As a teacher in the state-sponsored schools for Jews, where he taught and influenced two founders of Yiddish literature: Mendele Mocher Sforim, whom Sholom Aleichem called "the zeyde (grandfather) of us all", and Abraham Goldfaden, the founder of the professional Yiddish theater.
  • As a historian who wrote histories of the Karaites (Bikoret le-toldot ha-Karaim) and of the Hasidism and Kabbalah (Toldot ha-Kabalah veha-Hasidut) that are still cited by scholars.
  • As a social observer and memoirist, who had the fortune to live long enough to describe the social and political conditions of the 1820s and 1830s for audiences of the 1880s. Scholars widely cite his memoirs (Zikhronot u-masaot, or Memoirs and Travels), his contribution to Sholom Aleichem's Yudishe Folks-Bibliothek, and his articles in his own periodical Ha-Boker Or (The Morning Light) and in other periodicals.

Works[edit]

  • Dos Shtrayml mitn kapelyush
  • Dos groyse Kints, oder dos bisele mints
  • Dos Lid funem kugl
  • Pirhe ha-aviv
  • ha-Nitsanim
  • Anaf-ets-avot
  • Igeret Bikkeret
  • Bikoret le-Toldot ha-Karaim
  • Mizmor le-todah
  • Tiferet li-vene Binah
  • Igeret tsaar baale hayim
  • Der Seim
  • Toldot ha-Kabalah veha-Hasidut
  • Kol rinah vi-yeshuah be-ohole tsadikim
  • Der Dektukh
  • Hizaharu bi-vene ha-aniyim
  • Orot me-ofel
  • Zikronot mi-Yeme Ne'urai
  • Khetem Shadai
  • Kol shire Mahalalel
  • Der Gilgl
  • Zikhronot u-masaot