(1859 - 1922)
Known as a poet, short story writer, essayist, literary
critic, and journalist, David Frischmann (b. Poland), has been acclaimed
as one of modern Jewry's first major writers. At a young age he portrayed
an interest and talent in writing. He first became a satirist, and then
a short story writer, who dealt with such issues as the persistent theme
of Jews coming into conflict with the mores of traditional Jewish society.
Frischmann was noted to empathize with the sentiments that coincided
with one trying to balance the values that stemmed from a traditional
Jewish upbringing and the outside world.
A prime example is one of his pieces, Bar Midbar (1923). The work is a series of fictional biblical tales, which deals
with the moral question that the Children of Israel came in contact
with while they were wandering in the desert after the Exodus from Egypt.
Throughout their journey they are depicted as being torn between their
primitive lusts and habits and the new moral code that Moses is preaching
to them. This piece was designed to address the conflict between religious
faith and law, and man's natural instincts.
Frischmann was also an acclaimed literary critic, journalist,
and editor and publisher. He spoke several languages and wrote in both Hebrew and Yiddish.
Although he never immigrated to Israel,
he was able to visit twice, in 1911 and 1912.