MALACHI, ELIEZER RAPHAEL


MALACHI, ELIEZER RAPHAEL (1895–1980), U.S. Hebrew scholar and bibliographer. Born in Jerusalem, Malachi emigrated to the United States at the age of 17. A conscientious and diligent scholar, he began his literary career with original and translated stories, but in early life switched to scholarship. Though he wrote prolifically, he published only two books of essays: Massot u-Reshimot (1937), on contemporary and past writers, and Ẓilelei ha-Dorot (1940), on historical occurrences.

His first publication, as a boy of 15, was an essay on Hebrew newspapers, which appeared in Luncz's Lu'aḥ Ereẓ Yisrael (1910). In 1913 he became a contributor to the newly established monthly Hatoren, where he exhibited his expertise as a bibliographer in his pioneering historical survey of the American Hebrew press, which he traced from its beginnings in the 1870s. Subsequently, the monthly published his bibliography of the writings of Mendele Mokher Sforim (Sholem Yankev *Abramovitsh), which remains a model to this day. His succeeding work embraced Diaspora Hebrew periodicals, the Yiddish press, Hebrew poetry in America, Hebrew literature, historical essays, and individual bibliographies of Hebrew scholars and writers. His bibliographies of scholars include A.M. Luncz, J.N. Simhoni, S.A. Horodetsky, S. Krauss, N. Slouschz, S. Dubnow, A. Elmaleh, J. Schatzky, and S. Tchernowitz, the last of which also appeared separately as Peri Etz Ḥayyim (1946). His bibliographies of writers include such Haskalah figures as J.L. Gordon and Mendele Mokher Seforim and such late Hebrew writers as Bialik, Tschernichowsky, Shneur, Sokolow, Peretz, H. Zeitlin and Kabak, while his bibliographies of Hebrew writers in America – containing much information in a generally neglected field – include S.B. Maximon, N. Touroff, B.N. Silkiner, Ẓ. Scharfstein, S. Halkin, M. Ribalow, and H. Bavli. The latter was reprinted separately (Zekher le-Hillel, 1962). Malachi also published Iggerot David Frischmann (1927), a book of David Frischmann's letters, and Iggerot Soferim (1932), miscellaneous letters of other writers, with notes and introductions. In addition, he edited a book on the State of Israel and its history, Yisrael (1950). In 1955, Malachi's Treasury of Hebrew Lexicography appeared as an appendix to the American edition of Mandelkorn's Concordance to the Bible, in which Malachi provided detailed descriptions of all the biblical concordances and dictionaries that had been published in Hebrew and other languages. Some of his other work includes his bibliography of "Hebrew Educational Literature in America" (1944) and "History of the Hebrew Movement in America" (1974).

Regarded by many as the greatest Hebrew bibliographerof recent times, he was, in quantity alone, the most productive Hebrew bibliographer, having written thousands of articles. Malachi wrote mainly in Hebrew, but his body of work includes much material in Yiddish as well.

After Malachi's death, his papers – containing his collection of letters and documents – were transferred to the archive of the Ben-Zvi Institute in Jerusalem.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Shunami, Bibl, 925–6.

[Eisig Silberschlag /

Ruth Beloff (2nd ed.)]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.