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Avraham Yiẓḥak Kariv

KARIV, AVRAHAM YIẒḤAK (1900–1976), Hebrew literary critic, poet, and translator. Born in Slobodka, he made his way to the Ukraine and Crimea during World War I and entered the Tarbut Teachers' Seminary in Odessa, where he studied under Bialik and Klausner. In 1923 he went to Moscow and completed his studies in mathematics and physics. In 1934 he went to Palestine, where, after a short period of teaching, he took up editorial posts. Kariv began his literary career while studying in Odessa, and his first poems were warmly received by Bialik. In the ensuing years, until his arrival in Palestine, his poetry was published in Hebrew journals that appeared in Soviet Russia and elsewhere. After he settled in Palestine, he became a regular contributor to the Hebrew press, with essays and articles of literary criticism becoming his major endeavor and overshadowing his poetry. He wrote scathing criticism of the works of classic modern Hebrew authors, such as *Mendele Mokher Seforim, J.L. *Gordon, D. *Frischmann, J.Ḥ. *Brenner, and others. His collection of essays Adabberahva-Yirvaḥ Li (1961) made a deep impression with its reevaluation of prevalent negative attitudes toward Jewish life in the Diaspora. The writers of the Haskalah, he claimed, accepted the false premises of an antisemitic European culture and overlooked the moral grandeur of Jewish life in Eastern Europe. He published several collections of essays, a volume of poetry, Kol u-Vat Kol (1962), a book on the Bible, Shivat Ammudei ha-Tanakh (1968), and numerous translations from Russian and Yiddish literature. For English translations see Goell, Bibliography, 920–1.


H. Bavli, Ruhot Nifgashot (1958), 206–13; I. Cohen, Sha'ar Soferim (1962), 332–45; S. Zemach, Massa u-Vikkoret (1954), 297–300; Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 800–1.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.