A Brief History of Hebrew/ Yiddish Literature

by Piero Scaruffi (E-mail)
Main Literary page | Ancient Literature | Modern Literature | Best novels in Hebrew/Yiddish and Arabic
Hebrew Literature | Modern Hebrew Literature | Institute for the Translation of Hebrew Literature | Jewish Virtual Library
Did I miss any of the masterpieces? Did I miss any of the great writers? Send me your comments
TM, ®, Copyright © 2005 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.

(Jewish writers who wrote in Arabic are in the Arabic timeline)
The dates of ancient works are obviously wildly approximate.
See Steve Moore: "The Novel" for synopses of the novels.

"Tanakh/ Old Testament" (Hebrew, 8## BC) [h]
"Book of J - from the Tanakh" (Hebrew, 3## BC)
"Deuteronomistic History/ These Are the Words - from the Tanakh" (Hebrew, 3## BC)
"Book of Job" (Hebrew, 5## BC) [t]
"Shir ha-Shirim/ Song of Songs" (Hebrew, 2## BC) [p]
"Qohelet/ The Book of Ecclesiastes" (Hebrew, 2## BC) [h]
"Book of Enoch" (Hebrew, 1## BC)
"Dead Sea Scrolls" (Hebrew, ## BC)
"Talmud" (Hebrew, 5##) [h]
Aha of Shabcha (Hebrew, 68#): "Sheilthoth" (7##) [h]
"Alphabet of Ben Sira" (8##)
Saadia ben Joseph al-Fayumi (Hebrew, 882): "The Book of Beliefs and Opinions" (9##) [h]
Dunash ben Labrat (Hebrew, 920): "Poems" (990) [p]
Samuel ibn Nagdelah (Hebrew, 993): "Poems" (10##) [p]
Solomon ibn Gabirol/ Avicebron (Hebrew, 1021): "Poems" (1058) [p]
Solomon ibn Gabirol/ Avicebron (Hebrew, 1021): "Meqor Hayyim/ Fountain of Life" (10##) [h]
Moses Ibn Ezra (Hebrew, 1055): "Arugat ha-Bosem" (10##) [h]
Moses Ibn Ezra (Hebrew, 1055): "Tarshish" (11##) [p]
Yehudah/Judah Halevi (Hebrew, 1075): "Poems" (1141) [p] +
Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra (Hebrew, 1092): "Poems" (1167) [p]
"Mishle Sendebar/ Tales of Sendebar" (11##)
Yehuda al-Harizi/ Judah Alharizi (Hebrew, 1165): "Sefer Tahkemoni/ The Book of Tahkemoni" (1220) [p] +
Yosef ibn Zabara (Hebrew, 11##): "Sefer Sha'ashu'im/ Book of Delights" (11##) [p] +
Moshe de Leon (Hebrew, 124#): "Sefer ha-Zohar/ Book of Radiance" (12##) +
Moshe ben Maimon/ Moses Maimonides (Hebrew, 1135): "Moreh Nevuchim" (11##) [h]
Abraham ben Samuel Abulafia (Hebrew, 1247): "Poems" (129#) [p]
Isaac Abravanel (Hebrew, 1437): "Commentaries" (14##) [h]
Yosef Ha-Cohen (Hebrew, 1496): "Emeq ha-Bakh'a" (1575) [h]
Yitzhak Lurya/ Isaac Luria (Hebrew, 1534): "Poems" (1572) [p]
Abraham Yagel (1553): "Gei Hizzayon/ A Valley of Vision" (1578)
Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Hebrew, 1707): "Mesillat Yesharim/ Path of the Just" (1740) [h]
Moses Hayyim Luzzatto (Hebrew, 1707): "La-Yesharim Tehillah" (1743) [t] +
David Franco Mendes (Hebrew, 1713): "Gemul Atalyah" (1770) [t]
Naphtali Hartwig Wessely (Hebrew, 1725): "Shire Tif'eret/ Mosiade" (1802) [p]
Moses Mendelssohn (Hebrew, 1729): "Pene Tebel" (1872) [p]
Susskind Raschkow (Hebrew, 17##): "Hayye Shimshon" (1824) [p]
Samuel Molder (Hebrew, 1789): "Beruriya" (1825) [p]
Shalom Kohn (Hebrew, 17##): "Ner David" (1834) [p]
Nachman Krochmal (Hebrew, 1785): "Moreh Nebuke ha-Zeman/ Guide for the Perplexed of the Time" (1851) [h]
Abraham Bar Lebensohn (Hebrew, 1789): "Shire Sefat Kodesh/ Leipzig" (1842 [p]
Solomon Lewison (Hebrew, 1789): "Melizat Yeshurun" (18##) [p]
Meir Halevy Letteris (Hebrew, 1800): "Poems" (1871) [p]
Samuel David Luzzatto (Hebrew, 1800): "Kinnor Na'im" (18##) [p]
Abraham Mapu (Hebrew, 1808): "Ahavat Zion/ Love of Zion" (1853) +
Abraham Mapu (Hebrew, 1808): "Ayit Zanua/ The Hypocrite" (1858)
Hirsch Wassertrilling (Hebrew, 18##): "Hadrat Elisha" (1857) [p]
Micah Joseph Lebensohn (Hebrew, 1828): "Ahavat David u-Mikal" (1856) [p]
Judah Leib/ Jehuda/ Leon Gordon (Hebrew, 1830): "Historical Poems" (1892) [p] +
Sholem 'Mendele Seforim' Abramovich (Hebrew, 1836): "Fischke der Krummer" (1888)
Sholem 'Mendele Seforim' Abramovich (Hebrew, 1836): "Masoes Benyomin Hashlishi/ The Travels of Benjamin III" (1878) +
Sholem 'Mendele Seforim' Abramovich (Hebrew, 1836): "Wuenschfingerl/ Dos Vinshfingeril/ The Wishing Ring" (1889)
Sholem 'Mendele Seforim' Abramovich (Hebrew, 1836): "Ha-Abot we-ha-Banim/ Fathers and Sons" (1868)
Perez/ Peter Smolenskin (Hebrew, 1842): "Ha-toeh be-darkhe ha-Hayyim/ A Wanderer on the Path of Life" (1870)
Perez/ Peter Smolenskin (Hebrew, 1842): "Qeburath Hamor/ Burial of the Ass" (1874)
Itzhok-Lejb Perez/ Isaac-Leib Peretz (Hebrew, 1852): "Baynakht oyfn altn mark/ Night at the Old Market" (1907) [t] +
Itzhok-Lejb Perez/ Isaac-Leib Peretz (Hebrew, 1852): "Di Goldene Keyt/ Golden Chain" (1909) [t]
Shalom Aleichem/ Rabinovitsh (Hebrew, 1859): "Yossele Solovey/ The Nightingale" (1889)
Shalom Aleichem/ Rabinovitsh (Hebrew, 1859): "Menakhem Mendl" (1913)
Shalom Aleichem/ Rabinovitsh (Hebrew, 1859): "Motl" (1915)
Shalom Aleichem/ Rabinovitsh (Hebrew, 1859): "Tewje/ Tevje the Dairyman" (1916)
Solomon Anski (Hebrew, 1863): "Dybbuk" (1920) [t] +
Hayyim-Nahman Bialik (Hebrew, 1873): "Ha-Matmid/ The Talmud Student" (1898) [p]
Hayyim-Nahman Bialik (Hebrew, 1873): "Be Ir HaHaregah/ In the City of Slaughter" (1904) [p]
Hayyim-Nahman Bialik (Hebrew, 1873): "Megilat Ha-esh/ Scroll of Fire" (1905) [p] +
Hayyim-Nahman Bialik (Hebrew, 1873): "Ha-brekha/ The Pool" (1905) [p]
Shaul Tschernichowski/ Saul Cernichovskij (Hebrew, 1875): "Poems" (1943) [p] +
Sholem Asch (Hebrew, 1880): "Farn Mabul/ Before the Flood" (1931)
Sholem Asch (Hebrew, 1880): "Got fun Nekome/ God of Vengeance" (1907) [t]
Sholem Asch (Hebrew, 1880): "Ist River/ East River" (1946)
Joseph Brenner (Hebrew, 1881): "Breakdown and Bereavement" (1920)
'Mani Leib' Brahinsky (Hebrew, 1883): "Baladn / Ballads" (1918) [p]
David Bergelson (Hebrew, 1884): "Baym Dnieper" (1932)
Moyshe-Leyb Halpern (Hebrew, 1886): " Di Goldene Pave/ The Golden Peacock" (1924) [p]
Zalman Shneur (Hebrew, 1887): "Pandrei Ha-Gibor/ Pandre The Hero" (1936)
Shmuel Agnon (Hebrew, 1888): "Hachnasath Kallah/ The Bridal Canopy" (1931)
Shmuel Agnon (Hebrew, 1888): "Sipur Pashut/ A Simple Story" (1935)
Shmuel Agnon (Hebrew, 1888): "Temol Shilshom/ "Only Yesterday/ Ieri e Avant'ieri" (1945) +
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): "Der Goylem/ The Golem" (1921) [t] +
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): "Di Keytn fun Meshiekh/ Chains of the Messiah" (1939) [t]
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): "Abelar un heloiz/ Abelard and Heloise" (1935) [t] +
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): "Di Khasene in Fernvald/ The Wedding in Foehrenwald" (1949) [t]
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): Pogrom poems "Er/ He, Dos Kranke Tsimer/ The Sick Room, Der Volf/ The wolf, Di Shtal/ The stable" (1920) [p]
Leivick Halpern (Hebrew, 1888): "Nyu-yorkishes/ New Yorkish" (1924) [p]
Asher Barash (Hebrew, 1889): "Ahava Zara" (1938)
David Fogel/Vogel (Hebrew, 1891): "Lifney Hasha'ar Ha'afel/ Before the Dark Gate"(1923) [p]
David Fogel/Vogel (Hebrew, 1891): "Hayey Nisu'im/ Married Life" (1929) +
Israel Joshua Singer (Hebrew, 1893): "Yoshe Kalb" (1936)
Israel Joshua Singer (Hebrew, 1893): "Di Bruder Ashkenazi/ The Brothers Ashkenazi" (1937) +
Ernest Nister (Hebrew, 1895): "Di Mishpokhe Mashber" (1938)
Uri Zvi Grinberg (Hebrew, 1896): "Poems" (1981) [p]
Jacob Glatstein (Hebrew, 1896): "Nishgut-lapitut hot Farloyrn dem Mut/ Goblin Nogood Has Run Out of Clout" (1943) [p]
Hayyim Hazaz (Hebrew, 1898): "Daltot Nehoshet/ Gates of Bronze" (1968)
Avraham Shlonsky (Hebrew, 1900): "Poems" (1973) [p]
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Der Sotn in Goray/ Satan in Goray" (1935)
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Die Familje Moshkat/ The Family Moskat" (1950) +
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Der Hoyf in Forverts/ The Estate" (1955)
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Der Kunstnmakher fun Lublin/ The Magician of Lublin" (1960)
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Der Knekht/ Slave" (1962)
Isaac-Bashevis Singer (Hebrew, 1904): "Shosha" (1978)
Natan Alterman (Hebrew, 1910): "Poems" (1970) [p]
Chaim Grade (Hebrew, 1910): "Di Agune/ The Agunah" (1961)
Chaim Grade (Hebrew, 1910): "Tsemakh Atlas/ The Yeshiva" (1968) +
Lea Goldberg (Hebrew, 1911): "Poems" (1970) [p]
Gabriel Preil (Hebrew, 1911): "Poems" (1993) [p]
Aharon Megged (Hebrew, 1920): "Mahbarot Evyatar/ Evyatar Notebooks" (1973)
Aharon Megged (Hebrew, 1920): "Al Etzim Ve-Avanim/ Of Trees and Stones" (1974)
Moshe Shamir (Hebrew, 1921): "Hu Halach Ba-Sadot/ He Walked Through the Fields" (1947) [t]
Moshe Shamir (Hebrew, 1921): "Be-Mo Yadav/ With His Own Hands" (1951)
Ephraim Kishon (Hebrew, 1924): "Ha-Ketubbah/ The Marriage Contract" (1953) [t]
Ludwig 'Yehuda Amichai' Pfeuffer (Hebrew, 1924): "Ba-Gina Ha-Tziburit/ In the Public Garden" (1959) [p]
Ludwig 'Yehuda Amichai' Pfeuffer (Hebrew, 1924): "Me-Achorei Kol Ze Mistater Osher Gadol/ Behind all this Hides a Great Happiness" (1974) [p] +
Ludwig 'Yehuda Amichai' Pfeuffer (Hebrew, 1924): "Ha-Zman/ Time" (1977) [p]
Ludwig 'Yehuda Amichai' Pfeuffer (Hebrew, 1924): "Shalva Gdola/ Great Tranquillity" (1980) [p]
Ludwig 'Yehuda Amichai' Pfeuffer (Hebrew, 1924): "Sh'at Ha-Chesed/ The Hour of Grace" (1982) [p]
Carmi Charney (Hebrew, 1925): "Ein Prahim Shehorim/ No Black Flowers" (1953) [p]
Carmi Charney (Hebrew, 1925): "Nahash Ha-Nehoshet/ The Brass Serpent" (1961) [p]
Amalia Kahana-Carmon (Hebrew, 1926): "Liviti Otah Ba-Derech Le-Veita/ With Her on Her Way Home" (1994)
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Kayitz Be-Derech Ha-Nevi'im/ Summer in the Street of the Prophets" (1969) +
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Ha-Masa Le-Ur Kasdim/ A Voyage to Ur of the Chaldees" (1971)
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Yom Ha-Rozenet/ The Day of the Countess" (1976) +
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Nin-Gal" (1983)
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Yom Ha-Refa'im]/ Day of the Ghosts" (1986)
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "A Tammuz Night's Dream/ Chalom Leil Tammuz" (1988)
David Shahar (Hebrew, 1926): "Al Ha-Ner Ve-Al Ha-Ruach/ On Candles and Winds" (1994)
Shulamith Hareven (Hebrew, 1930): "Ir Yamim Rabim/ City of Many Days" (1972)
Yoram Kaniuk (Hebrew, 1930): "Adam Ben Kelev/ Adam Resurrected" (1968) +
Yoram Kaniuk (Hebrew, 1930): "Ha-Yehudi Ha-Acharon/ The Last Jew" (1981)
Yoram Kaniuk (Hebrew, 1930): "Aravi Tov/ Confessions of a Good Arab" (1983)
Yoram Kaniuk (Hebrew, 1930): "Bito/ His Daughter" (1987) +
Yoram Kaniuk (Hebrew, 1930): "Post Mortem" (1992)
Natan Zach (Hebrew, 1930): "Zefonit Mizrahit/ North by Northeast" (1979) [p]
Natan Zach (Hebrew, 1930): "Anti-Mehikon/ Anti-erasure" (1984) [p]
Natan Zach (Hebrew, 1930): "Keivan she-Ani ba-Sevivah/ Because I Am Around" (1996) [p]
Dan Pagis (Hebrew, 1930): "Gilgul/ Transformation" (1970) [p] +
Dan Pagis (Hebrew, 1930): "Shaon Ha-Tzel/ The Shadow Dial" (1959) [p] Double Exposure (Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1982 Milim Nirdafot) Twelve Faces (Hakibbutz Hameuchad, 1984 Shneim Asar Panim)
Aharon Appelfeld (Hebrew, 1932): "Badenhaim Ir Nofesh/ Badenheim 1939" (1978) +
Aharon Appelfeld (Hebrew, 1932): "The Immortal Bartfuss" (1989)
David Avidan (Hebrew, 1934): "Berazim Arufei Sefataim" (1954) [p]
Yaakov Shabtai (Hebrew, 1934): "Zikhron Devarim/ Past Continuous" (1977) +
Abraham Yehoshua (Hebrew, 1936): "Mul Ha-Ya`arot/ Facing the Forests" (1966)
Abraham Yehoshua (Hebrew, 1936): "Ha-Meahev/ The Lover" (1977) +
Abraham Yehoshua (Hebrew, 1936): "Gerushim Meuharim/ A Late Divorce" (1982)
Abraham Yehoshua (Hebrew, 1936): "Mar Manni/ Mr Mani" (1990) +
Abraham Yehoshua (Hebrew, 1936): "Masah El Sof Ha-Elef/ A Journey to the End of the Millennium" (1997)
Dahlia Ravikovitch (Hebrew, 1936): "Ahavat Tapu'ach Ha-Zahav/ The Love of an Orange" (1959) [p]
Dahlia Ravikovitch (Hebrew, 1936): "Ahavah Amitit/ True Love" (1987) [p]
Dahlia Ravikovitch (Hebrew, 1936): "Me-Rov Ahava/ Because of Love" (1998) [p]
Amos Oz (Hebrew, 1939): "Michael Sheli/ My Michael" (1968)
Amos Oz (Hebrew, 1939): "Kufsah Shorah/ Black Box" (1988) +
Nurit Zarchi (Hebrew, 1941): "Poems" () [p]
Haim Be`er (Hebrew, 1945): "Poems" () [p]
Batya Gur (Hebrew, 1947): "Lo Kach Tearti Li/ I Didn`t Imagine it Would Be This Way" (1994)
Meir Shalev (Hebrew, 1948): "Roman Russi/ The Blue Mountain" (1988)
David Grossman (Hebrew, 1954): "Ayen Erech Ahava/ See Under Love" (1986) +
David Grossman (Hebrew, 1954): "Yesh Yeladim Zig-Zag/ The Zigzag Kid" (1994)
David Grossman (Hebrew, 1954): "Sefer Ha-dikduk Ha-penimi/ The Book of Intimate Grammar" (1991)
David Grossman (Hebrew, 1954): "Isha Borachat Mi'bsora/ A Woman Flees a Message/ To the End of the Land" (2008)
David Grossman (Hebrew, 1954): "Sus Echad Nichnas Lebar/ A Horse Walks into a Bar" (2014) +
Ronit Matalon (Hebrew, 1959): "The Sound of Our Steps" (2008)
Etgar Keret (Hebrew, 1967): "Ha'Keytana Shel Kneller/ Kneller's Happy Campers" (1998)
TM, ®, Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi All rights reserved.


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