Brill, Joseph

views updated


BRILL, JOSEPH (better known by his pen name Iyov of Minsk , איו״ב ממינסק; derived from the initials of Ani Yoseph Brill; 1839–1919), Hebrew writer and humorist. Brill, who was born in Gorki near Mogilev, studied at Lithuanian yeshivot where he began to read modern Hebrew literature clandestinely. He became a maskil and took to writing. His first essay appeared in Ha-Maggid, 2 (1858), 35–36. From 1858, he published critical essays and satirical feuilletons in Ha-Karmel, Ha-Meliẓ, and Ha-Boker Or. He supported the Socialists against *Smolenskin and published a stinging poem against the latter in Asefat Ḥakhamim, 3 (1878). He translated Richard Cumberland's comedy The Jew into Hebrew (1878). Particularly popular in their time were Brill's parodies: Mishnat-Mevakkerim (Ha-Shaḥar (1877), 317–24), a satire on Hebrew writers and the low state of culture among Russian Jews; Megillat Ta'anit in Keneset Yisrael of Saul Phinehas *Rabbinowitz, 1 (1886), 593–605, a satire on assimilationists; a parodied Kiẓẓur Shulḥan Arukh for educators and teachers, in Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 3 (1889–90), section on "Satire and Humor," 17–34. Some of his letters were published in Oẓar Mikhtavim ve-Sippurim ed. by J. Rosenberg (1882).


Toledot Iyov (autobiography), in Oẓar ha-Sifrut, 4 (1892), 643–50; Klausner, Sifrut, 5 (1955), 117–8.

[Gedalyah Elkoshi]