Danon, Abraham

views updated


DANON, ABRAHAM (1857–1925), scholar and writer. Danon studied at the Gheron yeshivah in Adrianople, his native city. His scholarly bent was nurtured by the Orientalist Joseph Halévy and Danon taught himself French, English, and German. He was one of the founders of Ḥevrat Shomerei Tushiyyah ("Society of the Friends of Wisdom"; also called Dorshei Haskalah, "Seekers of Enlightenment") in his city. In 1891 he headed the rabbinical seminary, which he had founded. During World War i he left Turkey for Paris, where he taught Hebrew at the Ecole Normale Orientale of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle and also engaged in research.

Danon edited the historical journal Yosef ha-Da'at (El Progresso), which was published in 1888 in Adrianople in Hebrew and Ladino, with the object of collating and publishing documentation relating to Oriental Jewry. He published in the Revue des Etudes Juives, Journal Asiatique, Revue Hispanique, etc., a number of scientific articles on the history, customs, sects, and literature of the Jews in Turkey, and translated poems and scholarly works into Hebrew. He also composed original poems. His works include Maskil Leidan (the latter word being the initials of his name), and Toledot Benei Avraham, a translation and adaptation of the Histoire des Israélites by Théodore Reinach, to which he added excerpts from the works of Jewish historians.


A. Galanté, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul, 2 (1942), 99–100; Markus, in: Sinai, 29 (1951), 338–9; Yom Tov Bekhmoram (בכמהר״ם), Toledot Ishim (1935), 14–19; A. Elmaleh, in: Mizraḥ u-Ma'arav (1920), 365ff. (portrait). add. bibliography: A. Danon, "Trois poésies hebraïques," in: Hamenora (Istanbul), 2:2–3 (Feb.–Mar. 1924), 61.

[Simon Marcus]