Even Shemuel (Kaufmann), Judah

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EVEN SHEMUEL (Kaufmann ) , JUDAH (1886–1976), Israel educator, lexicographer, and writer. Even Shemuel was born in Balta, Ukraine, and received a yeshivah education. He studied in various countries and his thesis at Dropsie College, Philadelphia, "Rabbi Yomtov Lipman Muelhausen…" (1927), contained his edition of *Muelhausen's Sefer ha-Eshkol. From 1913 he was active in the Zionist Labor movement in Montreal, Canada, and became the first principal of its teachers training college. As a contributor to Ha-Toren and the Zukunft and a lecturer on Jewish philosophy and sociology, he gained a reputation as a spiritual guide of the movement. He also tried to reconcile the Hebraists with the Yiddishists.

Even Shemuel settled in Palestine in 1926 at the invitation of the Devir publishing house to edit, with Ḥ.N. *Bialik, I. *Efros, and B. *Silkiner, an English-Hebrew dictionary (1929; 29th and revised repr. 1963). He continued his cultural activities in the Histadrut and became the first general secretary of the Friends of the Hebrew University. When the *Va'ad Le'ummi established a cultural division, Even Shemuel was appointed its head, remaining there until 1947. He received the Israel Prize in Jewish studies in 1973.

His principal scholarly work is a vocalized edition of Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed in Samuel ibn Tibbon's Hebrew translation (3 vols., 1935–60), with introductions, extensive commentary, and notes. A one-volume edition of the whole work with a short introduction appeared in 1946. Even Shemuel also published Midreshei Ge'ullah (1943, 19542), an anthology of messianic and apocalyptic literature from the conclusion of the Talmud to the 13th century. He edited various volumes in fields of Jewish scholarship.


Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 14–15; P. Birnbaum, in: Hadoar, 47 (1968), 587–9.