Habermann, Abraham Meir

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HABERMANN, ABRAHAM MEIR (1901–1980), bibliographer and scholar of medieval Hebrew literature. Born at Zurawno (Galicia), Habermann from 1928 was librarian at the Schocken Library in Berlin. He immigrated to Palestine in 1934 and served as director of the Schocken Library in Jerusalem until 1967. From 1957 he taught medieval literature at Tel Aviv University (professor, 1969) and taught at the Graduate Library School of the Hebrew University. He was editor of the department of bibliography (Jewish printers) for the Encyclopaedia Hebraica and the department of medieval Hebrew poetry for the first edition of the Encyclopaedia Judaica. Habermann began his study of medieval literature in 1925, specializing in the Ashkenazi piyyut from the time of R. Ephraim ben Jacob of Bonn. A prolific writer, his books include Ha-Madpisim Benei Soncino (1933): Gevilim; Me'ah Sippurei Aggadah (1942); Ha-Genizah (1944); Toledot ha-Sefer ha-Ivri (1945); Ha-Piyyut (1946); Ateret Renanim, piyyutim and songs for Sabbath and festivals (1967); Ha-Sefer ha-Ivri be-Hitpatteḥuto (1968); Sha'arei Sefarim Ivriyyim (1969); and Toledot ha-Piyyut ve-ha-Shirah (1970), which is the first attempt at a survey of the history of Hebrew piyyut and poetry and its development in various cultural centers from post-biblical times to the Haskalah period. Habermann edited and compiled such diverse medieval works as: Piyyutei Rashi (1941); Seliḥot u-Fizmonim of R. Gershom Me'or ha-Golah (1944; new printing, 2004); Gezerot Ashkenaz ve-Ẓarefat (1946); Niẓoẓot Ge'ullah, an anthology of redemption and messianism (1949); Maḥberot Immanu'el ha-Romi (1950); Even Boḥan of Kalonymus ben Kalonymus (1956); Studies of the Dead Sea Scrolls, Edah ve-Edut (1952), and Megillot Midbar Yehudah (1959). Shortly after his death, the Habermann Institute for Literary Research was created in Lod (Lydda), Israel. In 1983 Z. Malachi published Yad le-Heman, a memorial volume in his honor.


Kressel, Leksikon, 1 (1965), 568f.

[Yehoshua Horowitz]