Hajim, Jisrael

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HAJIM, JISRAEL (Bohor , also known as Davico ; 1800–1880), author and printer; scion of a Sephardi family in Belgrade. Hajim lived in Vienna as well as Belgrade, where he belonged to the "Turkish" (i.e., Sephardi) Synagogue as gabbai and was also employed in the printing shops of Holzinger and Schmid, writing, editing, and typesetting Hebrew prayer books along with his own Ladino translations of the Psalms and other Biblical texts. He also produced an alphabetical guide for Jewish students called Ḥinukh le-No'ar. In the late 1830s he returned to Belgrade and worked for some 20 years as a Hebrew printer and editor in the print shop of the Serbian Prince Milosh. Hajim composed Judeo-Spanish or Ladino (sometimes referred to as Judesmo) introductions, translations, and commentaries on Hebrew texts. He is considered a pioneer in the literary usage of Ladino. He is credited with having declared: "Byen avinturado sira il ki travajeranil ladinu" ("Happy is he who writes in Ladino").


M. Kayserling, Bibliotheca espanola-portuguesa-judaica, 2:4 (1890), 51; Y. Eventov, Toledot Yehudei Yugoslavia, vol. 1 (1971), 151; Z. Lebl, Jevrejske knjige stampane u Beogradu 18371905, (1990), 27–29; M. Mihailovic, "Dve stotine godina porodice Hajim – Davico u Beogradu," in: Zbornik, 6, (1992), 249–76; D. Bunis, "Yisrael Haim of Belgrade and the History of Judesmo Linguistics," in: Histoire, epistémologie, langage, 18:1, 151–66.

[Zvi Loker (2nd ed.)]