Skip to main content

Imber, Samuel Jacob


IMBER, SAMUEL JACOB (Shmuel-Yankev ; 1889–1942), Yiddish poet. Born in Sasów in Austrian eastern Galicia (now Sasiv, Ukraine), son of the Hebrew writer Shmaryahu Imber and nephew of Naphtali-Herz *Imber, the author of *Ha-Tikvah, he studied at the University of Lemberg and made his literary début in 1905 with a poem in the Tshernovitser Vokhnblat. In 1907 he published poems in Polish. In Lemberg, with Melekh *Ravitch, he strove to promote the aesthetic ideals of neo-Romanticism, inspired by Jewish writers such as Arthur *Schnitzler and Stefan *Zweig. The influence of Heinrich *Heine, whom he translated into Yiddish, is also conspicuous. With his verse collection Vos Ikh Zing un Zog ("What I Sing and Say," 1909) and with his poetic romance Esterke (1911), he became the acknowledged leader of a generation of Galician Yiddish writers. Esterke recounts the 14th-century legend concerning the love of King *Casimir iii for the daughter of a Jewish blacksmith. The tone is one of Romantic nationalism, while despite Imber's noted enthusiasm for Polish-Jewish symbiosis, the illicit love is portrayed as inevitably doomed. In 1912 he visited Palestine, which resulted in a volume of delicate poetry somewhat reminiscent of Eliakum *Zunser or Abraham *Mapu, In Yidishn Land ("In the Jewish Land," 1912), in which Rachel rejoices at the sight of her returned children once more tilling the soil. During World War i Imber edited Inter Arma ("Amidst the Clash of Arms," 1918), a volume including not only his own war poetry but also that of his Lemberg associates Uri Zevi *Greenberg, and Melekh *Ravitch. Immediately after World War i he founded the literary monthly Nayland (1918–19) as the organ of the Galician neo-Romantic movement. Imber achieved full maturity in his last poems, in his essays in Yiddish and his polemic prose in Polish. Imber was murdered in Ozernaya by Ukrainian antisemites during pogroms following the Nazi occupation of the town in 1942.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 1 (1928), 87–90; lnyl, 1 (1956), 80–2; M. Ravitsh, Mayn Leksikon, 1 (1945), 17–19; S. Bickel, Shrayber fun Mayn Dor, 1 (1958), 152–60; S. Liptzin, Maturing of Yiddish Literature (1970), 131–5. add. bibliography: Ch. Shmeruk, The Esterke Story in Yiddish and Polish Literature (1985).

[Sol Liptzin /

Hugh Denman (2nd ed.)]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Imber, Samuel Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . 26 Mar. 2019 <>.

"Imber, Samuel Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . (March 26, 2019).

"Imber, Samuel Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. . Retrieved March 26, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.