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Meltzer, Shimshon


MELTZER, SHIMSHON (1909–2000), Hebrew poet. Born in Tluste (eastern Galicia; present-day Tolstoye), Meltzer immigrated to Palestine in 1933, after having taught in Horodenka (Gorodenka), Galicia. For a time he taught secondary school in Tel Aviv, but from 1937 he engaged in editorial work; first in the daily *Davar, and later in the Am Oved publishing house and in the children's magazine Davar li-Yladim. From 1959 he was on the editorial staff of the Zionist Library publications of the Jewish Agency.

His first poems were published in Ba-Derekh, the magazine of the teachers' seminary in Lvov where he studied. After his arrival in Ereẓ Israel his poetry appeared mainly in Davar, but also in various literary journals. He published a number of volumes of poems and ballads, including Be-Shiv'ah Meitarim (1939); Me'ir ha-Keleizemar Na'asah Komisar (1940); Asarah She'arim (1943); Alef (1945, 19632), memoirs of the ḥeder; Sefer ha-Shirot ve-ha-Balladot (1950); and Or Zaru'a (1966). Meltzer attempted to capture the folk flavor of Eastern European Jewry by using ḥasidic tales and motifs in his ballads. His collection of essays on literature is entitled Devarim al Ofnam ("Words and their Forms," 1962). Meltzer translated extensively from Polish-Jewish writers, especially from Yiddish writers, dramatists, and poets. For English translations of his works, see Goell, Bibliography, 1033–38.


D. Zakkai, Keẓarot (1956), 470–1; A. Cohen, Soferim Ivriyyim Benei Zemannenu (1964), 195–8; I. Cohen, Sha'ar ha-Soferim (1962), 355–8; J. Lichtenbaum, Bi-Teḥumah shel Sifrut (1963), 105–9; D. Sadan, Bein Din le-Ḥeshbon (1963), 105–11. add. bibliography: Y. Ben, "Okyanus shel Yidish," in: Davar (August 12, 1977); K.A. Bertini, "S. Melzer Kefi Shehu," in: Al ha-Mishmar (April 29, 1977); D. Sadan, "Bein ha-Aspaklariyot: Sh. Melzer," in: Moznayim, 49:1 (1979), 10–13; E. Tarsi-Gai, "Tivam u-Mekomam shel Shirei ha-Zahav le-Miryam bi-Yẓirato shel S. Melzer," in: Gazit, 33, 7–8 (1980), 391–392.

[Getzel Kressel]

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