Ruebner, Tuvia

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RUEBNER, TUVIA (1924– ), Hebrew poet and translator. Born in Bratislava, Slovakia, Ruebner settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1941, where he became a member of Kibbutz Merḥavyah, working as shepherd, teacher, and librarian. While his early writings were in German, he published Hebrew poems from 1953, first in Al ha-Mishmar and then in literary supplements and journals.

Eight volumes of his poetry have appeared: Ha-Esh ba-Even ("The Fire in the Stone," 1957); Shirim Limẓo Et ("Poems to Find Time," 1961); Kol Od ("As Long As," 1967); Ein Lehashiv ("Unreturnable," 1971); Shemesh Ḥaẓot ("Midnight Sun," 1977); Pesel u-Masekhah ("A Graven and Molten Image," 1982); and Ve-el Mekomo Sho'ef ("And Hastens to His Place," 1990). A selection of his poems appeared in 1970, and 2000 saw the publication of Shirim Meuḥarim ("Late Poems"). Ruebner's poetic language blends together contemporary Hebrew and classical Hebrew, while interweaving vivid images, word play, and ironic twists. Though nature and landscape are often the poetic scenery, Ruebner has always remained an outsider in his new home. Echoes of European, particularly German literature, and longings for past or lost regions mark his writing. Dan Pagis maintained that Ruebner's work "exhibits what amounts to an obsession with time and with the need for retaining values in a world of crumbling security." In 1974 Ruebner was appointed professor of Comparative Literature at Haifa University. Since 1990 a number of poetry collections in German appeared, including: Wuestenginster (1990), Granatapfel (1995), and Zypressenlicht (2000). Reubner wrote a book on Lea Goldberg, translated Agnon's novel Shirah into German, and edited A.L. Strauss's Be-Darkhei ha-Sifrut (1959). A collection of poems he wrote over 50 years (1957–2005) appeared in 2005 under the title Ikkevot Yamim. He received the Swiss D. Steinberg Prize (1981) and the German Christian-Wagner-Prize. Upon the initiative of his German publisher, Ruebner wrote down his life story in German, Ein kurzes langes Leben: Von Pressburg nach Merchavia (2004).

A list of his works in English translation appears in Goell, Bibliography and further information is available at the ithl website at


Kressel, Leksikon, 2 (1967), 858–9. add. bibliography: H. Barzel, "Shirah ke-Hitḥabberut Davar el Davar: Iyyun ba-Poetikah ha-Shirit shel T. Ruebner," in: Alei Siaḥ, 21–22 (1988), 311–323; D. Oren, "Shirato shel T. Ruebner," in: Iton 77, 206 (1997), 26–29; Y. Ben-David, "Ha-Neẓah shel ha-Rega," in: Ahavah mi-Mabat Sheni (1997), 150–153; Y. Koren, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (January 14, 2000); A. Lahav, Ha-Adam ha-Notar: Le-Shirato ha-Me'uḥeret shel T. Ruebner, in: Keshet ha-Ḥadashah 8 (2004), 158–169; E. Hirsch, in: Yedioth Aharonoth (May 15, 2005).

[Getzel Kressel /

Anat Feinberg (2nd ed.)]