Schulmann, Eliezer

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SCHULMANN, ELIEZER (1837–1904), Hebrew writer; researcher into the history of Yiddish language and literature. He was born in Salant, Lithuania, and became treasurer of one of the large enterprises of the *Brodski family in Kiev. Financially independent, he spent his free time doing research and contributed to various Hebrew papers (Ha-Shaḥar, Ha-Asif, Pardes, Ha-Shilo'aḥ, etc.). He made his name in Hebrew literature with his richly researched studies of Heine and Ludwig Boerne (Mi-Mekor Yisrael, 1877 and 1894), which illuminated these writers' characters, actions, and era. For many years Schulmann pursued research into the Yiddish language and its early literature.

Noteworthy among his essays on this subject is Imkei ha-Safah (Ha-Shilo'aḥ, 4 (1898)), and a monograph, Safah Yehudit-Ashkenazit ve-Sifrutah mi-Keẓ ha-Me'ah ha-Tet-Vav ad Keẓ Shenot ha-Me'ah ha-Yod-Ḥet ("German-Yiddish and its Literature from the Late 15th Century to the Late 18th Century," 1913). His attitude to what he termed a "mixed language" was negative, but he saw in Yiddish "an integral part of us, in which the spirit of our nation is displayed just as in our primal literature, Hebrew." The book is important for its originality and the abundance of citations from manuscripts and old editions.


Rejzen, Leksikon, 4 (1929), 548–52; Klausner, Sifrut, 5 (19572) 275–9; Waxman, Literature, index.

[Yehuda Slutsky]