Yaari, Abraham

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YAARI, ABRAHAM (1899–1966), bibliographer, historian, translator, and librarian. Yaari, brother of Yehudah *Yaari, was born in eastern Galicia and settled in Palestine in 1920. He taught at a Tel Aviv school, and worked in the Hebrew National and University Library from 1925. Beginning his literary career by publishing reviews and articles on education, Yaari later specialized in literary studies, bibliography, and the history of Jewish settlement in Palestine. He rediscovered little-known Hebrew books, especially those printed in the Oriental countries, see e.g., his Reshimat Sifrei Ladino (1934) and Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Arẓot ha-Mizraḥ (1936–40). He published letters, memoirs, travel descriptions from hitherto unknown manuscripts, and many bibliographies which he supplemented by comprehensive introductions.

Among Yaari's works are Sheluḥei Ereẓ Yisrael (1951), a comprehensive anthology concerning the emissaries of Ereẓ Israel; Iggerot Ereẓ Yisrael (1934, 19502), an anthology of letters relating to Ereẓ Israel from the Babylonian Exile to modern times; Diglei ha-Madpisim ha-Ivriyyim (1943), about Hebrew printers' marks; Zikhronot Ereẓ Yisrael (2 vols., 1947), 120 memoirs from the 17th–20th centuries in Palestine (abridged English version, The Goodly Heritage, 1958); Ha-Maḥazeh ha-Ivri ha-Mekori ve-ha-Meturgam… (19562), a bibliography of plays presented in Hebrew and in Hebrew translation; Bibliografyah shel Haggadot Pesaḥ (1960), a major work describing 2,717 different editions of the Passover Haggadah; Toledot Ḥag Simḥat Torah (1964), describing customs of the festival in various communities in different eras; and the posthumously published Ha-Defus ha-Ivri be-Kushta (1967), a history of Hebrew printing in Constantinople (Istanbul) from 1504. He also translated many writers into Hebrew and was one of the editors of the bibliographical journal Kiryat Sefer.


I. Tishby, Netivei Emunah u-Minut (1964), 108–42; ks, 42 (1966/67), 246–51 (obituaries); N. Ben-Menaḥem, ibid., 252–7 (list of Yaari's writings).