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Zamosc, David

ZAMOSC, DAVID

ZAMOSC, DAVID (1789–1864), Hebrew writer and teacher. Educated in his native Kampen, Poznan, until the age of 13, he then moved to Breslau, where he studied under his uncle, acquired a secular education, and taught for ten years. In 1820, having won a large sum in a lottery, he went into business, but returned to literary and teaching activities after he lost his capital. His poems, stories, plays, translations, and compilations were written mainly for children and schools. His play, He-Haruz ve-he-Azel, O Yad Haruzim Ta'ashir ("The Diligent Man and the Lazy Man, or the Hand of the Diligent Will Enrich," Breslau, 1817), is the first modern Hebrew play written for children. Through its allegorical characters – the diligent man, the rich man, the lazy man, and Satan – Zamosc tried to instill moral values into the young.

His other works include: Pillegesh ha-Givah (Breslau, 1818), a historical play; Tokhahat Musar (Breslau, 1819, 1946 2), a translation of J.H. Campe's moral catechism, Theophoron, written in a didactic narrative style, with the Hebrew appearing opposite the original German; Resisei Meliẓah (Dyhernfurth, 1820–22; 2 vols.: one consisting of poems and letters, both original texts and German and Hebrew translations; the other of poems by other writers); To'ar ha-Zeman (Dyhernfurth, 1821), a play on problems of his time; Mafte'ah Beit David (Breslau, 1823), 100 epistles with a German glossary; Meẓi'at Amerikah (Breslau, 1824) and Rabinsonder Yingere (Breslau, 1825), adaptations of works by J.H. Campe; Aguddat Shoshannim (1827), poems and various aphorisms; Halikhot Olam (1829), a play; Esh Dat (1834), a textbook divided into three parts:

(1) reading exercises in German and Hebrew and a translation of the play Eldad ve-Tirẓah;

(2) entitled Ohel David, dealing with Hebrew grammar based on the works of Ben-Ze'ev, Gesenius, and others; and

(3) entitled Shirei David, consisting of miscellaneous poems; Nahur me-Eden (1837), a Jewish history for children "with questions and moral thoughts, including a short poem at the end of each chaplet"; a translation of Ro'ot Midyan O YaldutMoshe by S.F. de Genlis (1843); and various poems dedicated to friends, princes, and kings. He also contributed to Bikkurei ha-Ittim, the Hebrew annual (Vienna, 1821–31).

[Getzel Kressel]

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