The centenary of the birth of Israeli poet and editor Shimshon Meltzer will be commemorated on Tuesday when a plaque will be placed on the house where he lived in the years after his arrival here during the British Mandate in 1933.
Meltzer was born in Tlouste, a tiny "shtettle" in Poland, where he received a traditional Jewish education. After his immigration to Palestine he worked alongside Berel Katznelson as deputy editor of Davar and was later the editor-in-chief of Davar Li'yladim. His work in poetry and prose since his arrival in Israel was written strictly in Hebrew.
"The victory of Hebrew over Yiddish was decisive, and for Sabras to appreciate the Yiddish literary treasures a Hebrew translation was necessary," he said.
His writings in the new land included many inventions and idioms which enriched the Hebrew language. For over 30 years he served as a member of the Hebrew Academy, the body responsible for reviewing and updating words in the language.
Meltzer translated and edited dozens of books, among his chief endeavors editing Theodore Herzl's complete writings and translating many of janusz korczak's writings. He received the Tchernihovski Prize for his translation of the works of Y.L. Peretz from Yiddish to Hebrew. Most of Meltzer's family perished in the Holocaust, and unlike other Israeli writers who focused on the land of Israel, his ballads mainly recount Jewish life in the diaspora. Some of his works were widely taught in high schools in Israel during the 1950s and 1960s.
The ceremony where the plaque will be unveiled will be attended by Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai as well as Meltzer's descendants and friends. It will take place on Tuesday, 5:30 p.m., on 19 Maneh Street in Tel Aviv.
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