Shemu’el Yosef Fuenn, Vilna, ca. 1890s. Fuenn’s signature (right) has been reproduced on this mass-produced portrait, which was intended for sale and distribution to his admirers. (YIVO)

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Karmel, Ha-

Hebrew journal, published between 1860 and 1880. As Russia’s first Hebrew-language periodical, Ha-Karmel (Mount Carmel) was issued weekly in Vilna between 1860 and 1871, and monthly between 1871 and 1880. Supplements in Russian and German were included from time to time. Its editor was Shemu’el Yosef Fuenn.

Ha-Karmel had a conservative–maskilic orientation. One section included general news and information from the Jewish world. Other parts contained discussions and reviews of Jewish studies; literary articles; studies of the Bible, Mishnah, and Talmud; poems by medieval poets with analytical remarks; and reviews of new books.

Poems that were situated at the beginning of an issue sometimes fulfilled the roles of editorials. This was the case with “Hadar ha-Karmel” (The Splendor of Mount Carmel) by Adam ha-Kohen (Avraham Dov Lebensohn), which opened the first issue, and “Hakitsah ‘ami” (Awake, My People) by Yehudah Leib Gordon, which set off the sixth volume (1866) and became a Haskalah manifesto. Ha-Karmel’s editorials extolled the virtues of Jewish farming in Russia and, as time went on, intensified the struggle for Haskalah and religious reform.

The most important contributor to Ha-Karmel was Yehudah Leib Gordon, who published poems (in addition to “Hakitsah ‘ami”), translations, and satirical proverbs. Other writers included Yitsḥak Kaminer, Avraham Uri Kovner, Avraham Ber Gottlober, and Re’uven Asher Braudes. Some of its articles generated literary disputes that raged for months.

When Ha-Karmel became a monthly in 1871, Yehudah Leib Katzenellenbogen, Mosheh Shim‘on Antokol’skii, and Ḥayim Leib Markon assisted Fuenn as editors. They emphasized the theoretical, scholarly, and literary dimensions of the weekly, and gave up news coverage.

Suggested Reading

Gedalyah Elkoshi, “Ha-‘Itonut ha-‘Ivrit be-Vilna ba-me’ah ha-tesha‘ ‘esreh,” He-Avar 13 (1966): 59–61, 66–97; 14 (1967): 105–122, 112–142; Menuḥah Gilbo‘a, Leksikon ha-‘itonut ha-‘Ivrit: Ba-Me’ot ha-shemoneh ‘esreh veha-tesha‘ ‘esreh (Tel Aviv, 1992), pp. 157–162; Joseph Klausner, Historyah shel ha-sifrut ha-‘Ivrit ha-ḥadashah (Jerusalem, 1953), vol. 4, pp. 115–120.



Translated from Hebrew by Rami Hann