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Elhanan Leib Lewinsky

1857 - 1910.


Source : The national Library of Israel collection

Born in the Russian Empire, Elhanan was a Hebrew-language writer and Zionist leader.


He received a Talmudic education, learned Hebrew literature by himself.


After joining the Hovevei Zion movement, he spent several months in the Land of Israel in the early 1880s.


After that journey, he founded Zionist organizations in the southern cities of the Russian Empire. In 1896, he facilitated the importation of wine from Palestine to Russia while employed by the Carmel Company.


Despite these achievements, Lewinsky is primarily celebrated for his profound influence on Hebrew literature.


He wrote the first fictional novel in modern Hebrew language, called "Masaʻ le-erets Yisraʼel bi-shenat Tat", or, "Voyage to the Land of Israel in the Year 5800 [2040]", which appeared in 1892.


In 1901, along with other Zionist leaders (he was a friend of Ahad Ha'am and poet Haim Nahman Bialik), he created in Odessa the first Hebrew publishing house called Moriah. This house issued texts and books in modern Hebrew on various topics.


Furthermore, Lewinsky's literary contributions extended to the pages of Ha-Shiloah magazine, where he penned numerous articles and stories, which gained popularity among readers.


Elhanan Leib Lewinsky died in Odessa in 1910 and his funeral attracted thousands.


Lewinsky Street in Tel Aviv is named after him.


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