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Mendele Mocher Sforim

Mendele Mocher Sforim (מענדעלע מוכר ספֿרים) (December 21, 1835 (O.S) = January 2, 1836 (N.S) - November 25 (O.S) = December 8 (N.S), 1917), "Mendele the bookseller," is the pseudonym of Sholem Yakov Abramovich, a Minsk-born botanist, educator, and writer who lived in Odessa. He initially wrote in Hebrew, coining many words in that language, but ultimately switched to Yiddish in order to expand his audience. Like Sholom Aleichem, he used a pseudonym because of the perception at the time that as a ghetto vernacular, Yiddish was not suited to serious literary work — an idea he did much to dispel. His writing strongly bore the mark of the Haskalah. He is considered by many to be the "grandfather of Yiddish literature"; his style in both Hebrew and Yiddish has strongly influenced several generations of later writers.

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