פרסומת

לדף הבית

בני נח לא נצטוו על השיתוף. אבל אתם יהודים, אז שתפו בכל הכוח!

מדרש סופרים מאת יוסף בריל, וינה, 1881

מדרש סופרים הוא סאטירה על הסופרים והמבקרים העברים המשכילים במאה ה19, הכתוב בצורת פרודיה על הספרות המדרשית.
בשער:

מדרש סופרים
אשר נמצא בכ"י באוצר הספרים של איוב תושב סם-קין במדינת סורי', 
ויו"ל בתוספות באור חדש וקצר לתועלת הקוראים
וינה תרמ"א

להלן העמוד הראשון:



חוקר ההומור ישראל דוידסון כתב בקורת חיובית על היצירה בספרו Parody In Jewish Literature:
Brill wrote The Midrash for Scribes, which was published in the tenth and eleventh volumes of HaShahar. 
In the Midrash, Brill gives an epitomized history of Hebrew Journalism from its inception in 1784 down to his own time. He seizes on the salient features of the more important periodicals, and condenses a volume of criticism in a phrase or even a word. He not only imitates the diction of the Mishnah, but also reproduces its laconic force, its simplicity and vigor. 
But he is not content with a mere description of the periodicals; he endeavors to show the cause which shaped the progress of Hebrew Journalism since the appearance of the Measseph. Journalism, in his opinion, has great and far reaching powers for good. But in order to make that power effectual, 
a journal must, first of all, be conducted by men who are equal to the great editorial responsibilities. These men must be superior in learning and ability to the contributors, and must understand the tendencies of the age, the nature of the reading public, the faults of the people and the proper remedies. The editor must hold himself responsible for the welfare of his public, and must have the courage to speak his views freely, unmindful of the opposition that may be provoked, and must 
persist until he gets a hearing. He must be awake to all that is going on about him, must be moderate and tactful and must possess the gift of gathering about him a faithful band of able writers. The contributors, on the other hand, must not be mere phrase-makers, but men of learning and of high purpose, who have ideas and know how to express them. Then the public, on its part, must show its appreciation of the vast labors of the editor and contributors. And if in addition to all these, there be harmony and unity of purpose among the editors of the different journals, the power of the press would be unlimited. 
Unfortunately, however, Hebrew Journalism, in his opinion, has become a prey to ignorance. Men of limited knowledge and narrow views, neither gifted by nature nor equipped by training for literary work, have been at the helm of journalism. Flattery has become the current coin with which editors pay their contributors, while among the editors themselves there is constant warfare instead of harmony. 
The result is that Hebrew periodicals abound in trivialities and in personal allusions. Much ink is spilled on riddles and chronograms, and much labor wasted on empty rhymes, and pedantic annotations. It is sickening to see the amount of rubbish issuing from the Hebrew press. Such is his severe judgment of the periodical literature of twenty-five years ago, and such his reasons for their weak hold upon the people. 
But Brill's attention was not centered on journalism alone. His critical view embraced general literature as well, and it is significant that he voiced the spirit of discontent which was felt in the camp of literary men of his day. He regarded the literary achievements of his contemporaries to be much superior to the achievements of their predecessors of two or three generations before, and yet he admitted that his contemporaries were dissatisfied with their work, this shows that the feeling of discontent in literature had become general. Gordon's lament: "For whom do we work?" uttered a decade before, became now the common lament of men of letters. The old idea that Hebrew was to serve as a medium for European thought, as a stepping-stone to universal culture, had lost its meaning for that generation, because it no longer needed any medium — at least they thought so — 
and the more modern idea, the one developed and promulgated by the national movement of recent years, that the maintenance of Hebrew as a living literature was necessary for the maintenance of the national consciousness in the Jew, this idea had not yet taken deep root in the heart of Jewish men of letters. Both authors and readers were just then groping for some ideal for which life would be worth living, and not finding it, struck out in a note of discontent and disappointment. 

Occasionally Brill aims his sarcasm at other phases of Jewish life. The meanness of the false benefactors, the extortion of the physicians, the oppression of the tax collectors, the uncleanliness 
in synagogues and elementary Hebrew schools, all these are subjects of his trenchant satire. But he is most bitter against the class of rabbis who do nothing but quarrel among themselves, heap one superstitious law upon another, and live and wax fat by the sweat of other people. Again he returns to literature, and lashes both the immoderate critic as well as the cowardly-author, And interwoven in this whole satiric web runs a thread of literary gossip, which is full of interest to those familiar with the literary events of that time. 

In short, though this and the preceding parody lay down no rules for criticism, they are the product of a sound critical mind. and considering their attractive style, their mild and persuasive tone and the wide circulation they had through the pages of the HaShahar, they must be regarded as one of the causes which helped to bring about the era of rational criticism in modern Hebrew literature.

יוסף בריל נולד בגורקי, ליד מוגילב בבלארוס ב-1839. נתייתם מהוריו בילדותו, נתגלגל בערים ועיירות אצל קרובים וידידים ונתחנך בחדרים ובישיבות. באחת התחנות שלו, מינסק, הגיעו אליו ספרי השכלה ושם אף החלה ראשית כתיבתו ב"המגיד" (שנה ב', 1858). מאז היה מן הפוריים שבמשתתפים בעתונות העברית וכן במאספים השונים ונודע ביחוד בכינויו: "איו"ב (ראשי תיבות של "אני יוסף בריל") ממינסק". פירסם סיפורים, סטירות, מאמרים ומחקרים. היה מהראשונים שהכניסו נעימת הומור לספרות העברית ואף הכניס את הסופרים, הספרות העברית והמבקרים לכלל הנושאים של הסטירות. כל יבולו הספרותי במשך עשרות בשנים לא כונס ורק פה ושם יצאו תדפיסים ("קיצור שולחן ערוך", סטירה בנוסח שולחן ערוך, מ"אוצר הספרות" ג', "מדרש סופרים", סטירה על הסופרים והמבקרים העברים מ"השחר" י', ועוד). בריל מת במצוקה ובדחקות בראשית ימי המהפכה. (מתוך לקסיקון הספרות העברית החדשה, https://library.osu.edu/projects/hebrew-lexicon/02198.php)

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