Simon Bacher (Hungarian: Bacher Simon; February 1, 1823, Liptovský
Mikuláš - November 9, 1891, Budapest) was a Hungarian Neo-Hebraic
Bacher, whose name was originally Bachrach, came of a family of
scholars, and counted as one of his ancestors the well-known
Moravian-German rabbi Jair Ḥayyim Bacharach. He studied
his native city, and in
Mikulov under Menahem Nahum Trebitsch, and
under Moses Perles in
Eisenstadt and Bonyhád. During this period
Bacher was much influenced by the new movement of the Haskalah, and he
also studied the secular sciences and literature.
When nineteen years old Bacher returned to Liptovský Mikuláš,
where, despite the business in which he was engaged, he continued his
studies enthusiastically. After many struggles Bacher in 1874 went to
Budapest, where two years later he was appointed treasurer of the
Jewish community. This office he held until he died.
When a boy of 7, Bacher had translated German poems into Hebrew. Thus
Song of the Bell
Song of the Bell first came to be known to the scholars in
Bonyhád, who were wholly engrossed with their Talmudic studies. The
events of his fatherland and of the Jewish community, festival days
and days of mourning, jubilees and funerals, equally inspired his
song. He celebrated scholars, preachers, statesmen; orators, singers,
philanthropists, and writers; and Jewish legends and history also
provided subjects for his poems, in which were mingled reflections and
expressions of sentiment, myths, and historical events.
In addition to short scientific and miscellaneous contributions to
magazines—the former consisting of linguistic studies on the Talmud
and essays in archeology—Bacher wrote some short poems in German.
But his place in Jewish literature was won chiefly by his Hebrew
poetry. He also translated German, French, and Hungarian poems into
Hebrew . The translations are classic in form, and reproduce the
spirit of the original.
Bacher contributed to many Jewish magazines, and wrote also a number
of occasional poems published separately. Among his longer works are
Translations of Ludwig Philippson's tragedy Jojachin, Vienna, 1860,
and of Lessing's Nathan the Wise, Vienna, 1866;
Zemirot ha-'Areẓ (Hymns of the Land), Budapest, 1868, and a
collection of Hungarian poems:
Muẓẓal Meësh (Saved from the Fire), Budapest, 1879, a collection
of various original poems;
Melek Ebyon (The Poor King), Budapest, 1881, a collection of romantic
Michtame Gleichenberg (Budapest, 1887), "makamas" in the manner of
Ludwig August von Frankl.
After Bacher's death his son
Wilhelm Bacher published, under the title
Sha'ar Shim'on (Vienna, 1894), a selection of
Hebrew poems, culled
from Bacher's printed works and from unpublished manuscripts, 1894, in
three parts: the first of these contains his original poems; the
second, translations; and the third, Nathan der Weise. The work is
prefaced with a biography of Bacher and a chronological list of his
Wilhelm Bacher, in the introduction to his father's Sha'ar Shim'on,
This article incorporates text from a publication now in
the public domain: Louis Ginzberg,
Eduard Neumann (1901–1906).
"Bacher, Simon". In Singer, Isidore; et al. Jewish Encyclopedia. New
York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.
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