Library > News > Newsletter > 2014 > March 2014 > Celebrating the Life and Work of Shaul Tchernichovsky, One of Modern Hebrew’s Greatest Poets

Celebrating the Life and Work of Shaul Tchernichovsky, One of Modern Hebrew’s Greatest Poets

On the seventieth anniversary of the occasion of his death, marking the release of his treasured works into the public domain, Shaul Tchernichovsky, one of Modern Hebrew’s greatest poets, has been immortalized by the National Library with the establishment of a website dedicated to his life in print, handwriting, and sound.
 
Born in 1875 in the village of Mikhaelovka, Crimea (now part of Ukraine), Tchernichovsky was raised in a religious home that supported the study of Enlightenment and Zionist thinkers as well as the Humanities in general. Although he trained as a physician and practiced medicine throughout his life, he began to write in Hebrew at an early age, with his first poem published in 1892. He was heavily influenced by Greek and Roman literature, and translated many classic works into Hebrew as well as authoring Hebrew poetry that was styled after the writers he admired so greatly. After living both in Europe and briefly in the United States, Tchernichovsky ended his life serving as a doctor in Tel Aviv while continuing to produce masterpieces of Modern Hebrew literature. He was twice awarded Israel's coveted Bialik Prize for literature and is one of four poets whose portrait appears on Israeli currency. He died in 1943 and is buried in Tel Aviv.

With his grassroots commitment to the idea of a national and cultural revival of the Jewish people, Tchernichovsky’s work traces Zionist aspirations through the vicissitudes of Jewish history in the late nineteenth and twentieth century. Unfortunately, he did not live to see the birth of the State of Israel, but his work has been widely celebrated in modern songs that use his poetry for its lyrics.
 
The National Library’s Tchernichovsky website presents his life and his work through rare photographs, video and audio clips, a collection of his writings, and digital images of newspaper articles about the celebrated poet. This digital archive also contains a brief history of Tchernichovsky’s life and provides information about upcoming programs that explore his work and impact on Israeli and Jewish life.   
 
The Tchernichovsky website is accessible through the Hebrew homepage of the National Library.