Tobias Gutmann Feder

Tobias Gutmann Feder (Hebrew: טוביה בן צבי הירש גוטמאן פעדער, romanizedTuviah ben Tzvi Hirsch Gutman Feder;[note 1] c. 1760, Przedbórz – 1817, Ternopil) was a Galician Maskilic writer, poet, and grammarian.

Tobias Gutmann Feder
Bornc. 1760
Przedbórz, Sandomierz Voivodeship, Poland
Died1817 (1818)
Ternopil, Galicia, Austrian Empire

He wandered through Galicia, Poland, and Russia with his family as an itinerant scholar, supporting himself financially by working as a teacher, proofreader, merchant, scribe, cantor, and preacher.[1][2]


Feder's first book, Bayit ne'eman (1794), was an ethical treatise on truth. This was followed by an elegy on the death of the Vilna Gaon, entitled Kol nehi (1798). Like the Gaon, Feder was a bitter opponent of Ḥasidism and mysticism; to this end, he wrote Zemir aritzim, a satirical polemic against the Ḥasidic movement.

In 1804, Feder published Lahat ha-ḥerev, an attack on modern Biblical criticism directed against Aaron Wolfssohn and Isaac Satanov.[3] The same year he released Mevasser tov, an introduction to Hebrew grammar with a criticism of the Masorah commentary Menorat Shlomo, by Rabbi Phoebus of Dubrovno. Feder also wrote Kol meḥatzetzim ('Voice of the Archers', 1813), a bitter satire against Menachem Mendel Lefin for his Yiddish translation of the Book of Proverbs.[1][4] The controversial work circulated in manuscript among Maskilim, but was first published only in 1853 in an expurgated version.[5]

He composed two poems on the defeat of the French in Russia: Kol simḥah ve-sason (1814), a song of triumph written for the Jewish community of Berdychev, and Hatzlaḥat Aleksander (1814), an ode to Alexander I of Russia.

Additional works by Feder were published after his death, including a rhymed play entitled Adam ve-Ḥavah ('Adam and Eve'), the Zohar ḥadash le-Purim, a humorous parody for Purim in Aramaic, and Shem u-she'erit, a volume of literary epistles and poems.[3]

Feder deeply influenced the literary work of the Galician Jewish poet Abraham Reif.[6]


  1. ^ Also known as טוביהו בן צבי הירש גוטמאן פעדער, romanized: Tuviahu ben Tzvi Hirsch Gutman Feder.


  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainRosenthal, Herman; Rhine, A. (1903). "Feder, Tobias Gutmann". In Singer, Isidore; et al. (eds.). The Jewish Encyclopedia. Vol. 5. New York: Funk & Wagnalls. p. 355.

  1. ^ a b Kressel, Getzel (2007). "Feder, Tobias". In Berenbaum, Michael; Skolnik, Fred (eds.). Encyclopaedia Judaica (2nd ed.). Detroit: Macmillan Reference. ISBN 978-0-02-866097-4.
  2. ^ Fishman, Joshua A. (1991). Yiddish: Turning to Life. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. p. 46–49. ISBN 978-90-272-7430-4.
  3. ^ a b Menda-Levy, Oded (2008). "Feder, Tuviah". In Hundert, Gershon (ed.). YIVO Encyclopedia of Jews in Eastern Europe. Translated by Hann, Rami. New Haven: Yale University Press.
  4. ^ Pelli, Moshe (2010). Haskalah and Beyond: The Reception of the Hebrew Enlightenment and the Emergence of Haskalah Judaism. Lanham: University Press of America. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-7618-5204-9.
  5. ^ Sinkoff, Nancy (2020). "The Linguistic Boundaries of Enlightenment: Revisiting the Language Polemic in Eastern Europe". Out of the Shtetl: Making Jews Modern in the Polish Borderlands. Providence: Brown Judaic Studies. pp. 168–202. ISBN 978-1-946527-96-7. JSTOR j.ctvzpv5tn.13.
  6. ^ Margel, M. (18 April 1901). ר׳ אברהם רייף: תולדות חייו וספריו [Abraham Reif: His Life and Work]. Hamagid (in Hebrew). Vol. 10, no. 15. Vienna & Kraków. pp. 175–176.