József Patai

József Patai (1882–1953), poet, scholar, and Zionist leader. In his life and work, József Patai is representative of the first generation of Hungarian Zionist intellectuals. He changed his name from Klein to Patai after his birthplace, Gyöngyöspata, a small village in northern Hungary. Patai’s father was a grocer and Talmudic scholar, a follower first of the rebbe of Belz and then of the rebbe of Satmar. It was this world that Patai depicted in his lyrical social study, his most enduring prose work, A középső kapu (1927; new ed., 1998 [published in English as The Middle Gate; 1994]). (from his article by YIVO)


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