Let Me Flee for Help . . . Israel as “I” and the Teqi‘ot of Yose ben Yose

in European Journal of Jewish Studies
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The representation of Israel in the first-person singular (as an “I”) occurs sporadically in early liturgical poetry. This article examines the unusually complex use of this technique in the teqi‘ot liturgy of Yose b. Yose. Close analysis of Yose’s teqi‘ot situates his use of the collective first-person singular at the nexus of an array of performative elements, i.e., elements that construct the poems as performances, situated in space and time, and vis-à-vis an audience. The article contextualizes Yose’s achievement against the backdrop of the teqi‘ot of Yose’s predecessors and contemporaries, and those of his great successor, Qillir.

Let Me Flee for Help . . . Israel as “I” and the Teqi‘ot of Yose ben Yose

in European Journal of Jewish Studies

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References

1

See Yehezkel LugerThe Weekday Amidah in the Cairo Genizah (Jerusalem: Orhot2001) 98. Unless otherwise indicated the translations of all of the primary texts in this paper are my own.

28

See HeinemannStudies44–53.

31

See Shulamit Elizur“The Ancient Liturgy for Fast Days in Eretz Israel,” Tarbiz 75 (2006) 178–81.

34

See Davidson“Poetic Fragments” 445. The poet also cites Isa 63:7 (ibid. 447) which features the first-person singular. Heinemann (Studies 66) notes Mishael’s divergence from the Bavli’s injunction and finds in it support for the conclusion that the injunction was unknown in Palestine. I am instead inclined to see the injunction as a response to the practice that it enjoins and thus to find evidence in the poem (as well as in the injunction’s language and its literary context in the Bavli) precisely for the possibility of a Palestinian provenance for the injunction.

38

Ibid. 554 l. 15. The other occurrence is in l. 18.

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