The Religious Poetry of El'azar ben Ya'aqov ha-Bavli

Baghdad, Thirteenth C.


This volume presents the reader with a fascinating collection of hymns composed by El‘azar the Babylonian, an Arab-Jewish poet who is active in Baghdad during the first half of the 13th century. His religious oeuvre consists of dozens of hymns, coming down to us from the treasures of the Cairo Genizah and the Firkovicz Collections. His compositions provide a cross-section of genres and liturgical destinations. El‘azar’s devotional hymnology is characterised by a striking spiritual tendency which reveals his familiarity with contemporary Sufism in both Muslim and Jewish circles.

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Wout Jac. van Bekkum, Ph.D. (1988), is Emeritus Professor of Semitic Languages and Cultures at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen. He has published many articles and books on Medieval Hebrew poetry, including The Secular Poetry of El‘azar ben Ya‘aqov ha-Bavli. Baghdad, Thirteenth C., on the basis of Manuscript Firkovicz Heb. IIA, 210.1 (Brill, 2007).
Transliteration of Hebrew
Transliteration of (Judaeo-)Arabic

 1 Elʿazar ha-Bavli: Personal and Professional Background
 2 Jewish Liturgy in the East
 3 Arabic Standard and Hebrew Imitation: Intricacies and Boundaries
 4 Models and Modulations
 5 Themes and Motifs
 6 Language and Lexicon
 7 Elʿazar in Manuscripts and Prayer Books

Excursus: A ‘Piyyut’ on the Ages of Man

Edition of Piyyutim

Manuscript Sources
Index of Piyyutim
Index of Epitheta
Index of Names and Terms
This volume is strongly recommended to specialists in the relevant fields and to all those interested in medieval poetry and poetics of the Middle East.
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