Between Hebrew and Arabic Poetry

Studies in Spanish Medieval Hebrew Poetry

Series:

The book includes sixteen studies about medieval Hebrew poetry compared with Arabic poetry. It is well known that since the tenth century medieval Hebrew poets took Arabic poetry as the ultimate paradigm in terms of prosody, language purism and rhetorical devices and even in regard to poetical genres. However, the concept unifying all studies in this book is that a comparative examination must consider not only the identical elements in which Hebrew poetry borrowed from the Arabic one, but alos what is much more significant – what Hebrew poetry stubbornly set itself at a distance from Arabic poetry. The conclusive result of this sort of examination is that Hebrew poetry combined selectively borrowed Arabic poetical values with traditional ethical Jewish values to create a distinctive poetical school.

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Biographical Note

Yosef Tobi, Ph.D. (1980) in Hebrew Literature, Hebrew University, is Professor of Hebrew Literature at The University of Haifa. Won the Bahat Prize for Scholarly Books (1988) and the Jerusalem Prize for Research (1999). He has published extensively on medieval Hebrew poetry, Judeo-Arabic, and the Jews of Yemen and Tunisia, including The Jews of Yemen (Brill 1999) and Proximity and Distance: Medieval Hebrew and Arabic Poetry (Brill 2004).

Table of contents

Preface ... ix

PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
Chapter One: Secular Hebrew Poetry in Spain as Courtly Poetry: Is It Indeed? ... 3
Chapter Two: The Secular Hebrew Poet as Culture Hero in the Middle Ages... 25

PART TWO: GENRES AND THEMES
Chapter Three: The Land of Israel and the National Theme in Hebrew Poetry from Sa adia Gaon to Šemuel Ha-Nagid ... 53
Chapter Four: The Religious Element in the War Poems of Šemuel Ha-Nagid and in the Arabic Panegyrics in Andalusia ... 93
Chapter Five: Love in Hebrew Secular Poetry in the Setting of Medieval Arabic Poetry ... 116
Chapter Six: Music and Musical Instruments in Spanish Medieval Hebrew Poetry: The Poem of Yosef Ibn addīq (Justo) in Praise of Yi_aq ibn Barun ... 148
Chapter Seven: The Chase as an Allegory for the Wrong and Sufferings in the World as Found in Takemoni by Yehuda Alarizi against the Background of Arabic Poetry ... 190

PART THREE: POETRY AND WISDOM
Chapter Eight: The Beloved Woman as a Metaphor for Divine Wisdom in the Poems of Šelomo ibn Gabirol ... 229
Chapter Nine: Šelomo Ibn Gabirol: He That, From His Youth, Chose Wisdom 261
Chapter Ten: Body and Soul in Spanish Hebrew Poetry against the Background of Muslim-Arabic Culture ... 293
Chapter Eleven: The Hebrew Transcription of Risālat al-_ātimī: A comparative study between sayings attributed to Aristotle and poetic verses attributed to Mutanabbī (Cambridge, T.S., Arabic, 45.2) ... 321

PART FOUR: ARABIC RHETORIC AND POETRY IN MEDIEVAL HEBREW POETRY
Chapter Twelve: Preliminary Study in _ilyat al-Mu_ā_ara [_M] by Abū Alī Muammad al-_ātimī: The ‘Lost’ Source of Moše Ibn Ezra for His Kitāb al-Mu_ā_ara wa-al-Mudhākara [KMM] ... 355
Chapter Thirteen: Yehuda Ha-Levi’s Hebrew Translations of Arabic Poems ... 369

PART FIVE: CRITICISM OF VERSE
Chapter Fourteen: Yehuda Ha-Levi’s Attitude Toward Arabic and Hebrew Secular Poetry and Literature in the Kuzari ... 389
Chapter Fifteen: Maimonides’ Attitude towards Secular Poetry, Secular Arab and Hebrew Literature, Liturgical Poetry, and towards Their Cultural Environment ... 422
Chapter Sixteen: Šem _ov Ibn Falaqera’s Critique of Poetry ... 467

Bibliography ... 483
Index... 511

Readership

All those interested in medieval Hebrew and Arabic studies, intellectual Jewish history, the Jews of Spain and Judeo-Arabic.

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