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13–17.2.4.5 Esther

(306 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Part of 13–17 Five Scrolls - 13–17.2 Secondary Translations - 13–17.2.4 Late Syriac Translations With the exception of forty single-word citations (in a couple of instances two words) in Andreas Masius’ Syrorum Peculium,1 the Syro-Hexaplaric text of Esther is, unfortunately, non-extant. The lost manuscript of Masius from which the citations were drawn, and which apparently contained the entire book of Esther, was proven by Rahlfs2 to be closely related in character and age to the late-eighth-/early-ninth-century c.e. Milan manuscript (i.e., c. 313 Inf. of the Ambrosian Libr…
Date: 2017-03-01

13–17.2.4.1 Ruth

(1,321 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Part of 13–17 Five Scrolls - 13–17.2 Secondary Translations - 13–17.2.4 Late Syriac Translations 13–17.2.4.1.1 Text The complete Syro-Hexaplaric text of the book of Ruth is extant in a unique eighth-century c.e. manuscript,1 i.e., Add. 17.103 of the British Library (London), containing both Judges (folios 4r–61v) and Ruth (folios 62v–70r), the text of which was edited by Rørdam in 1861,2 and then again by de Lagarde in 1892.3 Undoubtedly, there are also citations from Syh-Ruth remaining to be found in pre-modern Syriac literature (21.9), though we have found …
Date: 2017-03-01

13–17.1.4.5 Esther

(3,133 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Part of 13–17 Five Scrolls - 13–17.1 Primary Translations - 13–17.1.4 Peshitta 13–17.1.4.5.1 Background Translated by the end of the second century c.e., the original text of the Peshiṭta version of Esther (s-Esth) – as far as such can be retrieved – represents a clear and close (though not slavish) rendering of the Hebrew text as represented by mt (17.2.2). In only a handful of instances, after allowing for the possibility of scribal corruption in the Syriac transmission process, does the extant text of s-Esth reasonably imply a consonantal reading and/or vocalization of the…
Date: 2017-03-01

13–17.1.4.1 Ruth

(2,839 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Part of 13–17 Five Scrolls - 13–17.1 Primary Translations - 13–17.1.4 Peshitta 13–17.1.4.1.1 Background Translated by the end of the second century c.e., the original text of the Peshiṭta version of Ruth (s-Ruth) – as far as such can be retrieved – represents a generally faithful rendering of the Hebrew text as represented by mt (13.2.2); relatively minor adjustments away from a strictly “literal” rendering are evident throughout, attesting a consistent overarching desire to produce a version of the book that is both conceptually and idiomaticall…
Date: 2017-03-01

3–5.2.3.2 Judges

(1,522 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Part of 3–5 Former Prophets - 3–5.2 Secondary Translations - 3–5.2.3 Ethiopic Translations 3–5.2.3.2.1 Background The Ethiopic (Gǝ‛ǝz) text of Judges – at least in the text form edited by Dillmann (3–5.2.3.2.2) – is based primarily on lxx (4.3), with a certain (at this point immeasurable, albeit relatively small) contributing influence by mt (4.2.2) and the Peshitta (3–5.1.4) during the original phase of translation, in the fourth to seventh centuries. Scholarly consensus further maintains that sometime during the fourteenth and fifteenth centu…
Date: 2016-11-01

13–17.2.4.5 Esther

(304 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
13–17 Five Scrolls 13–17.2 Secondary Translations  13–17.2.4 Late Syriac Translations With the exception of forty single-word citations (in a couple of instances two words) in Andreas Masius’ Syrorum Peculium,1 the Syro-Hexaplaric text of Esther is, unfortunately, non-extant. The lost manuscript of Masius from which the citations were drawn, and which apparently contained the entire book of Esther, was proven by Rahlfs2 to be closely related in character and age to the late-eighth-/early-ninth-century C.E. Milan manuscript (i.e., C. 313 Inf. of the Am…
Date: 2016-11-09

13–17.1.4.5 Esther

(3,165 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
13–17 Five Scrolls 13–17.1 Primary Translations  13–17.1.4 Peshitta 13–17.1.4.5.1 Background Translated by the end of the second century C.E., the original text of the Peshiṭta version of Esther (S-Esth)—as far as such can be retrieved—represents a clear and close (though not slavish) rendering of the Hebrew text as represented by MT (17.2.2). In only a handful of instances, after allowing for the possibility of scribal corruption in the Syriac transmission process, does the extant text of S-Esth reason…
Date: 2016-11-09

13–17.2.4.1 Ruth

(1,338 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
13–17 Five Scrolls 13–17.2 Secondary Translations  13–17.2.4 Late Syriac Translations 13–17.2.4.1.1 Text The complete Syro-Hexaplaric text of the book of Ruth is extant in a unique eighth-century C.E. manuscript,1 i.e., Add. 17.103 of the British Library (London), containing both Judges (folios 4r–61v) and Ruth (folios 62v–70r), the text of which was edited by Rørdam in 1861,2 and then again by de Lagarde in 1892.3 Undoubtedly, there are also citations from Syh-Ruth remaining to be found in pre-modern Syriac literature (21.9), though we have found none in…
Date: 2016-11-09

13–17.1.4.1 Ruth

(2,859 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
13–17 Five Scrolls 13–17.1 Primary Translations  13–17.1.4 Peshitta 13–17.1.4.1.1 Background Translated by the end of the second century C.E., the original text of the Peshiṭta version of Ruth (S-Ruth)—as far as such can be retrieved—represents a generally faithful rendering of the Hebrew text as represented by MT (13.2.2); relatively minor adjustments away from a strictly “literal” rendering are evident throughout, attesting a consistent overarching desire to produce a version of the book that is both …
Date: 2016-11-09

Wahb b. Yaʿīsh al-Raqqī

(964 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Wahb b. Yaʿīsh al-Raqqī, apparently called Nathan ben Ḥayyim in Hebrew, was a Jewish religious thinker during the second half of the tenth century. As indicated by his nisba (cognomen), he hailed from the city of (al-)Raqqa on the mid-Euphrates in present-day Syria. At that time, Raqqa was an important center of Jewish culture, and seems also to have been the locus of interfaith philosophical and religious dialogue between Jews (Rabbanite as well as Karaite/Ananite), Muslims, Christians, Sabaeans, and Zoroastrians. Indeed …
Date: 2015-09-03

Judah ben Joseph of Qayrawan

(674 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Judah ben Joseph b. Simḥa was perhaps the most important figure in the Jewish community of Qayrawān toward the end of the tenth century and the beginning of the eleventh. Known in Arabic as Abū Zikrī/Zakarīyāʾ (the usual kunya for the name Judah), he was one of the wealthiest merchants in Qayrawān and was on very good terms with the Zirid sultan of Tunisia, al-Muʿizz ibn Bādīs (r. 1016–1062), and especially with the young sultan’s influential aunt Umm Mallāl, who, if indeed “the illustrious mistress” (Ar. al-sayyida al-jalīla) mentioned by Judah in a letter written toward the end …
Date: 2015-09-03

Elḥanan ben Ḥushiel

(11 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
see Ḥananel ben Ḥushiel Michael G. Wechsler

Aaron Ḥakīmān

(523 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Aaron ben Abraham Ḥakīmān, who lived toward the middle of the fourteenth century in Iraq, is known to us from his unique and unfortunately lacunal dīwān (poetry collection), containing 115 folios, in the Russian National Library (St. Petersburg), identified by Schirmann as MS 72 of the second Firkovitch collection (= no. 47406 in the JTS Schocken Institute online catalogue). From the variety of poetic compositions (including maqāmāt and muwashshaḥāt) in this dīwān, it is clear that Aaron was well acquainted with classical Arabic poetry, both Jewish and Muslim, and …

Ḥananel ben Ḥushiel

(1,192 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Ḥananel ben Ḥushiel was resh be rabbanan and dayyan in Qayrawān in the first half of the eleventh century. Other than the statement of Abraham Ibn Da’ud in his Sefer ha-Qabbala (sec. 7, beg.) that Ḥananel was born in Qayrawān sometime after his father was redeemed from captivity, having been captured at sea by the Umayyad commander Ibn Rumāḥiṣ, there is no definitive information about the place and date of his birth. On the other hand, insofar as Ḥananel and Ḥushiel’s son Elhanan are taken to be the same person (on which see below), it is clear that Ḥananel was already at least thirty years old …
Date: 2015-09-03

Messianism

(9,438 words)

Author(s): Bat-Zion Eraqi Klorman | Michael G. Wechsler
1. Messianic movements in the Medieval period By the advent of Islam in the early seventh century, the messianic idea was already firmly established as a central tenet of Judaism in its broadest (i.e., pan-sectarian) sense—as famously dogmatized and concisely expressed in Maimonides’s Thirteen Principles (or Fundamentals) ( thalātha ʿashrata qāʿida) of faith, the twelfth of which is “Believing and affirming the coming of [the Messiah], and not [thinking] that he is tardy—but rather, ‘should he tarry, you shall wait for him expectantly’ (Habbaku…
Date: 2015-09-03

Judah ben Eli (‘Allān)

(1,317 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Judah ben Eli, whose patronymic is usually attested as ben ʿAllān (the diminutive (?) of ʿAlī, the Ar. equivalent of Eli) and accompanied by the gentilic “the Tiberian,” was apparently one of the earliest Karaite scholars of Jerusalem, active at the end of the ninth century and during the first three decades of the tenth. Primary evidence for this chronological, geographical (Tiberias-Jerusalem), and sectarian placement of Judah is to be found in the portion of a muqaddama on parashat Devarim (Deuteronomy 1:1–3:22) published by Pinsker (sec. 2, p. 64), written by Levi (Abū…
Date: 2015-09-03

Ibn Jāmiʿ, Samuel ben Jacob

(795 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Samuel ben Jacob, a scion of the Ibn Jāmiʿ family of Gabes, in Ifrīqiyā (Tunisia), was a jurist (Heb. dayyan) like his father and grandfather, both of whom received responsa from Hay Gaon, as well as a grammarian, lexicographer, and poet. His lifetime seems to have spanned almost the entirety of the twelfth century. Almost always referred to by his family name Ibn Jāmiʿ—but sometimes simply as Jāmiʿ or its Hebrew equivalent, Agur—Samuel was a close friend of Abraham ibn Ezra, whom he apparently met during the latt…
Date: 2015-09-03

Aghmāṭī, Zechariah ben Judah al-

(700 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
As indicated by his nisba (Ar. gentilic), Zechariah ben Judah (al-)Aghmāṭī was either born or reared in the town of Aghmat, in southern Morocco. He is known from his single extant work—an exegetical compendium arranged primarily around the Halakhot Rabbati of Isaac ben Jacob al-Fāsī. The extant portions of this massive work are contained primarily in British Library MSS Or. 11361 (on BT Berakhot, Shabbat, and ʿEruvin ) and Or. 10013 (on BT Bava Qamma, Bava Meṣiʿa, and Bava Batra ). Also surviving is a small portion on Moʿed Qaṭan. Whether he proceeded beyond Bava Batra and complete…

Nathan ben Hananiah

(495 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Nathan ben Hananiah (also attested as ben Ḥanina) flourished in Qayrawan between 820 and 870, during all or most of which period he and Judah ben Saul served as the heads ( rabbanan) of the bet midrash there and as dayyanim for the Jewish community of North Africa generally. Nathan corresponded with the Jewish authorities in Iraq in connection both with halakhic matters and the collection of donations (Heb. ḥoq or rashut) for the Babylonian yeshivot (see Yeshivot in Babylonia/Iraq). The period of Nathan’s gaonic correspondence was approximately forty years, as indi…
Date: 2015-09-03

Aaron ben Amram

(760 words)

Author(s): Michael G. Wechsler
Aaron ben Amram—or, as his name is given in Arabic sources, Hārūn ibn ʿImrān—lived in the second half of the ninth century and the first quarter of the tenth. He apparently began his career as a trader, as in one Arabic source he and his partner, Joseph ben Phinehas , are referred to as al-tujjār (the merchants). Eventually he became a jahbadh (banker). In this capacity, with responsibility for administering, remitting, and supplying funds, Aaron, together with the jahbadh Joseph ben Phinehas (Yūsuf ibn Fīnḥās), played a key role in the financial administration of the ʿAbbasid empire. The b…
Date: 2015-09-03
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