Zemiroth Yisra’el [poetry]

AUCTION 6 | Tuesday, November 17th, 1998 at 1:00
Fine Judaica: Books, Manuscripts and Works of Art The Property of Various Owners

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Lot 200

Zemiroth Yisra’el [poetry]

Three parts in one, with three titles (usually lacking). Hebrew text with instructions in Ladino ff.171. Few stains, signed by censor at end, stamps on first and last pages. Modern boards. Sm.4to Vinograd, Venice 872; Habermann, di Gara 188; Mehlman 1282; not in Adams

Venice: Giovanni di Gara 1599

Est: $2,500 - $3,000
First appearance of Ya-h Ribon Olam (f.7r), one of the most popular Sabbath Zemiroth (table hymns) and since set to innumerable melodies. Najara was the first poet to compose and organize his Piyutim according to the Near Eastern “maqam” style of musical composition. Born in Damascus c.1555, his compositions are distinguished by their deep religiosity, references to Jewish suffering and yearning for redemption. Najara learned much from the great Jewish poets of the Spanish-Arabic period, but nevertheless frequently employed original forms and themes. Despite the wide circulation of his poetry, particularly among oriental communities, his occasional imitation of foreign styles and use of erotic terminology was attacked by Menachem di Lonzano and especially Chaim Vital who indeed forbade the singing of Najara’s songs entirely. See I. Zinberg, The Jewish Center of Culture in the Ottoman Empire (1974) pp.94-106; Carmilly-Weinberger pp.217-8; EJ, XII cols.798-9