The People in the Books: Hebraica and Judaica Manuscripts from Columbia University Libraries

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Shaʻar ha-shir. 9v-10r


Shaʻar ha-shir.
Manuscript in Hebrew on paper.
Italy, 18th century.
MS X893 Sh1
Rare Book and Manuscript Library

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Shaʻar ha-shir: 9v-10r

In dramatic, flowery language, this poem paraphrases the Book of Genesis. The 18th century Italian work is divided into two parts: Part I describes the story of creation until the birth of the  patriarch Abraham, and Part II tells the stories of the patriarchs. The author’s first name, Shelomoh, is written acrostically in the first four stanzas of Part I, and his title, ben Yitsḥak (son of Isaac), constitutes the letters of the beginning of Part II. Shelomoh ben Yitsḥak wrote this poem as part of a broader 18th century phenomenon of making sacred texts more accessible to the public in translation and commentaries.

Gift of Messers Benjamin Stern and Charles A. Dunn.


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