scispace - formally typeset
Search or ask a question
Book

Models and Contacts: Arabic Literature and Its Impact on Medieval Jewish Culture

31 Jul 2000-
TL;DR: In this paper, the introduction of fictionality into Classical Arabic Literature, the mechanics of the basic rhyming model in Classical Arabic poetry and the medieval Arabic theory of rhyme are discussed.
Abstract: Medieval Jewish literature from the 10th century onwards drew heavily on Arabic literary models. This important new study discusses the introduction of fictionality into Classical Arabic Literature, the mechanics of the basic rhyming model in Classical Arabic poetry and the medieval Arabic theory of rhyme. Subsequently, it goes on to analyze the introduction of Arabic literary models into 10th-century Jewish literature, Karaite influences, the roles of Hebrew and Arabic and bilingualism, metrical innovations and literary contacts in later Jewish literary works. This work will prove a valuable source of study material to students and historians of Classical Arabic and medieval Jewish literature.
Citations
More filters
Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: It is the consensus of scholars that Jewish merchants in the medieval Islamic world structured their economic relationships according to the norms of a broad, “Islamic” marketplace as mentioned in this paper, and legal agreements found in the Cairo Geniza show that, on the contrary, these merchants adhered to the norm of Jewish law.
Abstract: It is the consensus of scholars that Jewish merchants in the medieval Islamic world structured their economic relationships according to the norms of a broad, “Islamic” marketplace. Legal agreements found in the Cairo Geniza show that, on the contrary, these merchants adhered to the norms of Jewish law. I discuss the implications of this finding for the study of Jewish and Islamic social, economic, and legal history, for which the Geniza documents are an important direct witness.

3 citations

Journal Article
TL;DR: The first Hebrew concordance, known as Meʾir Nativ, was written in the city of Arles, in Provence, between 1437 and 1447.
Abstract: The first Hebrew concordance, known as Meʾir Nativ, was written in the city of Arles, in Provence, between 1437 and 1447. Its author, Isaac Nathan, a prominent leader of Provencal Jewry, devoted immense efforts—money, time and thought—to the project. A critical examination of Nathan's preface to the concordance reveals that he had two main goals in creating this important tool: facilitating religious polemics with Christians and encouraging Bible study in Jewish society. Here these two phenomena are analyzed in their historical and geographical context. Because of the concordance's polemical purpose, Nathan adopted the Christian division of the Bible into books and chapters. His decision afforded the Christian system a certain legitimacy that contributed to its adoption (through the publication of Miqraʾot Gedolot) in Hebrew Bibles published to this day. Isaac Nathan was probably the first Jewish scholar to give serious consideration to Christian interpretations of Scripture and to include those he found compelling in his Hebrew work. The preface to Meʾir Nativ is heavily influenced by the Scholastics, particularly Thomas Aquinas. In his adoption of the scholastic approach Nathan resembled other fifteenth-century Jewish thinkers, especially in Catalonia and Aragon.

2 citations

Book ChapterDOI
01 Dec 2008

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
30 Jul 2020
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors examined the association of the Karaites with the Masoretic transmission of the Hebrew Bible and the motivation for their transcribing the Bible into Arabic script.
Abstract: In the Middle Ages the Karaite Jews in the Islamic world used both Arabic and Hebrew script in their writings. They wrote not only Arabic texts in Arabic script but also many of their Hebrew Bibles in Arabic transcription. The Rabbanites, by contrast, used Hebrew script for writing both Arabic and Hebrew. This paper examines the association of the Karaites with the Masoretic transmission of the Hebrew Bible and the motivation for their transcribing the Bible into Arabic script. It is argued that the Arabic transcriptions reflect the polemical stance of the Karaites against the bases of scriptural authority of the Rabbinites and an advanced degree of rapprochement of the Karaites with the Muslim environment. They represent a convergence with the external form of the Muslim Arabic Qurʾān and also with the concepts of authority associated with the transmission of Muslim scripture.

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
09 Jun 2014-Numen
TL;DR: The work of David ben Joshua Maimonides, a medieval Jewish author who engaged with and quoted from Muslim Sufi texts, has been examined in this paper, where it is argued that the removal of qurʾānic material and the obfuscation of his Sufi sources were actually part of a clear and deliberate rhetorical strategy meant both to subvert the Sufi text and to bolster his claims about the relationship between Sufism, biblical Judaism, and the revivification of prophecy among the Jews.
Abstract: In this article, I take the theme of other people’s scriptures in a slightly different direction by highlighting a case in which an instance of scriptural engagement is characterized by a notable absence rather than explicit presence. I examine the work of David ben Joshua Maimonides, a medieval Jewish author who engaged with and quoted from Muslim Sufi texts. However, in the process of writing David systematically removed references to the Qurʾān and obscured the identity of his Sufi interlocutors, a process which scholars often describe as “judaization.” However, this descriptive use of judaization often functions to obscure the complicated negotiations between an author and his or her sources. In this case, I pose judaization as an analytical problem. I argue that David left his knowing readers clues in the text that hint at the Sufi provenance of many of his ideas. The removal of qurʾānic material and the obfuscation of his Sufi sources were actually part of a clear and deliberate rhetorical strategy meant both to subvert his Sufi texts and to bolster his claims about the relationship between Sufism, biblical Judaism, and the revivification of prophecy among the Jews.

2 citations