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Israel Dayyan's "Zemer" for the Sabbath

Leon J. Weinberger
The Jewish Quarterly Review
Vol. 81, No. 1/2 (Jul. - Oct., 1990), pp. 119-125
DOI: 10.2307/1455258
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1455258
Page Count: 7
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Israel Dayyan's "Zemer" for the Sabbath
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Abstract

A "zemer" for the Sabbath with the acrostic Israel Dayyan, published from two seventeenth-century Karaite manuscripts originating in Damascus and Cairo, is directed against the poet's "adversaries and enemies." The six stanza muwashshaḥ is both a defense of "sitting in the dark on the eve of the Sabbath" and a polemic against the "taunts and anger" of the poet's opponents. In attempting to determine the identity of the "adversaries and enemies" it is suggested that the poet in question is Israel ha-Dayyan ha-Maʿaravi (died before 1354), the Karaite scholar from Cairo, and that his polemic is directed against the Rabbanites who stress the importance of a candle-lit home on the Sabbath, and not against the Karaites who follow the lenient view of Elijah Bashyatchī permitting Sabbath candles.

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