Jewish Parody and Allegory in Medieval Hebrew Poetry in Spain

Libby Garshowitz

in The Convergence of Judaism and Islam

Published by University Press of Florida

Published in print August 2011 | ISBN: 9780813036496
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780813041810 | DOI:
Jewish Parody and Allegory in Medieval Hebrew Poetry in Spain

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The benefits reaped by the Jews under Arab Islam at its zenith through the enrichment of medieval Hebrew and poetic creativity—infused by Arab poetry—compares well with the progress they made in science and the professions. This is lucidly corroborated by this chapter where the text refers to Andalusia (Spain) as the place this decisive encounter took place. This discussion is focused on the transmission of Arabic culture in Hebrew guise into the Jewish communities of twelfth-century Christendom. Of particular importance is the love poetry of Jacob ben Elazar (c. 1170–1235), author of a ten-chapter collection of love stories composed in about 1233. The chapter singles out Chaptes 7 and 9 and points out that Jacob ben Elazar's poetry testifies to his “virtuosity and adroitness in the Hebrew language” and the contribution of Arabic poetry in this context.

Keywords: Andalusia; love poetry; Sefer Meshalim; Sippurei Ahava; Mahbarot; Jacob ben Elazar

Chapter.  13826 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture

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