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Hebrew Poems from Spain$
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David Goldstein

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113669

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113669.001.0001

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Dunash Ha-Levi Ben Labrat

Dunash Ha-Levi Ben Labrat

(p.13) Dunash Ha-Levi Ben Labrat
Hebrew Poems from Spain

David Goldstein

Liverpool University Press

This chapter discusses the poetry of Dunash ha-Levi ben Labrat. Dunash came from a distinguished Jewish family of the Eastern Caliphate, and was, according to Moses ibn Ezra, born in Fez, in Morocco, in the first half of the tenth century. He studied under the great Jewish grammarian and philosopher, Sa’adia Gaon, in Baghdad, returned to Fez after Sa’adia’s death (942), and later attached himself to the family of Hasdai ibn Shaprut in Cordoba. It was Dunash who first demonstrated both in theory and in practice how Hebrew could be adapted to the writing of poetry in imitation of Arabic usage. His fame as a grammarian, and as a poet, quickly spread throughout the Jewish communities of Spain. However, only a few of his poems have survived. The chapter then presents two of his poems: Reply to an Invitation to a Feast and A Song for the Sabbath.

Keywords:   Dunash ha-Levi ben Labrat, Sa’adia Gaon, Jewish grammarian, Hebrew poetry, Spanish Jewish communities, Jewish poet, Jewish poetry

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