Yehuda Alharizi

Yehuda Alharizi, also Judah ben Solomon Harizi or al-Harizi (Hebrew: יהודה בן שלמה אלחריזי‬, Yehudah ben Shelomo al-Harizi, Arabic: يحيا بن سليمان بن شاؤل أبو زكريا الحريزي اليهودي من أهل طليطلة‎, Yahya bin Sulaiman bin Sha'ul abu Zakaria al-Harizi al-Yahudi min ahl Tulaitila) was a rabbi, translator, poet and traveller active in Spain in the Middle Ages (1165 in Toledo? – 1225 in Aleppo). He was supported by wealthy patrons, to whom he wrote poems and dedicated compositions.

He was a rationalist, conveying the works of Maimonides and his approach to rationalistic Judaism. He translated Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed and some of his Commentary on the Mishnah, as well as the Mahbarot Iti'el of the Arab poet al-Hariri, from the Arabic to Hebrew.

Alharizi's poetic translation of the Guide for the Perplexed is considered by many to be more readable than that of Samuel ben Judah ibn Tibbon. However, it has not been very widely used in Jewish scholarship, perhaps because it is less precise. It had some influence in the Christian world due to its translation into Latin.

Alharizi's own works include the "Tahkemoni", composed between 1218 and 1220, in the Arabic form known as maqama. This is written in Hebrew in unmetrical rhymes, in what is commonly termed rhymed prose. It is a series of humorous episodes, witty verses, and quaint applications of Scriptural texts. The episodes are bound together by the presence of the hero and of the narrator, who is also the author. Another collection of his poetry was devoted to preaching ethical self-discipline and fear of heaven.

Harizi undertook long journeys in the lands of the Middle East. His works are suffused with his impressions from these journeys.

He not only brought to perfection the art of applying Hebrew to secular satire, but he was also a brilliant literary critic and his maqama on the Andalusian Hebrew poets is a fruitful source of information.

This page was last edited on 10 April 2017, at 07:48.
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

Related Topics

Recently Viewed