By Jerome A. Chanes.
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Extra info for A Primer on the American Jewish Community 3rd Ed.
This tendency to minimise the inﬂuence of Arabic poetry on Hebrew poetry is also evident in the work of a student of David Yelin who did not specialise in Arabic language and literature; this was Aharon Mirsky of the Hebrew University. In an article Mirsky demonstrates that not everything in the language of medieval Hebrew poetry that was considered inﬂuenced by Arabic language is in fact inﬂuenced in that way. 67 In a 1966 article on the problems of research in post-biblical Hebrew poetry,68 Schirmann also discusses secular poetry and assesses the success and failure of various scholars.
243–245; Browne 1929, pp. 473–474. Nevertheless, the Jewish poets presumably borrowed the genre of didactic poetry and its structure as muzdawij from Arabic poetry. Incidentally, Maimonides mentions didactic poems of the Muslim mutakallimùn, whose interest was proof of renewal of the world: ‘They were measured in poems and were weighed in nice expressions, and clarity of words was choice for them’ (Guide to the Perplexed I:74). On Arabic didactic and polemic poems in Spain from the second half of the tenth century on, which in part were written in urjùza structure, see Marquet 1985, pp.
This information attests to cultural openness, at least in certain circles in the population of Iraq, namely the intellectuals, including poets. This was at the time of the Abbasid caliph al-Manßùr (754–775), who founded the city of Baghdad and adopted a policy of acceptance of non-Muslims, taking many of them into his government apparatus. A similar kind of policy by a Muslim ruler in respect of religious minorities is taken as the explanation for the ﬂowering of Hebrew poetry in Spain in the mid-tenth century under the Umayyad caliph 'Abd al-Ra˙màn III.
A Primer on the American Jewish Community 3rd Ed. by Jerome A. Chanes.