Page 251 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 50

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WEINBERGER /THE LITURGICAL POETRY OF SAMUEL IBN NAGRELA
243
Qaliric coinage as may be seen in the latter’s
teqiatah
nVnn
"IDT
naW'VDa "itPX Wya *?D (“[This is] in remembrance of creation
which we do each year”. 11 Here too, the metrical requirements
["0"/'0"/"0"//'0''/'0"/'0"] were probably decisive in the Na­
gid’s choice of words. Qalir’s penchant for assonance, alliter­
ation and discontinuous rhyme was undoubtedly familiar to the
Nagid and in the following instance he borrows a construction
from the former’s
hoshanah
narm DTK
(“Man and beast”) :12
Ta
nap-n
dVsi
rnai / na-ipl
DXyi (“[Man and beast, flesh and spirit
and soul,] sinew and bone and skin, form and image and texture
. . . [save]”). The Nagid’s treatment of
napl.
.
.naip
is seen in
his
□,sn ia3 3V ’air (“ I
am in distress as if pierced by sharp­
ened arrows”), a work he composed after learning that his son
Joseph was stricken with a severe inflammation of the skin. In
this poem he describes his anxiety when first hearing of his
son’s illness and his relief upon learning that the fever had sub­
sided. He closes the poem on a cheerful note and entertains
his son with a play on the words
(“your illness”) and D’KVn
(“jewels [for the bride]”);
['pnwn] m s
(“[an inflammation] break­
ing out [in boils]”) and D’mD (“flowers,” [a reference to Israel’s
children]) and
nnaip
(“the crust of infected skin) and
map")
(“em­
broidery” [for the wedding canopy]).13
RABBINIC ALLUSIONS
Not only does the Nagid in his “secular” works use rabbinic
terms and
paytanic
innovations as needed, he also assumes that
his readers are thoroughly familiar with rabbinic literature,
since many o f his poems can be understood only with reference
to Talmud and Midrash and the writings of the Geonim and
not in their plain meaning. Following are several examples:
In his celebrated
shirah
ny
mVx (“God of might”)14 marking
his victory at Alpuente over his enemy Ibn Abbas of Almeria
on August 4, 1038 he voices his fears at the start of the battle
and utters a prayer:
11. Cf.
Mahazor La-yamim Ha-noraim,
vol. 1, p. 245.
12. Cf.
Mahazor Sukkot, Shemini Azeret ve-Simhat Torah,
ed. D. Goldschmidt
(Jerusalem-New York, 1981), p. 174.
13. Cf.
Divan Shmuel Hanagid,
pp. 47-49 .
14. Cf.
Divan Shmuel Hanagid,
pp. 4-14.