Joseph ben Samuel

(c. 1650–1700) 

Joseph ben Samuel lived in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Not much is known about the author of this poem; he may have been active as a ḥazzan (cantor) of the Karaite community of Halicz (present-day Halych on the Dniester River in western Ukraine). 

Blessed be you, O Jewish soul

The text below contains the sixth strophe of a paraliturgical poem containing nine eight-line strophes in total, dedicated to Shavuot, the Feast of Weeks. This strophe, which assumes a particularistic touch by the addition of the identifier ‘Jewish’ to the soul, was selected for the Anthology to bear witness to the long-lasting and far-reaching nature of the Karaite reception of Andalusian-Hebrew poems on the soul. It is discussed in Joachim Yeshaya’s chapter ‘Karaite Poems about the Nature of the Soul from the Muslim East, Byzantium and Eastern Europe’ (see FoI, 247-8).

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Tuori, R. (ed.) (2013), Karaite Zĕmīrōt in Poland-Lithuania: A Study of Paraliturgical Karaite Hebrew Poems from the 17th and 18th Centuries (Helsinki, Unigrafia), 331 (poem 70, strophe 6). Translation adapted by Joachim Yeshaya.