Hebrew Manuscripts : Composite manuscript: fragments of commentaries on the Torah and on the Song of Songs

Hebrew Manuscripts

<p style='text-align: justify;'>Composite Yemenite manuscript containing (1) two incomplete Judeo-Arabic fragments from the same unknown philosophical commentary on the Torah or from two similar such commentaries (folios <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(9);return false;'>1a-32b/33a</a> and <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(85);return false;'>39a-40b</a>) and (2) an incomplete Judeo-Arabic commentary on Songs of Songs (folios <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>33a-38b</a>). The Torah commentary contains many quotations in Hebrew. The commentary on Song of Songs is preceded by a rhymed Hebrew prologue. Although the name is not stated, the latter was written by Zechariah ben Solomon ha-Rofe, a prolific Yemenite author from the fifteenth century. Zechariah might also be the author of the Torah commentary. However, the present text is unlike the ones he is known to have written (for the genre and information about the author see Y. Tzvi Langermann, Yemenite Midrash: Philosophical Commentaries on the Torah, HarperCollins Publishers, 1996). The commentary on Song of Songs was published by Rabbi Yosef Qafih in Ḥamesh Megillot in Jerusalem in 1962 and studied by Y. Tzvi Langermann in "Saving the Soul by Knowing the Soul: A Medieval Yemeni Interpretation of Song of Songs," Journal of Jewish Thought and Philosophy 12 (2003), 147-166. In addition to the commentary on Song of Songs, a commentary on Maimonides' Guide of the Perplexed is announced but not found in the manuscript (folio <a href='' onclick='store.loadPage(73);return false;'>33a</a>: שרח עלי שיר השירים ואלדלאלה). For a preliminary study relating to that as yet unpublished text see Y. Tzvi Langermann, "Sharh al-Dalala: A Commentary to Maimonides' Guide from Fourteenth Century Yemen," in Traditions of Maimonideanism, ed. Carlos Fraenkel (Leiden and Boston, 2009), pp. 155-176.</p>

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