Sefer Hamusar teaches that you can’t buy food with poetry

By Douglas Galbi, the author of purple motes

From about 1200 to 1600,  Jewish writers created works similar to the Arabic literary genre of maqamaMaqama feature rhetorically ornate, rhymed prose, often with some interspersed poetry.  Maqama tell stories of an eloquent rogue who swindles the narrator in weakly connected episodes of mundane life.  Well-known in Arabic from the tenth century, this widely mixed genre was adapted into Hebrew in Spain about 1200.   One of the last major Hebrew works of maqama was Sefer Hamusar, written about 1580.  In Sefer Hamusar, the story of a boy trumping the eloquent rogue indicates the erosion of the privilege of cultural sophistication….->  Continue reading

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Zechariah Dhahiri

Yemenite Jewish poetry