SOLOMON BEN JUDAH HA-BAVLI

SOLOMON BEN JUDAH HA-BAVLI (mid-tenth century), Hebrew poet. One of the first Hebrew hymnologists in Europe. He appears to have lived in northern Italy though his family was of Oriental origin. Little is known of him apart from some semilegendary allusions to him as an esteemed paytan, and as one of those who conveyed the Oriental "Secrets of Prayer" from Italy to Germany. The limited literary remains now extant consist of a few hymns for the Sabbath and festivals, as well as about 25 seliḥot. His best-known production is a yoẓer for Passover, Or Yesha Me'usharim, the pattern of which is taken from one of Eleazar Kallir's works, and later served as a model for many other Italian and German hymnologists, such as his pupil meshullam b. kalonymus . His avodah for the Day of Atonement, Adderet Tilboshet, is one of the most puzzling of its kind. The seliḥot of Solomon are often referred to as shalmoniyyot, a term possibly derived from his name. His poetry is remarkable for its rich, polished rhyme; only his Avodah is unrhymed. His style is heavy and murky and his works often raise difficult problems of commentary which the early sages, including Rashi, tried to solve. His piyyutim had a great influence on the works of the first Italian and Ashkenazi paytanim who took him as a model. In 1865 L. Zunz prepared a list of Solomon ha-Bavli's poems. E. Fleischer published the first critical edition of his poems, with introduction and commentary, in 1973. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Zunz, Poesie, 100–4; 232–5; Elbogen, Gottesdienst, 325f.; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 470, S.V. Shelomo ha-Bavli; Roth, Dark Ages, 259–62. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: E. Fleischer, The Poems of Shelomoh ha-Bavli (Hebrew; 1973); idem, The Yoẓer (Hebrew; 1984), 647–53, passim. (Ezra Fleischer)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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