FRANCES, IMMANUEL BEN DAVID

FRANCES, IMMANUEL BEN DAVID (1618–c. 1710), Hebrew poet. Born in Leghorn, he was educated by his father David, his brother jacob frances , and especially by R. Joseph Fermo. Immanuel's life was filled with difficulties; not only was he forced to wander from one town to another to earn a living, but a succession of misfortunes befell him. His beloved father died in 1640, and his wife and two children in 1654. In   1657, he married Miriam, the daughter of R. Mordecai Visino, but both she and the son she bore him died in 1667. The same year saw the death of his brother, Jacob, to whom Immanuel was deeply attached, and together with whom he had fought against the supporters of Kabbalah. In his solitude, he devoted himself entirely to his literary work and to his activities as rabbi in Florence. In these he found his sole consolation for the remainder of his life. His poetic work may be divided into three periods. The first extends from 1643 to 1660, when he was under the influence of two of Italy's most popular poets, Tasso and Guarini. At this time he wrote his love poems and his debates on women (Vikku'aḥ Itti'el ve-Ukhal), and rabbis (Vikku'aḥ Rekhav u-Va'anah), to which he appended satirical epigrams. The dramatic form he employed suited the literary style he had adopted to attack the corruption in contemporary Jewish society. From a traditional point of view he censured poets like Immanuel of Rome who introduced in their works frivolities and "prurient poems." During the second period, from 1664 to 1667, Immanuel, together with his brother Jacob, waged a literary war against Shabbetai Ẓevi, Nathan of Gaza, and their messianic movement, in which he saw a threat to the Jewish people: mysticism was in their opinion taking the place of the Halakhah. His book of satirical poems, Ẓevi Muddaḥ ("The Banished Gazelle (Ẓevi)"), belongs to this period and is the choicest of his literary work. The poems were published by M. Mortara (in Kobez al jad, 1 (1885), 99–131). A few poems have been translated into English: see simonsohn (1977), 609–10, and Carmi (1981), 500–4. In the final period, from 1670 until after 1685, the poet adapted his religious poetry for use in synagogue services, giving it a dramatic and recitative character. He even wrote some poems in Latin that have not been preserved. While the poet preferred to use the Spanish-Arabic meter, he also introduced into his Hebrew poetry the terza rima and the ottava rima of Italian prosody. His poetic works were edited by S. Bernstein in 1932 under the title Divan le-R. Immanu'el b. David Frances. His work Metek Sefatayim, written in 1667 during a period of residence in Algiers, deals with various aspects of poetry and rhetoric. It was published in 1892 by H. Brody and deserves a new critical edition including all the new material that is known today; most of it has been translated into Spanish (del Valle, 1988). -BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Hartmann, Die hebraeische Verskunst nach dem Metek Sefatajim des Immanuel Fransis und anderen Werken juedischer Metriker (Berlin, 1894); Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 459; S.V. Immanuel Frances (ben David); Waxman, Literature, 2 (1960), 83–88. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Schulvass, The Jews in the World of the Renaissance (1973), 217; S. Simonsohn, History of the Jews in the Duchy of Mantua (1977), 617, 632, 710; T. Carmi (ed.), The Penguin Book of Hebrew Verse (1981), 500–4; A. Rathaus, in: Annuario di Studi Ebraici, 11 (1988), 159–73; Del Valle, El divan poético de Dunash ben Labrat (1988), 428–59. (Yonah David)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Frances, Immanuel ben David — (1618 c. 1710)    Italian Hebrew poet. He was born in Livorno. He led an unsettled life, wandering from town to town and suffering many misfortunes, including the death of his family. He later served as a rabbi in Florence. He wrote love poems,… …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • FRANCES, JACOB BEN DAVID — (1615–1667), poet; elder brother of immanuel frances . Born in Mantua, Jacob, a highly educated man, mastered not only Hebrew and Aramaic, but Latin, Italian, and Portuguese as well. The two brothers collaborated in their literary work, and in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Frances, Jacob ben David — (1615 67)    Italian poet. He was born in Mantua. Some of the poetry attributed to him has also been ascribed to his brother, Immanuel ben David. Both men opposed the Shabbetaians …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • BERNSTEIN, SIMON — (1884–1962), journalist and Hebrew scholar. Bernstein was born in Latvia. From 1908 to 1911 he was Hebrew secretary of the Society for Spreading Enlightenment Among the Jews of Russia. In 1912 he joined the staff of the World Zionist Organization …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • POETRY — This article is arranged according to the following outline (for modern poetry, see hebrew literature , Modern; see also prosody ): biblical poetry introduction the search for identifiable indicators of biblical poetry the presence of poetry in… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • List of Hebrew language poets — List of Hebrew language poets:Biblical* King David * King Solomon * JeremiahEarly Middle Ages* Yose ben Yose * Yannai * Eleazar ha KalirGolden Age in Spain* Joseph ibn Abitur * Abraham Abulafia * Meir Halevi Abulafia * Todros Abulafia * Levi ibn… …   Wikipedia

  • PIYYUT — (Heb. פִּיּוּט; plural: piyyutim; from the Greek ποιητής), a lyrical composition intended to embellish an obligatory prayer or any other religious ceremony, communal or private. In a wider sense, piyyut is the totality of compositions composed in …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • science, history of — Introduction       the history of science from its beginnings in prehistoric times to the 20th century.       On the simplest level, science is knowledge of the world of nature. There are many regularities in nature that mankind has had to… …   Universalium

  • literature — /lit euhr euh cheuhr, choor , li treuh /, n. 1. writings in which expression and form, in connection with ideas of permanent and universal interest, are characteristic or essential features, as poetry, novels, history, biography, and essays. 2.… …   Universalium

  • Liste der Biografien/Fa — Biografien: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q …   Deutsch Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.