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Abu Al-Ḥasan of Tyre


ABU AL-ḤASAN OF TYRE (Samaritan Ab-Ḥisda Aẓẓuri ; c. 11th century), Samaritan halakhist, exegete, and liturgical writer of priestly origin. His surname Aẓẓuri may designate his origin from either the Syrian town Ẓor (Tyre) or the village Zorta near Nablus. The first translation of the Samaritan Pentateuch into Arabic is ascribed to him; it was revised two centuries later by Abu Saʿīd (see *Samaritans, Language and Literature). His chief work, written in Arabic and called Kitāb al-Tabbākh ("Book of the Cook" or "Book of the Druggist," and called by the Samaritans themselves "Book of the Meat") is a compendium of oral law dealing with many aspects of Samaritan practice and belief. It includes many polemical passages against the Jews – *Rabbanites and Karaites alike – and against some Christian and Muslim tenets. His halakhic decisions are still valid in the Samaritan community.

Three of Abu al-Ḥasan's exegetical treatises in Arabic are extant: Sharḥ Ašrat Addēbārem, a commentary on the Ten Commandments (John Rylands Library, Manchester, Gaster Collection, Ms. 1929); a commentary on "Ha'azinu" (Deut. 32), known also as al-Khuṭba al-Jāmiʿa ("The General Sermon," ibid., Gaster Collection, Ms. 1813); and Kitāb al-Maʿād ("Book of Resurrection"; Bodeleian Library, Oxford, Ms. Hunt. 350). In the last he adduces proofs from the Pentateuch for the Samaritan belief in the day of vengeance and recompense (Deut. 32:35) and for the rising of the dead from the dust of their graves. Verses from "Ha'azinu" form an important part of these proofs. As the above manuscripts are included in some copies of Kitāb al-Ṭabbākh, as parts of the entire compendium, it remains questionable whether they originally belonged to the compendium and later became independent works under the influence of copyists and scribes, or vice versa. Abu al-Ḥasan also became known as a liturgical writer. His hymns are composed in Hebrew and in 11th-century Aramaic.


J.A. Montgomery, Samaritans (1907, repr. 1968), 293, 298; A.E. Cowley, Samaritan Liturgy (1909), 70, 79–81; 2 (1909), 869, 875; J. MacDonald, Theology of the Samaritans (1964), index; P.R. Weis in: bjrl, 30 (1946–47), 144–56; 33 (1950–51), 131–7; M. Gaster in: eis, 4 (1934), 3–5 (Supplement); idem, Samaritans… (1925), 151–2; Z. Ben-Ḥayyim, Ivrit ve-Aramit Nusaḥ Shomeron, 1 (1957), 35 (introd.); 3, pt. 2 (1967), 17, 277–80; A.S. Halkin, in: Leshonenu, 32 (1968), 208–46.

[Ayala Loewenstamm]

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