Alamani, Aaron He-ḥaver ben Yeshu'Ah

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ALAMANI, AARON HE-ḤAVER BEN YESHU'AH (commonly known as "Ben Zion" and also "Alluf-Zion"; 12th century), rabbinical judge, physician, and poet. He was born probably in Jerusalem, at the end of the 11th century, and lived for many years in Alexandria, Egypt. When *Judah Halevi went to Alexandria in 1140, he stayed at Alamani's house and became friendly with him. Judah Halevi respected him greatly, composed songs of friendship to him and his children, and continued his relations with the family after leaving Alexandria. Apparently Aaron's name as a poet had been known to Judah Halevi even before he left Spain. More than 30 of his liturgical hymns and poems are now known, all influenced by Hebrew poetry in Spain. It is also possible that certain piyyutim where only the name Aaron appears were composed by him. His sons, Yeshu'ah and Zadok, were also poets.


Zunz, Lit Poesie, 328f., 537; Fuenn, Keneset, 83; Brody, in: zhb, 6 (1902), 18–24; Schirmann, in: ymḤsi, 6 (1945), 265–88; Abramson, in: ymḤsi, 7 (1958), 165, 168, 179–80; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 359f.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]