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Benjamin ben Zerah


BENJAMIN BEN ZERAH (c. 1050), liturgical poet. Benjamin probably lived in France or in Germany. He composed liturgical poetry of various sorts in the style of the earliest paytanim, but his works already contain the names of angels and other holy appellations. Because of the esteem accorded to him, he was designated Ha-Gadol ("the Great"). He was also called Ba'al ha-Shem ("Master of the Divine Name"), possibly on account of the numerous names of God and the angels in his poems. About 60 of his piyyutim are known, many being included in the Ashkenazi and Italian liturgies.


Landshuth, Ammudei, 52; Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 371; Zunz, Lit Poesie, 120–3, 239–43, 615.

[Abraham Meir Habermann]

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