Dhamārī, Manṣur Suleiman

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DHAMĀRĪ, MANṢUR SULEIMAN (Ibn al-Mu ʿallim , Heb. Hoter ben Solomon ; first half of the 15th century), Yemenite scholar and author. Dhamārī's major work was Sirāj al-ʿUqūl ("Light of the Wise"), an early Yemenite midrashic compilation containing certain Midrashim unknown from other sources. He draws mainly on the Mishnah, the Talmud, the Sifra and Sifrei and also three post-talmudic scholars: Saadiah Gaon, Maimonides, and Nethanel b. Isaiah. An interesting innovation is his use of Arabic sources – poems, and philosophical essays – side by side with the Jewish sources. Most of the book is written in Arabic, with only about a third in Hebrew. Each chapter begins and ends with one or two poems. Dhamārī's method, similar to that of other Yemenite writers, is one of midrashic commentary, but he is noteworthy also for philosophical exposition. His quotations are, however, imprecise and interspersed with interpretations, some of which are very curious. Other known works by Dhamārī are Sharḥ ʿalā al-Mishna, a commentary on Maimonides' exposition of the Mishnah; Sharḥ al-Qawāʿid, a commentary on the 13 principles; and 100 responsa, mostly collected in 1423 (all unpublished).


A. Kohut, Manzûr al-Dhamâri's Hebrew-Arabic Philosophical Commentary on the Pentateuch (n.d.); S. Lieberman, Yemenite Midrashim (1940); Y. Ratzaby, in: ks, 28 (1952/53), 261–78, 394–402, nos. 12, 127, 158, 231.

[Yehuda Ratzaby]