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Fīrūz

FĪRŪZ

FĪRŪZ , Karaite family, probably of Persian origin, prominent from the 12th to 19th centuries. Its members were authors, physicians, poets, envoys, copyists, and bibliophiles. Approximately 50 members of the family can be traced. They include: al-shams al-karĪm ibn, head of the Karaites in Cairo in 1465 and court banker; and moses ben isaiah, Karaite scholar active in Damascus, 1630–45. An engraver by profession, Moses b. Isaiah is referred to as "Yerushalmi," indicating that he had made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. Possibly he should be identified with Moses b. Isaiah Fīrūz, the ḥazzan in Damascus, a translator from Arabic into Hebrew, mentioned in the itinerary of the Karaite *Samuel b. David. His son daniel ben moses, author and physician, active 1663–1700, wrote Kitāb al-Murshid, an Arabic compendium of the Duties of the Heart of *Baḥya b. Joseph ibn Paquda. Fīrūz included in this a Karaite chain of tradition. He is probably the author of an Arabic introduction to the Karaite prayer book according to the Damascus rite published by Margoliouth. Poznański listed Fīrūz' liturgical poetry and also published his polemical poems directed against *Shabbetai Ẓevi and *Nathan of Gaza.

bibliography:

S. Pinsker, Likkutei Kadmoniyyot (1860), 61, 167–9 (second pagination); Steinschneider, Arab Lit, 158; G. Margoliouth, in: jqr, 18 (1905/06), 505–27; H. Hirschfeld, in: Jews' College Jubilee Volume (1906), 81–100; S. Poznański, in: mgwj, 57 (1913), 44–58, 620; 60 (1916), 149–52; Mann, Texts, index.

[Isaak Dov Ber Markon]

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