Haduta (Also Known as Hedvata) ben Abraham

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HADUTA (also known as Hedvata) BEN ABRAHAM

HADUTA (also known as Hedvata ) BEN ABRAHAM (c. 6th century), one of the early paytanim in Ereẓ Israel. His *piyyutim form a distinct group in piyyut literature because of their special subject material: a series of hymns commemorating the 24 watches (*mishmarot) of priests (cf. i Chron. 24:7–18), practiced in the time of the Second Temple. One kerovah is dedicated to each watch. A prayer commemorating the watches dated 1034, found in the Cairo Genizah, gives evidence of the custom of the Palestinian Jews, whereby on each Sabbath the name of the division belonging to that Sabbath was proclaimed. It thus emerged that Haduta's kerovot were not kinot ("dirges") for the Ninth of *Av, as had been supposed, but were recited in the Palestinian synagogues each Sabbath.

The hymns mention many details concerning the names and the dwelling places of the watches. They are thus an important source of information for research of Palestinian topography. Possibly the priests were still concentrated in certain defined localities in Haduta's time.

Haduta (הֶדְוָתָא ,הֲדוּתָא) sometimes signed his name הֶדְוָתָה ,הֲדוּתָה (with ח and ה instead of ה and א), and it is unlikely that there were two or three hymnologists of the same name.


Epstein, in: Tarbiz, 12 (1940/41), 78; Habermann, in: ymhsi, 5 (1939), 80 n.; J.H. Schirmann, Shirim Hadashim min ha-Genizah (1965), 13–22; Zulay, in: Ginzei Kaufmann, 1 (1949), 36–38; idem, in: Tarbiz 22 (1950/51), 28–42; P. Kahle, Masoreten des Westens, 1 (1927), texts; ymḤsi, 5 (1939), 111–20, texts.

[Menahem Zulay]