Institute for the Research of Medieval He-Brew Poetry

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INSTITUTE FOR THE RESEARCH OF MEDIEVAL HE-BREW POETRY , institute for compiling, examining, selecting, and preparing for scholarly use the poetic and liturgical material contained in various manuscripts. It also assembled the works of the most eminent poets and paytanim. It was founded in Berlin in 1931 by S.Z. *Schocken and transferred to Jerusalem in 1934. Ḥayyim *Brody headed the Institute until 1942, assisted by A.M. *Habermann, M. *Zulai, and Ḥ. *Schirmann. The institute created the conditions necessary for intensive scholarly work. Its collection includes photographic reproductions of approximately 100 complete manuscripts (approximately 15,000 pages), and of some 4,000 fragments (about 10,000 pages) from the genizah collections of world libraries. The rich library of S.Z. Schocken, which contained dozens of manuscripts, was also made available to the Institute.

The Institute published the following works: Ḥ. Schirmann, Mivḥar ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit be-Italyah (1934); Ḥ. Brody, Moshe Ibn Ezra: Shirei ha-Ḥol, 2 vols (1935–42); M. Zulai, Piyyu tei Yannai (1938); A.M. Habermann, Piyyutei R. Shimon Bar Yiẓḥak (1938); Yedi'ot ha-Makhon le-Ḥeker ha-Shirah ha-Ivrit, 7 vols (1933–58).

[Menahem Zulai and

Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]

The activities of the Institute have been continued by Prof. Ezra Fleischer at the Makhon le-Ḥeker ha-Shirah veha-Piyyut (Genizah Research Institute for Hebrew Poetry) at the Jewish National and University Library, Jerusalem, with funding from the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities. The examination and description of the most important collections of Hebrew secular and liturgical poetry in Genizah fragments, with the help of the materials of the Institute of Microfilmed Hebrew Manuscripts of the Library, made possible the complete revision and updating of Davidson's Thesaurus, the identification of many new poems and poets, and information and materials for new publications, and was a great help for researchers of Hebrew poetry from all over the world. In the early 2000s the Institute worked on the digitalization of poetry fragments.

[Angel Sáenz-Badillos (2nd ed.)]


Brody, in: ymḤsi, 1 (1933), 9–16; Zulai, in: Alei Ayin: Minḥat Devarim li-Shelomo Zalman Schocken (1952), 83–124.

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Institute for the Research of Medieval He-Brew Poetry

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Institute for the Research of Medieval He-Brew Poetry