Joseph (Josse) Bar Nissan

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JOSEPH (Josse ) BAR NISSAN , early liturgical poet of uncertain date. His birthplace appears repeatedly in the acrostic to his poems as Shaveh-Kiriathaim (Gen. 14:5). As in the case of Kiriath-Sepher, similarly used by Kallir, this is obviously intended as the designation of an actual but differently named town: Samuel Klein identified it with Nawe in Transjordan. Joseph's kerovot, preserved in numerous genizah fragments in Oxford, Cambridge, and elsewhere, were composed according to the triennial Palestinian cycle (see *Torah, Reading of). For this reason, among many others, he cannot be identified with the Babylonian poet Joseph al-Baradani who wrote poems in conformity with the one-year cycle. Joseph's poems are written in a highly involved style.


I. Davidson, Ginzei Schechter, 3 (1928), 49, 96; M. Zulay, Zur Liturgie der babylonischen Juden (1933), 68, 87; idem, in: ymḤsi, 2 (1936), 219, 365; 5 (1939), 158–69; Klein, in: bjpes (1936), pt. 3, 4, 76–78; A.M. Habermann, Ateret Renanim (1967), 133, 163–5. add. bibliography: T. Beeri, The "Great Cantor" of Bagdad (Heb., 2002).

[Jefim (Hayyim) Schirmann]