Samuel Ha-Shelishi ben Hoshana

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SAMUEL HA-SHELISHI BEN HOSHANA (d. after 1012), Palestinian liturgical poet. His name is mentioned in many documents of the Cairo Genizah, from which it appears that he was a member of the Ereẓ Israel academy in Jerusalem. He progressively rose in importance until he was awarded the title of Ha-Shelishi ("third of the company"), that is, the third man in the seating order at the side of the Gaon in the academy. For unknown reasons, he went to Egypt and settled in Fostat, where he became friendly with *Shemariah b. Elhanan. His disciples included R. *Nathan b. Abraham (i). On Shevat 3, 4772, at the time of the funeral of Putiel ha-Ḥazzan, he was a witness to and also a victim of the three-day riots perpetrated by the Muslims against the Jews of Fostat. He commemorated these events in a special scroll entitled Megillat Miẓrayim ("The Scroll of Egypt"), which has become an important historical source. He also wrote kerovot and seliḥot in memory of these events. Upon his death in Egypt *Sahlan b. Abraham eulogized him, mentioning among other achievements his erudition in Torah and his wide knowledge of talmudic and midrashic literature.

Samuel was one of the most prominent liturgical poets of his century, but only some of the hundreds of his extant piyyutim have been published, by various scholars. Samuel composed many yoẓerot, of every category, on all the weekly portions of the Pentateuch. Some of his piyyutim are written in a concentrated style and are filled with allusions, while others are written in an easy and colorful style. A few were signed Shemu'el Yizkeh or Shemu'el he-Ḥaver Yizkeh.


Davidson, Oẓar, 4 (1933), 479, s.v.Samuel he-Ḥaver, Mann, Egypt, 1–2 (1920–22), index; idem, in: huca, 3 (1926),258–62; Weiss, in: hḤy, 8 (1924), 154–202; Zulay, in: ymḤsi, 3 (1936), 163–75; Assaf, in: Sefer Magnes (1938), 2–4; M. Wallenstein, Some Unpublished Piyyutim from the Cairo Genizah (1956); Mirsky, in: ks, 33 (1957/58), 80–88; J. Schirmann, Shirim Ḥadashim min ha-Genizah (1965), 63–69; E. Fleischer, in: Sinai, 66 (1970), 237–8.

[Abraham David]

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Samuel Ha-Shelishi ben Hoshana

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