Yahudi, Yusuf

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YAHUDI, YUSUF (1688–1755), Bukharan poet. Yahudi was an exponent of that branch of Persian poetry in Hebrew characters which began with *Shahin and *Imrānī of Shiraz. His poems included an ode devoted to the praise and glory of Moses and hymns in honor of biblical heroes such as Elijah as well as other poems bearing his name in acrostic, some of which are bilingual and trilingual and form even today an integral part of the spiritual heritage of the Persian-speaking Jews of Bukhara. His Tajiki version of Haft Braderan ("The Seven Brothers"), based on the Midrash on the martyrdom of *Ḥannah and her seven sons, and his commentary to Megillat Antiochus are still popular. Yusuf Yahudi was also noted for his translations of the religious songs of Solomon ibn *Gabirol and Israel *Najara, which were collected in *Judeo-Persian songbooks such as Yismaḥ Yisrael.

Under his influence a school of Jewish poets in Bukhara came into existence whose members followed his example in composing Judeo-Persian poetry in their own dialect.


W. Bacher, in: zdmg, 53 (1899), 389–427; idem, in: zhb, 3 (1899), 19–25; W.J. Fischel, in: L. Jung (ed.), Jewish Leaders (1953), 535–47.

[Walter Joseph Fischel]