Zafrani, Haim

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ZAFRANI, HAIM (1922–2004), Jewish scholar, writer, educator, and historian. Haim Zafrani was born in Mogador, *Morocco, where from 1939 to 1962 he taught school and became general supervisor of Arabic in the schools of Morocco. He was also the representative of the *Alliance Israélite Universelle in the country. In 1962 he moved to France where he held the chair in Hebrew at the Ecole Nationale des Langues Orientales Vivantes in Paris from 1962 to 1966 and worked at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (cnrs), also in Paris, from 1966 to 1969. From 1975 he held the chair in Hebrew at the University of Paris viii, where he was chairman of the department of Hebrew language and Jewish civilization from its establishment in October 1969. Zafrani's studies include the preparation of a critical edition and French translation of the Bible. This is part of a group project involving researchers from Paris, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Morocco, and *Egypt. Zafrani also studied and conducted research into the kabbalistic texts and mystical traditions of the Jews of the Maghreb. He published numerous books and many articles on Hebrew, Judeo-Arabic, and Judeo-Berber linguistics, and on Jewish thought in the Muslim West and in Islamic countries. Among his works are Mille ans de vie juive au Maroc (1982; Hebrew 1986) and Kabbale. Vie mystique et magie (1986), Poésie juive en Terre d'Islam (1977; translated into Hebrew), Littératures dialectales et populaire juives en Occident Musulman (1980); Juifs d'Andalousie et du Maghreb (1996; Spanish 1994); Two Thousand Years of Jewish Life in Morocco (2005; French 1998; Spanish 2001); Ethique et mystique, Judaïsme en terre d'Islam. Le commentaire kabbalistique du "Traité des Pères" de J. Bu-Ifergan (1991–2002); Le monde de la légende: littérature de prédication juive en Occident musulman (2003).

add. bibliography:

N.S. Serfaty and J. Tedghi (eds.), Présence juive au Maghreb: hommage à Haim Zafrani (2004).

[Gideon Kouts /

Sylvie Anne Goldberg (2nd ed.)]