Zulay, Menahem

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ZULAY, MENAHEM (1901–1954), Israel researcher of early Ereẓ Israel piyyut. Zulay, who was born in Oshcianci, Galicia, settled in Palestine in 1920. In 1925 he was invited to Germany to act as Hebrew tutor to the children of S.Z. Schocken. At the University of Bonn he was awarded a Ph.D. for his study Zur Liturgie der babylonischen Juden (1933). He worked at the Schocken Institute for the Study of Hebrew poetry, from its foundation until his death. At the Institute, he studied thousands of photographs of the early Ereẓ Israel piyyut, especially those of Yannai, that had been collected from all the libraries of the world in order to identify and classify them.

He published a critical edition of Yannai, Piyyutei Yannai Melukkatim mi-Tokh Kitvei ha-Genizah u-Mekorot Aherim (1938); "Mehkerei Yannai" in ymhsi, 2 (1936), 213–391; "Iyyunei Lashon be-Fiyyutei Yannai," ibid., 6 (1946), 161–248). He was a member of the Academy of the Hebrew Language. Toward the end of his life he published a series of articles on "The Piyyut School of Rav Saadiah Gaon" (Orlogin, 6 (1952); 8 (1953); 10 (1954)). His complete work, Ha-Askolah ha-Paytanit shel Rav Sa'adyah Ga'on (1969), was published posthumously. The many studies he published constitute only a small part of the abundant material he prepared.

[Yehuda Ratzaby]