Mittwoch, 01.02.2023 09:56 Uhr

The Jewish Prince of Granada

Verantwortlicher Autor: Sharon Oppenheimer Tel Aviv, 30.12.2022, 15:35 Uhr
Fachartikel: +++ Special interest +++ Bericht 5795x gelesen

Tel Aviv [ENA] The first major poet of the Hebrew literary renaissance of Moslem Spain, Shmuel Ben Yosef Ha-Levi HaNagid (993-1056 C.E.) was also the prime minister of the Moslem state of Granada, battlefield commander of the non-Jewish Granada army, Talmudic scholar, grammarian, philologist and one of the leading religious figures in a medieval Jewish world that stretched from Andalusia to Baghdad.

Shmuel Hanagid or Samuel Ibn Nagrela was unique in the annals of medieval Jewry - indeed, of Jewish history from Biblical to modern times. He was born in Cordoba in 993 and died in 1056 in Muslim Andalusia. Shmuel Hanagid settled as a young man in Granada and rose to prominence at its royal court. For over two decades. He served as the grand vizier of Granada’s kingdom and as a military commander in its battles. In his exalted position Shmuel remained the same pious and modest scholar, and disarmed his enemies, who could not forgive him his Jewish faith, by his gentleness of manner and his liberality.

His poems capture the combination of secular and religious passion, as well as his inspired linking of Hebrew and Arabic poetic practice. "The Power of the Pen", is an example for his writings: "Man's wisdom is at the tip of his pen, His intelligence is in his writing. His pen can raise a man to the rank, That the scepter accords to a king". Even Shmuel HaNagid was a man of piety, his piety was that of the man of action, not that of the philosopher or the saint.

Today, the great Jews of medieval Spain like Shmuel HaNagid have all but vanished from consciousness. The world at large has lost interest in the Golden Age of Spain.

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