A Spark of King David: Rabbi Israel Najara’s Poetry and Music

March 16, 2021 | Edwin Seroussi

The attraction of modern audiences to the songs of Rabbi Israel Najara (c.1550-1625) serves as a point of departure for a journey into one of the most intriguing artists of the early modern period. Najara was a unique figure in the history of piyyut (Jewish liturgical poems, usually designated to be sung, chanted, or recited during religious services), a tradition active in Safed, Damascus, and Gaza.

Discover Manuscript 2035 in HUC’s renowned Klau Library – a collection of Hebrew sacred poetry arranged to the musical nodes of Turkish music dating to the 17th century, particularly the poetry of Rabbi Najara – and enjoy poems that are sung to this day in synagogues and Jewish homes.

Presented by the Klau Library.

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