SOLOMON BEN JUDAH HA-BABLI:
Liturgist of the tenth century. In spite of the epithet "ha-Babli," given him by Rashi (commentary on Ex. xxvi. 15; "Ha-Pardes," p. 43d) and others, he was not a native of any Mohammedan country. Rapoport ("Teshubot ha-Geonim," p. 12b) held that the ancient rabbis included Rome under the designation "Babylon"; this being so, Solomon may have been a native of Rome. He is even so termed by M. Sachs in his translation of the Maḥzor (vii. 89), though without any further justification.
Solomon was the teacher of Meshullam b. Kalonymus, and, with Simeon the Great of Mayence and Kalonymus, Meshullam's father, was declared to have been of the generation which preceded Gershon Me'or ha-Golah. Solomon was the author of numerous piyyuṭim and seliḥot. Of the former there may be mentioned: an "'abodah," commencing "Adderet tilboshet"; an unrimed piyyuṭ, arranged in alphabetical order, consisting of combinations of and , each letter being repeated from eight to twenty times; a "yoẓer" for the first day of the Feast of Passover, beginning "Or yesha'" (mentioned by Rashi [commentary on Ex. xxvi. 15 and Cant. iv. 10], Jacob Tam [Tos. to B. B. 14a], and many others); and a yoẓer beginning "Omeẓ dar ḥazaḳim," a haggadic cosmogony. He wrote, besides, several "ofanim" and "zulatot," which are recited on certain Sabbaths. His seliḥot are of the kind termed "shalmoniyyot," and consist of four-line strophes, without any Biblical verse (see Seliḥah). Many piyyuṭim signed "Solomon" may be Solomon ha-Babli's. It has been noticed that in several instances piyyuṭim, or seliḥot, by Solomon ha-Babli stand side by side with those of Solomon ibn Gabirol. Both bear the signature "Solomon b. Judah," and only upon a close examination can they be assigned to the proper author. Indeed, errors are sometimes made, as in the case of the yoẓer "Or yesha'," mentioned above, which is ascribed by a certain commentator to Ibn Gabirol. It appears that Solomon ha-Babli was the first to add to his signature words, and sometimes sentences, of an invocative nature, such as "Ḥazaḳ," or "Yigdal be-Torah." According to Conforte ("Ḳore ha-Dorot," p. 18b), Solomon was the author of a prayer-book; but Conforte seems to have confused him with Rashi.
- S. D. Luzzatto, in Orient, Lit. vi. 680;
- idem, Luaḥ ha-Payyeṭanim, pp. 66 et seq., in Berliner's Oẓar Ṭob, 1880;
- Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. cols. 2318-2319;
- Zunz, S. P. p. 167;
- idem, Literaturgesch. pp. 100-104, 232-235.