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ELIJAH BEN MENAHEM HA-ZAḲEN:

French liturgical poet; flourished at Le Mans in the eleventh century. According to Solomon Luria, (Responsa, No. 29), he was the son-in-law of Sherira. Gaon. Fürst doubts that Elijah was of Le Mans, takingthe name to be the popular name of his father, Menahem. Elijah was the pupil of Rabbenu Gershon, and companion of Joseph Ṭob-'Elem (Bonfils), with whom he discussed the recitation of the "Ḳerobah" between the first three of the eighteen benedictions ("Shibbole ha-Loḳeṭ," No. 11). He wrote: (1) "Azharot," a poem on the 613 commandments, containing 176 four-line strophes. This poem may be divided into several smaller poems, giving together with the acrostic "Eliyahu Ḥazaḳ," in one instance an acrostic of , in another one of . These "azharot" were known to the Tosafists and are quoted in several places (Suk. 49a; Yoma 8a; B. B. 145b; Mak. 3b; Niddah 30a). (2) "Seder ha-Ma'arakah, "Biblical passages arranged for recitation on each day of the week in the same manner as the "Ma'amadot" (MSS. Offenbach, No. 38). Jellinek ("Orient, Lit." xii. 546) identifies the author of the "Azharot" with the cabalist Elijah ha-Zaḳen, who is frequently quoted by Moses Botarel in his commentary to the "Sefer Yeẓirah."

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch. pp. 126-129;
  • idem, S. P. p. 97;
  • idem, Z. G. pp. 47, 192;
  • Orient, Lit. ix. 51, note; xi. 49 et seq.;
  • Landshuth, 'Ammude ha-'Abodah, pp. 13-15;
  • Azulai, Shem, ha-Gedolim, i., s.v.; ii., s.v. ;
  • Gross, Gallia Judaica, p. 363;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 949.
K. M. Sel.
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