A form of praise or blessing greatly in vogue in medieval Hebrew literature. In ancient times the invocation was an essential part of the various forms of salutation, many instances of which are found in Biblical, and especially in post-Biblical, literature. They recognize the divine presence, invoke the divine benediction, and express the wish that the object of the salutation may enjoy a long at happy life and general prosperity. To them belong also the special blessings invoked upon arriving and departing travelers and upon the sick, and those recited upon extraordinary occasions, joyful or otherwise—upon drinking wine, upon sneezing, and upon the completion of a written communication. See Asusa.Invocations for the Living.
With the exception of few formulas used when mentioning the name of the Lord (V06p612001.jpg V06p612002.jpg V06p612003.jpg), in vocations, as a rule,refer to persons, and fall into two main groups, those upon the living, and those upon the dead. In the first group the oldest formula occurs frequently in the Mishnah (V06p613001.jpg = "may he be remembered for good!"). This formula, however, afterward came to be invoked mainly upon the dead. From geonic times are derived expressions like V06p613002.jpg and V06p613003.jpg [V06p613004.jpg, abbreviated V06p613005.jpg; the latter abbreviation, having gained the signification of the term V06p613006.jpg ("his light"), evolved into V06p613007.jpg. Later were added V06p613008.jpg also with the addition V06p613009.jpg).
The wish that the one saluted may enjoy a long and happy life was conveyed in the formula V06p613010.jpg, V06p613011.jpg; then, more fully, in V06p613012.jpg V06p613013.jpg, with V06p613014.jpg), or V06p613015.jpg V06p613016.jpg, with V06p613017.jpg; with the further addition V06p613018.jpg). The Spanish or Oriental Jews write V06p613019.jpg). In the case of prominent men, particularly those that wielded worldly power, non-Jewish rulers included, the formula V06p613020.jpg was, and still is, used (V06p613021.jpg is a Biblical expression; see Dan. xi. 21; I Chron. xvi. 27, xxix. 25). Besides these special phrases, several Bible verses, generally in abbreviated and altered form, were employed, such as, for instance, those from Ex. xviii. 4: V06p613022.jpg (see Ps. cxlvi. 5: V06p613023.jpg); Deut. xxxiii. 24: V06p613024.jpg (V06p613025.jpg); Isa. liii. 10: V06p613026.jpg with the appended V06p613027.jpg); Ps. xxii. 27: V06p613028.jpg; xxiv. 5: V06p613029.jpg); xli. 3: V06p613030.jpg; lxxii. 17: V06p613031.jpg; Prov. iii. 2: V06p613032.jpg (from which came: V06p613033.jpg V06p613034.jpg; or perhaps, in order to obtain this ingenious abbreviation, the letter ו of V06p613035.jpg and the word V06p613036.jpg have been omitted, and the eulogy runs: V06p613037.jpg V06p613038.jpg); Ezra i. 3: V06p613039.jpg, etc. In the case of women, from Judges v. 24 is recited: V06p613040.jpg V06p613041.jpg and V06p613042.jpg transposed V06p613043.jpg) were customary. On occasion of mentioning localities use was made of the eulogy formed after Num. xxi. 27: V06p613044.jpg (V06p613045.jpg, with V06p613046.jpg); so, likewise, the adaptations from Ps. xlviii. 9 and lxxxvii. 5: V06p613047.jpg (with V06p613048.jpg) and V06p613049.jpg, were employed.Invocations for the Dead.
Eulogies upon the dead contain an expression of the desire that the life of the departed may prove to have been a blessing, that their earthly remains may have peace, and that their souls have entered the realms of bliss, are partaking there of heavenly blessings and of the raptures of Eden, and are face to face with the glory of God. The utterance of some of these eulogies such as the phrase V06p613050.jpg (briefly: V06p613051.jpg) was early enjoined upon children when naming their deceased father, and upon pupils when naming their deceased teacher. The following forms of eulogy, each with its variations, have gradually developed: V06p613052.jpg, V06p613053.jpg (Prov. x. 7, compare Ps. cxii. 6; abbreviated V06p613054.jpg; in combination these eulogies upon the dead occur in numerous variations, among which V06p613055.jpg V06p613056.jpg and V06p613057.jpg) is the most complete formula; V06p613058.jpg; V06p613059.jpg V06p613060.jpg; in transpositions V06p613061.jpg; with V06p613062.jpg = V06p613063.jpg), etc.
Besides these freely selected formulas, as in the case of eulogies upon the living, verses from the Bible, more or less modified in form, have been employed. These were largely taken from Ex. xvi. 14: V06p613064.jpg (the resurrection is notably associated with the dew, V06p613065.jpg); I Sam. xxv. 29: V06p613066.jpg (from among the many variations the most customary is: V06p613067.jpg V06p613068.jpg); Isa. xi. 10: [V06p613069.jpg] V06p613070.jpg; ib. xxvii. 11: V06p613071.jpg; ib. lvii. 2: V06p613072.jpg V06p613073.jpg; lxiii. 14: V06p613074.jpg (compare also Genesis ii. 15: V06p613075.jpg; from the two verses developed the formula V06p613076.jpg V06p613077.jpg); Hab. ii. 4: V06p613078.jpg); Ps. xvii. 14: V06p613079.jpg; ib. xxv. 13: V06p613080.jpg V06p613081.jpg; often only the first half, V06p613082.jpg); ib. xci. 1: V06p613083.jpg; ib. cxvi. 9: V06p613084.jpg (in the third person V06p613085.jpg, etc. = V06p613086.jpg); Dan. xii. 13: V06p613087.jpg V06p613088.jpg; and many others. The merits of the deceased who led a pious life were recited to the surviving in expressions such as V06p613089.jpg V06p613090.jpg), etc.
It may naturally be assumed that the eulogies found upon tombstones represent the eulogies in current use at the time of inscription. Nor have the-poets in their acrostics neglected them (V06p613091.jpg V06p613092.jpg V06p613093.jpg). The contractions of eulogy, as abbreviations in general, have greatly influenced the formation of family-names: compare, for example, names such as Shalit (V06p613094.jpg), Jare (V06p613095.jpg), and others.
Bibliography:G. H. B.
- Zunz, Z. G. pp. 304 et seq.;
- Steinschneider, Hebr. Bibl. vii. 23;
- Kaufmann, in Monatsschrift, xxxvii. 121 et seq.