ISAAC IBN ḤALFON, ABU IBRAHIM:(Redirected from ABU IBRAHIM ISḤAḲ IBN ḤALFON.)
Spanish poet of the eleventh century. According to Moses ibn Ezra's treatise on poetry (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 1974, fol. 316), his father had emigrated from Africa to Andalusia. Isaac was acquainted with Jacob ibn Jaso, at whose house in Cordova he was a frequent guest (see Abu al-Walid, "Ha-Riḳmah," ed. Goldberg, p. 122; Derenbourg, "Opuscules et Traitésd' Aboû l-Walîd," p. vii.). Abu al-Walid (l.c. p. 186) complains that one of the very few poems that he had written in his early youth had been copied by certain jealous persons and circulated among some people of Toledo with the name of Isaac ibn Ḥalfon as its author; and that when some of his pupils noticed this and asserted Abu al-Walid's authorship, they were disbelieved. Isaac ibn Ḥalfon is quoted as "the poet" ("ha-meshorer") by Moses ibn Ezra in several passages in his above-cited treatise (see Schreiner, "Le Kitab al-Mouhadara," etc., in "R. E. J." xxii. 244). According to Al-Ḥarizi ("Taḥkemoni," xviii., ed. "Aḥiasaf," p. 181, Warsaw, 1899), it seems that Isaac introduced new (perhaps Arabic) meters into Hebrew poetry, which were used by succeeding poets.
Though he doubtless wrote a number of poems, only two may be ascribed to him with any degree of certainty. These are one beginning
That acute critic Al-Ḥarizi (l.c.), in passing judgment upon the value of Isaac's poetry, said that only a few of his poems were beautiful like the fruit of goodly trees (comp. Lev. xxiii. 40), most of them being thorns and thistles. However, among the numerous poets of his age he was "anointed king" (comp. "Taḥkemoni," iii. 39).
- Bacher, in Z. D. M. G. xxxvi. 401;
- Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 835;
- idem, Die Handschriften- Verzeichnisse der Königl. Bibl. zu Berlin, ii. 29a;
- idem, Hebr. Bibl. xii. 66;
- Zunz, Literaturgesch. Supplement, p. 52.