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ḲARA, ABIGDOR BEN ISAAC:

Bohemian cabalist and liturgical poet; died at Prague April 10, 1439. He lived for a time at Ratisbon, but settled permanently at Prague after 1409. Ḳara enjoyed a high reputation and associated with King Wenceslaus, who liked to converse with him on religious matters. Ḳara nevertheless led a life of poverty, and collections were made in several Jewish communities to provide him with a livelihood. He was the author of the following works, still extant in manuscript: haggadic notes and gemaṭriot on the Pentateuch (Neubauer, "Cat. Bodl. Hebr. MSS." No. 2273); notes on Isaiah xlvi. 18 (ib. 186, 2); "She'elot u-Teshubot," responsa, allegorical in character (ib. 1598, 4); "Ḳodesh Ḥillulim," a cabalistic work (MS. Fuenn). Kara's liturgical productions are: a seliḥah, written on the occasion of the persecutions of the Jews of Prague in 1389, beginning with (inserted in the Maḥzor for the Minḥah prayer of the Day of Atonement); a hymn beginning , on the unity of God; "Shelosh 'Esreh Hishtaḥawayot," a seliḥah beginning with (inserted in the ritual "Zebaḥ Pesaḥ," published at Prague in 1615); a poem beginning with , on the thirteen articles of belief (Neubauer, l.c. Nos. 2256 et seq.).

Bibliography:
  • Goldberg, in Ha-Mebasser, 1862, p. 207;
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch. p. 373;
  • idem, Z. G. p. 165, and Index;
  • Steinschneider, Cat. Bodl. col. 662;
  • idem, Jewish Literature, pp. 115, 145;
  • Grätz, Gesch. viii. 52;
  • Fuenn, Keneset Yisrael, p. 5.
K. I. Br.
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