Mayer, Esther R. (2011) Yosse ben Yosse: The Social Function of Liturgical Poetry in 5th Century Palestine. Masters thesis, Concordia University.
- Accepted Version
The literary genre of Piyyut reflects the time and place in which it was composed, and may therefore be considered an appropriate means for research concerning the sociological religious culture of 5th century Palestinian Jewish life, given the paucity of original source materials from this post-destruction formative period in Judaism. Piyyutic literature was an engine for engendering national identity, fostering kinship and cohesiveness, and displacing revenge or assimilation in favour of Torah observance, which was deemed by the Sages to be essential for the maintenance of the vitality and continuity of Judaic life until its prophesied messianic regeneration.
Yosse ben Yosse composed his Piyyutim in Hebrew, labouring in the Galilee under Byzantine rule. His poems are analyzed as vehicles for transmitting religious, political, social, and didactic messages that were incorporated into the worship lives of Jews. This paper examines the ontological aspects of identity construction, 5th century Jewish historiographic understanding of the nature of time, and elements of messianism that pervade the prayerful Piyyutim. Through tenacious adherence to Hebrew as a repository of culture and destiny, Yosse ben Yosse drew biblical and midrashic allusions, and articulated the rabbinic ethos and concerns with his unique literary style and cadence which mark him as the first in a line of many Paytanim who left their mark on Jewish liturgy.
Seven of his known Piyyutim are presented and translated into English, as a means of fostering further scholarly investigation of Yosse ben Yosse’s contribution to the Piyyutic genre.
|Divisions:||Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Religion|
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Authors:||Mayer, Esther R.|
|Thesis Supervisor(s):||Robinson, Ira|
|Deposited By:||ESTHER R. MAYER|
|Deposited On:||09 Jun 2011 15:22|
|Last Modified:||10 Jan 2012 13:32|
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