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Song of the Distant DoveJudah Halevi’s Pilgrimage$
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Raymond P. Scheindlin

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195315424

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195315424.001.0001

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(p.97) 4 Alexandria
Song of the Distant Dove

Raymond P. Scheindlin (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Geniza letters and Halevi’s panegyric poems describe his arrival, together with Isaac Ibn Ezra and another companion, in Alexandria; his activities there; the many people who wanted to host him; and his desire for ascetic solitude. Outstanding characters are Aaron ibn al-’Ammānī, a judge of the Jewish court, Halevi’s main Alexandrian host; and Ḥalfon Halevi, a businessman in Fustat/Cairo with whom Halevi had been in contact while still in al-Andalus. Samuel ben Ḥanania, the head of the Jewish community of the Fatimid Empire, invites Halevi to Cairo; Halevi’s formal epistle to him displays the royal deference accorded to Samuel’s rank. Geniza letters tell of Ḥalfon’s trip to Alexandria in late 1140 in order to bring Halevi home with him to Fustat.

Keywords:   Isaac Ibn Ezra, Aaron Ibn al-’Ammānī, Alexandria, Fustat, Cairo, Samuel ben Ḥanania, Samuel the Egyptian Nagid, Ḥalfon Halevi, panegyric poetry, Fatimid Empire

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