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ELIJAH BEN SHEMAIAH:

Italian rabbi and liturgical poet; lived at Bari in the twelfth century. He was one of the teachers of Samuel b. Naṭronai; and his signature, with those of many other rabbis, is appended to a responsum found in Samuel's novellæ on Maimonides ("Yad," Ishut, xxiii. 14). Elijah b. Shemaiah is especially known as a composer of hymns. Besides a "reshut" to Johanan's "Ḳerobot" for Yom Kippur, Elijah composed a great number of seliḥot. Zunz ("Literaturgesch." pp. 244-246) enumerates no less than thirty-six, arranged either in the alphabetical or in the reversed alphabetical order, and giving the acrostic of his name.

Bibliography:
  • Zunz, Literaturgesch. pp. 139, 244-246;
  • idem, G. V. p. 393;
  • idem, S. P. p. 206;
  • Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 412;
  • Landshuth, 'Ammude, ha-'Abodah, p. 17.
K. M. Sel.
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